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CLA’s new gold standard summary delivers insight to Critical Access Hospitals by evaluating performance over a sustained period of time.

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CLA Releases Gold Standard Summary for Critical Access Hospitals

  • Darryn McGarvey
  • 4/22/2021

CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen), one of the leading professional services firms in the U.S., has released its Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Gold Standard Performance Summary. The report examines publicly available data on more than 1,200 CAHs, which includes financial, quality, patient satisfaction, total cost of care, and county health results from 2015 through 2019.

The report is a comprehensive summary of available data and provides the most important pieces of information to assist CAHs seeking ways to better serve their communities in the midst of a challenging time for health care organizations. A few findings from the report include:

  • 85% of the Gold Standard hospitals now have significant physician integration, compared to just 50% back in 2003.
  • CAH Gold Standard facilities have lower Total Cost of Care than comparable PPS hospitals. Higher reimbursement at CAHs does not lead to higher overall total cost of care.
  • Gold Standard CAHs have improved productivity since 2003. FTEs per Adjusted Occupied bed have decreased from 6.62 in 2003 to 4.96 in 2020.

Through this in-depth analysis, CLA has identified the key themes common to the CAHs that achieved the Gold Standard designation, including:

  • Great quality delivery and high efficiency with strong ancillary and outpatient revenue that meet the demands of the community
  • High community health outcomes and lower total costs of care
  • Alignment with physicians
  • Focus on growth
  • Commitment to improve productivity and reduce costs

“We are thrilled to release our 2020 Critical Access Hospital Gold Standard Report,” said Darryn R. McGarvey, health care principal at CLA. “This report synthesizes financial strength, quality metrics, total cost of care, and community health, all over a sustained period of time, to arrive at the top performing CAHs in the country.”

McGarvey added, “As CAHs navigate a post-pandemic environment, we believe this report can lend insights to organizations who not only desire to improve their financial condition, but also improve quality of care and outcomes of the patients and communities they serve.”

For more information, download the Critical Access Hospital Gold Standard Performance Summary here.


About CLA

CLA exists to create opportunities for our clients, our people, and our communities through industry-focused wealth advisory, outsourcing, audit, tax, and consulting services. With 7,400 people, more than 120 U.S. locations, and a global affiliation, we promise to know you and help you. Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.