On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice (“Notice”) providing guidance on the implementation schedule for the Rural Health Care program reforms adopted in the August 2019 Telehealth Report and Order (“R&O”) (WC Docket No. 17-310).

As a reminder, the Telehealth R&O became effective on November 12, 2019. The Notice provides a detailed implementation schedule and the associated obligations for each of the following periods: Funding Year (“FY”) 2020 Competitive Bidding, beginning January 1, 2020; Opening of FY 2020 Application Window, beginning Feb. 1, 2020; Start of FY 2020, beginning July 1, 2020; FY 2021 Competitive Bidding, beginning July 1, 2020; Opening of FY 2021 Application Window; and the Start of FY 2021, beginning July 1, 2021.

The Notice also notes that certain reform rule changes were anticipated to take effect in 2020, but require additional time to obtain OMB approval and will therefore go into effect in FY 2021. We encourage interested parties to review this Notice carefully.

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