A FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) Look-alike is a health center that meets all Health Center Program requirements and is part of the Health Center Program but does not receive federal award funding. Having Look-alike status does provide several important benefits, however, including access to FQHC Prospective Payment System reimbursement methodologies for services provided to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and discounts on pharmaceutical drugs through the 340B Federal Drug Pricing Program.
FQHC Look-alike initial designation application
To be eligible to apply for FQHC Look-alike initial designation the organization must be a public or nonprofit health center that is currently providing comprehensive primary and preventive health care to an underserved and/or vulnerable population. Applicants must prove eligibility and compliance with the Health Center Program requirements within the initial designation application and during the onsite compliance review.
While FQHC Look-alike applications can be submitted at any time, they must be submitted through the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs). Preparing for the application alone can take three to 12 months depending upon a health clinic’s readiness.
Steps taken to prepare for the FQHC Look-alike application:
- Evaluate need for primary health services in the community you wish to serve
- Identify options to serve the unmet health care needs of the community through collaborative meetings with the community
- Create a plan to establish a FQHC Look-Alike
- Take steps to meet FQHC Look-Alike requirements
- Establish a governing board that meets the requirements for a FQHC
- Operate as a health center under the governing board’s authority
- Establish compliance with all Health Center Program requirements
- Submit a FQHC Look-Alike initial designation application
Once an application is started, it must be completed within 90 calendar days. Additional information may be requested after an application is submitted.
What is the timeline for a FQHC Look-alike application?
HRSA times are approximate and may vary. Here is the basic timeline for a FQHC Look-alike application:
- Once the application is submitted, HRSA has 30 calendar days to complete a preliminary review and assess both the eligibility and the completeness of the application.
- After the application passes the initial review, HRSA and the applicant have 60-90 days to schedule and prepare for a site visit.
- HRSA then has 60-75 days to complete an onsite compliance review. They will also deliver the TA tool that outlines the actions necessary to meet requirements.
- The applicant has 30 days to respond to additional information requested by HRSA.
- Finally, HRSA has 30-45 days to review the applicant’s response for additional information and issue notice of Look-Alike designation or disapproval.
How can a Health Center Solutions consultant help you become an FQHC Look-alike?
At Health Center Solutions we are dedicated to helping community health centers. We can help your center get organized and apply for FQHC Look-alike status that can help you provide health services to your target population. Our process starts with an assessment of your organization’s readiness to apply and then offers a road map to success. Health Center Solutions has a 100 percent success rate in getting Look-alike status for our clients. Many of our clients hire us to write their initial and renewal applications.
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!