East Greenbush, N.Y. - Congresswoman Elise Stefanik announced today that following her years of advocacy, the University of Vermont Health Network’s Alice Hyde Medical Center of Malone, New York will receive a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Designation. 

“I am proud to announce that following my advocacy, Alice Hyde Medical Center has been awarded a Critical Access Hospital designation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which will provide the medical center with a financial lifeline, giving them the necessary resources to continue meeting the needs of our community,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “I am proud to deliver this critical result to ensure Franklin County and the surrounding regions will continue to receive quality care. I will always fight for rural hospitals in NY-21 so families in our rural communities have certainty in their access to lifesaving treatments and care.” 

“Achieving Critical Access Hospital status is a vital piece of Alice Hyde’s path to financial and operational stability and sustainability. We greatly appreciate Congresswoman Stefanik’s strong support of our work these many months, as we pursued Critical Access accreditation – and her advocacy in support of rural healthcare organizations like Alice Hyde, as we seek new and innovative ways to address the challenges facing small community hospitals like ours,” said Alice Hyde Medical Center President Michelle LeBeau.

In May 2023, Congresswoman Stefanik wrote a letter to CMS in support of the University of Vermont Health Network’s Alice Hyde Medical Center of Malone receiving a CAH designation after becoming eligible as a direct result of Congresswoman Stefanik’s efforts. 

Congresswoman Stefanik was one of the first Members of Congress to recognize the issue and has led the fight to protect and maintain CAH status eligibility for hospitals across the region. Following a 2015 CMS policy change that narrowed the eligibility criteria for hospitals to certify or recertify as a CAH, Congresswoman Stefanik introduced the bipartisan Protecting Rural Access to Care Act to protect this vital designation for hospitals across Upstate New York.  

Following the introduction of her legislation and multiple phone calls and letters from Congresswoman Stefanik to the administration urging them to update their misguided policy, CMS rightfully decided to reverse their disastrous policy that restricted CAH eligibility for hospitals in need.   

The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation provides hospitals enhanced reimbursement rates to keep essential healthcare services in rural communities. In New York’s 21st District, Lewis County General Hospital, Carthage Area Hospital, River Hospital, University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown, Clifton-Fine Hospital, and Gouverneur Hospital maintain a CAH designation.