COVID-19 Update: USAC remains open for business—Washington, DC office closed. Learn more about USF program responses

Step 2: Respond to Service Requests

To provide services to a health care provider (HCP) participating in the RHC Program, you should respond to the request for services in its FCC Form 461 (Request for Services Form) for the HCF Program or FCC Form 465 (Description of Services Requested & Certification Form) for the Telecom Program, which are posted on USAC’s website for no less than 28 days. The HCP will select the most cost-effective bid.

Note that certain applicants seeking support from the RHC Program are exempt from the competitive bidding process and are not required to file an FCC Form 461 or 465. More information about exemptions is available on the exemptions page.

Search Service Requests

The Search Service Requests tool allows service providers to search for HCP requests for services from a posted FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465. Posted information includes:

  • Service(s) requested,
  • HCP name, location, and point of contact, and
  • Maximum allowable distance (MAD) (for the Telecom Program).

You are allowed to contact the HCP before submitting a bid to ensure you understand the HCP’s business requirements. However, you are not permitted to assist or be involved with the HCP’s bid evaluation process in any way.

Once USAC posts the HCP’s FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 on the RHC Program website, the mandatory 28-day competitive bidding period begins. During this time, an HCP may not enter into a service agreement or sign a contract with a service provider or it will be denied funding. The allowable contract selection date (ACSD) is the date when an HCP is permitted to enter into an agreement with a service provider. The ACSD is listed in the search results from the Search Posted Services tool.

Some individual applicants and consortium applicants include additional documentation with their requests for services to further describe their service needs. You should review an applicant’s FCC Forms 461 or 465 and all accompanying supporting documentation before submitting a bid for services.

Important Reminders

  • If the HCP has a contract that ends during the funding year, it will need to rebid the requested services to receive continued support in the next or future funding years.
  • The service provider may reach out to the HCP to gain a full understanding of its business needs before submitting a bid for those services.
  • Service providers intending to bid to provide supported services, equipment, or facilities to an HCP are prohibited from participating in the HCP’s competitive bidding process, including the creation of requests for services or bid evaluation criteria.

 

The material on these webpages is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting the RHC Program rules, orders, and other primary sources of information. Applicants and service providers are ultimately responsible for knowing and complying with all RHC Program rules and procedures.