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 facility for mental diseases.
- Meets all applicable requirements of Code of Federal Regulations Title 42 Part 491, Subpart A.
RHCs are not state licensed. RHCs may be accredited, certified to participate in the federal Medicare Program, or both.
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 Facility Compliance staff are responsible for providing certification oversight on behalf of CMS for RHCs.
For more information on the certification process, refer to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Information page, or contact your regional office (PDF).