Rural Health Care

8/2/2019FCC Adopts Draft Report and Order: Promoting Telehealth in Rural America


On August 1, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order that reforms the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program to make the distribution of limited program funds more efficient and equitable, provide predictability and transparency for health care and service providers, and strengthen program safeguards against waste, fraud, and abuse. The reforms include changes to the distribution of funding the Telecommunications Program to promote efficiency and reduce incentives that encourage waste, fraud, and abuse. 

The reforms also target funding to rural areas most in need of health care services by: (1) prioritizing support based on rurality and whether the area is medically underserved when demand exceeds available funding; and (2) increasing the majority-rural requirement for Healthcare Connect Fund consortia each year that funding must be prioritized due to lack of available funding.  The FCC also adopted a series of Program-wide rules and procedures to simplify the application process for program participants and make the administration of the RHC Program more transparent and predicable.

Before the meeting, the FCC released a draft of the Report and Order here

We will provide additional information about the Report and Order, including how changes to the current rules will be implemented, once the adopted Report and Order is released.  In the meantime, you may submit questions to the RHC Help Desk at RHC-Assist@usac.org.

8/2/2019RHC Newsletter for August 2019


FCC Adopts Draft Report and Order: Promoting Telehealth in Rural America
On August 1, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order that reforms the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program to make the distribution of limited program funds more efficient and equitable, provide predictability and transparency for health care and service providers, and strengthen program safeguards against waste, fraud, and abuse. The reforms include changes to the distribution of funding the Telecommunications Program to promote efficiency and reduce incentives that encourage waste, fraud, and abuse. 

The reforms also target funding to rural areas most in need of health care services by: (1) prioritizing support based on rurality and whether the area is medically underserved when demand exceeds available funding; and (2) increasing the majority-rural requirement for Healthcare Connect Fund consortia each year that funding must be prioritized due to lack of available funding.  The FCC also adopted a series of Program-wide rules and procedures to simplify the application process for program participants and make the administration of the RHC Program more transparent and predicable.

Before the meeting, the FCC released a draft of the Report and Order here

We will provide additional information about the Report and Order, including how changes to the current rules will be implemented, once the adopted Report and Order is released.  In the meantime, you may submit questions to the RHC Help Desk at RHC-Assist@usac.org.

New! Initial RHC Program Data Set Available Now!
 We are very excited to announce the posting of the first RHC Program Dataset to the USAC Open Data Portal. The dataset contains data from the FCC Forms 462 and 466 about funding decisions, and total committed/disbursed amounts for past funding years. In the open data portal you are able to filter, sort, and visualize the data in many different ways. Watch a quick demonstration of a data visualization here.

Coming Soon! Letter of Agency (LOA) My Portal Functionality Enhancements
Within the next few weeks, My Portal will no longer allow consortia leaders to submit forms on behalf of health care provider (HCP) sites with expired LOAs. Account holders of the consortia will now receive automatic emails from My Portal when an LOA is about to expire. An updated LOA must be submitted before any FCC Forms can be submitted in My Portal. For instructions on how to submit an updated LOA, view the LOA submission guide.

Training Dates Announced
 In August and September, the RHC Program will host two online trainings for applicants:

  • August 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET– FY2019 Applicant Webinar: This webinar is for account holders who submitted FY2019 Funding Request forms (FCC Forms 462 and 466); it will include information on what to expect after form submission, best practices for information requests, and common applicant questions. Register here!
  • August 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET - Service Provider Training:  This webinar is for service providers and will cover best practices in the HCF and Telecom Programs. Register here!
  • September 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET – Consortia Best Practices for FY2020: This webinar is for those interested in forming a consortia and consortia account holders who are preparing for FY2020. The RHC Program team will go over general questions about forming and organizing a consortia and how to get ready for the Request for Services (FCC Forms 461 and 465) process. Register here!

?Coming Soon! RHC Website Updates
In mid-October, RHC will be refreshing the content on the RHC public website, usac.org/rhc. Our goal is to make information easier to find and understand for all applicants, and changes will include consolidating information and simplifying the content. Don’t worry! We will share more information about any changes before they happen. 


Important Reminders

Account Holder Guidance
Now that the FY2019 application filing window has closed, it is a great time to review your HCP’s account holders. USAC recommends having at least one secondary account holder per HCP. We’ve created guides for primary account holders with instructions for adding additional account holders in My Portal:

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request
USAC cannot complete their review of FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation, 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. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in a denial of funding, so be sure to meet that deadline.

Information Request Tips for the Telecom Program

  • Applicants can receive Telecom Information Requests through My Portal OR by email
    • For Information Requests received through My Portal, applicants should respond through My Portal only
    • For email Information Requests, applicants should “Reply All” to respond to the Information Request
  • Use Chrome/Firefox Only when using My Portal
  • When uploading a document as a response, the document should be limited to 10MB, and the document name should not contain any special characters, only letters and numbers

Information Request Tips for the HCF Program

  • Applicants receive HCF Program Information Requests through email and should “Reply All” to respond to the Information Request. 

FCC Form 460 Best Practice
During the submission of an FCC Form 460 (HCF Eligibility and Registration Form), we recommend that applicants upload any supporting documentation necessary to validate form data to the “Supporting Documentation” section. This includes any documentation that is relevant to the required fields of the FCC Form 460. Doing so creates additional visibility into the HCP and increases the chance of a faster review. A few examples include:

  • Hospital licenses, with the address clearly posted, to verify a non-profit hospital
  • A recent bill or lease, with the address clearly posted, to verify the HCP address provided on the FCC Form 460
  • Public tax documents to verify the Non-Profit Tax ID (EIN)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) accreditation to verify a community health center

Please keep in mind that the FCC Form 460 review can take up to 30 days. You can submit your FCC Form 460 at any time during the funding year.

Filing an Appeal
Any party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must file an appeal with USAC within 60 days of the date when USAC issued the decision. All appeals must be sent to RHC-Appeals@usac.org.  The following information must be included in the appeal:

  • Applicant or service provider who is filing the appeal (i.e. HCP number, service provider’s 498 ID (SPIN))
  • Contact information of the person who can discuss the appeal with USAC in detail  (include name, address, telephone number, and email address)
  • Documentation of USAC's decision (e.g., copy of USAC's decision letter being appealed)
  • Supporting documentation such as forms and previous correspondence with USAC
  • A precise explanation of the resolution sought through the appeal

USAC may reach out for additional information while reviewing your appeal, but failure to provide all of the information above within the 60 days may result in denial of your appeal. Parties seeking a waiver of FCC rules (e.g., waiver of deadlines) should file an appeal directly with the Commission as USAC cannot waive FCC rules.  For more information on filing appeals with USAC or the FCC, please visit the appeals page of the USAC website or contact us.

Consortia Resources
HCF Program applicants who may be interested in forming a consortia can download three new resources to help them get started:

Third Party Authorizations (TPAs) Must be Up to Date
In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2019,  TPAs must be up to date through FY2019, at a minimum. Be especially mindful if you are an HCP using a consultant. Before submitting a form, please check to ensure your authorization documents are up to date. FCC Forms  submitted with expired  TPAs will result in applicants receiving Information Requests. Download a Sample TPA .

7/23/2019Initial RHC Program Open Dataset Available Now!


We are very excited to announce the posting of the first RHC Program Dataset to the USAC Open Data Portal. The dataset contains data from the FCC Forms 462 and 466 about funding decisions, and total committed/disbursed amounts for past funding years. In the open data portal you are able to filter, sort, and visualize the data in many different ways. Watch a quick demonstration of a data visualization here

7/11/2019FCC Releases Draft Report and Order: Promoting Telehealth in America


On July 11, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the Tentative Agenda for the August Open Meeting. In the Agenda, the Commission states that they will be considering a Report and Order regarding Promoting Telehealth in America. The Draft Report and Order would overhaul the Rural Health Care Program by streamlining and simplifying the way health care providers apply for and calculate universal service support amounts, promoting transparency and predictability in the program, and taking new steps to guard against waste, fraud, and abuse.

Read the Draft Report and Order here

The USAC Rural Health Care Program team will be communicating information about this FCC Report and Order. Please submit your questions to the RHC Help Desk at RHC-Assist@usac.org. 

7/11/2019FCC Seeks Comment On Proposed Connected Care Pilot Program


On July 11, 2019 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed to establish a three-year, $100 million Connected Care Pilot program that would support bringing telehealth services directly to low-income patients and veterans.

The proposed Connected Care Pilot would provide an 85% discount on connectivity for broadband-enabled telehealth services that connect patients directly to their doctors and are used to treat a wide range of health conditions. These services can facilitate the effective treatment of chronic conditions outside of the doctor’s office, at significant savings for patients and health care providers.

The proposed Pilot program would not divert resources from the existing Rural Health Care Program or any existing universal service fund programs. Instead, it is proposed that USAC would be required to separately collect on a quarterly basis the funds needed for the duration of the Pilot program

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeks comment on testing a new program, using the FCC’s existing Rural Health Care Program authority that would defray the costs of purchasing broadband Internet access service necessary for providing connected care services directly to low-income patients and veterans.

 

Read the NPRM here

7/3/2019RHC Newsletter for July 2019


Latest News

FY2019 Application Filing Window Closed
Thank you to all program participants who submitted forms for Funding Year 2019 (FY2019)! The FY2019 application filing window has now closed, and no additional funding request forms will be accepted. Your feedback and continued dedication to the program is always appreciated, and we look forward to working with all of you to continuously improve the RHC Program.

Coming Soon! RHC Website Updates
Over the next few months, RHC will be refreshing the content on the RHC public website, usac.org/rhc. Our goal is to make information easier to find and understand for all applicants, and changes will include consolidating information and simplifying the content. Don’t worry! We will share more information about any changes before they happen. 


Important Reminders

Account Holder Guidance
Now that the FY2019 application filing window has closed, it is a great time to review your health care provider's (HCP’s) account holders. USAC recommends having at least one secondary account holder per HCP. We’ve created guides for primary account holders with instructions for adding additional account holders in My Portal:

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request
USAC cannot complete their review of FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation, 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. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in a denial of funding, so be sure to meet that deadline.

Information Request Tips for the Telecom Program

  • Applicants can receive Telecom Information Requests through My Portal OR by email
    • For Information Requests received through My Portal, applicants should respond through My Portal only
    • For email Information Requests, applicants should “Reply All” to respond to the Information Request
  • Use Chrome/Firefox Only when using My Portal
  • When uploading a document as a response, the document should be limited to 10MB, and the document name should not contain any special characters, only letters and numbers

Information Request Tips for the HCF Program

  • Applicants that receive HCF Program Information Requests through email and should “Reply All” to respond to the Information Request. 

FCC Form 460 Best Practice
During the submission of an FCC Form 460 (HCF Eligibility and Registration Form), we recommend that applicants upload any supporting documentation necessary to validate form data to the “Supporting Documentation” section. This includes any documentation that is relevant to the required fields of the FCC Form 460. Doing so creates additional visibility into the HCP and increases the chance of a faster review. A few examples include:

  • Hospital licenses, with the address clearly posted, to verify a non-profit hospital
  • A recent bill or lease, with the address clearly posted, to verify the HCP address provided on the FCC Form 460
  • Public tax documents to verify the Non-Profit Tax ID (EIN)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) accreditation to verify a community health center

Please keep in mind that the FCC Form 460 review can take up to 30 days. You can submit your FCC Form 460 at any time during the funding year.

Filing an Appeal
Any party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must file an appeal with USAC within 60 days of the date when USAC issued the decision. All appeals must be sent to RHC-Appeals@usac.org.  The following information must be included in the appeal:

  • Applicant or service provider who is filing the appeal (i.e. HCP number, service provider’s 498 ID (SPIN))
  • Contact information of the person who can discuss the appeal with USAC in detail  (include name, address, telephone number, and email address)
  • Documentation of USAC's decision (e.g., copy of USAC's decision letter being appealed)
  • Supporting documentation such as forms and previous correspondence with USAC
  • A precise explanation of the resolution sought through the appeal

USAC may reach out for additional information while reviewing your appeal, but failure to provide all of the information above within the 60 days may result in denial of your appeal. Parties seeking a waiver of FCC rules (e.g., waiver of deadlines) should file an appeal directly with the Commission as USAC cannot waive FCC rules.  For more information on filing appeals with USAC or the FCC, please visit the appeals page of the USAC website or contact us.

Consortia Resources
HCF Program applicants who may be interested in forming a consortia can download three new resources to help them get started:

LOA/TPAs Must be Up to Date
In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2019, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through FY2019, at a minimum. 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.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

6/27/2019Extended FY2019 Filing Window Closes this Sunday


The extended FY2019 filing window period for health care providers (HCPs) in the HCF Program affected by FCC Order 19-45 closes in 3 days on Sunday, June 30! This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Form 462) before 11:59 p.m. ET June 30, 2019 to be considered for RHC Program support for FY2019. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. Please keep in mind that this deadline falls on a weekend.

6/25/2019USAC Seeks Contractor for RHC Business and Operations Assessment


The Universal Service Administrative Company is seeking a contractor to conduct a business process and systems requirements analysis that would ensure that RHC application systems meet the needs of the Rural Health Care business. As a part of this project USAC also expects the Contractor to conduct an operational assessment of the program, and make a recommendation on the potential for optimizing the program activities through alternatives such as outsourcing or out tasking.

Read more about the procurement here.  

6/10/2019FCC Releases Public Notice DA-19-540


On June 10, 2019, the FCC Released Public Notice DA-19-540, directing USAC to carry-forward unused funds from prior funding years to the extent necessary to cover FY2019 RHC Program demand as of the close of the FY2019 filing window on June 30, 2019. USAC projects that, as of the third quarter of 2019, $83.22M is available in unused funds for future funding years. Read the Public Notice here

6/10/2019RHC Newsletter for June 2019


FCC Releases Order 19-45
On May 20, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released FCC Order 19-45 affecting Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program participants with FY2018 multi-year and upfront payment funding requests. For FY2018, multi-year and upfront payment funding requests exceeded the $150M cap.  In the Order, the Commission suspended its rule allowing for multi-year commitments in the HCF Program for FY2018 and directed USAC to process these requests as single-year funding requests. Without such direction, the multi-year funding requests were facing a significant proration.  The Order also extended the FY2019 filing window deadline to June 30, 2019 for HCF Program applicants that: (1) filed FY2018 multi-year and upfront payment funding requests either individually or as part of a consortium; and (2) did not receive a funding decision on their FY2018 funding request from USAC by May 20, 2019.

Download the FCC Order 19-45 Tip Sheet or read more about the Order here

Coming Soon! RHC Website Updates
Over the next few months, RHC will be refreshing the content on the RHC public website, usac.org/rhc. Our goal is to make information easier to find and understand for all applicants, and changes will include consolidating information and simplifying the content. Don’t worry! We will share more information about any changes before they happen.


Important Reminders

Notice: My Portal No Longer Supported by Internet Explorer
Please be sure to using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to ensure your RHC Program forms and supporting documentation are submitted.

What to do if You Receive an Information Request
USAC cannot complete their review of FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation, 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. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in a denial of funding, so be sure to meet that deadline.
Information Request Tips for the Telecom Program

  • Very important: Applicants can receive Telecom Information Requests through My Portal OR through email
    • For Information Requests inside My Portal, applicant should respond inside My Portal only
    • For email Information Requests, applicant should “Reply All” to respond to the Information Request
  • Use Chrome/Firefox Only when using My Portal
  • When uploading a document as a response, the document should be limited to 10MB
  • When uploading a document as a response, the document name should not contain any special characters, only letters and numbers

 
Information Request Tips for the HCF Program

  • Applicants receive HCF Program Information Requests through email and should “Reply All” to respond to an Information Request

FCC Form 460 Best Practice
During the submission of an FCC Form 460 (HCF Eligibility and Registration Form), we recommend that applicants upload any supporting documentation necessary to validate form data to the “Supporting Documentation” section. This includes any documentation that is relevant to the required fields of the FCC Form 460. Doing so creates additional visibility into the HCP and increases the chance of a faster review. A few examples include:

  • Hospital licenses, with the address clearly posted, to verify a non-profit hospital
  • A recent bill or lease, with the address clearly posted, to verify the HCP address provided on the FCC Form 460
  • Public tax documents to verify the Non-Profit Tax ID (EIN)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) accreditation to verify a community health center

Please keep in mind that the FCC Form 460 review can take up to 30 days. You can submit your FCC Form 460 at any time during the funding year.

Filing an Appeal
Any party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must file an appeal with USAC within 60 days of the date when USAC issued the decision. All appeals must be sent to RHC-Appeals@usac.org.  The following information must be included in the appeal:

  • Applicant or service provider who is filing the appeal (i.e. HCP number, service provider’s 498 ID (SPIN))
  • Contact information of the person who can discuss the appeal with USAC in detail  (include name, address, telephone number, and email address)
  • Documentation of USAC's decision (e.g., copy of USAC's decision letter being appealed)
  • Supporting documentation such as forms and previous correspondence with USAC
  • A precise explanation of the relief sought through the appeal

USAC may reach out for additional information while reviewing your appeal, but failure to provide all of the information above within the 60 days may result in denial of your appeal. Parties seeking a waiver of FCC rules (e.g., waiver of deadlines) should file an appeal directly with the Commission because USAC cannot waive FCC rules.  For more information on filing appeals with USAC or the FCC, please visit the appeals page of the USAC website.

Consortia Resources
HCF Program applicants who may be interested in forming a consortia can download three new resources to help them get started:

Account Holder Guidance
USAC recommends having at least one secondary account holder per HCP. We’ve created guides for primary account holders with instructions for adding additional account holders in My Portal:

LOA/TPAs Must be Up to Date
In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2019, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through FY2019, at a minimum. 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.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

6/7/2019New My Portal Landing Page


The RHC Program's online application management system My Portal has a new landing page. To access the Telecom portal, click the "Invoice" link. To access the HCF portal, click the "Form 463" link. We appreciate your patience as our IT team works to make improvements to this new landing page.

5/31/2019FY2019 Filing Window Closes Today!


FY2019 Filing Window Closes Today!
This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019* to be considered for RHC Program support. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as soon as possible.


Prepare to submit your FY2019 Funding Request with these resources:

*This does not include the HCPs and FRNs affected by FCC Order 19-45. Read more about the Order here

5/20/2019FCC Releases Order 19-45


On May 20, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released Order 19-45, taking steps to fully fund all FY2018 funding requests. Read the Order here. USAC will notify impacted applicants with next steps and guidance within the next few days. 

5/15/2019RHC Newsletter for May 2019


Upcoming Deadline!

FY2019 Filing Window Closes May 31, 2019!
The initial filing window period for FY2019 closes in 29 days! This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 to be considered for RHC Program support. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as soon as possible.


Prepare to submit your FY2019 Funding Request with these resources:


Latest News

Coming Soon! RHC Website Updates
Over the next few months, RHC will be refreshing the content on the RHC public website, usac.org/rhc. Our goal is to make information easier to find and understand for all applicants, and changes will include consolidating information and simplifying the content. Don’t worry! We will share more information about any changes before they happen.


FY2019 Information

FY2018 FCC Form 461 Rollover for FY2019 for HCF Program Applicants
This year’s FCC Form 461 rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF Program applicants who completed the Request for Services (FCC Form 461) process in FY2018 and would like to use their approved FY2018 FCC Form 461 for FY2019. Those requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover functionality must meet the following requirements:

  • The FCC Form 461 must have been submitted for FY2018, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC for FY2018.
  • The FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process must have complied with the FCC’s competitive bidding rules.

Applicants requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover understand that their FY2019 FCC Form 462 may be denied if the FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process is found to have been in violation of the competitive bidding rules.
 
The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, not the FCC Form 462. Applicants must still submit a FY2019 FCC Form 462 if they wish to apply for HCF Program funding for FY2019.

How to submit your FCC Form 461 rollover request:

  • Send email to: RHC-Assist@usac.org  
  • Subject line of email: FCC Form 461 Rollover Request App #
  • Include within the email body: HCP #, FCC Form 461 application #
  • Once emailed, the rollover request may take 5-8 business days to review and process.
  • If approved, your request will be confirmed via email from an RHC staff member.



FY2018 Information


RHC began issuing decisions on FY2018 funding requests in November of 2018, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal. 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.


Important Reminders

FCC Form 460 Best Practice
During the submission of an FCC Form 460 (HCF Eligibility and Registration Form), we recommend that applicants upload any supporting documentation necessary to validate form data to the “Supporting Documentation” section. This includes any documentation that is relevant to the required fields of the FCC Form 460. Doing so creates additional visibility into the HCP and increases the chance of a faster review. A few examples include:

  • Hospital licenses, with the address clearly posted, to verify a non-profit hospital
  • A recent bill or lease, with the address clearly posted, to verify the HCP address provided on the FCC Form 460
  • Public tax documents to verify the Non-Profit Tax ID (EIN)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) accreditation to verify a community health center

Please keep in mind that the FCC Form 460 review can take up to 30 days. You can submit your FCC Form 460 at any time during the funding year.

Filing an Appeal
Any party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must file an appeal with USAC within 60 days of the date when USAC issued the decision. All appeals must be sent to RHC-Appeals@usac.org.  The following information must be included in the appeal:

  • Applicant or service provider who is filing the appeal (i.e. HCP number, service provider’s 498 ID (SPIN))
  • Contact information of the person who can discuss the appeal with USAC in detail  (include name, address, telephone number, and email address)
  • Documentation of USAC's decision (e.g., copy of USAC's decision letter being appealed)
  • Supporting documentation such as forms and previous correspondence with USAC
  • A precise explanation of the relief sought through the appeal

USAC may reach out for additional information while reviewing your appeal, but failure to provide all of the information above within the 60 days may result in denial of your appeal. Parties seeking a waiver of FCC rules (e.g., waiver of deadlines) should file an appeal directly with the Commission because USAC cannot waive FCC rules.  For more information on filing appeals with USAC or the FCC, please visit the appeals page of the USAC website.

Consortia Resources
HCF Program applicants who may be interested in forming a consortia can download three new resources to help them get started:

Account Holder Guidance
USAC recommends having at least one secondary account holder per HCP. We’ve created guides for primary account holders with instructions for adding additional account holders in My Portal:

What to do if You Receive an Information Request
USAC cannot complete their review of FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation, 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. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in a denial of funding, so be sure to meet that deadline.

LOA/TPAs Must be Up to Date
In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2019, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through FY2019, at a minimum. 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.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

5/13/2019USAC Call Centers Capacity Restored


Capacity has been restored for the call centers for the High Cost, Rural Healthcare, and Schools and Libraries programs and the Lifeline Support Center.

5/1/2019Deadline Approaching! FY2019 Filing Window Closes on May 31!


The initial filing window period for FY2019 closes in 29 days! This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 to be considered for RHC Program support. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as soon as possible. Prepare to submit your

FY2019 Funding Request with these resources:

  • January 2019 Funding Request Best Practices Webinar and slides
  • Funding Request Summary
  • FY2019 Recommended Submission Dates
  •  Information for FY2018 and FY2019 Applicants
  • Urban and Rural Rate Guide