Eligibility Requirements

To participate in Georgia HEART, a hospital must be a “rural hospital organization.”

The term “rural hospital organization” includes an acute care hospital licensed by the Georgia Department of Community Health (“DCH”) that meets the following requirements:

  • Provides inpatient hospital services at a facility located in a rural county or is a critical access hospital;
  • Participates in both Medicaid and medicare and accepts both Medicaid and medicare patients;
  • Provides health care services to indigent patients;
  • Has at least 10 percent of its annual net revenue categorized as indigent care, charity care, or bad debt;
  • Annually files IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, with the department or for any hospital not required to file IRS Form 990, the department will provide a form that collects the same information to be submitted to the department on an annual basis;
  • Is operated by a county or municipal authority pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 7 of Georgia Code Title 31 or is designated as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and
  • Is current with all audits and reports required by law.

A “critical access hospital” means a hospital that meets the requirements of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be designated as a critical access hospital and that is recognized by the DCH as a critical access hospital for purposes of Medicaid.

Click here to view a list of eligible rural hospitals.