Rural Health Care

California’s rural hospitals provide care to more than 2 million people and are lifelines and economic pillars for the communities they serve. Many are on the financial brink, facing the possibility of closure and reducing services in their fight to stay open. When a rural hospital closes, the entire community suffers: families lose labor and delivery services, elderly patients must travel to far-off medical facilities, and patients who need specialized care are left behind.

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California Critical Access Hospital Network

The California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) is a statewide organization that fosters collaborative working relationships among California critical access hospitals, a subset of rural hospitals that are located at least 35 miles from another facility. Working together, members grow stronger through shared resources, education, and innovation.

Southern Inyo Healthcare District

Southern Inyo Healthcare District

CCAHN Map 2024


SB 1423 | Stabilize Critical Access Hospital Finances

Dahle, R-Bieber

Would preserve access to care by establishing a long-term, sustainable funding stream to support critical access hospitals’ ability to care for patients in rural communities.

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SB 3275 | Ensure Timely Payment for Hospital Services

Soria, D-Merced & R. Rivas, D-Salinas

Would require health care service plans or health insurers to timely reimburse services provided by a small or rural providers, critical access hospitals, or distressed hospitals.

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AB 869 | Provide Relief from 2030 Seismic Requirements

Wood, D-Healdsburg

 Would extend the deadline for 2030 seismic compliance for certain rural and district hospitals experiencing financial hardship.

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For Rural California, Health Care Deserts
Could Become the New Normal

An elderly ethnic couple enjoy a cup of coffee together in the morning. They are sitting in their living room, in front of a picture window, and are holding their mugs and smiling at one another affectionately. He has his arm around her.

Issue Brief

California’s Rural Communities at Risk

Device that measures earth tremors. Used by geologists to measure magnitude, intensity, and duration of seismic activity like earthquakes and plate movements. The stronger the ground shakes, the more dramatic the lines move.

Key Messages

Health Care at Risk for Millions

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