Rural Health Care

Skilled Nursing Facilities – Now Eligible for Funding

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) can begin the process to obtain Rural Health Care Program funding starting on January 1, 2017. To apply as an individual health care provider (not in a consortium), your facility must also be:

To learn more about the additional requirements of the RHC Program, go to Determine Eligibility (HCF) or Eligibility (Telecom) pages. SNFs are subject and must adhere to the same eligibility and program rules as other applicants.

About the Rural Health Care Program

The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program supports eligible health care providers in bringing world class medical care to rural areas through increased connectivity. It supports reduced rates for broadband and telecommunications services consistent with the FCC rules.

There are two subprograms in the RHC Program: the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program and the Telecommunications (Telecom) Program.

  • The Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program provides a flat 65% discount on broadband expenses, including equipment. The HCF Program also encourages networks of health care providers (both rural and urban) to form state and regional health care consortia to save costs and expand access to healthcare.
  • The Telecommunications (Telecom) Program helps ensure that eligible rural health care providers pay no more than their urban counterparts for telecommunications services by funding the urban/rural rate difference for eligible telecommunications services.

If you have questions about which subprogram is right for you, contact the RHC Help Desk via email or at (800) 453-1546 for help getting started.

What is a SNF?

A SNF is defined by Section 1819(a) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1395i-3(a), as follows:
"An institution (or a distinct part of an institution) which--

  1. is primarily engaged in providing to residents –
    1. skilled nursing care and related services for residents who require medical or nursing care, or
    2. rehabilitation services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled, or sick persons, and is not primarily for the care and treatment of mental diseases;
  2. has in effect a transfer agreement (meeting the requirements of section 1861(l) of this title) with one or more hospitals having agreements in effect under section 1866 of this title; and
  3. meets the requirements for a skilled nursing facility described in subsections (b), (c), and (d)."

Resources for Getting Started

Webinar Recordings


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