Rural Health Care

Trainings & Outreach

Newsletter

The RHC Circuit is our newsletter to keep health care providers (HCPs) and service providers up-to-date about Rural Health Care (RHC) Program news, events, and best practices.

Latest Newsletter

RHC Program News for November

Below is the latest news for November 2018, including FY2018 HCF Program Invoicing Deadline information, dates for upcoming online trainings, and important reminders for FY2017 and FY2018.

No Additional Filing Window Periods for FY2018

Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration. Please keep in mind that FY2018 funding requests are still in review and commitment decisions have not yet been released. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal.


My Portal continues to accept Telecom Program FCC Form 467 (Connection Certification Form) and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program FCC Form 463 (Invoice and Request for Disbursement Form) for applicants approved for funding in FY2017. 

HCF Program Invoicing Deadline Approaching

Please keep in mind that 11:59 p.m. ET December 31, 2018 is the last day to submit the FCC Form 463 to USAC if you had a funding commitment end date of June 30, 2018.

Don't know when your HCF Program invoicing deadline is? Use the look-up tool on our website! Download the Invoicing Deadline Spreadsheet.

Register for the Invoicing Best Practices Webinar on November 15! This webinar will cover how to submit the FCC Form 463 for healthcare providers (HCPs) and service providers. It contains helpful tips, best practices, what to expect from the USAC review process, and more!

Watch our step-by-step invoicing guide video series. These videos go over the submission process of the FCC Form 463, and we highly recommend viewing them if you are submitting your FCC Form 463 for the first time or just simply need a refresher in anticipation of an upcoming deadline: Individual HCPs, Consortia

Winter Training Series Dates Announced!

We highly recommend attending our upcoming online training series, specifically designed to prepare applicants for the FY2019 filing window. These trainings are filled with resources, useful information, best practices, what to expect from the USAC review process and more! Attending these trainings is the best way to prepare for the FY2019 filing window.

  • Eligibility Webinar: Thursday November 29, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET. Ready to apply to the RHC Program? Join our Eligibility Best Practices webinar to learn how to submit the first form in the application process, the FCC Form 460 or 465. Register here.
  • Request for Services Webinar: Wednesday December 12, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET. Get ready for the start of the FY2019 filing window period by joining our Request for Services Best Practices webinar. We will focus on the FCC Forms 461 and 465 process and participants will be able to ask questions: Register here.   

RHC Program Funding Cap Order

On June 25, 2018, the FCC issued an Order that adopted rules to: (1) increase the annual RHC Program funding cap to $571 million and apply it to FY2017; (2) annually adjust the RHC Program funding cap for inflation, beginning with FY2018; and (3) establish a process to carry-forward unused funds from past funding years for use in future funding years. The rules became effective upon publication of the Order in the Federal Register on June 29, 2018.

Watch the 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order Information Webinar and download the FAQ Sheet.

What this means for FY2017: Due to the increase in the RHC Program funding cap for FY2017, all previously approved FY2017 funding requests will receive 100% of their approved funding amount. The proration that was previously applied to FY2017 funding commitments has been removed, and revised Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) have been issued via email. If you have not received your revised FY2017 FCL or have questions about it, please contact RHC-Assist@usac.org.

Please log in to My Portal and make sure you are up to date with your FY2017 invoices. If you have questions about the invoicing process, please look at our program invoicing pages for additional information: HCF Invoicing Page and Telecom Invoicing Page.

What this means for FY2018: As noted in the FCC's 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order, the RHC Program funding cap for FY2018 will be $581 million, adjusted for inflation. As a reminder, the FY2018 filing window closed on Friday, June 29, 2018. Applicants are currently unable to submit funding requests for FY2018.

Revised FY2017 HCP Support Schedules (HSS) Distributed

HCPs and service providers in the Telecom Program were emailed revised FY2017 HCP Support Schedules, which now reflect the 100% support amount (no proration).

Access Your Revised FY2017 FCL in My Portal

The Revised FY2017 Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) you received via email are now also available in My Portal. Download the How to Find Your FCL in My Portal Tip Sheet for more information on accessing your FCL.


Important Reminders for FY2018

Watch RHC 101

On September 26, the RHC Program Team hosted RHC 101: An Introduction to the RHC Program webinar. This webinar covered the basics of the program including eligibility requirements and how to get started. Were you unable to make it? The recording and slides are posted on our website here.

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

Applicants must upload all required documentation with the submission of their FCC Forms 462 or 466. FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information ("Information Request"). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline! 

LOA/TPAs Must Be Up to Date

In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2018, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through a minimum of FY2018. Be especially mindful if you are an HCP using a consultant, a consortium leader, or a consultant filing on behalf of a consortium leader. Before submitting a form, please check to ensure your authorization documents are up to date.

FCC Forms 462 and 466 submitted with expired LOAs or TPAs will result in applicants receiving Information Requests.

Questions or Suggestions? Contact Us!

Suggestions for newsletter topic suggestions? Submit them to RHC-Assist@usac.org.

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RHC Program questions? Contact us via email or call (800) 453-1546.

Help Desk Hours are 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET

Archived Newsletters

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

First Quarter 2017

First Quarter 2016

Second Quarter 2016

Third Quarter 2016

Fourth Quarter 2016

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