Rural Health Care

My Portal

HCF Program Applicant Updates

The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program periodically deploys software updates to improve usability and functionality of My Portal, the RHC Program's online application management system.

These updates include features that will expedite the application review process and make form submission faster and easier. Many of the enhancements are based on feedback.

The following updates are applicable to HCF Program account holders.

Expected deployment March 31, 2016

Search Posted Services Tool for Consortia and Individual HCPs Integrated
Stakeholders will be able to search for service requests for both individual HCPs and consortium applicants on the same Search Posted Services Tool. To narrow search results to only individual HCP or consortium postings, select Individual or Consortium from the "Application Type" drop down menu. The search results will show a summary of each HCP whose service request(s) match the search criteria entered, with the option to view additional information. In addition, consortium postings will now display all states in which a consortium's participating entities are located.

New Document Categories on FCC Form 462
On the "Additional Documentation" tab of the FCC Form 462, there are three new categories of documents: "Viable Source Letter (35%)," "List of Evaluators and Titles," and "Award Letter to Vendor." All consortia applicants will be required to upload a viable source letter.

Modification of TPA Upload on FCC Form 460
On the Signature tab of the FCC Form 460, a new check box and instructions have been added in order to make the Third Party Authorization (TPA) requirement clearer. For forms where a TPA is required, applicants are required to either upload a TPA, or check a box certifying that they will upload a TPA applying to this FCC Form 460 within the next 15 days.

Site Name and FCC Registration Number Editable on FCC Form 460
Applicants can now modify Line 4 Site Name and Line 6 FCC Registration Number on all versions of FCC Forms 460.

Withdraw Date Display for FCC Form 460 for Consortia Member Sites
Consortium project coordinators who file FCC Forms 460 for member sites are required to submit a Letter of Agency (LOA) within 15 days of submission, otherwise the FCC Form 460 will be withdrawn. The FCC Form 460 withdrawal date will now display on the "My Consortium" tab in the "Sites pending LOA attachment" section next to the HCP Name.

Consortium HCP Number Available on Consortium FCC Form 462
Consortium applicants may now select the consortium HCP number for an eligible expense on the FCC Form 462. When the consortium HCP is selected for an expense type, Line J "Category of Expense," and Line K "Expense Type," will be restricted to categories where the consortium is eligible to receive funding. A cost allocation document is required on the "Additional Documentation" tab for all FCC Forms 462 that list the consortium HCP number on an expense item.

RFP Required When Competitively Bidding for Infrastructure/Outside Plant Services
Consistent with the HCF Program Order, applicants competitively bidding for services in the Infrastructure/Outside Plant category of expenses will now be required to upload a Request for Proposal (RFP) on their FCC Form 461.

December 2015

FCC Form 498 (Formerly Known as SPIN) Term Change

A revised version of the FCC Form 498, Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form, is now available. With this revision, the term "Service Provider Identification Number," or "SPIN," has changed to "498 ID." All instances of the term "SPIN" in My Portal have been replaced by "SPIN/498 ID." For further explanation of this term change, see the Changes to SPIN page.

Rural Areas Update

Some program participants that were previously determined to be rural are now considered non-rural as a result of the FCC's Rural Areas List Order. For HCPs whose rurality status has changed, a pop-up warning message informing the applicant that the HCP is considered non-rural and the form may be denied will display when the applicant selects the "Form 460 Revision" button. HCPs that are considered non-rural will be restricted from submitting new FCC Forms 461 and FCC Forms 462 based on their eligibility end date. For additional information, see the rurality change page.

Email Communication Update

All outgoing email messages have been enhanced to include more detail, improved instructions, and next steps.

New Line on FCC Form 462

Applicants can now indicate that they are continuing service with their current service provider to streamline processing. On the "Competitive Bidding" tab of the FCC Form 462, an additional Line 7a has been added that reads "Are you continuing service with your current service provider?" with a radio button to select "Yes" or "No."

Enhancements to Commitments Search Tool

The HCF Program Funding Commitments Search Tool has been enhanced:

  • The tool now has "Export All" and "Export Selected" buttons that will download commitment data into an Excel file, so stakeholders can view, sort, and filter data in Excel.
  • There is a new "Funding Type" search criteria and column, which will indicate if commitments are for individual HCP or consortium applicants.

Site and Service Substitution Resources

The "Form 462" tab now provides links that will open the site and service substitution video tutorial and guide, in a new window or tab, so that applicants can follow along with instructions without navigating out of My Portal.

FCC Form 460 Site Contact Enhancements

When an applicant enters a site contact on the FCC Form 460 Block 2, Lines 7 through 15, that is already listed as a site contact on another FCC Form 460, a pop-up will appear asking the applicant to confirm that the site contact is physically located at multiple sites, with "Confirm" and "Deny" options. If the applicant selects "Confirm," to confirm that the site contact is physically located at multiple sites, the applicant can proceed and submit the form. This information will eliminate the need for individual requests from USAC for confirmation during the review process, and decrease form processing time. If the applicant selects "Deny," to deny that the site contact is physically located at multiple sites, the site contact information entered will be cleared, and the applicant must enter a new site contact to proceed with the form.

Enhancement to "My Consortia" Tab

When an applicant submits an FCC Form 460 for a new consortium, the "My Consortia" tab will now display the HCP number, HCP name, and address of the newly submitted consortium with the account holder type as "requested," so applicants can see FCC Forms 460 for new consortia that are pending review.

Improved Validation on FCC Form 460 for Consortia

When creating an FCC Form 460 for a consortium, all required fields are now clearly marked with a red asterisk and an error message will display if any required fields are left blank.

November 2015

Enhancements to FCC Form 463
The FCC Form 463 has been enhanced to reduce the possibility of errors by HCP applicants, decreasing service provider review time, resulting in a more streamlined invoicing process. For more information, view a summary of the changes or watch the FCC Form 463 for Applicants video series.

  • On the "Invoice Line Items" tab, a new "Eligible Amount for Chosen Period" column displays the maximum eligible amount for the selected billing period entered. This enhancement will eliminate any manual calculations that applicants need to perform.
  • Billing period dates that are outside the funding commitment period in the future, or already invoiced for will be unavailable to select on the calendar date picker in Column I, Billing Period Start Date, and Column J, Billing Period End Date.
  • If the applicant selects a date in Column H, Service Start Date/Shipping Date or Last Day of Work, that is after the funding start date, a pop-up will display, warning the applicant that if the FCC Form 463 is submitted with that date, they will not be able to invoice for earlier dates.
  • Applicants now have the ability to invoice for one-time payments at any point during the funding commitment. Consortia applicants who have non-recurring costs that exceed an average of $50,000 per HCP in a consortium may invoice pro-rated over a three-year period.
  • If USAC denies an FCC Form 463, the denial notification will include the reason for denial, and the form will return to the applicant’s queue in draft status to revise and re-submit.
  • Draft account holders can now preview FCC Forms 463 without having to complete the entire form.

New Ability to Delete Draft Forms

Applicants now have the ability to delete draft FCC Forms 461 and FCC Forms 462 to clean up their work queue. A new delete button will display in the "Action Available" column on the Form 461 and Form 462 tabs. After selecting the delete button, a pop-up will display warning that the form(s) will be permanently discarded.

Contract End Date on FCC Form 462

There is a new field in the FCC Form 462 contract information section where applicants may enter a specific contract end date, in addition to the length of initial contract term.

Funding Start and End Date Displayed on PDF FCC Form 462 and NCW

After the FCC Form 462 is approved, applicants will now be able to view their funding start and end dates on the bottom right corner of the approved FCC Form 462 PDF, and to the right of Column AI on the Network Cost Worksheet (NCW).

New Taxes and Fees Field on FCC Form 462

Each expense item on the FCC Form 462 will have a separate field for taxes and fees so applicants can clearly identify and request funding for eligible taxes and fees.

New Export Function on Search Posted Services Tool

The HCF Search Posted Services tool now has "Export All" and "Export Selected" buttons that will download FCC Form 461 data into an Excel file, so stakeholders can view, sort, and filter data in Excel.

New FAQs on NCW Excel Template

The Excel template for importing an NCW has a new sheet labeled "FAQ" with frequently asked questions and tips for using the template.

August 2015

New Links to External Resources on FCC Form 460
On the FCC Form 460, links now display above Line 46, National Provider Identity (NPI), to the NPI Registry Search, and above Line 47a, Taxonomy Code, to the Taxonomy Code Lookup. These links will help first time applicants find information quickly without timing out of the form.

Partial De-Commitment Function
Applicants can now request that USAC partially de-commit an un-invoiced portion of a funding request (i.e. in the case where a service was disconnected mid-funding year). In order to request a partial de-commitment, applicants must send an email to USAC and include the HCP number, Funding Request Number (FRN), the correct funding start and end dates, and brief explanation for the de-commitment request.