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Skilled Nursing Facilities Eligible for USAC Funds Jan. 1, 2017 

Did you know that $400 million per year is available to health care providers for reduced rates on telecommunications services and broadband access? In June of 2016, the president signed new legislation that amends the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to include skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) among the list of eligible health care providers in both the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) and Telecommunications Programs (telecom). 

The Healthcare Connect Fund and Telecom programs are administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), and are designed to provide rural health care providers with an affordable rate for the services necessary for the provision of telemedicine. By participating, health care providers can save an average of 65 percent on eligible services. 

Skilled nursing facilities can begin applying to the program on Jan. 1, 2017, by submitting Federal Communications Commission Form 460 (HCF program) or From 465 (Telecom program) to determine eligibility. 

To confirm that your facility is eligible, start the Rural Health Care Program application process by filing an FCC Form 460 (for the Healthcare Connect Fund) or Form 465 (for the Telecommunications Program). You can also call the RHC Help Desk at 800-453-1546 for help getting started with the program. 

To receive Rural Health Care Program funding, in addition to being an eligible facility type such as a skilled nursing facility, the facility must be:

  • Not-for-profit or public,
  • In an FCC-approved rural location, if you are applying as individual health care providers. You can look up your rurality status with the Eligible Rural Areas Search

If your facility is interested in learning more, please contact us for additional information and resources. 

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