Rural Health Clinics
The Rural Health Clinics Act was passed by Congress in 1977 and implemented in 1978. The federal government developed Rural Health Clinics (RHC) to encourage and stabilize the provision of outpatient primary care in rural areas through cost-based reimbursement provided by physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives. RHC regulations distinguish between two types of Rural Health Clinics: independent and provider-based. The independent RHC is a freestanding practice that is not part of a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or home health agency. The provider-based RHC is an integral and subordinate part of a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or home health agency.