The purpose of the Frontier Community Health Integration Demonstration Program (F-CHIP) is to develop and test new models for the delivery of health care services in frontier areas through improving access to, and better integration of, the delivery of health care to Medicare beneficiaries.

The MIPPA legislation specified only “eligible entities” located in the four frontier states of Alaska, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming could participate in the demonstration.   “Eligible entity” requirements include:

  • Must be an existing Critical Access Hospital (CAH) located in one of the 4 frontier-eligible states;
  • The CAH must be located in a county with a population of 6 or fewer people per square mile;
  • The CAH must have an average acute-care census of 5 patients or less, and;
  • The CAH must provide one of the following services: home health, hospice and/or physician services.

In Alaska the following seven hospitals are currently on the list as eligible to participate in the demonstration:

  • Cordova Community Medical Center;
  • Norton Sound Regional Hospital;
  • Petersburg Medical Center;
  • Providence Seward Medical and Care Center;
  • Providence Valdez Medical Center;
  • Sitka Community Hospital;
  • Wrangell Medical Center.

In Montana, nine Frontier Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) have been meeting regularly to develop a Framework for a new Frontier Health System Model and a series of white papers focused on issues facing Frontier CAHs.  Recently, the other eligible states (AK, WY, ND) have received grants from HRSA (through their Flex program offices) to evaluate the policy and regulatory challenges facing frontier critical care hospitals and to prepare eligible hospitals to respond to the CMS demonstration.

F-CHIP Update Report-Oct 2011