Nevada Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex)

The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex), administered by the federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), provides grants to states to assist rural hospitals and communities. The Flex program was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

Since 1999, the Nevada State Office of Rural Health (SORH) has overseen the Nevada Flex Program, including the process for Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) designation and the requirements for CAH participation in Flex-funded technical assistance in Nevada. Over the past two decades, the SORH has received $8.1 million dollars to support CAHs in Flex program activities.

During the current fiscal year, beginning September 1, 2021, the Nevada Flex Program will utilize $495,108  in Flex-grant funding to assist 13 state' CAHs in:

1. CAH Quality Improvement  

  • Patient/Inpatient Safety measures, including developing antibiotic stewardship programs 
  • HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) measures  
  • Emergency Transfer Care Communication documentation 
  • Outpatient quality monitoring.
  • Safe Opioid Prescribing and Documentation Project 

2.CAH Operational and Financial Improvement 

  • Statewide operational and financial needs assessments 
  • Individual CAH-specific needs assessment and action planning 
  • Performance Improvement Network education and training

3. CAH Population Health Improvement 

  • Support CAHs in identifying community and resource needs 
  • Assist CAHs in building strategies to prioritize and address unmet needs of the community 
  • Assist CAHs in engaging with community stakeholders and public health experts in addressing specific health needs 
  • Churchill County Health Department feasibility assessment and Churchill County Cross-Jurisdictional Sharing Project 

4. Rural EMS Improvement 

  • Statewide rural EMS assessments and action planning 
  • Community-level rural EMS assessments and action planning 
  • Annual Nevada Rural EMS Conference

Thirteen Critical Access Hospitals in Nevada currently receive support and technical assistance from the Nevada Flex Program.

For additional information on the Nevada Flex Program, CAH designation in Nevada, and current Flex grant-supported activities in Nevada, please contact:

Laima Etchegoyhen, MPH