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”.