Critical Access Hospitals and Their Role in Rural Healthcare


The cost for this online course is $20. The estimated time to complete this course is 60 minutes. Learners will be asked to complete an activity post-assessment with a passing score of 75%.

You must log in or create an account before enrolling in this educational activity. 

Once you register for the course, you will have 30 days from the date of enrollment to complete the course. The date your access expires will be indicated in the Course Summary box on this webpage.

Target Audience

Healthcare professionals.


Iowa covers 55,869 square miles, with an estimated 2019 population of 3,155,070 people - 1,260,285 living in rural Iowa (USDA-ERS). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, Iowans' average per capita income in 2018 was $50,124, although rural per capita lagged at $48,237. 9.0% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 7.3% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma, according to 2014-2018 ACS data reported by ERS. Additionally, the Governor designated 66 of Iowa's 99 counties as a medically underserved areas. Improving access to quality healthcare for rural populations is an important endeavor, and bringing education to providers in rural areas will help close these gaps.

For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.


  • Summarize the origins and history of Critical Access Hospitals in the United States.
  • Differentiate between the levels of care and services provided by Critical Access Hospitals and larger hospital systems.
  • Discuss the challenges faced by Critical Access Hospitals in today's economic climate.

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Recording date: December 3, 2020
Date of original release: December 17, 2020
Most recent review/update: December 17, 2020
Termination date: December 16, 2023

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 1.00 AOA Category 1­B
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 1.00 CPME
  • 1.00 IBON
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Lauren Plum, PT, DPT, OCS
Physical Therapist, Physical Therapy Clinic, Des Moines University

Full biography

Darcy Lipsius

Heather Moorman
Family Caregiver and Advocate

Accreditation Statements

  • MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this enduring materials activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 AOA Category 1-B credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.
  • DPM: Des Moines University (DMU) is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. DMU has approved this activity for a maximum of 1.0 continuing education contact hours.
  • Nurse: Des Moines University is Iowa Board of Nursing approved provider #112. This activity has been reviewed and approved for 1.0 continuing education contact hour(s). No partial credit awarded.​
  • Other Healthcare Professionals: This enduring materials activity is designated for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

Educational Grants

No ineligible company provided financial support for this continuing education activity. 


The speaker(s) will disclose if any pharmaceuticals, medical procedures, and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director.

Relevant to the content of this educational activity, the following individuals have no financial conflicts with ineligible companies to disclose:

  • Darcy Lipsius, Speaker
  • Heather Moorman, Speaker
  • Lauren Plum, PT, DPT, OCS, Speaker


The information provided in this activity is for continuing education. It is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The content of each presentation does not necessarily reflect the views of Des Moines University.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 1.00 AOA Category 1­B
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 1.00 CPME
  • 1.00 IBON


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