ARE WE AN ELIGIBLE ENTITY FOR DESIGNATION?
Organizations applying for funding or designation under the Health Center Program must demonstrate that they are eligible organizations under the Health Center Program statute and regulations. Specifically, to achieve designation you must be a private non-profit or public agency entity. Native American tribal organizations, including those defined under the Indian Self- Determination Act or the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, are also eligible to apply for Health Center Program funding or designation. Remember, you can either go for designation as a program grantee or designation as a program look-alike. If you need a refresher on the differences, click here. Should you pursue look-alike designation, you must also be fully operational and delivering services in compliance with program requirements and you cannot be owned, controlled, or operated by another entity. For more information on eligibility, click here.
Any questions regarding your eligibility? Contact us. We're happy to help.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO BECOME DESIGNATED AS A FQHC?
If you're an eligible entity and you're currently delivering services, the best thing to do is to function in compliance with HRSA's program requirements. You will save yourself a lot of grief if you can prove you function according to the rules and regulations prior to filing a successful application and prior to HRSA sending out representatives to your sites for verification. Familiarize yourself with the health center program requirements. Align your policies and procedures with the required language, inform your Board of the responsibilities of becoming an FQHC, and ensure your financial and clinical staff understand the policies and programs required to monitor quality and performance.
If you need assistance with policy review/revision, Board training, or FQHC eligibility development, contact us. We can help!
If you are a non-profit without a clinic, organized for the purpose of creating a community health center, you are still eligible to apply. However, you cannot apply for FQHC Look-Alike designation, as they require you to already be delivering services. Of course you want those grant dollars to help you set up, so you need to keep an eye out for New Access Point (NAP) grant funding opportunities. Being that this funding is congressionally appropriated, it is released from time-to-time, and as of February 2018, there are zero active NAP funding opportunities.
HOW DO WE APPLY FOR DESIGNATION?
Remember, there are TWO paths to the health center program for eligible public and nonprofit private entities, via successful application and designation as a: FQHC Grantee or FQHC Look-Alike. To become designated as either, you must comply with all health center program requirements and related Federal and State requirements prior to application for designation. Honestly, we can't stress this enough. Read more about the application process below:
Note: You must search this site for active NAP funding opportunities.
Organizations must apply for Health Center Program New Access Point (NAP) grant funding only when it's available per an active funding announcement. HRSA assesses applications for eligibility and reviews them through an objective process. All applicants receive written notification of the result of their application review, including a summary of strengths and weaknesses. Applicants selected for funding will receive a separate Notice of Award (NoA), the legal document issued to notify the recipient that an award has been made.
- New Access Point (NAP) funding provides operational support for new health care service delivery sites (i.e., new access points) that will deliver comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services. Applicants must propose at least one full-time, permanent new access point site whose main purpose is primary medical care. Applications may be submitted from organizations that do not currently receive Health Center Program funding or from existing Health Center Program award recipients to expand their network of service delivery sites to new underserved populations and service areas. NAP funding is based on Congressional appropriation, therefore it may not be available every year. For information about the most recent NAP funding opportunity, see BPHC Funding Opportunities.
- Service Area Competition (SAC) funding ensures continued access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services for communities and vulnerable populations currently served by the Health Center Program. Applications may be submitted by organizations that currently serve or propose to serve an announced service area and its associated populations. Only one award is funded for each announced service area. For information about the most recent SAC funding opportunities, see BPHC Funding Opportunities.
Organizations with Health Center Program look-alike designation do not receive Health Center Program funding, however, they are eligible for other Health Center Program benefits. They receive automatic Health Professional Shortage Area designation and may apply to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for reimbursement under FQHC Medicare and Medicaid payment methodologies. Look-alikes are eligible to purchase discounted drugs through the 340B Federal Drug Pricing Program and may access National Health Service Corps providers.
Eligible organizations may apply for look-alike designation at any time. To achieve designation, you must be open and operational, delivering services.