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Gila Regional Medical Center Takes Step Toward Critical Access Designation

Silver City, NM (June 12, 2020)—Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has just concluded the comprehensive multi-day virtual portion of the Joint Commission survey. This was one of the last steps toward earning designation as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). The surveyors assessed compliance with Federal regulatory, health, safety, and quality standards designed to assure that patients receive care and services within a safe environment.


Critical access hospital designation helps reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improves access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities. Congress created the CAH designation through the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 in response to a string of rural hospital closures during the 1980s and early 1990s.


Eligible hospitals must meet the following conditions to obtain CAH designation:

  • Have 25 or fewer acute care inpatient beds
  • Be located more than 35 miles from another hospital (exceptions may apply)
  • Maintain an annual average length of stay of 96 hours or less for acute care patients
  • Provide 24/7 emergency care services

“Although these results are not yet final, we are highly encouraged by the positive outcome of this survey and in having this critical element of our pathway toward financial sustainability behind us. I want to thank all of our staff, physicians, providers and governing board members for their support and diligence in preparation for this survey,” said Scott Manis, Interim CEO.

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