What is a Rural Health Clinic?
Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) were established by Public Law 95-210, the Rural Health Clinic Service Act, in 1977. The purpose of RHCs is to increase primary care services for Medicaid and Medicare patients in rural communities. RHCs ownership/governance structure can operate as public, private, or non-profit. The main requirements to obtain RHC status include:
- Clinic is NOT located in an "Urbanized Area" as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Clinic is designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), or Medically Underserved Area (MUA).
- Clinic is listed in a Governor's Health Care Shortage Area.
- Clinic must employ a mid-level practitioner at least 50% of the time the RHC operates. Examples include a Physician Assistant, Certified Nurse Mid-Wife, or Nurse Practitioner.
- Clinic must provide outpatient primary care.
- Clinic must be under the medical direction of a physician who must be on site at least once every two weeks.
If You are Interested in RHC Status
To determine if your location meets RHC qualifications:
Meredith Guardino, Director of Field Services | email@example.com | 503-494-8961 | toll-free 866-674-4376.
For RHC application forms and guidance:
John Pilmer, Client Care Compliance Specialist at the Health Care Licensure and Certification Department, (971) 673-0540.