Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) offers the Universal Service Fund, targeted at connecting people across the U.S. to the information they need.
One of the major beneficiaries of this funding is rural healthcare facilities. USAC funding aims to bring world-class healthcare facilities to rural areas by helping organizations get access to broadband and telecommunications services.
The increased connectivity, in turn, facilitates ease of access to helpful information that is especially critical in improving healthcare services.
So, what does the USAC funding provide, and how can your rural healthcare organization apply for it?
How to Apply for USAC Rural Healthcare Funding
USAC’s rural healthcare program majorly funds two types of services:
- Voice: Through the Telecommunications Program of USAC, your healthcare organization could be eligible to receive funding for implementing voice and other telecommunication services. The discount rate that you can get here would be determined by the urban/rural differential.
- Broadband: USAC has the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program that can provide funding to your healthcare organization for network services, broadband connection, equipment, and more. The discount rate here is a flat 65% on the total eligible expenses.
That said, you can either opt for one or both of the above options depending on your requirements. Here’s the process you can follow to apply for the funding. Alternatively, you can leverage our USAC funding services, and we’ll take care of everything.
1. Determine Your Eligibility
Start with finding out if your healthcare organization is eligible for USAC funding in the first place. Check out your eligibility here.
2. Develop Evaluation Criteria for Service Providers and submit an RFP
Next, come up with a method to evaluate prospective voice services and broadband providers. Some of the aspects you can consider include:
- Service and Support: Evaluate the features provided by the voice service or broadband providers and determine if they suit your needs. For instance, check if they provide the entire spectrum of services from cloud to voice and data. Additionally, analyze their customer service to see if it’s up to the mark.
- Security and Reliability: Network security is of paramount importance when you’re dealing with healthcare. Added security would help prevent denial of service attacks and keep the critical communications lines on. Also, service reliability is important to ensure that you have minimal downtime.
- Scalability: The service provider’s solution should be flexible and scalable enough to handle future growth. That’s where the technology they use comes into the picture. You should thoroughly evaluate it to understand if it’s worth engaging their services.
Once you have your bid evaluation criteria finalized, you can submit a request for proposal (RFP) to USAC for your eligible services, and service providers can bid on it.
3. Evaluate Bids
Once you’ve received the bids from various service providers, you should analyze them based on the criteria you’ve decided. Based on that, you can select a provider. Make sure the bidder you choose is also the most cost-effective one.
4. Submit a Funding Request
Next, submit a funding request to USAC for broadband or voice services.
5. Invoice USAC
Invoice USAC to receive the approved funding. Your service provider will approve the invoicing form, and receive the credit to apply to your account.
Get USAC Funding With Proper Connections
The process of getting USAC funding can be confusing, and the rules are ever changing, so it always helps to have experienced partners in the process. When you work with Proper Connections, we’ll help you create a powerful technology strategy for your healthcare organization.
With years of experience in the field, we can help you through the entire process of getting USAC funding – be it for voice services or broadband. So, get in touch with us today to request a quote.