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Rural Health Care Program

Supporting Broadband Connectivity to Health Care Providers

Summary of Rural Health Care Program

The Rural Health Care Program, which includes the new Healthcare Connect Fund, provides funding to eligible health care providers (HCPs) for telecommunications and broadband services necessary for the provision of health care. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of health care available to patients in rural communities by ensuring that eligible HCPs have access to telecommunications and broadband services. Funding for the Rural Health Care Program is capped at $400 million annually.

The Rural Health Care Program is currently made up of four programs: the Healthcare Connect Fund, the Telecommunications Program, the Internet Access Program, and the Rural Health Care Pilot Program.

The Healthcare Connect Fund

Building on lessons learned from the Pilot Program, in 2012 the Commission released a Report and Order that created the Healthcare Connect Fund to reform, expand, and modernize the Rural Health Care Program. The Healthcare Connect Fund provides support for high-capacity broadband connectivity to eligible health care providers (HCPs) and encourages the formation of state and regional broadband HCP networks. Under the program, eligible rural HCPs, and those non-rural HCPs that are members of a consortium that has more than 50 percent rural HCP sites, will be able to receive a 65 percent discount on all eligible expenses. Eligible expenses include broadband services and equipment, and, for consortium applicants, HCP-constructed and owned network facilities. The order also establishes a new pilot program to test how to support broadband connections for skilled nursing facilities.

Key Information on Healthcare Connect Fund

Overview of the Healthcare Connect Fund
Announcement of Healthcare Connect Fund by Chairman Genachowski’s January 8, 2013
Healthcare Connect Fund Fact Sheet
Healthcare Connect Fund FAQs
Healthcare Connect Fund Order

Highlights of the Healthcare Connect Fund

  • Eligible HCPs. The new program provides support to:
    • Consortia of eligible rural and non-rural public/non-profit HCPs, and
    • Individual rural public/non-profit HCPs.
  • Limitations on Non-Rural HCP Participation. Non-rural HCPs are eligible for support only if they belong to a consortium that has more than 50 percent rural HCP sites. Support for non-rural hospitals with 400+ beds is capped at $30,000 annually for recurring charges and $70,000 over a five-year period for non-recurring charges.
  • Eligible Expenses. Eligible HCPs may seek support for broadband services, network equipment, and (for consortium applicants) HCP-constructed and owned network facilities. Only consortium applicants are eligible for upfront payments.
  • Off-Site Data Centers and Off-Site Administrative Offices. The new program provides support to HCPs for connections and network equipment associated with off-site data centers and off-site administrative offices.
  • Eligible Vendors. Eligible vendors include any provider of equipment, facilities, or services that are eligible for support.
  • Discount Rate. The new program provides a 65 percent flat-rate discount on all eligible expenses.
  • Application Process.
    • The application process minimizes the administrative burden on participants while still protecting against waste, fraud, and abuse.
    • Consortium applicants may file a single application.
    • Program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company(USAC)
  • Multi-year Commitments. Applicants may seek a multi-year funding commitment for up to 3 years, thus avoiding the annual application filing requirement.
  • Competitive bidding process exemptions.
    • Annual undiscounted cost of $10,000 or less
    • Government Master Services Agreements (MSAs)
    • MSAs approved under Rural Health Care (RHC) Pilot Program or Healthcare Connect Fund
    • “Evergreen” contracts
    • Contracts negotiated under USF Schools & Libraries Program
  • Timeline.
    • Starting July 1, 2013, support will be available for existing Pilot projects.
    • Starting January 1, 2014, support will be available for new consortia and individual HCP participants. The competitive bidding process will not start before August 2013.

Skilled Nursing Facility Pilot Program

  • Purpose. The pilot will test how to support broadband connections for skilled nursing facilities.
  • Timing. The FCC will solicit input regarding design of the pilot program in 2013. The pilot will get underway in 2014.
  • Size. Funding for the pilot is limited to $50 million in total support for all projects combined, spread over 3 years.

The Telecommunications and Internet Access Programs

Established in 1997, the Telecommunications Program ensures that eligible rural HCPs pay no more than their urban counterparts for telecommunications services. Through this program, eligible rural HCPs can obtain rates for supported services that are no higher than the highest tariffed or publicly available commercial rate for a similar service in the closest city in the state with a population of 50,000 or more people, taking distance charges into account. The Internet Access Program, which the Commission created in 2003, provides eligible rural HCPs a 25 percent discount off the cost of monthly Internet access for eligible rural HCPs. This program will not be available after June 30, 2014; current recipients may instead seek support from the Healthcare Connect Fund.

The Rural Health Care Pilot Program

The Commission established a three-year Rural Health Care Pilot Program in September 2006 to provide funding for state or regional broadband networks designed to bring the benefits of telehealth and telemedicine services to areas of the country where the need for those benefits was most acute. The Pilot Program provided funding for up to 85% percent of the costs associated with: (1) the construction of a state or regional broadband network and the advanced telecommunications and information services provided over that network; (2) connecting to Internet2 or National LambdaRail; and (3) connecting to the public Internet. There are currently 50 active Pilot Projects in 38 states. This program is closed to new applicants.

In 2012, the Wireline Competition Bureau released a staff evaluation of the Pilot Program that summarized key observations from the Pilot Program and described the Pilot Projects, their broadband networks, and the financial and telehealth benefits generated by their broadband connectivity.

Daily Releases

2014

  • 10/22/2014
    October Streamlined USF Appeals Disposition Public Notice:Streamlined Resolution of Requests Related to Actions by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
    Word PDF
  • 10/2/2014
    Franciscan Skemp Waukon Clinic Order: Denied a request from Franciscan Skemp Waukon Clinic seeking review of a decision made by the Universal Service Administrative Company to deny funding under the rural health care universal service support mechanism.
    Word PDF
  • 7/23/2014
    RHC Rural Areas Update Order: Updating the list of rural areas used to determine eligibility in the Rural Health Care universal service support mechanism and providing a limited waiver for participants transitioning from rural to non-rural status.
    Word PDF
  • 6/19/14
    Consortium Annual Reports Waiver Order: Granted a limited, one-year waiver of the requirement that consortium lead entities in both the Healthcare Connect Fund and the Rural Health Care Pilot Program file an annual report.
    Word PDF
  • 6/19/14
    Consortium Annual Reports Public Notice: Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on Healthcare Connect Fund Annual Reports.
    Word PDF
  • 3/11/2014
    IHS/White Swan Appeal Order: Denied IHS/White Swan’s request for review of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company under the Rural Health Care Program.
    Word PDF
  • 2/19/2014
    Skilled Nursing Facility Program Public Notice: Deferral of the Skilled Nursing Facility Pilot Program pending the Commission’s consideration of healthcare related proposals in WC Docket No. 10-90.
    Word PDF
  • 1/17/2014
    California Telehealth Network Public Notice: Seeks comment on a California Telehealth Network request for review of a Universal Service Administrative Company Rural Health Care program decision.
    Word PDF

2013

  • Review of USAC Rural Health Care Decisions Public Notice: 12/6/2013
    Seeks comment on requests for review by Illinois Rural HealthNet, Colorado Telehealth Network, and Oregon Health Network of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions denying Rural Health Care Program support.
    Word PDF
  • Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Public Notice: 11/21/2013
    WCB Seeks Comment on Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) request for review of a Universal Service Administrative Company decision denying YKHC support under the Rural Health Care Program.
    Word PDF
  • SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Public Notice: 11/21/2013
    WCB Seeks Comment on SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) request for review of a Universal Service Administrative Company decision denying SEARHC support under the Rural Health Care Program.
    Word PDF
  • Healthcare Connect Fund Rules Public Notice: 9/12/2013
    Announced effectiveness of those Healthcare Connect Fund rules associated with information collections and announced the availability of forms for applicants.
    Word PDF
  • FCC Form 498 Public Notice: 8/19/2013
    Announced the availability of the revised FCC Form 498, which enables service providers in any of the Commission’s rural health care USF programs to choose their preferred method of reimbursement for services they provide to health care providers.
    Word PDF
  • Southcentral Foundation Public Notice: 6/13/2013
    Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on Southcentral Foundation’s Request for Review of a Universal Service Administrative Company Rural Health Care decision.
    Word PDF
  • Ozark Guidance Center Public Notice: 6/13/2013
    Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on Ozark Guidance Center’s Request for Review of a Universal Service Administrative Company Rural Health Care decision.
    Word PDF
  • Arkansas Department of Information Systems Public Notice: 6/13/2013
    Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on Arkansas Department of Information Systems’ Request for Review of a Universal Service Administrative Company Rural Health Care decision.
    Word PDF
  • Healthcare Connect Fund Public Notice: 4/26/2013
    The Wireline Competition Bureau and The Office of Managing Director Provide Collection Instructions To USAC for The Healthcare Connect Fund.
    Word PDF
  • USTelecom Healthcare Connect Fund Order Public Notice: 4/24/2013
    In this Public Notice, WCB seeks comment on USTelecom’s Petition for Reconsideration and Clarification of the Healthcare Connect Order.
    Word PDF
  • Healthcare Connect Fund Forms Public Notice: 4/1/2013
    Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on the attached proposed new FCC Forms 460, 461, 462, and 463, and their accompanying instructions.
    Word PDF
    Form 460: Word PDF | Instructions: Word PDF
    Form 461: Word PDF | Instructions: Word PDF
    Form 462: Word PDF | Instructions: Word PDF
    Form 463: Word PDF | Instructions: Word PDF

2012

  • Report and Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Commission launches the Healthcare Connect Fund to expand health care provider access to broadband and foster state and regional broadband health care networks, and creates a Skilled Nursing Facility Pilot Program. FCC 12-150(12/21/12) Word | PDF
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Bureau seeks comment on a request for review filed by Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft District Health Department (LMAS) seeking reversal of a USAC decision denying LMAS’s request for Funding Year 2010 rural health care support. LMAS also requests that the Commission grant it a waiver of the FCC Form 466 filing deadline for Funding Year 2010. LMAS argues that it failed to file its 2010 Form 466 due to an administrative oversight and that it did not violate any substantive rules. DA 12-1403(8/27/12) Word | PDF
  • Staff Report (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this Staff Report, the Wireline Competition Bureau describes the current status of the Rural Health Care Pilot Program, key benefits arising from the Pilot Program, and major lessons learned. DA 12-1332(8/13/12) Word | PDF
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request for review filed by ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano Clinic (ThedaCare) seeking reversal of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) in which USAC denied ThedaCare’s request that USAC recalculate ThedaCare’s Funding Year 2010 rural health care support based on corrected rural and urban rates. DA 12-1306(8/09/12) Word | PDF
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a petition filed by Network Services Solutions, L.L.C. (NSS) for a waiver of section 54.611 of the Commission’s rules. That section requires that the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) reimburse any monies due a carrier from the universal service rural health care support mechanism only after an offset is credited against that carrier’s universal service support obligations. NSS also requests that the Commission grant an expedited stay of USAC’s decision, allowing NSS to continue to receive bi-monthly rural health care support disbursements pending the Commission’s review of the instant waiver request. DA 12-1230(7/31/12) Word | PDF
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request for review filed by Providence Seward Medical and Care Center (Providence Seward) seeking reversal of a decision of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) in which USAC reduced Providence Seward's funding requests for Funding Year 2010 under the rural health care support mechanism. Providence Seward argues that USAC erroneously applied a mileage-based charge in calculating Providence Seward’s universal service support and that Providence Seward has been unfairly prejudiced by delays in USAC’s determinations. DA 12-1229(7/31/12) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks to develop a more focused and comprehensive record in several areas in the pending Rural Health Care reform rulemaking proceeding, particularly with regard to the proposed Broadband Services Program. DA 12-1166(7/19/12) Word | PDF
     
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this order, we maintain support on a limited, interim, fiscally responsible basis for specific Rural Health Care Pilot Program (Pilot Program) participants that have exhausted their funding this year or will exhaust such funding during funding year 2012. FCC 12-74(7/6/12) Word | PDF
    Commissioner McDowell Statement: Word | PDF
    Commissioner Clyburn Statement: Word | PDF
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this order, we grant the requests filed by Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) and GCI Communication Corp. (GCI) seeking review of decisions by the Rural Health Care Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC or the Administrator). USAC denied portions of 38 Funding Year (FY) 2008 requests for support under the federal rural health care universal service support mechanism because it determined the services for which YKHC sought support were not necessary for the provision of health care until YKHC installed specific equipment. Upon review of the record before us, we find that USAC erred in its decision, and we therefore remand YKHC’s application to USAC for further processing consistent with this order. DA 12-720(5/9/12) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on a request filed by the Texas Health Information Network Collaborative (TxHINC) for a 120 day extension of the June 30, 2012, universal service Rural Health Care Pilot Program funding commitment deadline for projects to choose vendors and request funding commitment letters from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). TxHINC explains that due to circumstances unique to the state of Texas, it has been delayed in choosing vendors and submitting funding requests to USAC. TxHINC requests the Bureau extend TxHINC’s funding commitment deadline until October 30, 2012. DA 12-544(4/6/12) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on whether to fund Rural Health Care Pilot Program (Pilot Program) participants who will exhaust funding allocated to them before or during funding year 2012 (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013). This funding would maintain support for qualifying Pilot Program participants, on an interim basis, during the 2012 funding year to provide time to establish a process to transition them into the permanent Rural Health Care support mechanism (RHC support mechanism). To support these transitioning Pilot Program participants, the funds that were previously designated for projects that withdrew from the Program or otherwise failed to meet the June 30, 2011, deadline could be used without increasing overall demand. DA 12-273(2/27/12) Word | PDF

2011

  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this public notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment regarding a request for review of a USAC decision. DA 11-2016(12/19/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this public notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment regarding a request for review of a USAC decision that reduced rural health care support to Northeast Montana Health Services. DA 11-2017(12/19/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request for review filed by Providence Seward Medical and Care Center seeking reversal of decisions of USAC, in which USAC reduced Providence Seward's funding requests for Funding Year 2009 under the rural health care support mechanism. DA 11-1762(10/21/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request filed by Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) seeking review of a decision of the USAC in which USAC determined that Horizon's administrative office is not a health care provider under section 54.601(1) of the Commission's rules and is not eligible to receive benefits under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program. DA 11-1761(10/21/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request filed by Annette Island Service Unit seeking a waiver of the rural health care FCC Form 466 filing deadline. DA 11-1760(10/21/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). On July 7, 2011, Richmond Connections, Inc. (Richmond) requested a waiver of section 54.611 of the Commission’s rules, which requires that the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) reimburse any monies due to a carrier from the universal service rural health care support mechanism only after an offset is credited against that carrier’s universal service support obligations. DA 11-1206(7/18/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request for review filed by AT&T Corp. (AT&T) seeking reversal of a Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) commitment adjustment recovery action against AT&T. DA 11-1204(7/18/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this order, the Commission adopts an interim rule permitting health care providers that are located in a “rural area” under the definition used by the FCC prior to July 1, 2005, and that have received a funding commitment from the universal service rural health care program prior to July 1, 2005, to continue to be treated as if they are located in “rural” areas for purposes of determining eligibility for all universal service rural health care programs. In the NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on whether to make such “grandfathered” providers permanently eligible for discounted services under the rural health care program. FCC 11-101(5/21/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau extends by one year, to June 30, 2012, the deadline for participants in the Pilot Program to choose a vendor and request funding commitments from the USAC. The Wireline Competition Bureau also extends by one year the invoice deadline for Pilot Program participants. DA 11-819(5/3/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a petition filed by Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA), seeking reversal of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) decisions denying rural health care universal service support for portions of certain funding requests for six KANA facilities. DA 11-706(4/18/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request for review filed by Copper River Native Association (Copper River), seeking reversal of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) decisions denying rural health care universal service support to portions of certain funding requests for four health clinics because Copper River violated the Commission’s competitive bidding rules. DA 11-705(4/18/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on a request filed by the California Telehealth Network (CTN) and the Palmetto State Providers Network (PSPN) for additional funding under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (Pilot Program). DA 11-529(3/21/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on a request filed by the Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center (R-AHEC) for additional funding under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (Pilot Program). DA 11-484(3/11/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment for waiver of the Rural Health Care Pilot Program Five Year Invoicing Deadline. DA 11-336(2/22/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request by MiCTA for waiver of the Rural Health Care Program rules. DA 11-332(2/18/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on a request filed by the Southwest Telehealth Access Grid (SWTAG) for additional funding under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (Pilot Program). DA 11-256(2/10/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). WCB Provides Guidance on Procedural Treatment of Additional Requests for Extension of the June 30, 2011 Deadline for Requesting Funding Commitments under the Universal Service Rural Health Care Pilot Program. DA 11-172(1/28/11) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on a request filed by the Health Information Exchange of Montana (HIEM) for additional funding under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (Pilot Program). DA 11-95(1/19/11) Word | PDF

2010

  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on Oregon Health Network Request for additional funding under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program. DA 10-2415(12/28/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on the Michigan Public Health Institute’s request for waiver of the five-year invoicing period under the universal service Rural Health Care Pilot Program. DA 10-2334(12/9/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request filed by the Indiana Telehealth Network for an extension of the June 30, 2011 deadline for participants in the universal service Rural Health Care Pilot Program to select a vendor and request funding commitment letters from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). DA 10-2297(12/6/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this order, we grant a request for review of a decision by the Universal Service Administrative Company, denying funding for discounted services under the Rural Health Care universal service support mechanism to the Portland Area Indian Health Service. DA 10-1712(9/13/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a petition filed by Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), seeking reversal of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) decisions denying rural health universal service support for portions of certain funding requests for 36 YKHC facilities. DA 10-1646(8/27/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a petition filed by General Communications, Inc. (GCI), seeking reversal of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) decisions denying rural health universal service support for portions of certain funding requests for Funding Year 2008. DA 10-1645(8/27/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Seeks comment on a Petition of the Nebraska Public Service Commission to permanently grandfather those health care providers who were eligible for universal service support under the Commission’s definition of “rural” prior to the Second Report and Order, but would no longer be eligible for universal service support after June 30, 2011. DA 10-1516(8/13/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Comments are due by September 8, 2010, and reply comments are due by September 23, 2010, for the Rural Health Care NPRM released by the Commission on July 15, 2010. DA 10-1454(8/9/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (WC Docket No. 02-60). FCC seeks comment on reforms to the Universal Service Rural Health Care Fund to expand the reach and use of broadband connectivity by health care providers throughout the nation. FCC 10-125(7/15/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). On June 4, 2010, Copper River Native Association (CRNA) filed a request for review of decisions of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), in which USAC denied funding to four health care clinics for more than three weeks in Funding Year 2008 because CRNA did not submit its competitive bid 28 days prior to the selection of its vendor as required under the Commission’s rules. DA 10-1121(6/23/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). Granted a request by Action Communications, Inc. (Action) for a waiver of section 54.611 of the Commission’s rules. Found that Action has demonstrated that good cause exists to waive the rule because Action has provided evidence that, absent waiver of the rule, it will be unable to sustain its operations and will be unable to provide discounted telecommunications services to the rural health care providers it serves. DA 10-1121(6/23/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on Southwest Alabama Community Mental Health (SWAMH) request for review of a decision of the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) in which USAC determined that SWAMH’s administrative office is not a health care provider under section 54.601(1) of the Commission’s rules and is not eligible to receive benefits under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program. DA 10-1056 (6/10/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). WCB grants Bradford Regional Medical Center's request for reversal of a USAC decision denying funding for discounted services under the rural health care universal service support mechanism. In the draft order, we waive section 54.623(c)(3) of the Commission’s rules, which establishes the filing deadline for all required forms under the rural health care universal service support mechanism. DA 10-1022 (6/4/10) Word | PDF
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). WCB denies a request for review of a USAC decion to deny funding under the RHC program to Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (Tuba City). In the draft, we find that after changing service providers, Tuba City failed to timely submit a new FCC Form 466 before the June 30 filing deadline. Note, that the June 30 deadline was still codified in the Commission rules for funding year 2004. DA 10-724 (4/29/10) Word | PDF
     
  • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau extends by one year, to June 30, 2011, the deadline for participants in the Rural Health Care Pilot Program to select a vendor and request a funding commitment from the USAC. DA 10-263 (2/18/10) Word | PDF
  • 2009

    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60).WCB provides notice that requests to extend the June 30, 2010 RHCPP deadline, filed after the Bureau issued a public notice seeking comments on the North Carolina extension request, will be treated as ex parte comments on the pending proceeding. DA 09-2609 (12/22/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Comments sought on the health care delivery elements of the national broadband plan. The notice also seeks input relating to the universal service rural health care support mechanism and the rural health care Pilot Program, specifically as such programs may assist in the deployment and adoption of broadband services. Comments are due December 4, 2009. DA 09-2413 (11/12/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 06-122). North Carolina Telehealth Network: Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request filed by the North Carolina TeleHealth Network for an extension of the June 30, 2010 deadline to file funding commitment requests under the universal service Rural Health Care Pilot Program. Comments are due December 2, 2009 and reply comments are due December 17, 2009. DA 09-2362 (11/2/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 06-122). Action Communications, Inc.: Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment a petition filed by Action Communications, Inc. (Action) for a waiver of section 54.611 of the Commission's rules, which requires USAC to reimburse any monies due a carrier from the universal service rural health care mechanism only after an offset is credited against that carrier's universal service obligations. Action also requests that the Commission grant an expedited stay of USAC's decision which would allow Action to continue to receive monthly rural health care support disbursements pending the Commission's review of the instant waiver request. Comments are due November 16, 2009 and reply comments are due November 23, 2009. DA 09-2356 (11/2/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Rural Health Care Pilot Program quarterly reports: In this Public Notice, WCB reminds Rural Health Care Pilot Program participants that quarterly reports are due October 30.  In addition, we remind participants of specific information which must be included in the reports. DA 09-2124 (9/28/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). TeleQuality Communications, Inc.: WCB grants a request by TeleQuality Communications, Inc. (TeleQuality) to waive section 54.611 of the Commission’s rules concerning reimbursement for services provided under the universal service rural health care support mechanism. We find that TeleQuality has demonstrated that good cause exists to waive this rule because, absent waiver, TeleQuality will be unable to sustain its operations and will be unable to provide discounted telecommunications services to the rural health care providers it serves. In this order, WCB also directs USAC to make an initial reimbursement payment no later than 10 calendar days from release of this order to TeleQuality for the current rural health care support payments to which it is entitled without deducting any universal service contributions that TeleQuality may owe. USAC shall also remit to TeleQuality any additional subsequent rural health care payments on a bi-monthly basis. DA 09-1807 (8/13/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). Juniata Valley Network and Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance: The Wireline Competition Bureau grants a merger request from two participants in the Rural Health Care Pilot Program, the Juniata Valley Network (JVN) and Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance and its designated agent, Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Resource Development (collectively PMHA). DA 09-1782 (8/12/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). North Carolina TeleHealth Network, Albemarle Health, Western Carolina University, and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina: The Wireline Competition Bureau grants a merger request from four participants in the Rural Health Care Pilot Program, NCTN, Albemarle, WCB and UHS, to merge their respective Pilot Program projects and designate NCTN as the successor to Albemarle, WCU, and UHS. DA 09-1696 (7/31/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request by TeleQuality Communications, seeking a waiver of section 54.611 of the Commission’s rules, which requires that USAC reimburse any monies due a carrier from the universal service rural health care support mechanism only after an offset is credited against that carrier’s universal service support obligations. TeleQuality also requests that the Commission grant an expedited stay of USAC’s decision, allowing TeleQuality to continue to receive bi-monthly rural health care support disbursements pending the Commission’s review of the instant waiver request. Comments are due June 19, 2009 and reply comments are due June 26, 2009. DA 09-1252 (6/5/09). Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 06-122). Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on requests for review filed by Verizon and Hospital Network Management, seeing reversal of USAC’s decision to seek recovery from Verizon of universal service rural health care funds relating to services it performed for HNM. Comments are due July 6, 2009 and reply comments are due July 20, 2009. DA 09-1265 (6/5/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Rural Health Care Pilot Program North Carolina Merger: WCB seeks comment on a request to merge four participants in the universal service Rural Health Care Pilot Program: the North Carolina TeleHealth Network (NCTN); Albemarle Health (Albemarle); Western Carolina University (WCU); and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina (UHS). Comments are due June 19, 2009 and reply comments are due June 26, 2009. DA 09-1246 (6/5/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Rural Health Care Pilot Program Pennsylvania Merger: The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request to merge two participants in the universal service Rural Health Care Pilot Program, Juniata Valley Network and Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Resource Development. Comments are due May 20, 2009 and reply comments are due May 27, 2009. DA 09-1018 (5/6/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). Rural Health Care Pilot Program Texas Projects Merger: In this order, the Wireline Competition Bureau grants a request from two participants in the Rural Health Care Pilot Program, the Texas Healthcare Network (THN) and the Texas Health Information Network Collaborative (THINC), to merge their respective Pilot Program projects and designate THINC as the successor to THN’s Pilot Program project. DA 09-838 (4/16/09) Word | PDF
       
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Texas Healthcare Network and Texas Health Information Network Collaborative: The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request to merge two participants in the universal service Rural Health Care Pilot Program, Texas Healthcare Network (THN) and Texas Health Information Network Collaborative (THINC). Comments are due by March 20, 2009 and reply comments are due by March 24, 2009. DA 09-578 (3/13/09) Word | PDF

    2008

    • Public Notice: Comment Sought On Request To Merge Mississippi Rural Health Care Pilot Program Projects. (9/19/08)
      Word | PDF
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). Notice of Rural Health Care Pilot Program Quarterly Report Filing Deadline: The Wireline Competition Bureau announces the July 30, 2008 filing deadline for Rural Health Care Pilot Program quarterly reports. DA 08-1751 (7/28/08)
      Word | Acrobat
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on two Requests for Review filed by Lake Delton Urgent Care and Franciscan Skemp Prairie du Chien Clinic that seek review of decisions of USAC. USAC’s decisions reduced the applicants' Rural Health Care funding requests for Funding Year 2006. Comments on the requests are due July 10, 2008, and reply comments are due July 25, 2008. DA 08-1365 (6/10/08)
      Word | Acrobat
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on Fort HealthCare—Fort Memorial Hospital, Fort HealthCare—Lake Mills Clinic, and Fort HealthCare—Whitewater Clinic, and Franciscan Skemp Waukon Clinic’s requests for review of decisions by the Universal Service Administrative Company. Comments on the requests are due June 30, 2008, and reply comments are due July 14, 2008. DA 08-1230 (5/30/08)
      Word | Acrobat
    • Order on Reconsideration (WC Docket No. 02-60). In this Order on Reconsideration, the Commission grants in part a Petition for Reconsideration by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), seeking limited reconsideration of the Commissions’ Rural Health Care Support Mechanism Second Report and Order. Specifically, the Commission grants ATA’s Petition for Reconsideration in part and extends for three years the Commission’s prior determination to grandfather those health care providers who were eligible under the Commission’s definition of “rural” prior to the Second Report and Order. FCC 08-47 (2/14/08)
      Word | Acrobat
    • Office of Management and Budget Approves Rural Health Care Pilot Program Information Collection Requirements: DA 08-140 (1/22/08)
      Public Notice: Word | Acrobat WCB Letter to USAC on Rural Health Care Pilot Program Carry-Over of Funds.
      Letter: 1/17/08 Acrobat

    2007

    • FCC Launches Initiative to Increase Access to Health Care in Rural America Through Broadband Telehealth Services - 11/19/07
      News Release: Word | Acrobat
      Selected Participants: Word | Acrobat
      Corrected Order: Word | Acrobat
      Erratum (12/17/07): Word | Acrobat
      Order: Word | Acrobat
      Martin Statement: Word | Acrobat
      Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
      Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
      Tate Statement: Word | Acrobat
      McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). American Telemedicine Association Petition for Reconsideration - In this Order, the Commission sought comment on the American Telemedicine Association's Petition for Reconsideration of the Commission’s Second Report and Order, in which it requested that the Commission grandfather, for an indefinite period of time, rural sites that were no longer eligible for rural health care support under the new definition of rural in the Second Report and Order, but which were eligible prior to the date of the Second Report and Order. DA 07-1237 (3/13/07) Word | Acrobat
    • Order on Reconsideration (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Commission grant a Petition filed by National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) seeking reconsideration or, in the alternative, clarification of the Commission’s order establishing a rural health care pilot program to encourage the provision of telehealth and telemedicine services throughout the nation. Specifically, we find that pilot program applicants may request and, if selected, may receive funding to support up to 85 percent of the cost of connecting state and regional broadband networks to the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, Inc. (Internet2) or NLR. We further find that an applicant that proposes to connect its state or regional broadband networks to Internet2 or NLR may either (1) pre-select Internet2 or NLR; or (2) seek a competitive bid for the provision of nationwide backbone services from Internet2 or NLR. To ensure the success of the pilot program, we expect that Internet2 and NLR will interconnect or peer with each other. Finally, we provide applicants with an additional thirty (30) days time to submit their applications to the Commission. FCC 07-6 (2/6/07) Word | Acrobat

    Pre 2007

    2006 Releases

    • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Wireline Competition Bureau grants a request by Unicom, Inc. for a waiver of section 54.611 of its rules, which provides that any reimbursement made by USAC due a telecommunications carrier providing services eligible for rural health care universal service support is offset against its universal service obligation to the Universal Service Fund, calculated on an annual basis. DA 06-1976 (10/2/06) Word | Acrobat

    • Order (WC Docket No. 02-60). The Commission establish a pilot program to examine how the rural health care funding mechanism can be used to enhance public and non-profit health care providers' access to advanced telecommunications and information services. FCC 06-144 (9/29/06) Word | Acrobat

    2004 Releases

    • Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (WC Docket No. 02-60). The FCC expanded its program to bring up-to-date medical services and information to rural areas through telecommunications. Modified the rules to improve the effectiveness of the rural health care universal service support mechanism. FCC 04-289 (12/17/04) Word | Acrobat
    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). This public notice establishes the deadline for completing Funding Year 2003 application process for Rural Health Care Universal Service Support Mechanism. DA 04-2347 (7/28/04) Word | Acrobat

    • Order on Reconsideration Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). This order on reconsideration of the Rural Health Care order eliminates a duplicative annual report reporting requirement for USAC. FCC 04-15 (1/16/04) Word | Acrobat


    2003 Releases

    • Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration and FNPRM (CC Docket No. 02-60). This Order modifies the Commission's rules to improve the effectiveness of the rural health care support mechanism. FCC 03-288 (11/17/03) Word | Acrobat

    • Public Notice (CC Docket No. 96-45). Minnesota Public Utility Commission: The Wireline Competition Bureau initiates proceeding to consider the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Petition to redefine Rural Telephone Company Service Areas in the State of Minnesota. DA 03-3594 (11/7/03) Word | Acrobat
    • Order(C Docket No. 96-45 and 97-21). This order addresses requests for review of twelve tribal government offices seeking discounts under the rural health care universal service support mechanism. DA 03-2919 (9/23/03) Word | Acrobat
    • Order (CC Docket No. 96-45 and 97-21). Unicom, Inc.: Dismisses Request for Review and all related Supplementals and Petitions for Leave to File. DA 03-2898 (9/17/03) Word | Acrobat
    • Public Notice (CC Docket No. 02-60). This Public Notice announces the deadline for completing FY 2002 rural healthcare applications as October 8, 2003. DA 03-2633 (8/13/03) Word | Acrobat
    • Order (CC Docket No. 96-45). AMSC Subsidiary: The Order grants AMSC Subsidiary's request to withdraw its Emergency Petition for Clarification. DA 03-856 (3/24/03) Word | Acrobat


    2002 Releases

    • Public Notice (WC Docket No. 02-60). This Public Notice announces the New Universal Service Deadline for Completing Funding Year 2001 Rural Healthcare Application Process. (10/4/02) Word | Acrobat


    2000 Releases

    • FCC grants USAC’s request and waives the quarterly cap on collections and disbursements under the rural health care support mechanism for the first and second quarters of 2000. CC Docket No. 96-45, FCC 00-079. Text 3/7/00


    1999 Releases

    • Sixth Order on Reconsideration (CC Docket No. 97-21) and Fifteenth Order on Reconsideration (CC Docket No. 96-45). This Order reconsiders many of the Commission's conclusions in the Universal Service Order to simplify the process for rural health care providers to receive support from the universal service support mechanism. (11/1/99) Text | Word

    • Fourteenth Order on Reconsideration concludes that all telecommunications carriers that provide supported services to eligible rural health care provides at a discount, are entitle to have the total amount of the discount treated as a contribution to the universal service fund. CC Docket No. 96-45 (ETC Order), FCC 99-256 (11/3/99) Word
    • Universal Service Administrative Company Report: Evaluation of the Rural Health Care Program. Public Notice: (3/17/99) Text| WordPerfect
    • FCC Order Changing the Funding Year for the Rural Health Care Support Mechanism from a Calendar Year to a Fiscal Year Cycle and Extending the First Funding Year by 6 Months. (1/4/99) Text| WordPerfect


    1997 Releases
     

    • Report and Order (CC Docket No. 96-45). The FCC sets forth a plan that satisfies all of the statutory requirements, and puts in place a universal service support system that will be sustainable in an increasingly competitive marketplace. FCC 97-157 (5/8/07) Word | Acrobat

     

     

     
    Updated: October 22, 2014
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