Rural Health Care (RHC) Program

The RHC program provides funding to eligible health care providers (HCPs) to reduce the cost of telehealth broadband and telecom services. RHC has two primary programs: the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program and the Telecommunications (Telecom) Program. The HCF Program provides a 65 percent discount on eligible broadband connectivity expenses for eligible rural HCPs, and the Telecom Program provides reduced rates on eligible telecommunications services for eligible rural HCPs.

Tribal Lands Definition
Although there is no Tribal definition for the RHC program, eligible health care facilities servicing Tribal Nations are encouraged to apply.

Determine and Designate Your Entity’s Tribal Status
An RHC program applicant may self-identify as a Tribal entity on the FCC Form 460 (for the HCF Program) or the FCC Form 465 (for the Telecom Program) if the site location is located on Tribal lands, operated by the Indian Health Service (IHS), or otherwise affiliated with a tribe.

Tribally Operated Health Care Facility Requirement
If the health care facility is a contract facility run solely by a Tribal nation, the appropriate Tribal leader, such as a Tribal chairperson, president, governor, or chief, must also sign the Letter of Agency (LOA), unless health care responsibilities have been delegated to another Tribal government representative. We also do not preclude federal government entities, such as the Indian Health Service, or other Tribal entities, from receiving support under the HCF Program, even though their 35 percent contribution may come from federal sources, as does the balance of the budget of such entities.