Goto Section: 54.622 | 54.624 | Table of Contents

FCC 54.623
Revised as of January 17, 2020
Goto Year:2019 | 2021
  § 54.623   Funding requests.

   (a) Once a service provider is selected, applicants must submit a
   Request for Funding (and supporting documentation) to provide
   information about the services, equipment, or facilities selected;
   rates, service provider(s); and date(s) of service provider selection,
   as applicable.

   (1) Certifications. The applicant must provide the following
   certifications as part of its Request for Funding:

   (i) The person signing the application is authorized to submit the
   application on behalf of the health care provider or consortium.

   (ii) The applicant has examined the form and all attachments, and to
   the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief, all
   statements of fact contained in this section are true.

   (iii) The health care provider or consortium has considered all bids
   received and selected the most cost-effective method of providing the
   requested services.

   (iv) All Rural Health Care Program support will be used only for
   eligible health care purposes.

   (v) The health care provider or consortium is not requesting support
   for the same service from both the Telecommunications Program and the
   Healthcare Connect Fund Program.

   (vi) The health care provider or consortium and/or its consultant, if
   applicable, has not solicited or accepted a gift or any other thing of
   value from a service provider participating in or seeking to
   participate in the Rural Health Care Program.

   (vii) The applicant satisfies all of the requirements under section 254
   of the Act and applicable Commission rules and understands that any
   letter from the Administrator that erroneously commits funds for the
   benefit of the applicant may be subject to rescission.

   (viii) The applicant has reviewed all applicable rules and requirements
   for the Rural Health Care Program and will comply with those rules and

   (ix) The applicant will retain all documentation associated with the
   applications, including all bids, contracts, scoring matrices, and
   other information associated with the competitive bidding process, and
   all billing records for services received, for a period of at least
   five years.

   (x) The consultants or third parties hired by the applicant do not have
   an ownership interest, sales commission arrangement, or other financial
   stake in the service provider chosen to provide the requested services,
   and that they have otherwise complied with the Rural Health Care
   Program rules, including the Commission's rules requiring a fair and
   open competitive bidding process.

   (xi) Additional certification for the Telecom Program. Telecom Program
   applicants must certify that the rural rate on their Request for
   Funding does not exceed the appropriate rural rate determined by the

   (2) Contracts or other documentation. All applicants must submit a
   contract or other documentation, as applicable, that clearly identifies
   the service provider(s) selected and the health care provider(s) who
   will receive the services; costs for which support is being requested;
   and the term of the service agreement(s) if applicable (i.e., if
   services are not being provided on a month-to-month basis). For
   services provided under contract, the applicant must submit a copy of
   the contract signed and dated (after the Allowable Contract Selection
   Date) by the individual health care provider or Consortium Leader. If
   the services are not being provided under contract, the applicant must
   submit a bill, service offer, letter, or similar document from the
   service provider that provides the required information.

   (3) Competitive bidding documents. Applicants must submit documentation
   to support their certifications that they have selected the most
   cost-effective option, including a copy of each bid received (winning,
   losing, and disqualified), the bid evaluation criteria, and the
   following documents (as applicable): Completed bid evaluation
   worksheets or matrices; explanation for any disqualified bids; a list
   of people who evaluated bids (along with their title/role/relationship
   to the applicant organization); memos, board minutes, or similar
   documents related to the service provider selection/award; copies of
   notices to winners; and any correspondence with service providers prior
   to and during the bidding, evaluation, and award phase of the process.
   Applicants who claim a competitive bidding exemption must submit
   relevant documentation to allow the Administrator to verify that the
   applicant is eligible for the claimed exemption.

   (4) Cost allocation for ineligible entities or components. Where
   applicable, applicants must submit a description of how costs will be
   allocated for ineligible entities or components, as well as any
   agreements that memorialize such arrangements with ineligible entities.

   (5) Additional documentation for Healthcare Connect Fund Program
   consortium applicants. A consortium applicant must also submit the

   (i) Any revisions to the network plan submitted with the Request for
   Services pursuant to § 54.622, as necessary. If not previously
   submitted, the consortium should provide a narrative description of how
   the network will be managed, including all administrative aspects of
   the network, including, but not limited to, invoicing, contractual
   matters, and network operations. If the consortium is required to
   provide a sustainability plan as set forth in the following, the
   revised budget should include the budgetary factors discussed in the
   sustainability plan requirements.

   (ii) A list of each participating health care provider and all of their
   relevant information, including eligible (and ineligible, if
   applicable) cost information.

   (iii) Evidence of a viable source for the undiscounted portion of
   supported costs.

   (iv) Sustainability plans for applicants requesting support for
   long-term capital expenses: Consortia that seek funding to construct
   and own their own facilities or obtain indefeasible right of use or
   capital lease interests are required to submit a sustainability plan
   with their funding requests demonstrating how they intend to maintain
   and operate the facilities that are supported over the relevant time
   period. Applicants may include by reference other portions of their
   applications (e.g., project management plan, budget). The
   sustainability plan must, at a minimum, address the following points:

   (A) Projected sustainability period. Indicate the sustainability
   period, which at a minimum is equal to the useful life of the funded
   facility. The consortium's budget must show projected income and
   expenses (i.e., for maintenance) for the project at the aggregate
   level, for the sustainability period.

   (B) Principal factors. Discuss each of the principal factors that were
   considered by the participant to demonstrate sustainability. This
   discussion must include all factors that show that the proposed network
   will be sustainable for the entire sustainability period. Any factor
   that will have a monetary impact on the network must be reflected in
   the applicant's budget.

   (C) Terms of membership in the network. Describe generally any
   agreements made (or to be entered into) by network members (e.g.,
   participation agreements, memoranda of understanding, usage agreements,
   or other similar agreements). The sustainability plan must also
   describe, as applicable:

   (1) Financial and time commitments made by proposed members of the

   (2) If the project includes excess bandwidth for growth of the network,
   describe how such excess bandwidth will be financed; and

   (3) If the network will include ineligible health care providers and
   other network members, describe how fees for joining and using the
   network will be assessed.

   (D) Ownership structure. Explain who will own each material element of
   the network (e.g., fiber constructed, network equipment, end user
   equipment). For purposes of this subsection, “ownership” includes an
   indefeasible right of use interest. Applicants must clearly identify
   the legal entity that will own each material element. Applicants must
   also describe any arrangements made to ensure continued use of such
   elements by the network members for the duration of the sustainability

   (E) Sources of future support. Describe other sources of future
   funding, including fees to be paid by eligible health care providers
   and/or non-eligible entities.

   (F) Management. Describe the management structure of the network for
   the duration of the sustainability period. The applicant's budget must
   describe how management costs will be funded.

   (v) Material change to sustainability plan. A consortium that is
   required to file a sustainability plan must maintain its accuracy. If
   there is a material change to a required sustainability plan that would
   impact projected income or expenses by more than 20 percent or $100,000
   from the previous submission, or if the applicant submits a funding
   request based on a new Request for Funding (i.e., a new competitively
   bid contract), the consortium is required to re-file its sustainability
   plan. In the event of a material change, the applicant must provide the
   Administrator with the revised sustainability plan no later than the
   end of the relevant quarter, clearly showing (i.e., by redlining or
   highlighting) what has changed.

   Effective Date Note: At  84 FR 54979 , Oct. 11, 2019, § 54.623 was
   revised. Sections 54.623(a)(2), (a)(3) and (a)(4) contain information
   collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective
   until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

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Goto Section: 54.622 | 54.624

Goto Year: 2019 | 2021
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