New Ulm Medical Center honored as 2021 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital

NEW ULM, Minn. (March 22, 2021) — New Ulm Medical Center, an Allina Health hospital, has been recognized as a 2021 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for the 10th time. Compiled by The Chartis Center for Rural Health, this program honors outstanding performance among the nation’s rural hospitals based on the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX®.

New Ulm Medical Center is one of just three hospitals in the nation to make the list of Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals for the 10th time in the 11 years it has been awarded. Only two other hospitals in the United States have received this honor 10 times.

"We are gratified to have earned this recognition for the 10th time in the 11 years it has been awarded. It is significant because it validates the strategy and hard work of our team to deliver outstanding care and high value to our patients," said New Ulm Medical Center President Toby Freier. "The award is based on objective measures that are utilized across the industry to determine value and they are accepted measures in terms of quality, care outcomes and patient experience. Our high ranking demonstrates the deep commitment our physicians, nurses and staff have to continuously improving health care for our communities."

New Ulm Medical Center is one of just eight Minnesota hospitals to make the list of Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in 2021, and the only one to have been on the list ten times.
Allina Health’s River Falls Area Hospital, in River Falls, Wis. is also on the 2021 list.

The hospital’s growth in the number of services offered and number of providers has helped NUMC thrive when many rural hospitals are struggling. New Ulm Medical Center now offers 20 different specialties delivered by over 50 physicians.

“The Top 100 program continues to illuminate strategies and innovation for delivering higher quality care and better outcomes within rural communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “We are delighted to be able to spotlight the efforts of these facilities through the INDEX framework.”

Over the course of the last 11 years, the INDEX has grown to become the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Based entirely on public data and utilizing 36 independent indicators, the INDEX assesses rural hospitals across eight pillars of performance, including market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge, and financial efficiency. The INDEX framework is widely used across the nation by independent rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints and state offices of rural health, which provide access to INDEX analytics through grant-funded initiatives.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A nonprofit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospital campuses, 14 retail pharmacies, and many specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at and join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.