A Health Center Program Grantee is a community health center (CHC) that receives grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care, under the Health Center Program. In order to become a grantee, CHCs must submit a successful grant application. Applications must include “letters of support” from other health care providers and potential community partners. Specifically, CHCs must have letters of support from other Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), FQHC Look-alikes, critical access hospitals, and local and state public health jurisdictions located in the area they serve. CHCs serving special populations (migrant seasonal agricultural workers, people who are homeless and residents of public housing) must have letters from organizations that also serve those populations.
In order for a Community Health Center to become a FQHC Look-alike, the organization must first apply for and be designated nonprofit 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This is not a requirement of the Bureau of Primary Health Care; it is a Medicare requirement. In order to complete an application for Medicare reimbursements, Medicare mandates all nonprofit organizations show proof of 501(c)(3) status.