Rural Health Clinics
The Rural Health Clinics (RHC) program is intended to increase primary care services for Medicaid and Medicare patients in rural communities. RHCs can be public, private or non-profit. The main advantage of RHC status is enhanced reimbursement rates for providing Medicaid and Medicare services in rural areas. RHCs must be located in rural, under-served areas and must use one or more physician assistants or nurse practitioners. For specific Medicare regulations governing the Rural Health Clinic programs please see the Rural Health Clinics - Rules and Guidelines – compiled by the National Association of Rural Health Clinics.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes a listing of Certified Rural Health Clinics by state and county.
For policy and advocacy issues
Bill Finerfrock, National Association of Rural Health Clinics
For technical, policy, and operational assistance
on rural health issues including CMS
CMS Regional Office Rural Health Coordinators
For survey, certification and licensure
CMS State Survey Agency Directory
For independent RHC reimbursement
CMS Provider Compliance Group Interactive Map
provides a directory of state-specific CMS contractors' toll-free telephone numbers and websites.
There are more organizations related to Rural Health Clinics in the organizations section.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Rural Health Clinic and what are the benefits?
- Will RHC certification guarantee a better financial return?
- Does a clinic have to be public or non-profit to be an RHC?
- What is the difference between a provider-based RHC and an independent RHC?
- Are there location requirements for RHCs?
- If a location loses its shortage designation, is it possible to remain a Rural Health Clinic?
- Do I need a separate building to have an RHC?
- Are there special staffing requirements for RHCs?
- Are there Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) requirements for RHCs?
- How does Medicare reimburse RHCs?
- How do states reimburse RHCs for Medicaid?
- Where are existing RHCs located?
- How do I get certified as an RHC?
- What other options are there for providing primary care in rural areas?