What types of services do Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) provide?

The primary objective of a Rural Health Clinic is that it provides core health care services to a rural area. These core health care services include primary health care services which are defined as the acute or chronic medical problems which would usually bring a patient to a physician's office. RHCs may also include specialty services, such as family practice, pediatric, or obstetric/gynecology, as long as the RHC can document that it is primarily in the business of delivering primary care services. In addition, RHCs are required to provide medical emergency procedures as a first response to common life threatening injuries and acute illnesses.

 

An RHC is required to provide the following minimum lab services on site:

 

  • Chemical examination of urine by stick or table

  • Hemoglobin or hematocrit

  • Blood sugar

  • Examination of stool specimens for occult blood

  • Pregnancy tests

  • Primary cultures for transmittal to a certified test

  • To perform additional laboratory tests on site, the RHC must comply with the CLIA requirements in relation to those tests.

 

While RHCs are not required by law, they may also offer the following services: pharmacy; preventative health; preventative dental; dental screening for children; transportation; case management; and after hours care.

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