Rural Health Care

4/4/2019Newsletter for April 2019


FY2019 Funding Cap is $593.7M
On Friday, March 8, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the FY2019 funding cap for the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program is $593,782,000. This new cap represents a 2.2% inflation-adjusted increase in the $581,000,000 cap from FY2018. Read Public Notice DA 17-190 here.


My Portal Update Impacting Internet Explorer 10
Starting April 30, 2019, My Portal will no longer be supported in Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), and you will be unable to access My Portal with this browser. Please upgrade your browser to one of these supported browsers:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge 14 and later
  • Firefox 46 and later
  • Chrome 51 and later
  • Safari 10 and later

If you are having trouble upgrading your browser, please check with your company’s IT/Help Desk team or IT support group for assistance. Your company’s information security policies may require the upgrade to be performed by your company’s IT/Help Desk team.

Coming Soon! RHC Website Updates
Over the next few months, RHC will be refreshing the content on our public website, usac.org/rhc. Our goal is to make information easier to find and understand for all of our applicants, and changes will include consolidating information and simplifying the content. Don’t worry! We will share more information about any changes before they happen.

FY2019 Information

 

FY2019Filing Window Closes May 31, 2019!
The initial filing window period for FY2019 is February 1 – May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 for consideration. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as soon as possible.

Prepare to submit your FY2019 Funding Request with these resources:


Submit FY2019 Request for Services Forms Now!

Applicants applying for funding for FY2019 who are going through the competitive bidding process can submit their FCC Form 461 (HCF Program) and FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program) now!

Prepare to submit your forms with these resources:


FCC Form 461 Rollover for FY2019

This year’s rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF applicants who completed the Request for Services or FCC Form 461 process in FY2018 and would like to use the FY2018 approved FCC Form 461 in FY2019. Those requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover functionality must meet the following requirements:

  • The FCC Form 461 must have been submitted for FY2018, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2018.
  • The FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process must have complied with the FCC’s competitive bidding rules.

    Applicants requesting the FCC Form 461 rollover understand that their FY2019 FCC Form 462 may be denied if the FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process is found to have been in violation of the competitive bidding rules.
     
    The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, not the FCC Form 462. Applicants must still submit a FY2019 FCC Form 462 if they wish to apply for HCF Program funding in FY2019.


How to submit your FCC Form 461 rollover request:

  • Send email to: RHC-Assist@usac.org  
  • Subject line of email: FCC Form 461 Rollover Request App #
  • Include within the email body: HCP #, FCC Form 461 application #
  • Once emailed, the rollover request may take 5-8 business days to review and process.
  • If approved, your request will be confirmed via email from an RHC staff member.

Request for Proposal Review
When an RFP accompanies an FCC Form 461 submission, USAC will review the RFP to identify discrepancies and areas of potential non-compliance with competitive bidding requirements and provide applicants with recommendations on how to address areas of concern. The review conducted by USAC does not guarantee that the RFP is fully compliant. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that its request for services and any accompanying documentation comply with all RHC Program rules.

Applicants may bypass this review by emailing RHC-Assist@usac.org at the time of FCC Form 461 submission, including the HCP and application number in the subject line and body of the email.
 

FY2018 Information

Update on FY2018
RHC has begun issuing decisions on FY2018 funding requests, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal. Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration.
 

Important Reminders

 

Filing an Appeal
Any party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must file an appeal with USAC within 60 days of the date when USAC issued the decision. All appeals must be sent to RHC-Appeals@usac.org.  The following information must be included in the appeal:

  • Applicant or service provider who is filing the appeal (i.e. HCP number, service provider’s 498 ID (SPIN))
  • Contact information of the person who can discuss the appeal with USAC in detail  (include name, address, telephone number, and email address)
  • Documentation of USAC's decision (e.g., copy of USAC's decision letter being appealed)
  • Supporting documentation such as forms and previous correspondence with USAC
  • A precise explanation of the relief sought through the appeal

USAC may reach out for additional information while reviewing your appeal, but failure to provide all of the information above within the 60 days may result in denial of your appeal. For more information on filing appeals with USAC or the FCC, please visit the appeals page of the USAC website.

Consortia Resources
HCF Program applicants who may be interested in forming a consortia can download three new resources to help them get started:

Account Holder Guidance
USAC recommends having at least one secondary account holder per HCP. We’ve created guides for primary account holders with instructions for adding additional account holders in My Portal:

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request
FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline.

LOA/TPAs Must Be Up to Date
In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2019, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through FY2019, at a minimum. Be especially mindful if you are an HCP using a consultant, a consortium leader, or a consultant filing on behalf of a consortium leader. Before submitting a form, please check to ensure your authorization documents are up to date. FCC Forms 462 and 466 submitted with expired LOAs or TPAs will result in applicants receiving Information Requests.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide 

3/27/2019My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Wednesday, April 3


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday April 3, 2019 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/11/2019FY2019 Funding Cap is $593.7M


On Friday, March 8, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the FY2019 funding cap for the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program is $593,782,000. This new cap represents a 2.2% inflation-adjusted increase in the $581,000,000 cap from FY2018. Read Public Notice DA 17-190 here

3/7/2019Newsletter for March 2019


FY2019 Filing Window Open Now!

The initial filing window period for FY2019 is February 1 – May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 for consideration. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as soon as possible.

Prepare to submit your FY2019 Funding Request with these resources:

Submit Eligibility and FY2019 Request for Services Forms Now!

Applicants applying for funding for FY2019 who are going through the competitive bidding process can submit their FCC Forms 460 and 461 (HCF Program) and FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program) now! Prepare to submit your forms with these resources:

Eligibility

Request for Services

 

FCC Form 461 Rollover for FY2019

This year’s rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF applicants who completed the Request for Services or FCC Form 461 process in FY2018 and would like to use the FY2018 approved FCC Form 461 in FY2019. Those requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover functionality must meet the following requirements:

  • The FCC Form 461 must have been submitted for FY2018, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2018.
  • The FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process must have complied with the FCC’s competitive bidding rules.

 

Applicants requesting the FCC Form 461 rollover understand that their FY2019 FCC Form 462 may be denied if the FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process is found to have been in violation of the competitive bidding rules.

The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, not the FCC Form 462. Applicants must still submit a FY2019 FCC Form 462 if they wish to apply for HCF Program funding in FY2019.

How to submit your FCC Form 461 rollover request:

  • Send email to: RHC-Assist@usac.org 
  • Subject line of email: FCC Form 461 Rollover Request App #
  • Include within the email body: HCP #, FCC Form 461 application #
  • Once emailed, the rollover request may take 5-8 business days to review and process.
  • If approved, your request will be confirmed via email from an RHC staff member.

Request for Proposal (RFP) Review

When an RFP accompanies an FCC Form 461 submission, USAC will review the RFP to identify discrepancies and areas of potential non-compliance with competitive bidding requirements and provide applicants with recommendations on how to address areas of concern. The review conducted by USAC does not guarantee that the RFP is fully compliant. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that its request for services and any accompanying documentation comply with all RHC Program rules.

Applicants may bypass this review by emailing RHC-Assist@usac.org at the time of FCC Form 461 submission, including the HCP and application number in the subject line and body of the email.

Update on FY2018

RHC has begun issuing decisions on FY2018 funding requests, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal. Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration. 

 

New! Consortia Resources

HCF Program applicants who may be interested in forming a consortia can download three new resources to help them get started:

New! Account Holder Guidance

USAC recommends having at least one secondary account holder per HCP. We’ve created guides for primary account holders with instructions for adding additional account holders in My Portal:

Watch RHC 102

On February 28, 2019, the RHC Program team held “RHC 102: Participating in the Rural Health Care Program,” a follow up to our beginner’s webinar “RHC 101.” This webinar was for primary account holders preparing to submit forms to meet the FY2019 filing window deadline of May 31 and covered best practices and available resources. Watch the webinar and download the slides here.

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline.

LOA/TPAs Must Be Up to Date

In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2019, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through FY2019, at a minimum. Be especially mindful if you are an HCP using a consultant, if you are a consortium project coordinator, or a consultant filing on behalf of a consortium. Before submitting a form, please check to ensure your authorization documents are up to date. FCC Forms 462 and 466 submitted with expired LOAs or TPAs will result in applicants receiving Information Requests.

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

3/7/2019Watch RHC 102: Participating in the RHC Program Webinar!


On February 28, 2019, the RHC Program team held “RHC 102: Participating in the Rural Health Care Program,” a follow up to our beginner’s webinar “RHC 101.” This webinar was for primary account holders preparing to submit forms to meet the FY2019 filing window deadline of May 31 and covered best practices and available resources. Watch the webinar and download the slides here.

2/25/2019My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Friday, March 1


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/7/2019Newsletter for February 2019


FY2019 Filing Window Open Now!

The initial filing window period for FY2019 is February 1 – May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 for consideration. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as soon as possible.

Prepare to submit your FY2019 Funding Request with these resources:

Submit Eligibility and FY2019 Request for Services Forms Now!

Applicants applying for funding for FY2019 who are going through the competitive bidding process can submit their FCC Forms 460 and 461 (HCF Program) and FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program) now! Prepare to submit your forms with these resources:

Eligibility

Request for Services

FCC Form 461 Rollover for FY2019

This year’s rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF applicants who completed the Request for Services or FCC Form 461 process in FY2018 and would like to use the FY2018 approved FCC Form 461 in FY2019. Those requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover functionality must meet the following requirements:

  • The FCC Form 461 must have been submitted for FY2018, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2018.
  • The FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process must have complied with the FCC’s competitive bidding rules.

Applicants requesting the FCC Form 461 rollover understand that their FY2019 FCC Form 462 may be denied if the FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process is found to have been in violation of the competitive bidding rules.

The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, not the FCC Form 462. Applicants must still submit a FY2019 FCC Form 462 if they wish to apply for HCF Program funding in FY2019.

How to submit your FCC Form 461 rollover request:

  • Send email to: RHC-Assist@usac.org 
  • Subject line of email: FCC Form 461 Rollover Request App #
  • Include within the email body: HCP #, FCC Form 461 application #
  • Once emailed, the rollover request may take 5-8 business days to review and process.
  • If approved, your request will be confirmed via email from an RHC staff member.
 
 

FY2018 and FY2017 Information

Update on FY2018

RHC has begun issuing decisions on FY2018 funding requests, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal. Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration. 

 
 

Important Reminders

Register for RHC 102 - Wednesday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Are you or a colleague interested in learning more about the RHC Program application process? On February 20, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. ET, we will be hosting a webinar called “RHC 102: Participating in the RHC Program.” This webinar will cover the best practices for submitting forms and tips for the FY2019 filing window. Register today! You can watch the pre-cursor, “RHC 101: An Introduction to the Rural Health Care Program” webinar here. 

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline.

LOA/TPAs Must Be Up to Date

In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2019, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through FY2019, at a minimum. Be especially mindful if you are an HCP using a consultant, if you are a consortium project coordinator, or a consultant filing on behalf of a consortium. Before submitting a form, please check to ensure your authorization documents are up to date. FCC Forms 462 and 466 submitted with expired LOAs or TPAs will result in applicants receiving Information Requests.


2/1/2019FY2019 Filing Window Open Now!


The initial filing window period for FY2019 is February 1 – May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) before 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 for consideration. Any funding requests submitted after this time will not be considered. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as soon as possible.

Prepare to submit your FY2019 Funding Request with these resources:

=         January 2019 Funding Request Best Practices Webinar and slides

=         Funding Request Summary

=         FY2019 Recommended Submission Dates

=         Information for FY2018 and FY2019 Applicants

=         Urban and Rural Rate Guide

1/18/2019Watch the Funding Request Best Practices Webinar Now!


On January 16, the RHC Program team hosted a Funding Request Best Practices webinar. This webinar covered how to submit the FCC Forms 462 and 466 in My Portal as well as some helpful tips for FY2019. Watch the webinar and download the slides here!

1/15/2019My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance Tuesday, January 22


Rural Health Care's My Portal will be unavailable from 7:00 - 7:30 a.m. on tuesday, January 22, 2019 due to system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. We apologize for any inconvenience.

1/3/2019Newsletter for January 2019


FY2019 Filing Window Opens February 1, 2019

The initial filing window period for FY2019 is February 1 – May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) between February 1 and 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019 for funding consideration. We highly encourage you to submit your funding requests as early as possible in the filing window period. You can begin the application process and submit all other application forms for FY2019 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) before February 1.

If the total amount of qualifying funding requests received during the initial filing window period for FY2019 does not exceed available RHC Program funding, we will determine if there will be additional filing windows.

Prepare to submit your funding request by attending the Funding Request Best Practices Webinar! This webinar will go through both the FCC Form 462 and 466 in My Portal and cover important tips for submitting a compliant funding request by the initial filing window close on May 31, 2019. Register here

Submit FY2019 Request for Services Forms Now!

Applicants applying for funding for FY2019 who are going through the competitive bidding process can submit their FCC Form 461 (HCF Program) and FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program) now! The first day to submit these forms was January 1, 2019-- six months before the start of the funding year, which begins July 1, 2019.

Prepare to submit your Request for Services Form with the following resources:

 

FCC Form 461 Rollover for FY2019

This year’s rollover functionality is a courtesy extended to HCF applicants who completed the Request for Services or FCC Form 461 process in FY2018 and would like to use the FY2018 approved FCC Form 461 in FY2019. Those requesting the FY2018 FCC Form 461 rollover functionality must meet the following requirements:

  • The FCC Form 461 must have been submitted for FY2018, and previously reviewed and approved by RHC in FY2018.
  • The FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process must have complied with the FCC’s competitive bidding rules.

Applicants requesting the FCC Form 461 rollover understand that their FY2019 FCC Form 462 may be denied if the FY2018 FCC Form 461 and/or competitive bidding process is found to have been in violation of the competitive bidding rules.

The rollover process will only be applied to the FCC Form 461, not the FCC Form 462. Applicants must still submit a FY2019 FCC Form 462 if they wish to apply for HCF Program funding in FY2019.

How to submit your FCC Form 461 rollover request:

  • Send email to: RHC-Assist@usac.org 
  • Subject line of email: FCC Form 461 Rollover Request App #
  • Include within the email body: HCP #, FCC Form 461 application #
  • Once emailed, the rollover request may take 5-8 business days to review and process.

If approved, your request will be confirmed via email from an RHC staff member.

FY2018 and FY2017 Information

 

Update on FY2018

RHC has begun issuing decisions on FY2018 funding requests, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses the applicant has submitted in My Portal. Due to demand for RHC Program funds, there will not be a second filing window period for FY2018. The RHC Program will not accept additional funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2018. All qualifying single year funding requests with no upfront costs will be fully funded for FY2018 with no proration. 

FY2017 FCC Forms

My Portal continues to accept Telecommunications (Telecom) Program FCC Form 467 (Connection Certification Form) and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program FCC Form 463 (Invoice and Request for Disbursement Form) for applicants approved for funding in FY2017. 

 

Important Reminders

 

Register for RHC 101 - Wednesday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Are you or a colleague interested in learning more about the RHC Program? On February 20, 2019, we will be hosting a webinar for beginners called “RHC Program 101: An Introduction to the RHC Program.” This webinar will cover the basics of the program including eligibility requirements and how to get started. Register today!

Watch the RHC Program Eligibility Best Practices Webinar

On November 29, 2018, the RHC Program Team hosted an RHC Program Eligibility webinar. This webinar covered best practices for submitting the first form in the RHC Program process: the FCC Form 460 (HCF Program) and the FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program). If you are a new applicant ready to get started, watch the recording and download the slides here!

What to Do if You Receive an Information Request

FCC Forms submitted with incomplete or missing documentation will not be reviewed, and RHC reviewers will reach out to all account holders (the primary and all secondary and tertiary account holders associated with that HCP) with a request for additional information (“Information Request”). Information Requests are sent to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or to ask clarifying questions about the FCC Form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Once you respond, the RHC reviewers will work with you, to the extent they can, to ensure that they have all the necessary documentation to complete their review. Failure to respond within the 14 calendar day timeframe will result in an automatic denial, so be sure to meet that deadline.

LOA/TPAs Must Be Up to Date

In order to be considered eligible for funding in FY2018, Letters of Agency (LOA) and Third Party Authorizations (TPA) must be up to date through FY2018, at a minimum. Be especially mindful if you are an HCP using a consultant, a consortium leader, or a consultant filing on behalf of a consortium leader. Before submitting a form, please check to ensure your authorization documents are up to date. FCC Forms 462 and 466 submitted with expired LOAs or TPAs will result in applicants receiving Information Requests.

 

For more information about submitting LOAs, please see the submission guide

1/3/2019Submit FY2019 Request for Services Now!


Applicants applying for funding for FY2019 who are going through the competitive bidding process can submit their FCC Form 461 (HCF Program) and FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program) now! The first day to submit these forms was January 1, 2019-- six months before the start of the funding year, which begins July 1, 2019.

Prepare to submit your Request for Services Form with the following resources: