(a) In general
The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (established under section 912 of this title), shall make grants to each State Office of Rural Health for the purpose of improving health care in rural areas.

(b) Requirement of matching funds

(1) In general
Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may not make a grant under subsection (a) unless the State office of rural health involved agrees, with respect to the costs to be incurred in carrying out the purpose described in such subsection, to provide non-Federal contributions toward such costs in an amount equal to $3 for each $1 of Federal funds provided in the grant.

(2) Waiver or reduction
The Secretary may waive or reduce the non-Federal contribution if the Secretary determines that requiring matching funds would limit the State office of rural health's ability to carry out the purpose described in subsection (a).

(3) Determination of amount of non-Federal contribution
Non-Federal contributions required in paragraph (1) may be in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including plant, equipment, or services. Amounts provided by the Federal Government, or services assisted or subsidized to any significant extent by the Federal Government, may not be included in determining the amount of such non-Federal contributions.

(c) Certain required activities
Recipients of a grant under subsection (a) shall use the grant funds for purposes of—

(1) maintaining within the State office of rural health a clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating information on—

(A) rural health care issues;

(B) research findings relating to rural health care; and

(C) innovative approaches to the delivery of health care in rural areas;

(2) coordinating the activities carried out in the State that relate to rural health care, including providing coordination for the purpose of avoiding redundancy in such activities; and

(3) identifying Federal and State programs regarding rural health, and providing technical assistance to public and nonprofit private entities regarding participation in such programs.

(d) Requirement regarding annual budget for office
The Secretary may not make a grant under subsection (a) unless the State involved agrees that, for any fiscal year for which the State office of rural health receives such a grant, the office operated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section will be provided with an annual budget of not less than $150,000.

(e) Certain uses of funds

(1) Restrictions
The Secretary may not make a grant under subsection (a) unless the State office of rural health involved agrees that the grant will not be expended—

(A) to provide health care (including providing cash payments regarding such care);

(B) to conduct activities for which Federal funds are expended—

(i) within the State to provide technical and other nonfinancial assistance under section 254c(f) of this title;

(ii) under a memorandum of agreement entered into with the State office of rural health under section 254c(h) of this title; or

(iii) under a grant under section 254q–1 of this title;

(C) to purchase medical equipment, to purchase ambulances, aircraft, or other vehicles, or to purchase major communications equipment;

(D) to purchase or improve real property; or

(E) to carry out any activity regarding a certificate of need.

(2) Authorities
Activities for which a State office of rural health may expend a grant under subsection (a) include—

(A) paying the costs of maintaining an office of rural health for purposes of subsection (a);

(B) subject to paragraph (1)(B)(iii), paying the costs of any activity carried out with respect to recruiting and retaining health professionals to serve in rural areas of the State; and

(C) providing grants and contracts to public and nonprofit private entities to carry out activities authorized in this section.

(3) Limit on indirect costs
The Secretary may impose a limit of no more than 15 percent on indirect costs claimed by the recipient of the grant.

(f) Reports
The Secretary may not make a grant under subsection (a) unless the State office of rural health involved agrees—

(1) to submit to the Secretary reports or performance data containing such information as the Secretary may require regarding activities carried out under this section; and

(2) to submit such a report or performance data not later than September 30 of each fiscal year immediately following any fiscal year for which the State office of rural health has received such a grant.

(g) Requirement of application
The Secretary may not make a grant under subsection (a) unless an application for the grant is submitted to the Secretary and the application is in such form, is made in such manner, and contains such agreements, assurances, and information as the Secretary determines to be necessary to carry out such subsection.

(h) Noncompliance
The Secretary may not make payments under subsection (a) to a State office of rural health for any fiscal year subsequent to the first fiscal year of such payments unless the Secretary determines that, for the immediately preceding fiscal year, the State office of rural health has complied with each of the agreements made by the State office of rural health under this section.

(i) Authorization of appropriations

(1) In general
For the purpose of making grants under subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated $12,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2022.

(2) Availability
Amounts appropriated under paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 254r, act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, §338I, formerly title VII, §757, as added Aug. 1, 1977, Pub. L. 95–83, title III, §307(n)(1), 91 Stat. 392; amended Dec. 17, 1980, Pub. L. 96–537, §3(d), 94 Stat. 3174; renumbered §338G, Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XXVII, §2709(a), 95 Stat. 908; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–551, §3, 98 Stat. 2817; renumbered §338I, Dec. 1, 1987, Pub. L. 100–177, title II, §201(1), 101 Stat. 992; Nov. 4, 1988, Pub. L. 100–607, title VI, §629(a)(3), 102 Stat. 3146, which related to Indian Health Scholarships and was classified to section 294y–1 of this title prior to renumbering by Pub. L. 97–35, was repealed by Pub. L. 100–713, title I, §104(b)(1), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4787. For provisions continuing scholarships provided on or before Nov. 23, 1988, see section 104(b)(2) of Pub. L. 100–713.

A prior section 338J of act July 1, 1944, was renumbered section 338K by Pub. L. 101–597 and is classified to section 254s of this title.


2018—Pub. L. 115–408 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to grants to States for operation of offices of rural health.

1998—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 105–392, §301(1), struck out "in cash" after "contributions" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (j)(1). Pub. L. 105–392, §301(2), struck out "and" after "1992," and inserted before period at end ", and such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 1998 through 2002".

Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 105–392, §301(3), substituted "$36,000,000" for "$10,000,000".

Communications for Rural Health Providers

Pub. L. 102–538, title I, §154, formerly §134, Oct. 27, 1992, 106 Stat. 3541, renumbered §154 by Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6001(a)(2), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 379, directed Secretary of Commerce, in conjunction with Secretary of Health and Human Services, to establish an advisory panel to develop recommendations for the improvement of rural health care through the collection of information needed by providers and the improvement in the use of communications to disseminate such information and, not later than 1 year after establishment of Panel to prepare and submit to Congress a report summarizing the recommendations made by the Panel.

Similar provisions were contained in Pub. L. 101–555, §3, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2760.

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