Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

Statewide Initiatives

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Rural Health Clinics


The new " How To Establish A Rural Health Clinic In Louisiana, 2012 Manual" is now available by clicking here.

About Rural Health Clinics


Additional Links


Certifying An Area For RHC Eligibility

To have an area certified for Rural Health Clinic eligibility, contact:  Tracie Ingram, Phone: (225) 342-1889, Fax: (225) 342-5839.

The Rural Health Clinic Licensing Packet includes:  instructions, licensing information, application, federal requirements and federal forms.  Send $25 to:  DHH Health Standards Section, P.O. Box 3765, Baton Rouge, LA 70821

About 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.


Basic Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be located in a rural area. Rural is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as "an area that is not an urbanized";
  • Must be certified by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; and
  • An urbanized area is defined by one of two methods: It comprises one or more places (a central place) and the adjacent, densely settled surrounding territory, or the urban fringe that together has a minimum of 50,000 persons is the urbanized area.

 The RHC Must Meet One of the Following Definitions

  • Located in Census designated places of 2,500 or more persons which are incorporated as cities, villages, boroughs (except in Alaska and New York), or towns (except in New England, New York and Wisconsin), but excluding the rural portions of extended cities; or
  •  Located in other territories, incorporated or unincorporated, included in an urbanized area;
  • Located in either a medically underserved area/population (MUA/MUP), health professional shortage area (HPSA) or governor designated area;
  • Must employ a mid-level practitioner (MLP) at least 50% of the time the practice is open;
  • May be either for profit or non-profit; public or private; and
  • A board of directors is not required.

Scope of Services

  • Primary care services delivered by both physicians and MLPs;
  • May be any primary care practice (FP, PED, OB/GYN, IM);
  • First response emergency care required;
  • X-ray services required through arrangement;
  • Must have arrangements with other Medicare/Medicaid providers for inpatient/specialty care;
  • Physicians must be licensed by the State;
  • Hospital services must be available to patients;
  • Required to provide the following minimum lab services on site:
    1. Chemical examination of urine by stick or tablet;
    2. Exam stool specimens for occult blood;
    3. Primary cultures for transmittal to a certified lab;
    4. Hemoglobin or hematocrit;
    5. Blood sugar/glucose testing; and
    6. Pregnancy tests.

Other Lab Services Required Through Arrangements:

  • Primary care for all lifecycle;
  • Transportation;
  • Preventive dental;
  • Specific hours of operation;
  • Case management;
  • After hour coverage;
  • Preventive health;
  • Sliding-fee scale; and
  • Pharmacy.




For more information, contact:

Tracie Ingram

State Rural Health Officer

Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Public Health

Physical Address:  628 North 4th Street, 8th Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Mailing Address:     P.O. Box 3118, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3118
Phone:  (225) 342-1889

Fax:        (225) 342-5839




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