The Primary Care Office (PCO) offers technical assistance to organizations considering RHC certification and those currently certified.
A Rural Health Clinic (RHC) is a clinic certified to receive both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Medicare visits are reimbursed based on allowable costs and Medicaid visits are reimbursed under the cost-based method. However, the overall purpose of the RHC program is to improve access to primary care in underserved rural areas.
To qualify as a RHC, a clinic must be located in:
- A non-urbanized area, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, and in an area with one of the following current designations:
- Medically Underserved Area;
- Geographic or population-based Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA); or
- Governor-designated and Secretary-certified shortage area.
The United States Census Bureau defines
- All territory, population, and housing units in urban areas
- A cluster of one or more block groups or census blocks, each of which has a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile at the time
- Surrounding block groups and census blocks, each of which has a population density of at least 500 people per square mile at the time
- Less densely settled blocks that form enclaves or indentations, or are used to connect discontiguous areas with qualifying densities
- All territory, population, and housing units not classified as urban
- Not classified by the US Census Bureau
Urban areas can be inside or outside of metropolitan areas. Geographic areas such as counties and places can contain urban areas, rural areas, or both. For more information on urban and rural areas, please visit the urban and rural classification page.
Your PCO contact is: