Is your Healthcare Provider Consortium looking for information about which products and services the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program essentials can include  in CT?

What is the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program?

The Healthcare Connect Fund provides support for high-capacity broadband connectivity to eligible health care providers (HCPs) and encourages the formation of state and regional broadband HCP networks.  Under the program, eligible rural HCPs, and those non-rural HCPs that are members of a consortium that has a majority rural HCP sites, can receive a 65 percent discount from the fund on all eligible expenses.  HCPs are required to contribute the remaining 35 percent to participate in the program.  HCPs can use the Healthcare Connect Fund to purchase services and equipment, as well as construct their own broadband infrastructure where it is shown to be the most cost effective option.

The purpose of the Healthcare Connect Fund is to expand HCP access to broadband services, particularly in rural areas, and to encourage the formation of state and regional broadband networks linking health care providers.

Examples of Common Products and Services Available with the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program

Below are examples of products and services that are typically eligible for support in the RHC Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program. This list and accompanying descriptions are meant to assist in your selection of eligible products and services. Inclusion on this list does not guarantee funding. Similarly, products and services not listed below may be eligible for support. USAC makes a final determination on all funding requests after a formal review of all FCC Forms 462.

* Products and services marked with an asterisk are eligible for consortia applicants only

Construction

Costs incurred by either a service provider or health care provider for the construction of new network infrastructure or
upgrades to existing infrastructure.

  •  Carrier Owned Network Special Construction*
    • Infrastructure/Plant Upgrade*
    • Network Development*
  • HCP-Owned Network Special Construction*
    • Construction Management Services*
    • Engineering*
    • Infrastructure/Plant Upgrade*
    • Inspection Services*
    • Make Ready*
    • Network Design*

Data

These connection technologies and services are part of the network infrastructure that enables transmission of data to
and from a health care provider’s site.

  • Internet2 Annual Subscription
  • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
  • Broadband over Power Lines (BPL)
  • Cable Modem Service
  • Dark Fiber
    • Recurring Charges (Lease of Fiber/Equipment; Maintenance)
    • Upfront Payments (Indefeasible Right of Use, Leases, & Equipment)*
  • Data Circuits (e.g. T-1, T-3, partial T-1; DS-1, DS-3; OC-1, OC-3, STM-1, STM-3)
  • Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)
  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
  • Ethernet
  • Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access (EDIA)
  • Frame Relay
  • Indefeasible Right Of Use
  • Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
  • Internet Access
  • Leased Lit Fiber
  • Microwave
  • Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
  • Satellite Service
  • Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS)
  • Wide Area Network (WAN)
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Equipment

Network equipment necessary to make a broadband service functional

  • Antennas/Satellite Equipment (HCP Owned)
  • Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit (CSU/DSU)
  • Computers, Servers, and Related Hardware (if used exclusively for network management)
  •  Equipment Warranties
  •  Fiber Network Transport Equipment
  •  Firewall (HCP Owned or Leased)
  •  Maintenance Contracts
  •  Multiplexer
  •  Routers (HCP Owned or Leased)
  •  Switches (HCP Owned or Leased)

Installation

Reasonable and customary installation charges for eligible equipment and services (up to $5,000 in pre-discount costs per location).

  • Installation Of Equipment
  • Installation Of Recurring Services
  •  

Network Management Services*

Services that support network operations on a one-time or continuing basis. Individual applicants are not eligible to
receive funding for network-based services as they are not considered to be a network. Managed Service Providers
(MSPs) are third party organizations that provide essential services on a limited or continuous basis.

  • Digital Data Service (DDS) (Geographic Information Systems)*
  • Firewall Service *
  •  Network Maintenance*
  •  Network Management Software*
  • Network Management System (NMS) MSP*
  •  Network Operation*
  •  Network Security MSP*
  •  Network Shared Infrastructure*
  •  Network Shared Maintenance*
  •  Professional Services*

All information is available at USAC.org.

Why your Healthcare Provider Consortium needs to be using SpectraCorp’s Healthcare Connect Fund services to help navigate the USAC Funding Program eligibility to maximize your awarded HCF subsidy amounts.

A digital divide still separates America’s Health Care Providers (HCPs) within urban and rural communities. The so-called “broadband gap” remains a significant problem for healthcare providers that rely on the internet to provide critical services to patients.

The Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) — part of the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program — aims to address these issues. The HCF provides funding to eligible healthcare providers who need the internet to improve healthcare outcomes in rural communities. However, determining such eligibility is a complicated process, and many providers are confused about whether they qualify for funding.

In this guide, discover five ways a consultant can simplify the HCF application process.

What Is the HCF?

The Healthcare Connect Fund aims to close the internet gap between urban and rural communities in the United States. As internet speeds increase in major cities, those in rural areas still experience patchy Wi-Fi connections or, in some cases, no internet services at all.

The HCF, established in 2012, provides funds to eligible healthcare providers in rural areas to invest in high-capacity broadband connectivity. The program also supports local broadband healthcare networks that provide broadband services to rural healthcare organizations. Eligible providers get a flat 65% discount on broadband services such as internet access, business data, private carriage services, dark fiber, and traditional digital service lines (DSLs).

#1. A Consultant Helps You Make Sense of the FCC’s Rules

The FCC has a long list of rules and regulations that determine eligibility for HCF. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • To enroll in the program, healthcare providers must be members of a consortium with more than 50% of provider sites located in rural areas.
  • The FCC defines a healthcare provider as a not-for-profit hospital, rural health clinic, skilled nursing facility, local health department or agency, community health center, community mental health center, teaching hospital, medical school, or postsecondary educational institution offering healthcare services.
  • A consortium of providers must comprise one or more of the categories listed above.

As you can see, determining eligibility for HCF is complicated, especially when the FCC regularly changes its acceptability criteria. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a consultant who understands the complexities of this program.

#2. A Consultant Knows How USAC Distributes HCF Funds

A reliable consultant knows how the federal government distributes HCF funds to rural healthcare providers and can increase the likelihood of securing a subsidy. These professionals monitor both the FCC and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the organization that administers HCF funds. As a result, you can reduce the chances of a rejected application and potentially receive a subsidy in a quicker time frame.

#3. A Consultant Does All the Hard Work for You

Applying for the HCF is a long and laborious process with lots of paperwork, including Form 460 — the document that tells the government of your intention to participate in the fund. You will also need to provide paperwork that proves your eligibility for funding. As a busy IT or telecom manager, you probably have hundreds of other tasks you need to complete without the additional burden of applying for federal funds.

A consultant can do all this hard work for you, so you can get back to doing what you do best.

#4. A Consultant Can Apply for Funds Every Year

The FCC requires rural healthcare providers to reapply for HCF funds every year, which can add further administrative responsibilities to your workload. If you filled out Form 460, provided evidence of eligibility, and completed all the other required paperwork, you need to do the whole thing again in 12 months.

Establishing a long-term relationship with a consultant will free up your time when reapplying for HCF funding in the future. You can focus on other critical business tasks and leave HCF applications to the professionals.

#5. A Consultant Can Help You Secure Other Government Funding

It’s not just the HCF. Organizations like yours could be eligible for other federal or state funding. The Telecommunications Program, also part of the FCC Rural Health Care Program, is another initiative available to rural healthcare providers. This program allows providers to access broadband telecommunications and voice services for telehealth and telemedicine at reduced rates. The FCC discounts the difference in cost between rural and urban broadband services in your state.

An HCF consultant can help you apply for the Telecommunications Program and other initiatives.

Before You Go

The HCF provides a financial lifeline to many rural healthcare providers who want to invest in broadband internet services but lack the funds or resources to do so. However, USAC’s HCF funding eligibility can be complex, leaving many providers confused and unable to access the funds they deserve. That’s why you should work with a consultant that can apply for funding on your behalf and increase your chances of acceptability.

This is where SpectraCorp’s HCF’s funding services for your Healthcare Provider Consortium can help.

As FCC Healthcare Connect Fund advisors, SpectraCorp has mastered the complexity of the HCF program and has made navigating the process easier to receive funding for data services, internet services, telehealth, hardware, and consulting services.

With $800m available, SpectraCorp has helped over 4000 thousand Healthcare Provider locations – from some of the top non-profit hospital systems in the U.S. – receive millions of dollars of FCC subsidies annually for broadband connectivity services.

SpectraCorp assists individual Healthcare Provider Consortiums nationwide save 65% on broadband services.

SpectraCorp is a Vizient Awarded Supplier chosen to deliver service excellence and bring enhanced value and increased savings.

WHY WORK WITH US?

With no upfront fees, SpectraCorp’s focus is to assist HCPs secure eligible subsidies to offset the costs of data & internet circuits, telehealth, and more.

Are you looking for FCC Healthcare Connect Fund consultant services? Call SpectraCorp at 800.375.7945 now.