Rural Health Care

Trainings & Outreach

RHC Circuit - Third Quarter 2015

RHC Circuit Quarterly Newsletter

3rd Quarter 2015

In this issue...

RHC Program Update   |   Trainings & Resources   

Checklist & Task Reminders   l   RHC on the Road   |   FCC Update 

RHC Program Update

HCF Program Funding Commitments Search Tool 

Want to know which HCPs are receiving funding from the HCF Program? The new Funding Commitments Search tool, available from the Search Tools page, allows searches by state, HCP name or number, service provider or SPIN, city, or ZIP code for commitments from FY2013 or later. A funding commitment search tool for the Telecom Program will be available soon.

My Portal Updates

Stay current with the latest updates to My Portal by visiting the HCF Program Applicant Updates, Telecom Program Applicant Updates, and Service Provider Updates pages.

Checklist and Task Reminders

Restrictions for Service Providers in Competitive Bidding 

Per the Health Connect Fund Order (FCC 12 -150), paragraph 231, vendors or service providers participating in the competitive bidding process are prohibited from assisting with or filling out a service request submitted by health care providers (HCPs). Per RHC Program rules to ensure a fair and competitive bidding process, potential bidders must have access to the same information and must be treated in the same manner. All bidders must be evaluated based on the bid evaluation criteria listed on the FCC Form 461.

Telecom Program: Inform USAC of Changes

HCPs are required to notify USAC if any information on their FCC Form 467 changes. If an HCP closes or the supported services are no longer used for the provision of healthcare, the HCP is required to inform USAC of the change via email

HCF Program: LOA/LOE Process

Consortium applicants can now submit a letter of authorization (LOA) or letter of exemption (LOE) to add member HCPs to a consortium without having to submit a revised consortium FCC Form 460. Applicants have 15 calendar days to submit the LOA after the participating member's FCC Form 460 has been submitted. If the LOA is not submitted within the 15 days, the FCC Form 460 will be withdrawn. Under the "My LOAs" tab in My Portal, applicants can upload an LOA/LOE, add member HCPs to the LOA, and/or submit an LOA. Consortium applicants can find additional guidance on how to submit LOA/LOEs on the Authorizations web page.

Timely Credits Reminder to Service Providers 

USAC has received several complaints from HCPs about the tardiness of payment credits from service providers. By participating in the RHC Program, service providers certify that they will apply the amount approved and reimbursed by USAC to the HCP's billing account in a timely manner. Service providers that have not applied the credit for RHC Program support to an HCP's bill should do so as soon as possible. 

Telecom Program: Submit Invoices for FY2012

Service providers that participated in the Telecommunications Program in FY2012 are required to invoice for all FRNs so USAC can complete the closeout process for that funding year. If you have not done so already, submit your invoices as soon as possible, or contact USAC if you are unsure of the status of an invoice.

July Webinar Presentations

Review the presentations from the latest webinars:  
  • July 2015 HCF Program Consortia Webinar: Best practices related to preventing duplicate HCP numbers, LOA and TPA requirements, ensuring information matches across documentation/forms, and information about when and how often to invoice.
  • July 2015 FCC-USAC Webinar: Special webinar focused on RHC Program accomplishments in the past year and what to expect in the new funding year.  

Training and Resources

Guides to Forms Available Now

Both the HCF and Telecom programs' "Guide to Forms" are now available. These guides provide information for each form, including a form's purpose, who must submit it, when to submit it, additional requirements, and approximate processing times.

FCC Form 460 Guide for Individual HCPs

The FCC Form 460 Applicant Guide for Individual HCPs is now available on the HCF Program's Forms page. The guide provides visual step-by-step guidance through the submission process using screenshots from My Portal.

HCF Program LOA/LOE Submission Guide

A new Letter of Agency (LOA) and Letter of Exemption (LOE) user guide is now available on the HCF Program's Letter of Agency and Letter of Exemption web pages. This guide details the step-by-step process for submitting an LOA or LOE in My Portal. 

HCF Site and Service Substitution Video and Guide

New My Portal functionality allowing consortia applicants to submit their own site and service substitutions was recently deployed. A step-by-step video detailing how to use this functionality is available in the Online Learning Library. There is also an applicant guide available for download with screenshots that walk the applicant through the process. 

 

The RHC Help Desk is here to support you! Visit the Contact Us page and let us know how we can help. 

HCF Program Invoicing

HCPs participating in the HCF Program can start invoicing USAC as soon as they receive a funding commitment. Invoices are due within six months of the end of the funding commitment period (December 31 for funding commitments ending on June 30) and must be approved by the service provider before the deadline. To allow for the review time needed by service providers and to account for higher volumes of invoices at the end of the calendar year, HCPs are encouraged to submit invoices to their service providers for approval as early as possible. For more information about the invoicing process and the FCC Form 463, see the FCC Form 463 Guide for Applicants and Service Providers

RHC on the Road

Program Calendar

The new RHC Program calendar is now available on the RHC Program website. This calendar provides dates for all upcoming events, including webinars, trainings, and conferences we will be attending. See when and where the team will be and join us at a conference, participate in a discussion, or register for a webinar!

Upcoming Conference: ATA Fall Forum

Join RHC Program staff September 16-18 at the American Telemedicine Association's (ATA) Fall Forum in Washington, DC. On September 16, there will be several pre-conference RHC Program events, including an HCF Program training for individual HCP applicants, an RHC Program-wide feedback session, a service provider feedback session, and a consultant feedback session. Stop by booth #101 in the exhibit hall anytime during the conference for a one-on-one meeting with an RHC Program subject matter expert for assistance filling out FCC Form 460, beginning the HCF Program application process, or starting a consortium. For more information about this conference and how to register for pre-conference events and/or one-on-one appointments, visit the RHC Program's Trainings & Outreach page. 

Upcoming Conference: NETRC

RHC Program staff will be exhibiting at the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center Regional Telehealth Conference in Burlington, VT, September 23-24. For more information about this conference visit the NETRC website

FCC Update

FCC Clarifies Scope of Evergreen Contract Exemption

The FCC released a Public Notice (DA 15-809) on July 10, 2015, clarifying the scope of the evergreen contract exemption for the RHC Program. The Healthcare Connect Fund Order (FCC 12-150) states that "if a health care provider (HCP) has a contract designated as evergreen under the Telecommunications Program or Internet Access Program before January 1, 2014, it may choose to seek support for the services provided under the evergreen contract from the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program without undergoing additional competitive bidding, so long as the services are eligible for support under the HCF Program and the HCP complies with all other HCF Program rules and procedures." The recent Public Notice clarifies that if a contract is deemed as evergreen by USAC under the Telecommunications Program even after January 1, 2014, the contract will also be deemed as evergreen for the HCF Program, and vice versa.

 

Rural Health Care
Program Newsletter

3rd Quarter 2015
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