Jack Plagge, Manager
Hospital & Outpatient Services Unit
Bureau of Health Facility Regulation
2727 Mahan Drive, Mail Stop #31
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Telephone: (850) 412-4549
Florida Relay Service (TDD): (800) 955-8771
Fax: (850) 488-5897
Rural health clinics (RHC) is a Medicare certification program designed to increase access to quality care for rural residents by utilizing nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) under the medical direction of a physician. The clinic must be located in a non-urbanized and designated or certified shortage area. RHCs must employ a NP or PA, and have a NP, PA, or Certified Nurse-Midwife working at the clinic at least 50% of its operating hours. Additional requirements can be found below under Regulations/Guidance.
There are two types of rural health clinics. The independent rural health clinic is a freestanding practice that is not part of a hospital, skilled nursing facility or home health agency. The provider based rural health clinic is an integral and subordinate part of a hospital, skilled nursing facility or home health agency.
Application for Medicare certification includes submission of a completed application, required documentation, and successful completion of a survey. Some rural health clinics may require licensure or exemption from licensure as a "health care clinic". Additional information regarding health care clinics can be obtained from the Agency's Health
Care Clinics webpage.
Unless required by the "Health Care Clinic Act", there are no state licensing requirements imposed by the Agency.
Rural Health Clinics that are provider-based must answer all questions and submit the Assurance of Compliance online to the Office of Civil Rights. Rural Health Clinics that are not provider-based are not subject to civil rights clearance. Click here for more information on Civil Rights Requirements.
Rural health clinics accredited by an accrediting organization approved by CMS may be exempt from initial and recertification inspections by the Agency for Health Care Administration. A copy of the accreditation award letter and the complete accreditation report, including any corrective actions must be submitted to the Agency for review. If the accrediting organization does not include it in the award letter verification of Medicare deemed status must also be submitted.