What To Do if Your Health Center Didn’t Receive New Access Point Grant Funding

With the goal of increasing access and expanding health care services to citizens in under served areas, the New Access Point grantDepartment of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded more than $50 million in New Access Point grant funding to 75 community-based and patient-directed health centers across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Micronesia. Successful applicants received their award notices on December 15, 2016.

With one in 13 Americans dependent on Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded health centers for their primary and preventive health care needs, providing additional people with access to health services through this funding is vitally important.

Organizations that successfully applied for New Access Point (NAP) funding in July, 2016 received their award notices last December; unfunded applicants were sent a score sheet mid-January. Because there were only 75 awards available, the majority of applicants were denied funding. The scores sheets provide excellent insight on how to improve your next application. Specifically, the score sheets list strengths and weaknesses of the application package which can help a health center identify where their application package needs to improve for the next round of funding.

 Your NAP score sheet provides important feedback for your next New Access Point grant application

Take advantage of the information and feedback provided to you on your health center’s score sheet before the next funding application window opens:

  • Take the time to review the comments. Identify both your center’s strengths and weaknesses.
    • Address weaknesses right away so that you will be ready to show them as strengths next time.
    • On your next application, highlight the strengths identified by reviewers in the last application.

Some examples of weaknesses may include:

  • Letters of support – Did you lack letters of support from local organizations serving the target population? Make a plan to improve relationships now so you’ll have contacts for letters next time.
  • Review the implementation plan – what did the reviewers like? Make sure to clarify any issues the reviewers didn’t like.
  • Policies and procedures – Do you have all the required policies and procedures in place? Categories include finance, billing and collection, board orientation, audit procedures, sliding fee scale, QI, risk management, recruitment and retention of staff. If you lack the policies required, get them written and approved now.
  • Service contracts – Are your contracts for services in order? Update them now to reflect how referrals will be made and monitored. Document how patients will return to you for follow-up care. Make sure formal agreements accept your sliding fee discount policy for patients living below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

How can a Health Center Solutions consultant help you with a successful NAP grant application?

At Health Center Solutions we are dedicated to helping community health centers apply for and receive the funding they need to provide health services to their target population. If you did not receive NAP funding last year, we can help you review your score sheet and create a plan to make the improvements you need to be successful in the next application round. We can also write the application for you to ensure that it is complete and professional and meets the expectations of HHS reviewers.

Health Center Solutions’ dedicated professionals are focused on providing outcome-focused, customer-driven solutions. To schedule a meeting, or to request more information about our solutions, please contact us today!