How To Determine if Your Site is “Rural”

The Federal Medicare law requires the Medicare beneficiary to be located in a “rural” area.

The Medicare beneficiary must resides in, or utilizes the telemedicine system in

  • federally designated rural Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA;
  • a county  that is not included in a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA);
  • or from an entity that participates in a   federal telemedicine demonstration project  that has been approved  by  (or  receives  funding from)  the  Secretary of  Health  and  Human Services as of December 31, 2000.

CMS has provided regulatory definition of “rural HPSA” for purposes of determining eligibility for Medicare telehealth originating sites to include HPSAs located in rural census tracts, consistent with the Office of Rural Health Policy/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

HRSA has developed a tool that will help providers determine geographic eligibility for Medicare telehealth services. This locator checks both the HPSA and MSA designations.

To determine eligibility for this requirement, click here to check to check your site’s eligibility through The HRSA Medicare Telehealth Payment Eligibility Analyzer.