Health Centers are required to have a board with at least nine and no more than 25 members with a patient majority of at least 51 percent. The patient members must be a reasonable representation of the people who seek and receive health services at the clinic in terms of the demographic attributes identified in the health center’s Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting. Non-patient board members must be representative of the community in which the health center is located; this can be met with individuals who live, work or have some other type of identifiable connection to the community.
Board members of Health Center Program participants play a big role in the success of the health center by providing leadership and oversight to ensure that underserved community members have access to health care services. Challenges and opportunities are addressed while meeting the HRSA health center program requirements for health centers. One of the ways that board members meet HRSA requirements is by approving board policies that demonstrate compliance with the health center program.
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.
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.
Health center program grantees and health center look-alikes are supposed to receive routine operational site visits (OSVs) conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) every three years. The main purpose of the OSV is to verify the status of each health center program participant’s compliance with the 19 Health Center Program Requirements (PRs).
Most health centers delay preparing for the site visit until they receive a notice about a pending OSV, putting them at risk for findings of noncompliance which can threaten their funding. Why not make 2017 the year you get proactive about program compliance and build a work plan for your board that ensures your ability to demonstrate compliance?
The calendar below provides a road map for demonstrating program compliance. In addition to complying with all 19 PRs, documenting these activities in your board meeting minutes is a fail safe way to demonstrate compliance with “PR #17 Board Authority”.
A change in scope for health care centers is a mini-application that health care centers must use when they are adding a new target population, adding a new service or service delivery site, or deleting a service or service delivery site.
Revised process for change in scope for health care centers
Many hospital administrators and medical facility executives devote countless hours sorting through grant opportunities. Some opportunities are worth pursuing – such as the FQHC New Access Point grant – while others might not be the right fit.
Who can apply for Access Point Funding and how do I know if I should apply for a FQHC New Access Point Grant?
In order to ensure that each patient gets the best medical services, clinics have to stay competitive with the latest medical equipment and products; all of these requirements take a lot of resources. The clinic’s success and the well- being of their patients and the community they serve, is dependent upon the stability of their finances. For this reason, clinics should consider HRSA grants funding.
There is plenty to know when you take on a project such as writing a Federal Government grant for a community health center. Looking for information can be overwhelming and many of the sources that are available for federal grant writing almost seem to be written in a foreign language!