In order to receive (and maintain) grant money as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), community health centers (CHC) must meet 19 Program Requirements. PR #1 requires health centers to document an assessment of the needs of the target population. For health organizations considering becoming an FQHC or FQHC Look-alike, one of the first steps is completing a needs assessment. Unlike the community health assessments frequently done by local hospitals and public health jurisdictions, a health center needs assessment must address a specific set of questions. These same questions are addressed in the Service Area Competition (SAC) and New Access Point (NAP) grants.
The Service Area Competition (SAC) program is a funding opportunity that provides three-year grants to operate one or more Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). FQHCs must submit applications for a SAC grant when the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issues a SAC NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity).
There is a list of 19 Health Center Program Requirements (PRs) that a community health center (CHC) must
meet during an Operational Site Visit (OSV). The purpose of an OSV is to verify compliance with the requirements. Two of the requirements that cause trouble for many health centers is PR #2 Required & Additional Services and PR #16 Scope of Project both of which involve services you provide through contract or formal written referral agreements. Annually you should schedule a time to look over and update your contracts to ensure that they meet program requirements.