Support Healthcare Providers Serving Rural Communities
GOAL: Ensure that rural healthcare providers in the community have access to the robust telecommunications infrastructure required for the provision of healthcare services.
DESCRIPTION: Review the Universal Service Administration Company’s (USAC) Universal Service Rural Health Care Program.
The Rural Health Care Program supports healthcare providers serving rural communities by funding telecommunications services necessary for the provision of healthcare.
The program is intended to ensure that rural healthcare providers pay no more for telecommunications in the provision of healthcare services than their urban counterparts.
The Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program is the newest component of the Rural Health Care Program.
The HCF Program will provide a 65 percent discount on eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity to both individual rural healthcare providers (HCPs) and consortia, which can include non-rural HCPs (if the consortium has a majority of rural sites).
There are three initial criteria a healthcare provider must meet to participate in the Rural Health Care Program.
HCPs must be one of the following types of entities: Post-secondary educational institutions offering healthcare instruction, such as teaching hospitals and medical schools; Community health centers or health centers providing healthcare to migrants; Local health departments or agencies; Community mental health centers; Not-for-profit hospitals; Rural health clinics; Consortia of HCPs consisting of one or more of the above entities; Dedicated emergency departments of rural for-profit hospitals; or Part-time eligible entities located in facilities that are ineligible.
HCPs must be a not-for-profit entity or a public entity.
HCPs must be located in an FCC-approved rural location.
Once your HCP has been established as eligible, be sure to ensure that the services you request are eligible for support.
Healthcare providers; State, county, and local health departments; Healthcare advocates and community organizations; Citizens; Broadband providers and related entities
Broadband and Healthcare http://www.broadband.gov/issues/healthcare.html
Rural Health Care http://www.usac.org/rhc/
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