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Critical Access & Rural Health Clinic

Critical Access Hospital (CAH)

“Critical access hospitals” are given that status by Medicare. It means we are paid a little better than we would
without that status. To have that better reimbursement, we must meet the following condition.

  • Have 25 or fewer inpatient beds
  • Hospital location must be more than 35 miles from other hospitals
  • Maintain an annual length of stay of 96 hours or less
  • Provide 24/7 emergency services


Our hospital’s emergency services are also certified by the state as a Trauma level IV facility. This means we meet all the same standards of care here in Cortez that any other trauma designated facility would have to meet in the ER.


Rural Health Clinics (RHC)

“Rural health clinics” are given that status by Medicare. Similar to the CAH, our RHCs are paid slightly better with this status. Not all of the clinics at Southwest Health System have an RHC designation. The goal of RHC designation is to increase access to Primary Care services in rural communities. RHC designation requires a team approach to care, utilizing Physician and Advanced Practice Providers (PA,NP, CNM.)

southwest health system

(970) 565-6666

Home Office

1311 North Mildred Road

Cortez, CO 81321



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