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Provision of Observation Services in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
Memo #
Posting Date
Fiscal Year
A CAH may maintain beds used solely for outpatient observation services without counting these beds toward the statutory CAH maximum of 25 inpatient beds. However, State Survey Agencies (SAs) must examine CAH provision of outpatient observation services carefully to assure they are consistent with the statutory limit of 25 inpatient beds that have an annual average length of stay that does not exceed 96 hours per patient. An advance copy of revised portions of the State Operations Manual (SOM) CAH Appendix W, addressing the assessment of observation bed services in CAHs, is attached to this memorandum.