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Announcements

June 22, 2022
RHC Connect Update – Submit Your FCC Form 461 on July 1!

The new platform, RHC Connect, is available for you to submit your FCC Forms 461 for FY2023. You will not be able to submit your FCC Form 461 until July 1, 2022 when the competitive bidding period for FY2023 begins. The platform change affects only Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program participants, and currently only applies to the FCC Forms 461 and 462. Participants in the Telecommunications (Telecom) Program or the Connected Care Pilot Program (CCPP) will not be affected, unless those applicants also participate in the HCF Program. Only HCF applications will be impacted. All other applications will continue to utilize My Portal. HCF Program applicants submitting FCC Forms 460 and 463 (for funding years prior to FY2022) will continue to do so in My Portal. To learn more, please visit the Welcome to RHC Connect webpage.

June 17, 2022
Certain USAC Customer Service Centers Closed – Monday, June 20, 2022

In observance of Juneteenth, the customer service centers for E-Rate, Emergency Connectivity Fund, High Cost, Rural Health Care, Contributors, and Service Providers will be closed on Monday, June 20, 2022.

The Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program customer service centers will remain open during normal operating hours.

June 2, 2022
RHC Program News

View the June Newsletter

May 27, 2022
FCC Announces Key Deadlines for Connected Care Pilot Program

On May 20, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice, DA 22-560, summarizing upcoming Connected Care Pilot Program (CCPP) deadlines. In addition, this Public Notice waives and extends the end date of the Pilot Program to provide all CCPP participants time to conduct a full three year Pilot project.  Find more information on USAC’s Connected Care Pilot Program webpages.

May 25, 2022
Appian FedRAMP Scheduled Maintenance Will Affect RHC Connect:

Appian FedRAMP Maintenance is scheduled for Sunday, May 29 between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET. Users who are working in RHC Connect during this time may lose access; however, all processes will remain active and resume once the maintenance is complete.

Users who attempt to access RHC Connect during the scheduled downtime will receive a message similar to the following: “This website is down for maintenance, please try again later.”

This is standard maintenance to apply critical security patches. All Appian environments will be down during this time period. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

May 25, 2022
FCC Releases Order DA 22-580: Waives Use of Rates Database for All Telecom Program Applicants for FY2023

On May 25, 2022, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) released Order DA 22-580  extending the waiver of the requirement to use the Telecom Program Rates Database for determining rural rates for health care providers in nationwide for FY2023. This action will ensure that service providers nationwide will receive sufficient Telecom Program support for FY2023 while the FCC further examines an effective rate determination mechanism for the Telecom Program.

For more information, read Order DA 22-580 .

May 19, 2022
Extended Customer Service Center Hours for Final Days of the Application Filing Window

The Customer Service Center will be open additional hours in advance of the close of the application filing window to help applicants with last-minute questions and any issues. The application filing window closes June 1 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Here are the hours starting Friday, May 27:

  • Friday, May 27 – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
  • Saturday May 28 – Closed
  • Sunday, May 29 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET
  • Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day) – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET
  • Tuesday, May 31 – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, June 1 – 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. ET
May 5, 2022
RHC Program News

View the May Newsletter

May 4, 2022
Deadline Approaching: FY2022 Filing Window Closes June 1

The filing window for FY2022 closes on Wednesday, June 1! This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET June 1, 2022 to be considered for RHC program support. We highly encourage you to be mindful of federal holidays and submit your funding requests as soon as possible. The following links to helpful resources, webinars, and tip sheets will help you submit your FY2022 Funding Request:

HCF Program (FCC Form 462) Resources

Telecom Program (FCC Form 466) Resources

April 19, 2022
Scheduled Website Maintenance on Wednesday, April 20

On Wednesday, April 20, USAC will conduct emergency maintenance on USAC.org from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET. This procedure will affect all USAC systems.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

April 15, 2022
FCC Releases DA 22-401: Waives Use of Telecom Program Rural Rates Database for Alaska Applicants

On April 12, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) released DA 22-401, extending the waiver of the requirement to use the Telecom Program Rates Database for determining rural rates for health care providers in the State of Alaska for Funding Year (FY) 2023. This action will ensure that telecommunications service providers in Alaska will receive sufficient Telecom Program support for FY2023 while the FCC further examines an effective rate determination mechanism for the Telecom Program.

For more information, read DA 22-401.

April 7, 2022
RHC Program News

View the April Newsletter

April 7, 2022
SAM.gov Transition to UEI

Yesterday, April 6, 2022, the FCC released Public Notice DA 22-371 which announces the transition from the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) effective April 4, 2022. For more information, read our latest bulletin.

March 24, 2022
My Portal Scheduled Maintenance

My Portal scheduled maintenance will begin on March 24, 2022 from 6 p.m. ET to 9 p.m. ET. During this time, My Portal will be unavailable. Users are encouraged to save all work prior to the 6 p.m. ET start time. This will not affect RHC Connect.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your continued patience.

March 18, 2022
FCC Announces Fourth Set of Projects Selected for Connected Care Pilot Program

On March 16, 2022, the FCC released DOC-381417A3 announcing the selection of 16 additional projects for the Connected Care Pilot Program. The newly selected pilot projects join the first three rounds of selections approved in 2021, bringing the total to over $98 million in funding for pilot projects that serve patients in 40 states, plus Washington, DC. For more information, visit USAC’s Connected Care Pilot Program webpages.

March 15, 2022
*ISSUE RESOLVED* RHC Connect Syncing Issue

RHC Connect is currently experiencing technical issues related to the migration of FCC Form 461 information from My Portal to RHC Connect. The RHC IT team is aware of the issue and is working hard to resolve it. Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

March 4, 2022
RHC Program News

View the March Newsletter

March 3, 2022
FCC Releases Order 22-221 Extending the Deadline for Funding Year (FY) 2022 Filing Window to June 1, 2022.

On March 3, 2022, the FCC released FCC Order DA 22-221 extending the deadline for the FY2022 Application Filing Window to June 1, 2022. Applicants now have a 61-day extension from the original filing deadline of April 1, 2022.

This means all funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on June 1, 2022 for the initial filing window period. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as early as possible in the filing window period. Visit USAC’s website for more information about filing windows.

March 3, 2022
‘My Portal Platform’ Has a New Name: Introducing RHC Connect!

In the fall of 2021, USAC announced an update to the My Portal platform used to submit the FCC Form 462 (Funding Request Form) for Funding Year (FY) 2022. The goal of this update was to improve user experience. USAC is pleased to announce that this platform is being re-named RHC Connect.

The name RHC Connect was selected because this new platform bridges the gap between our external stakeholders and the resources to obtain Universal Service Fund (USF) funding. This funding helps to connect rural communities with healthcare services.  It represents USAC’s commitment to transparency, customer service, and communication with our applicants. Providing these connections is the sum total of what the Rural Health Care Program was developed to support: healthcare provider (HCP) applicants, service providers, and the rural communities they represent.

Although the platform name is changing, the information requested on the FCC Form 462 will not change. This update currently applies to the FCC Form 462 ONLY, but, over time, it will apply to all forms in both the HCF and Telecom programs. Updates will be provided to program participants as the platform grows. System updates, including the name change, will be posted on the My Portal Platform Update webpage in the coming weeks.

February 24, 2022
FCC Releases FCC 22-15, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNRP)

On February 22, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPR), FCC 22-15, seeking comment on several revisions to the Rural Health Care (RHC) program rules. The FCC is seeking comment on the following:

  • For the Telecommunications (Telecom) Program, the FCC seeks an alternative rate determination mechanism to improve the accuracy of rural and urban rates.
  • Further, the FCC seeks comments on harmonizing the invoicing process for the Telecom program with the HCF program invoicing process.
  • For the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF), the FCC proposes to limit the applicability of the program’s sub-cap on upfront payments and multi-year commitments in instances where demand exceeds available funding.
  • The FCC seeks comment on any additional measures that could further enhance the efficiency of the application process while protecting the integrity of the fund and protecting against waste, fraud, and abuse.

Read the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPR), FCC 22-15, for more information.

February 8, 2022
USAC Web Update, Feb. 9

Due to a web update, the following URLs may experience brief service disruptions or slowness from 5-7 p.m. ET tomorrow, Wednesday, February 9, 2022:

· https://www.usac.org/
· https://www.lifelinesupport.org/
· https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/
· https://www.ACPbenefit.org

This will not affect system tools such as E-File, EPC, NLAD, NV, LCS, RAD, HUBB, My Portal, etc. If you need assistance during this time, please contact the Customer Support Center.

February 7, 2022
RHC Program News

View the February Newsletter

February 3, 2022
Don’t Miss the RHC Program Invoicing Deadline

The FCC Order DA 21-394 granted all Rural Health Care (RHC) program participants who have an approved Funding Year (FY) 2020 commitment a 120-day extension of the invoice filing deadline. The new deadline for filing the FCC Form 463 for single year FY2020 commitments in the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) program and the Telecommunications (Telecom) program invoice is February 25, 2022, or 240 days after the service delivery deadline of the funding commitment. 

For HCF:

The FCC Form 463 invoice must be submitted by the health care provider (HCP) and then approved by the service provider before this deadline. The invoicing process can take several days of collaboration between the HCP and the service provider, so it’s recommended that invoicing be initiated as soon as possible.

For more information about invoicing in the HCF program, visit the Step 6: Invoice USAC webpage.

For Telecom:

Effective FY2020, the invoicing deadline for both the HCF and Telecom programs is four months (120 days) from the service delivery deadline. The service delivery deadline is June 30 of the funding year for which funding has been provided.

The FCC Form 467 (Connection Certification Form) must be submitted by the HCP and approved by USAC before the service provider can submit invoices in My Portal. The invoicing process involves collaboration between the HCP and the service provider, so it is recommended that invoicing is initiated as soon as possible. For more information about invoicing in the Telecom program, visit the Invoice USAC webpage.

Use the RHC Invoicing Deadline Tool to find the revised invoice filing deadline.

January 25, 2022
Eligible Rural Areas Search Tool

The Eligible Rural Areas Search Tool has been removed from the Tools webpage and all other relevant webpages. You can search for a health care provider’s (HCP) rurality and priority tier using the Rurality Tier Search Tool. For more information about how to use this tool, please use the How to Use the Rurality Tier Search Tool tip sheet on our website.
Note: This tool is for information purposes only. Rurality tiers are formally assigned during the review and approval of the FCC Form 460 in the HCF Program and FCC Form 465 in the Telecom Program. Please check your approved forms for your assigned rurality tier.

January 13, 2022
FCC Releases Order 22-40A1 Extending the Deadline for Filing the First Funding Request for CCPP participants selected in January and June

On January 13, 2022, the FCC released FCC Order DA 22-40A1 extending the deadline for Connected Care Pilot Program (CCPP) participants selected in January and June, 2021 to file their initial requests for funding (FCC Form 462). The new deadline is April 27, 2022, consistent with the deadline for the October selectees.

January 12, 2022
Certain USAC Customer Service Centers Closed – Monday, January 17, 2022

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the customer service centers for E-Rate, Emergency Connectivity Fund, High Cost, Rural Health Care, Contributors, and Service Providers will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2022.

The Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program customer service centers will remain open during normal operating hours.

January 6, 2022
RHC Program News

View the January Newsletter

All announcements can be found in the Announcements Archive.

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