Spring is a critical time for health care providers participating in the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program, because important deadlines are coming up for both Funding Year (FY) 2015 and Funding Year (FY) FY2016.
FY2015 Funding Requests Due June 30, 2016
Health care providers are required to submit their funding requests for FY2015 (July 2015 - June 2016) by Thursday, June 30, 2016.
USAC recommends submitting these forms as soon as possible so there's enough time to seek help if you need it, respond to USAC's questions about your application, and correct any mistakes before June 30. And, the earlier you submit the form, the faster USAC can process your request and issue the funding.
Start FY2016 Applications As Soon as Possible
There's no time like the present to start your RHC Program application for FY2016 (July 2016 -June 2017). The earlier you apply, the more likely it is that your form will be processed and posted by June 2, the last posting day to receive a full 12 months of funding.
Processing times vary, but in general, it takes USAC 5 to 15 days to receive, process and post a form by June 2 (complex applications can take longer). Because of this, we encourage health care providers to file these forms as soon as possible.
Health care providers can start their application at any time; if the form is posted after June 2, support will be pro-rated. Health care providers with competitive bidding exemptions do not need to file these forms.
The Search Posted Services tools for individual health care providers and consortia on the Healthcare Connect Fund website are now combined into a single search tool; service providers may now search for both individual and consortium postings from a single search tool.
The updated search tool is available here: RHC Program Search Posted Services
Currently, the Search Tools section of our website shows two options under "Search Posted Services" (choose between consortia and individual HCPs). Beginning Wednesday, April 13, the "search posted services" page for consortia will be removed, and search functionality will only be available from the updated search tool.
How to Use the Updated Search Tool
To search for service requests, visit the updated Search Posted Services web page and select either "Individual" or "Consortium" from the "Application Type" drop-down menu.
The search results will show a summary of each healthcare provider whose service request matches the search criteria entered, with the option to view additional information by clicking the "details" hyperlink for the selected HCPs.
For more information about Requests for Services, visit the Respond to Service Requests web page for service providers on the Healthcare Connect Fund Program website.
Healthcare providers can now begin their Rural Health Care (RHC) Program applications in My Portal for Funding Year (FY) 2016, which begins on July 1, 2016.
USAC began accepting FCC Forms 465 and 461 on January 1, 2016, (six months before the start of the funding year) so that applicants have sufficient time for the competitive bidding process.
These forms can be submitted at any time during the funding year for which funding is requested. However, to receive the full 12 months of funding in FY2016, the forms must be posted before June 2, 2016 (to allow 28 days for competitive bidding before the start of the funding year). We highly encourage healthcare providers to submit application forms as early as possible!
Applying for the First Time?
Start by reading about the difference between the Telecom and HCF programs in the RHC Program Brochure under "program comparison."
For Telecom Program funding, learn about rules and compliance, and familiarize yourself with the program in the Telecom Program Process Overview. We especially recommend reviewing the pages about eligibility, competitive bidding, and evergreen contracts.
For HCF Program funding, learn about rules and compliance, and familiarize yourself with the program in the HCF Program Process Overview. We especially recommend reviewing the pages about eligibility, competitive bidding, and competitive bidding exemptions.
One-on-one appointments are available for first-time applicants! Contact us to request an appointment and get started with the program.
Reminder! Updates to the Rural Areas List
Some healthcare providers that were previously eligible to participate may no longer be eligible for RHC Program funding in FY2016.
The FCC updated the Rural Areas List (Order DA 14-1042, July 2014) to reflect the latest decennial census and most recent nationwide Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) designations. The order did not change the RHC Program's definition of a "rural area;" however, some program participants that were previously considered rural are now non-rural as a result of the update.
To find out if an HCP's rurality changed, visit the Rurality Change web page. HCPs that are newly non-rural will find information about the change in My Portal.
For the Telecom Program:
For the HCF Program:
The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program began accepting applications for Funding Year 2016 on January 1, 2016.
If you're new to the RHC Program, thinking about applying for the first time, or need a refresher about the application process and program rules, join us for a webinar to learn the basics about how to participate!
RHC 101: Intro to the RHC Program
January 28, 2016
2:00 PM ET
If you work with health care providers, you have a unique perspective on their needs and may be working with sites that are eligible, but not currently receiving funding from the Rural Health Care Program. Join us to learn about the program, so you can tell the health care providers you work with how they can reduce their costs of connectivity with RHC Program funding!
This presentation is very similar to the one we presented on November 18. Can't make it to the live presentation? Watch the recording.