What is a Rural Health Clinic?

30-Minute Podcast "Overview of the RHC Program - A Snapshot in Time" (1/18/19) 

The Rural Health Clinics Services Act was passed into law in 1977. Here is what President Jimmy Carter had to say regarding the act at the time.

“At its best the American health care system is unsurpassed.  But its uneven distribution leaves millions of our people without access to adequate care.  This problem affects both urban and rural areas but is more wide-spread in the latter.  Two-thirds of the people in areas without adequate health care live in rural America.  One of the most sensible and efficient ways to cope with this problem is to enable Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners to provide regular and high-quality care in small convenient outpatient clinics.  Through such programs as the National Health Service Corps and the Appalachian Regional Commission, the federal government has helped to start and support these clinics and train the highly skilled professions who operate them.  But there has been a major obstacle to the healthy growth of these clinics in the areas that need them.  That is the failure of public and private health insurance programs to support them.  The legislation that I am signing today will correct this defect in our public health insurance programs by requiring that the Medicare and Medicaid programs pay for the services of Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners in clinics and rural areas without adequate care.  This reform will guarantee greater financial stability for clinics already in existence and help establish new clinics were they are needed most.“

To review the CMS' MLN Fact Sheet on RHCs Click Here

To find out if you're in a designated shortage area Click Here

For more thorough information regarding RHCs visit our RHC statute, regulation, and guidance page.