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CHC Consulting Maximizes Telecom Funding for Rural Healthcare Providers

Plano, TX (September 13, 2022) – The federal government recently made an additional $25 million available to assist rural and community hospitals with the escalating cost of telecom services. Are you taking advantage of these funds?

Since the mid-90s, federal funding for rural healthcare telecom services has been made available through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), an independent not-for-profit designated by the FCC. USAC funding enables qualifying rural healthcare providers or urban hospitals that serve rural areas, to reduce their net telecom costs.

USAC funding has benefited healthcare organizations in providing telehealth services and broadband patient connectivity in rural and remote areas, where many residents have little or no electronic access to hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers and services.

CHC Consulting Helps Rural Hospitals Cut Costs, Achieve Savings in Telecom Services
Community Hospital Corporation (CHC) has played an important role in helping rural healthcare providers receive funding through the program. CHC Consulting, the management and consulting arm of CHC, has worked closely with healthcare organizations in successfully navigating the program’s time-consuming and complicated application and disbursement process. Since 2012, CHC Consulting has facilitated more than $48 million in USAC funding to 500-plus healthcare providers across 41 states.

Two healthcare providers, CommonSpirit Health and Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services (RMCHCS), serve as good examples of how CHC Consulting reduces costs and identifies savings opportunities.

CommonSpirit Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit healthcare organizations, selected CHC Consulting to secure USAC funding to help defray the substantial costs of operating the health system’s broadband network and telecom services.

High telecom costs were largely due to the merger of two health systems that became CommonSpirit Health, which has more than 140 hospitals and 1,000 care sites in rural
and urban areas across 21 states. As a result of the merger, CommonSpirit saw its costs balloon in operating the combined companies’ massive network.

CommonSpirit engaged CHC Consulting to maximize USAC funding to help offset the health system’s telecom expense growth. Over a three-year period, CHC Consulting helped CommonSpirit achieve that goal. During USAC funding years 2019 to 2021, CHC Consulting’s work on CommonSpirit’s USAC funding requests helped the health system receive more than $27 million for telecom services.

For RMCHCS, their USAC grant application resulted in a total of $697,000 awarded to the hospital for funding specific to COVID-19-related telehealth services.
Of that amount, $591,256 was dispersed in July and August. The remainder of the funds is either currently pending disbursement or held in an account as CHC Consulting and the hospital together determine the best ways to use the money.

“We are pleased that the FCC has increased its program’s funding for rural healthcare providers using telecommunications services, as they are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to purchasing these services compared with their urban counterparts,” said Whittney Walker, CHC Vice President of Telecom Services. “Our unparalleled expertise and experience in the USAC funding process can greatly benefit those healthcare providers seeking assistance in procuring funds for their telecom needs, as well as identify savings in this area. Our ability to reduce costs and increase efficiency in telecommunications services has enabled rural and community hospitals to improve their bottom-line while providing the best patient care possible.”

About Community Hospital Corporation – HELP WHERE HOSPITALS NEED IT®

Community Hospital Corporation owns, manages and consults with hospitals through CHC Hospitals, CHC Consulting and CHC ContinueCARE, with the purpose to guide, support and enhance the mission of community hospitals and healthcare providers. Based in Plano, Texas, CHC provides the resources and experience community hospitals need to improve quality outcomes, patient satisfaction and financial performance. For more information about CHC, please visit http://chc.com.

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