Goto Section: 54.622 | 54.624 | Table of Contents
Revised as of January 17, 2020
Goto Year:2019 |
§ 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,
(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
(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
(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
(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 |
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