UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND - RURAL HEALTH CARE
Universal service has been defined by Congress as ?an evolving level of telecommunications services . . . taking into account advances in telecommunications and information technologies and services.? 47 U.S.C. 254(c). Policies for the advancement and preservation of universal service must be based on certain principles established by Congress. See 47 U.S.C. 254(b). Consistent with these statutory provisions, the FCC has established the Universal Service Fund, which disburses support for the provision of telecommunications services, as well as other services and facilities (including broadband) for high-cost areas, schools and libraries, rural health care providers, and low-income consumers.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Federal Communications Commission (Fcc)
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Fiscal Year 2018
The program awarded funds to approximately 5,379 organizations.Fiscal Year 2019
The program awarded funds to approximately 5,338 organizations.Fiscal Year 2020
The program plans to award funds to an estimated 5,340 organizations.
The FCC established the Universal Service Fund (USF) pursuant to section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which requires the preservation and advancement of universal service to be based on certain principles, including access to telecommunications and advanced services for all consumers at just, reasonable and affordable rates. The USF currently consists of four programs that focus on increasing such access for consumers living in high-cost areas, consumers with low-incomes, schools and libraries, and rural health care providers., Title Communications Act of 1934, as amended, Part 2, Section 254, 47 U.S.C. 254, Statute ,
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
1. The applicant must be a public or non-profit entity. 2. The applicant must be one of the following: a. Post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction, such as teaching hospitals or medical schools b. A community health center or health center providing health care to migrants, c. A local health department or agency, d. A community mental health center, e. A not-for-profit hospital, f. A rural health clinic, g. A dedicated emergency room of a rural for-profit hospital, h. Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs); or i. A consortium of health care providers consistent of one or more of the entities described above. 3. Applicants must be in a rural location as defined by the FCC. Non-rural health care providers may be part of a consortium seeking support from the Healthcare Connect Fund program if the consortium satisfies the FCC's majority-rural Requirement.
Applicants must file an eligibility form. In the Telecommunications Program, applicants must file FCC Form 465. In the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, applicants must file FCC Form 460.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Health care providers must: (1) submit information to the program administrator to establish their eligibility to participate in the Rural Health Care Program; (2) initiate and complete an FCC-compliant competitive bidding process and select the most cost-effective service offering; and (3) submit a funding request application to the program administrator with all required supporting documentation. The program administrator will issue a letter containing a decision on the funding request. If the funding request is approved and after the approved services have been provided to the health care provider, invoices may be submitted to the program administrator for disbursements.
Applicants and service providers are notified of funding decisions through a funding commitment decision letter (FCL). The FCL sets forth the eligible services that have been approved for support and the service provider that has been authorized to provide the services, the amount of funding that has been approved, and other details defining the scope and requirements for the approved funding.
July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 Funding request applications may only be submitted during an open filing window period. A filing window period is a fixed period of time when all funding requests, submitted during a specific period, are treated as received simultaneously. Filing window periods may vary by year, but are always announced months in advance of the upcoming funding year. The RHC funding year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the subsequent year. Funding request applications may only be submitted during an open filing window period. A filing window period is a fixed period of time when all funding requests, submitted during a specific period, are treated as received simultaneously. Filing window periods may vary by year, but are always announced months in advance of the upcoming funding year. The RHC funding year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the subsequent year. Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Approval/denial notifications are sent on a rolling basis. Due to the unique nature of each application and review, there is not a standard date range for when decisions are issued.
From 30 to 60 days. Any party aggrieved by a decision issued by the Administrator must first seek review of the decision from the Administrator within 60 sixty (60) days from the date that the decision was issued. A party seeking review of the Administrator's decision on appeal must file its request for review by the Commission within sixty (60) days of the Administrator's decision on appeal.
How are proposals selected?
Program participation is a multi-step process that begins with determining if a health care provider is eligible to participate in the program. After initial eligibility is determined and the health care provider has completed an FCC-compliant competitive bidding process, funding request form(s) are submitted to the program administrator during an open filing window period. Funding requests are evaluated by the program administrator for accuracy and compliance with the FCC's rules.
How may assistance be used?
The Rural Health Care Program provides support for eligible health care providers to purchase broadband and telecommunications services necessary for the provision of health care purposes.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Participants are subject to random and risk-based compliance audits and other investigations to ensure compliance with program rules and orders.
Health care providers and service providers must retain documentation related to the delivery of discounted or supported services, facilities, or equipment under the Telecommunications and Healthcare Connect Fund Programs and any other document(s) that demonstrates compliance with the statutory or regulatory requirements for the Rural Health Care Program for at least five years after the last day of the delivery of the discounted or supported services. Consortium leaders for consortia participating in the Healthcare Connect Fund Program are responsible for compliance with the FCC's recordkeeping requirements for all of their members. Documentation must include, among other things, records of how applicants have complied with the requirement to allocate any ineligible costs out of their funding requests (e.g., ineligible components of a service, use by ineligible entities). In the Telecommunications Program, mobile rural health care providers shall maintain annual logs indicating the date and location of each clinic stop and the number of patients served at each such clinic stop. In the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, participants who receive support for long-term capital investments in facilities whose useful life extends beyond the period of the funding commitment shall maintain records for at least five years after the end of the useful life of the facility. Participants shall also maintain asset and inventory records of supported network equipment to verify the actual location of such equipment for a period of five years after purchase.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Support in the Telecommunications program is for one year. In the HealthCare Connect Fund Program applicants may apply for multi-year commitments not to exceed three years. NONE
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB)
ELIZABETH DROGULA, Deputy Chief of WCB
445 12TH ST SW
WASHINGTON, DC 20554 USA
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 18$312,000,000.00; FY 19 est $306,000,000.00; FY 20 est $990,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
1. Past (FY2018): a. Highest Committed Amount: $ 7,489,010.09 b. Lowest Committed Amount: $ 3.53 c. Average Committed Amount: $ 21,603.27 2. Current (FY2019) Estimate: a. Highest Committed Amount: $ 4,083,204.84 b. Lowest Committed Amount: $ 0.05 c. Average Committed Amount: $ 23,398.60 3. Budget (FY2020) Estimate: a. Highest Committed Amount: $ 4,083,200.00 b. Lowest Committed Amount: $ 0.05 c. Average Committed Amount: $ 23,400.00
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
47 CFR Part 54, as well as various FCC orders and instructions on forms for the program.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2018
Funding telecommunications services, broadband and infrastructure for rural healthcare providersFiscal Year 2019
Actual Funding telecommunications services, broadband and infrastructure for rural healthcare providers.Fiscal Year 2020
Funding telecommunications services, broadband and infrastructure for rural healthcare providers.