What is a Rural Health Clinic (RHC)?
The objective of the Rural Health Clinics Program is to meet the needs of Medicare and Medicaid recipients in underserved areas of rural America. Since its inception, the RHC Program has thrived in Missouri where Rural Health Clinics have become an integral part of the Rural Health Care delivery system.
Technically, a Rural Health Clinic is a clinic certified by both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state to receive special Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement in return for providing services in underserved rural areas. RHCs are required to use a team approach of physicians and midlevel practitioners (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives) to provide services. The clinic must be staffed at least 50% of the time with a midlevel practitioner. RHCs may also provide other health care services, such as mental health or vision services, but reimbursement for those services may not be based on their allowable costs.