Rural Health Clinics

As defined by Code of Federal Regulations Section 491.2 and as outlined on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services webpage for Rural Health Clinics, a Rural Health Clinic is a clinic that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is located in a rural area designated as a shortage area.
  • Is not a rehabilitation agency or a facility primarily for the care and treatment of mental diseases, and
  • Meets all applicable requirements of CFR Title 42 Parts 491 and 405.

RHCs are not state licensed. RHCs may be accredited, certified to participate in the federal Medicare Program, or both.

Provider Certification

The Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services directs state health agencies or other appropriate agencies to determine if health care entities meet federal standards. This helping function is termed "provider certification." Health Care Regulation staff are responsible for providing certification oversight on behalf of CMS for RHCs.

For more information on the certification process, refer to the CMS Information page, or contact your regional office (PDF).