Rural Health Care

Trainings & Outreach

RHC Circuit - Third Quarter 2016

 

RHC Circuit Quarterly Newsletter3rd Quarter 2016

FCC Update

FCC Announces Additional Filing Window Periods

Due to rapid and unprecedented growth in the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program, USAC and the FCC believe demand for funding may exceed the $400M cap of available funding in Funding Year (FY) 2016. As such, the FCC has announced a schedule for two additional filing window periods for FY2016 and an initial filing window period for FY2017. 

FY2016 Filing Window Periods - Click to enlarge

While these filing window periods will not affect the $400 million cap, they do provide a greater opportunity for HCPs filing within a filing window period to get some support, rather than none at all, even at the point where demand exceeds the cap.

 

Absent such filing window periods, all RHC funding requests would be subject to the "first-come, first-served" approach that is currently in place and, should the $400 million cap be met, subsequently filed HCP requests would be cut off from RHC Program funding.  Such a flash cut may be particularly difficult for those RHC participants who have relied on RHC Program funds for many years.

 

With the filing window period approach in place, all qualifying funding requests received within a filing window period are guaranteed some funding even if the $400 million cap is exceeded during the filing window period. In this way, the use of filing window periods facilitates the distribution of future funding in an equitable manner. 

 

We are currently in the second filing window period for FY2016 which is from September 1 – November 30, 2016. Submit your funding requests during this filing window period to ensure full or partial funding. Read more on our Filing Windows for 2016 web page or view the webinar

Training and Resources

Need Help Getting Started? Register for RHC 101 on Oct 11! 

If you're thinking about applying to the RHC Program, sign up for our October 11 webinar, RHC 101. This is a live webinar where you can learn about your funding options and the resources available to new applicants and ask questions of our experienced staff.

 

My Portal Updates

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

Password Reset 

You can now reset your password through the My Portal login page by clicking the "Forgot Password?" link.

New USAC Address 

We've moved! Our new address is 700 12th St. NW, Suite 900, Washington DC 20005.

Skilled Nursing Facilities Order

New Legislation adds Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) as an eligible entity for RHC Program Funding. SNFs can apply for funding starting January 1, 2017. More information coming soon!

Checklist and Task Reminders

Don't Miss Your Invoicing Deadline!

The invoicing deadline for healthcare providers participating in the Healthcare Connect Fund Program is six (6) months after their funding commitment end date. Invoicing deadlines vary based on your service end date. If your funding commitment-end date is before the end of the funding year (ending June 30), your deadline may be earlier than you think.

 

Your invoicing deadline can be found on your funding commitment letter (FCL), which USAC emailed to you after we approved your FCC Form 462. You can also look up your deadline by visiting the HCF Program Invoicing page and downloading the Invoicing Deadlines Excel spreadsheet. 

New My Portal Link

The RHC Program recently updated the link to My Portal. Google Chrome is now the only supported browser. Clear your cache and use the following link instead: https://forms.universalservice.org. Report any issues you have to the RHC Support Desk at (800) 453-1546 or RHC-Assist@usac.org.

Best Practices and Tips

Evergreen Requirements

Do you want to submit a contract for evergreen status? Evergreen contract status is not required, but it benefits you because it exempts you from the competitive bidding process in both the HCF and Telecom programs for the duration of the contract.

 

A contract is eligible for evergreen status when it covers more than one funding year and meets the following criteria, but must be officially granted evergreen status by USAC:

  • Both parties are identified,
  • Health care provider has signed and dated the contract,
  • Contract specifies the type and terms of service,
  • Contract has a specific duration,
  • Contract specifies the cost of services to be provided, and
  • Contract includes the physical addresses or other identifying information of the health care providers purchasing from the contract.
  • Contract is endorsed by USAC as having "evergreen" status

Learn more about submitting your contract for evergreen status on either the HCF evergreen page or Telecom evergreen page.

Transition Planning: Changing Account Holders

Is your HCP going through a staffing transition? The primary account holder (PAH) of a health care provider can select a new primary account holder for both the HCF and Telecom Programs. For the HCF Program, simply file a FCC Form 460 revision with the new PAH information. For Telecom, you can update account holder information by editing your account settings in My Portal. Watch this video to learn more about managing account holders in the Telecom Program.

 

Rural Health Care
Program Newsletter

3rd Quarter 2016
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