Small & Rural Hospitals

KHA and its member hospitals are dedicated to improving Kentuckians’ access to health care. To achieve this goal, KHA focuses on many fronts to ensure, among other endeavors, that rural providers receive the support they need to help medically underserved areas.

Rural Hospitals

November 2023
Map showing location of small and rural hospitals in Kentucky
Download Map (PDF)


A swing bed is a service that rural hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) with a Medicare provider agreement provide that allows a patient to transition from acute care to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). Swing beds are beds within acute care hospitals where patients receive the same skilled level of care that is available at SNFs without leaving the hospital.

Swing beds provide a stable, therapeutic environment in which patients can recover over a short-term period and post hospitalization short-term rehabilitation close to home.

Search the Swing Bed Directory: Searches can be filtered by hospitals offering Bariatric Patient Services, Blood Transfusions, Feeding Tubes, Mental Health, PICC Lines, Rehabilitation Services, Respiratory Services, Wound Care, and Facility Services.

A Critical Access Hospital is often located in rural areas of a state and provides short-term hospital stays. Patients having a severe injury or illness, an urgent medical condition or recovering from surgery can benefit from access to a CAH that is often closer to home. CAH’s can also have swing beds. A swing-bed is a service that rural hospitals, and CAHs with a Medicare provider agreement, provide that allows a patient to transition from acute care to Skilled Nursing Facility.

CAHs allow smaller rural communities to maintain quality access to primary and emergency healthcare services. CAHs provide 24-hour emergency care, up to 25 inpatient beds, and acute care stays up to 96 hours. If a CAH has a swing bed program, patients can also receive skilled nursing care.

As of December 2023, there are 1,366 CAHs located across the United States and 29 located throughout Kentucky.

Below are links that provide additional information about Critical Access Hospitals:

Congress established the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation in December 2020 in Section 125 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260) and in response to the loss of essential healthcare services in rural areas due to hospital closures.

The REH designation is designed to maintain access to critical outpatient hospital services in communities that may not be able to support or sustain a Critical Access Hospital or small rural hospital. REHs are required to provide 24-hour emergency and observation services and can elect to furnish other outpatient services. Facilities designated as an REH will receive enhanced Medicare payments for certain outpatient services and additional monthly payments.

Hospitals that want to learn more about REH designation can go to the Rural Health Redesign Center (RHRC) website.

The RHRC was formed in 2020 to address rural-relevant issues plaguing rural communities across the Country. Recognizing that rural healthcare providers are often the BACKBONE of their communities, providing the most jobs and economic contributions, the RHRC is passionate about finding solutions to support these institutions through healthcare reform, workforce development, and other innovative tactics. 

Bud Warman


Harold C. “Bud” Warman, Jr., FACHE
Vice President, Business Development and Member Relations
(502) 992-4348