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What is the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC)?

The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to improving the delivery of quality, cost-effective health care in rural underserved areas through the Rural Health Clinics Program (RHC Program). NARHC works with Congress, federal agencies, and rural health allies to promote, expand, and protect the interests of clinics in the RHC Program. Through the association, NARHC members become actively engaged in the legislative and regulatory process. What is a Rural Health Clinic?

The Rural Health Clinics Program (RHC Program) was developed in response to the unmet needs of Medicare and Medicaid recipients in underserved areas of rural America. In the RHC Program, the federal government crafted a plan to encourage physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physicians to practice together in rural areas. Today, rural health clinics are an integral part of the health care delivery systems, with over 3000 federally certified rural health clinics providing primary care services for over 7 million people in 47 states. NARHC was developed to serve as an important advocate for the policy needs of rural health clinics.

 

Why is NARHC so Important for You?

NARHC is a vital link between health clinics and federal legislators and regulators as it brings the “real world” experience of rural health clinic practice to policy making and policy makers:

  • NARHC is unique. There are groups representing rural hospitals, community health centers, and individual practitioners, but no other organization has the proven track record or the specific commitment to the Rural Health Clinics program as NARHC.
  • NARHC is responsive. With NARHC’s unique and specific focus on the Rural Health Clinics Program, it targets and meets its membership’s policy and informational needs, such as current clinic certification guidelines and resources.
  • NARHC is respected. NARHC is widely respected and recognized by the federal government, national media, and the rural health community as a leading force in rural health clinic policy. In fact, NARHC is often consulted by the federal government to conduct research and analyze policy affecting rural health clinics.

How Will NARHC Help Your Practice?

In recent years, NARHC has put a stop to misguided, budget-cutting strategies which would have ignored the unique needs and dynamics of underserved, rural populations in America and the clinics that serve them. NARHC continues to advocate on your behalf to help eliminate rigid rules that would result in barriers to RHC certification, and on dozens of other issues of interest to rural health clinics. NARHC’s presence in Washington helps you keep a finger on the pulse of crucial policy activity. Without you, rural health clinic policy will be made without the benefit of your knowledge and experience—by Washington insiders who don’t understand the important services you provide.

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