Rural Health Care

Evergreen Contracts

A contract is considered evergreen when it covers more than one funding year and is granted evergreen status by USAC. Evergreen contract status is not required, but it benefits health care providers (HCPs).

An evergreen contract provides the HCP with an exemption from the competitive bidding requirement, meaning that the HCP is not required to file the FCC Form 465 or participate in competitive bidding for the life of the contract (or until the contract is modified). HCPs with multi-year contracts that are not given evergreen status must file the FCC Form 465 and participate in competitive bidding for every funding year in which funding will be requested under the terms of the contract. HCPs with evergreen contracts must submit the FCC Form 466 and the FCC Form 467 annually for every funding year in which funding is requested under the terms of the contract.

How a Contract Becomes Evergreen

USAC reviews every contract to determine whether it is eligible for evergreen status. To be considered evergreen, the multi-year contract must meet the following criteria:

  • Both parties are identified,
  • HCP has signed and dated the contract,
  • Contract specifies the type and terms of service,
  • Contract has a specific duration,
  • Contract specifies the cost of services to be provided, and
  • Contract includes the physical addresses or other identifying information of the HCPs purchasing from the contract.

USAC will notify the HCP if a contract is given evergreen status.

In-contract Purchases and Upgrades

HCPs with evergreen contracts are permitted to add new locations, exercise voluntary contract extensions, and upgrade services without additional competitive bidding, as long as those options were contemplated in the original competitive bidding process, and the contract explicitly provided for them. An HCP must initiate a new competitive bidding process for any contract modification falling outside the scope of its evergreen contract.

HCPs must use the FCC Form 465, Line 29, to state that new locations, term extensions, and service upgrades are desired in the contract if the HCP plans to request funding for additional or upgraded services under the terms of its evergreen contract. If an HCP wishes to purchase additional services or upgrade existing services under the terms of its evergreen contract, the HCP must submit an FCC Form 466 to request funding for the additional or upgraded services.

Evergreen Contracts Ending Mid-Fund Year

The end date for funding is determined by the contract expiration date provided on Line 31 of the FCC Form 466. If the contract ends before the end of the funding year (June 30th), the HCP is required to post a new FCC Form 465, allow for the 28-day competitive bidding process, and submit a new FCC Form 466 to request funding for the remainder of the funding year.