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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Health Care Program – Healthcare Connect Fund


Applications are not being accepted at this time and will be accepted when the next filing window opens. See the application process section below for additional information.

Federal Communications Commission, Universal Service Administrative Company
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

The Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program is a component program of the FCC's Rural Health Care Program. It provides funding to eligible healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to advanced telecommunications and information services necessary for the provision of healthcare. An eligible healthcare provider can apply individually or through a consortium.

Examples of eligible products and services include broadband services, network equipment, and HCP-constructed and owned network facilities.


A healthcare provider must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  1. Must fall under one of the healthcare provider categories listed below:
    • Post-secondary educational institutions offering healthcare instruction, including teaching hospitals and medical schools
    • Community health centers and health centers providing healthcare to migrants
    • Local health departments and agencies
    • Community mental health centers
    • Nonprofit hospitals
    • Rural health clinics
    • Dedicated emergency departments in rural for-profit hospitals
    • Skilled nursing facilities
    • A consortium of healthcare providers consisting of one or more entities described above
  2. Must be a public or nonprofit entity
  3. Must be located in a rural area if applying as an individual healthcare provider. A healthcare provider located in a non-rural area may apply only if it participates in a majority-rural consortium
Geographic coverage
Amount of funding

The HCF Program provides eligible healthcare providers a flat 65% discount on eligible advanced telecommunications and information services.

Application process

Applications are not being accepted at this time and will be accepted when the next filing window opens. The most recent filing window opened December 1, 2023 and closed on May 1, 2024. Watch the upcoming dates page for deadlines. Typically, the filing window opens in December and closes the following April.

Upcoming webinars and webinar recordings

To apply, follow the step-by-step process below. Consult the program website for additional details.

  1. Determine eligibility using FCC Form 460.
  2. Request services using the competitive bidding process by completing the FCC Form 461 and posting it to USAC's website for a minimum of 28 days.
  3. Evaluate bids received and select the most cost-effective service provider.
  4. Submit funding request by filing FCC Form 462 through the online application system (My Portal) by the deadline.
  5. Review the funding commitment letter from USAC.
  6. Initiate the invoicing process by submitting FCC Form 463 to service provider for review and submission to USAC.

To learn more about the program, visit the Rural Health Care assistance page.

Tagged as
Broadband · Clinics · Critical Access Hospitals · Federally Qualified Health Centers · Health information technology · Healthcare facilities · Hospitals · Rural Health Clinics · Sole Community Hospitals · Telehealth

Organizations (2)

For complete information about funding programs, including your application status, please contact funders directly. Summaries are provided for your convenience only. RHIhub does not take part in application processes or monitor application status.