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Universal Service Rural Health Care Program Overview


2011 Telehealth Summit presentation

2011 Telehealth Summit presentation

Published in Health & Medicine
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  • Put in the flow diagram instead of 8 steps
  • Put in the flow diagram instead of 8 steps
  • Put in the flow diagram instead of 8 steps
  • Put in the flow diagram instead of 8 steps
  • Put in the flow diagram instead of 8 steps
  • Put in the flow diagram instead of 8 steps
  • Put in the flow diagram instead of 8 steps


  • 1. Universal Service Rural Health Care
    Program Overview
    Paloma Costa
    Program Manager of Outreach, Rural Health Care, USAC
  • 2. The RHC program is one of four programs of the Universal Service Fund (USF), administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
    The RHC Program provides reduced rates to eligible rural health care providers for telecommunications and Internet services used for the provision of health care so they pay no more than their urban counterparts for the same or similar services.
    What is the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program?
    USAC and the USF
  • 3. PrimaryProgramprovides discounts for monthly recurring costs for telecom connectivity and 25 percent discount for Internet Access
    Pilot Program supports up to 85 percent of cost to build broadband networks for health care (program closed to new networks)
    Coming Soon – Broadband support programs
    Rural Health Care Programs
    Rural Health Care
  • 4. Support for urban/rural cost difference for telecom connectivity or 25% of Internet (access, web hosting, e-mail)
    Service must be for the provision of health care
    Support of monthly recurring costs
    Support is for “standard” installation cost (excludes wiring, cabling, equipment, or “build-out”)
    What does the Primary Program fund?
    The RHC Program
  • 5.
    • Not-for-profit hospitals
    • 6. Rural health clinics
    • 7. Post-secondary educational institutions
    • 8. Community health centers
    • 9. Local health departments or agencies
    • 10. Part-time eligible entities
    • 11. Consortium of health care providers, consisting of rural not-for-profit hospitals
    • 12. Dedicated emergency departments of rural for-profit hospitals
    • 13. Community mental health centers
    What types of Health Care Providers are eligible to participate in the program?
    The RHC Program
  • 14. Eligible telecommunications providers (ETPs) may provide discounted telecommunications or Internet service.
    Internet Service Providers (ISPs), cable companies, or others, may only provide discounted Internet access.
    All providers must have a USAC Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN).
    Service Provider Eligibility
    The RHC Program
  • 15. DSL
    Satellite service
    Redundant circuits
    Partial List of Eligible Services
    Additional eligible services are listed on the RHC website at
  • 16. Special construction/build-out
    Maintenance charges
    Services provided by non-eligible telecom providers
    Ineligible Services
  • 17. Rural Health Care Overview
    Application Process
  • 18. HealthCare Provider (HCP)’s eligibility is determined
    HCP requests services, and Service Providers (SPs) provide bids for the SPs to evaluate (FIRST FORM-465)
    Once HCP has selected services/service providers, HCP notifies RHC of selection (SECOND FORM-466/466A)
    Once approved for support, HCP notifies RHC that services have been received (THIRD FORM-467)
    Four Steps to Receive Discounted Service
    RHC Primary Program
  • 19. Eligible location (rural)
    Eligible provider type
    Step 1: Determining Eligibility
    RHC Primary Program
  • 20. Step 1: Determining Eligibility - Rurality
    RHC Primary Program
  • 21. HCP submits a request for services form (Form 465) to the RHC, and once the HCP eligibility is confirmed RHC posts the form on the RHC website
    Service Providers (SPs) bid on requested services
    Step 2: HCP requests services
    RHC Primary Program
  • 22. HCP evaluates bids
    HCP notifies RHC of selection (submits Forms 466 and/or 466-A and supporting documents)
    Step 3: HCP selects services/service providers
    RHC Primary Program
  • 23. HCP notifies RHC that services have been received by filing Form 467
    SP credits HCP and invoices RHC
    RHC issues an electronic payment/credits SP
    Step 4: HCP notifies RHC that services have been received
    RHC Primary Program
  • 24. RHC Primary Program
    June 30
    • Last day of Funding Year
    • 25. Deadline for submission of Form(s) 466/466-A
    July 1
    • First day of Funding Year
    • 26. First day for which funding can be issued
    June 2
    Last day to submit Form 465 to receive a full year of funding. Support is pro-rated if Form 465 is submitted after this date
    April 4
    Prior to the beginning of the funding year, filing window opens so that HCPs may begin posting Form 465
  • 27. Live trainings
    Video tutorials, coming for FY2011
    Monthly conference calls
    Individual assistance from Customer Support Center
    RHC Primary Program
  • 28. (800) 229-5476 or
    Monthly conference calls on the second Thursday of each month at 2pm ET. To receive conference call notices, please e-mail
    Paloma Costa – (202) 772-6274 or
    For additional information about the Primary Program:
    RHC Primary Program