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In 1977, Congress passed the Rural Health Clinic Services Act. The legislation had two main goals: improve access to primary health care in rural, underserved communities; and promote a collaborative model of health care delivery using physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. In subsequent legislation, Congress added nurse midwives to the core set of primary care professionals and included mental health services provided by psychologists and clinical social workers as part of the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) benefit. The law authorizes special Medicare and Medicaid payment mechanisms for rural health clinics and uses these special payment mechanisms as the principal incentive for becoming a Federally-certified Improving access to primary care services in Rural Health Clinic.

The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health has educational workshops and additional resources found below to assist RHCs.


CMS Rural Health Clinics Home Page

This site provides RHC updates on policy changes, rules and regulations, billing and reimbursement, enrollment/certification, and other information.

National Association of Rural Health Clinics

The National Association of Rural Health Clinics is RHCs’ national trade association. The website features regular updates on reimbursement, events, resources, funding/grant opportunities, policy changes, links to other valuable resources, and there is a member portal.


National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network – A network of rural stakeholder who support rural organizations in the recruitment and retention of physicians and other health professionals.

Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) formerly Rural Assistance Center

The RHIhub is a national health and human services information portal. It includes tools, resources, research and other searchable information including grant opportunities.

RHC News Listserve

Operated by NARHC, the news listserve is a healthcare blog, where participants are appraised of news and where participants can pose rural health clinic questions. All participants can answer questions, so a NARHC administration monitors the site, assuring incorrect information is not being disseminated. To sign up contact

RHC Technical Assistance Calls Listserve

The Technical Assistance listserve is a training site operated by NARHC, where participants are notified of upcoming webinars such as, ICD-10, updates on the RHC Manual, and quality improvement. To sign up contact

Rural Health Clinic Technical Assistance Series

Approximately five calls are held each year to provide RHCs with information on operational and policy issues specific to RHCs. The series is conducted in coordination with NARHC and are recorded and made available on this website. Past series have featured: ICD-10, RHC manual updates, Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant Program, Civil Rights, Compliance Programs, and others.

Rural Health Research Gateway

This site provides links to research centers that conduct research related to rural health clinics.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Rural Health Clinics Center

This site provides Wisconsin specific information and resources about RHCs, including a complete list of RHCs in the state.

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