Rural Health Care

7/10/2018My Portal Outage Due To System Maintenance Thursday, July 12


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

7/9/2018Newsletter for July 2018


FCC 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order

June 25, 2018 - The FCC has issued an Order that adopts 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 immediately upon publication of the Order in the Federal Register on June 29, 2018.

Read and download the FCC’s RHC 2018 Funding Cap Order and FAQ sheet.

Informational Webinar on the FCC 2018 RHC Program Funding Cap Order

Join us on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Register Here!

Can’t make it? Webinar recording and an FAQ fact sheet will be posted on our website.

Please note that the webinar will focus exclusively on USAC's implementation of the Order and no FCC representatives will be participating.

Additional information about what the RHC 2018 Funding Cap Order means for program participants is forthcoming. General guidance for FY2017 and FY2018 funding requests (FCC Form 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Form 466 in the Telecom Program) is below. 

What this means for FY2017Due 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 will be removed, and revised Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) will be issued. Please discontinue invoicing against the previously issued FY2017 FCLs showing prorated commitments at this time. As noted above, we will share additional information about the issuance of revised FY2017 FCLs shortly, including updated invoicing instructions.

What this means for FY2018: As noted in the FCC’s RHC 2018 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 unable to submit funding requests at this time.

 

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. 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.

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

7/3/2018RESOLVED - E-rate, High Cost, Rural Health Care Temporary Phone Outage


RESOLVED - The E-rate, High Cost, and Rural Health Care telephone lines are currently unavailable. This outage affects the following numbers:

  • (888) 203-8100
  • (844) 357-0408
  • (800) 453-1546

We are working on the issue and will provide an update once the issue is resolved. In the meantime, please submit any questions using the EPC ticketing system for E-rate and via email for High Cost and Rural Health Care. Thank you for your patience.

6/25/2018FCC RHC 2018 Funding Cap Order


June 25, 2018 - The FCC has issued an Order that adopts 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 shall become effective immediately upon publication of the Order in the Federal Register.

You can read and download the FCC’s RHC 2018 Funding Cap Order HERE.

Join us for an informational webinar on the FCC 2018 RHC Funding Cap Order
When: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Register today!
Can't make it? The webinar recording and an FAQ sheet will be posted to our website.

Additional information about what the 2018 Funding Cap Order means for program participants is forthcoming. General guidance for FY2017 and FY2018 funding requests (FCC Form 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Form 466 in the Telecom Program) is below. 

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 will be removed, and revised Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) will be issued.  Please discontinue invoicing against the previously issued FY2017 FCLs showing prorated commitments at this time.  As noted above, we will share additional information about the issuance of revised FY2017 FCLs shortly, including updated invoicing instructions.  Program participants are also invited to join an informational webinar on July 10, 2018.

What this means for FY2018: As noted in the FCC’s RHC 2018 Funding Cap Order, the RHC Program funding cap for FY2018 will be $581 million, adjusted for inflation. As a reminder, the FY2018 filing window closes on Friday, June 29, 2018. To be considered eligible for funding, you must submit your funding requests (FCC Form 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Form 466 in the Telecom Program) by the close of the FY2018 filing window on June 29, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Funding requests submitted after the close of the FY2018 filing window will not be accepted. Submit your funding requests as soon as possible to avoid experiencing any last-minute challenges.

6/14/2018Newsletter for June 2018


Upcoming Deadline Reminder: FY2018 Filing Window Closes June 29, 2018

The FY2018 filing window closes in two weeks, on Friday, June 29, 2018. To be considered eligible for funding, you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Forms 466 for the Telecom Program) by the close of the filing window on June 29, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Funding requests submitted after June 29, 2018 will not be accepted.

We would like to remind applicants to submit their funding request forms as soon as possible, so as to avoid running into any last minute challenges, such as system issues or password resets.

 

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

For more information on submitting funding requests:

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. 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.

FY2017 Information

FY2017 Funding Information Available Now

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

 

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

Let us know what you think about the information and resources provided by the RHC team for FY2017 by taking this survey

5/30/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Thursday, May 31


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. Thursday May 31, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

5/21/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Tuesday, May 29


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

5/9/2018Reminder: Request for Proposal (RFP) Opt-Out Available for FY2018


As mentioned in our Request for Services webinar, HCF Program applicants may choose to bypass the formal USAC RFP review when submitting their FCC Form 461. During the formal RFP review, RHC identifies areas of potential non-compliance with competitive bidding requirements and makes recommendations. Watch the webinar and download the slides and summary here

To opt-out of this formal review, applicants must email rhc-assist@usac.org at the time of FCC Form 461 submission.  

For more information about RFPs, please download the RFP Checklist

5/4/2018My Portal Browser Issue


Some Rural Health Care account holders are reporting technical issues when logging into My Portal while using Google Chrome. If you are encountering these issues, please consider changing your internet browser and log in via Internet Explorer. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

5/3/2018Newsletter for May 2018


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 NOT using an RFP: we recommend submitting your FCC Form 461 by May 14, 2018.
  • For HCPs in the Telecom Program: we recommend submitting your FCC Form 465 by May 14, 2018. 

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

FY2018 Filing Window Closes June 29, 2018

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 not be accepted.

 

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 for individuals who received an FCL 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. 

Important Reminders for FY2018

 

New Resource! Competitive Bidding FAQ: For FCC Forms 461 & FCC Forms 465 that receive one or zero bids, we have posted a printable PDF with best practices and answers to common questions. 

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 Service

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

USF Disbursements Will Now Be Coming from the U.S. Treasury

As of May 2018, USAC will accept payments to and distribute funds from the U.S. Treasury. Note: This is not a change to USAC’s administration of the universal service fund (USF). 

For those service providers in the RHC Program receiving disbursements from USAC, no changes are needed. Disbursements will come from the U.S. Treasury, continue to be made via ACH transfers, and continue to be identified as coming from USAC. In the Rural Health Care Program, invoices that are approved by USAC are typically processed on the upcoming payment batch date, which occur on the 6th and the 21st of each month. If the payment batch date falls on a weekend or holiday, the payment batch date will be on the next business day.

Service providers can expect the payment from the approved submitted invoices to USAC to be reflected in their bank accounts approximately three business days after the payment batch date.

Read more about program disbursements and check your invoice deadline using our lookup tool

5/1/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Thursday May 3, 2018


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 9:00 - 11:00 p.m. ET Thursday, May 3, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/25/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance, Friday April 27, through Saturday, April 28, 2018


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 6:00 p.m. Friday, April 27 through 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/19/2018Recommended FY2018 Form 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:

 
 Applicant Type Recommended Submission Dates
Indivdual HCPs and consortia in the HCF Program using an RFP  Submit your FCC Form 460 by April 13  Submit your FCC Form 461 by April 30
Individual HCPs and consortia in the HCF Program NOT using an RFP  Submit your FCC Form 460 by April 13  Submit your FCC Form 461 by May 14
HCPs in the Telecom Program Submit 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.

Guides and Webinars

FCC Form 460 and 465 (Eligibility)

FCC Forms 461 and 465 (Request for Services)

  

4/9/2018E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance on Monday, April 9, 2018


E-File will be unavailable from 4:00 PM-5:00 PM EDT on Monday, April 9, 2018, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/9/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Monday, April 9, 2018


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 4:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m. ET Monday, April 9, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/5/2018Newsletter for April 2018


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

3/31/20182017 USAC Annual Report Now Available


USAC's 2017 Annual Report details operations, activities, and accomplishments for the prior year, including information about participation in each of the universal service programs and administrative action intended to ensure program integrity.

3/29/2018Watch the FY2017 Funding and Proration Information Webinar


In this webinar, RHC Program and FCC leadership discuss FY2017 funding and proration information, as well as tips for reading your FCL and helpful resources for applying in FY2018.

Recording and slides are available here

3/23/2018FY2018 Filing Window Extended through Friday, June 29, 2018


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:

3/23/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Friday, March 23, 2018 through Saturday March 24, 2018


Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 6:00 PM Friday, March 23, through 2:00 PM ET on Friday, March 24, 2018 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/19/2018My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance March 21, 2018


Rural Health Care’s My Portal will be unavailable from 9:00 PM through 11:00 PM ET on Wednesday, March 21, 208 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.