Both the applying health care provider (HCP) and the requested services must be eligible for support.
There are three initial criteria an HCP must meet to participate in the Rural Health Care Program:
- HCP must be a non-profit entity or a public entity
- HCP must be located in a rural area as defined by the FCC (to determine if your entity is in an eligible rural location, use the Eligible Rural Areas search tool)
- HCP must be one of the following types of entities:
- Post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, such as teaching hospitals and medical schools,
- Community health centers or health centers providing health care 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,
- Part-time eligible entities located in facilities that are ineligible, or
- Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) (effective January 1, 2017).
Once your HCP has been established as an eligible entity, you should ensure that the services you request are eligible for support. Connectivity costs for most telecommunications and Internet services are eligible for support. Review the list of eligible and ineligible services to be certain your service needs are included.
Each HCP site or location is considered an individual HCP for purposes of calculating support under the RHC Program. Each site must thus demonstrate that by itself it is an eligible entity.
If you have questions about entity eligibility or eligible services, contact the RHC Help Desk at (800) 453-1546.