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 April

Here are all the latest news, timely resources, and helpful reminders for the month of April! Included below are updates on FY2017 funding information and proration, helpful guidance for completing your funding request form(s), and important tips for FY2018.

FY2018 Filing Window Extended

The FY2018 filing window has been extended through June 29, 2018, giving applicants additional time to submit their FY2018 funding requests. To be considered eligible for funding, you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Forms 466 in the Telecom Program) by the close of the window on June 29, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Funding requests submitted after June 29, 2018 will be automatically denied.


View our how-to guides and tip sheets to assist you during the submission process:


Read more about funding requests:

FY2017 Funding and Proration Information Available Now

USAC announced FY2017 funding and proration information on March 16, 2018 and this information is available on our website here. Following the announcement, the RHC Program hosted a webinar further explaining the proration factors and funding breakdown. The recording and slides are available on our website: FY2017 Funding Information Webinar.

Did you receive your FY2017 Funding Commitment Letter (FCL)? Download our How to Read your FY2017 FCL tip sheet. 

FY2017 FRNs Currently in Review

Some applicants may have received an email notifying them that their FY2017 funding request was still under review. USAC will reach out when we have more information about when you will receive your FY2017 FCL. We will also hold an additional webinar explaining proration and the FY2017 funding information when the next batch of FCLs is released. Until then, please read our Information for FY2017 and FY2018 Applicants tip sheet to determine which forms you should submit for FY2018.

Recommended Submission Milestones Approaching

To ensure that you stay on track with your forms and are able to submit your funding request before the FY2018 filing window closes, USAC has developed recommended submission milestones for all HCF and Telecom program forms. These milestones account for both the minimum competitive bidding time required under RHC Program rules and time for USAC review:

  • For individual HCPs and consortia in the HCF Program using an RFP: we recommend submitting your FCC Form 460 by April 13 and your FCC Form 461 by April 30.
  • For individual HCPs and consortia in the HCF Program NOT using an RFP: we recommend submitting your FCC Form 460 by April 13 and your FCC Form 461 by May 14.
  • For HCPs in the Telecom Program: we recommend submitting your FCC Form 465 by May 14. 

Please note that these are suggested submission dates and not deadlines enforced by RHC Program rules. View all the recommended submission milestones for FY2018.

Important Reminders for FY2018


What to Do If You Receive an Information Request

As you submit your FCC Form 462 or 466, please upload all required documentation with your forms. Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation cannot be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to account holders with a request for additional information (an "Information Request"). RHC will also reach out with Information Requests to clarify specific items related to an application. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. If requesting an extension, RHC must receive your request via email prior to the 14 calendar day deadline. Once you respond, the reviewers will be happy to work with you to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond in some fashion within the 14 calendar day timeframe results in a 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 Funding Year 2018. 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.


Service Provider FY2017 Voluntary Price Reductions per FCC 17-164

In December 2017, the FCC issued a waiver allowing, but not requiring, service providers to lower the cost of service on a one-time basis for HCPs which requested Telecom and/or HCF program support in FY2017. Under this order, the amount of RHC Program funding committed would not change, but service providers may voluntarily reduce the cost of service for HCPs up to the amount by which their RHC Program support was impacted by proration in FY2017.

This order does not affect FY2018 funding requests or funding determinations in any way. HCPs and service providers should determine on their own whether they want to participate. If a service provider reduces its rate downward, that change will not affect the original FCL or any of the language or dollar amounts located therein.

If you decide to take advantage of this waiver, you must notify USAC within 90 days of receiving your FY2017 FCL. Documentation should be emailed to RHC-Assist@usac.org. The email should include the following subject line: "FY17 Service Provider Voluntary Price Reductions [include FRN no.]"

Please include the following information in your email:

A statement signed by the service provider and the HCP detailing the reduction in cost of service. Specifically, this statement must include:

  • Date
  • HCP name
  • HCP number
  • Funding Request Number (FRN)
  • Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN)
  • Total cost to be remitted by HCP to the service provider
  • Affirmative statement detailing the nature and impact regarding a reduction in the cost of service

A record or documentation from the service provider to the HCP that memorializes the reduction in the cost of service, to include:

  • Type of Service
  • Cost of Service
  • Dates of Servicw

If you have any questions about service provider voluntary reductions, please email RHC-Assist@usac.org.

Questions or Suggestions? Contact Us!

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

To unsubscribe, click "Manage Your Subscription" below. 

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

Archived Newsletters

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

If you need access to an older newsletter, please contact us.