We require National Health Service Corps (NHSC)-approved sites—with the exception of auto-approved NHSC sites—to submit a Site Recertification Application every three years.
Typically, we accept submissions for a period of six to eight weeks.
How to prepare for site recertification
Review the following:
- NHSC Site Agreement (PDF - 410 KB)
- Site Reference Guide (PDF - 788 KB)
- If Applicable: Site Opt-in Instructions (PDF - 510 KB)
- For sites that provide general substance use disorder (SUD) Treatment, a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program or an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).
How to meet all requirements
- Function as part of a system of care that either offers or assures access to ancillary, inpatient, and specialty referrals.
- Provide services without regard to a person’s race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age*, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
*Age is not an applicable discriminatory factor for pediatric, geriatric, or obstetrics/gynecology sites.
Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
- Be located in, and treat patients from, a federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).
- Provide culturally competent, comprehensive primary care services (medical, dental, and/or behavioral), which correspond to the designated HPSA type.
Payment for Services
NHSC-approved sites (with some exceptions) must:
- Provide services for free (or, for a nominal charge, consistent with the site’s policy) to individuals and families with annual incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Provide services at a discount based on family size and income for individuals and families with incomes above 100% and, at or below, 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Sliding Fee Discount Program (PDF - 1.4 MB)
- Make every reasonable effort to secure payment according to the schedule of fees.
- Accept assignment for Medicare beneficiaries, and have an appropriate agreement with the applicable state agency for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.
- Prominently post signage (onsite and online, if applicable) stating that:
- Your site will not deny services based on a patient’s inability to pay.
- Your site will not deny services for any reason – including: race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age*, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
- *Age is not an applicable discriminatory factor for pediatric, geriatric, or obstetrics/gynecology sites.
- Discounts are available based on family size and income.
- The availability of the Sliding Fee Discount Program (PDF - 1.4 MB).
- Free clinics
- Correctional facilities
- Indian Health Service Facilities, Tribally-Operated 638 Health Programs, and Urban Indian Health Programs (ITUs)
Clinician Recruitment & Retention
- Use a clinician credentialing process that, at a minimum, includes reference review, licensure verification, and a query of the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).
- Adhere to sound fiscal management policies and adopt clinician recruitment and retention policies to help the patient population, the site, and the community obtain maximum benefits.
- Maintain a clinician recruitment and retention plan.
- Have a current copy of the plan onsite for review.
- Adopt recruitment policies to keep up clinical staffing levels to properly serve the community.
- Agree not to reduce an NHSC clinician’s salary due to NHSC support.
- Allow NHSC clinicians to maintain a primary care clinical practice (full-time or half-time) as indicated in their contract with NHSC and must be knowledgeable of the clinician’s specific NHSC service requirements.
- Support NHSC clinicians with funding and arrangements, including clinical coverage, for their time away from the site to attend or participate in NHSC-sponsored meetings, webinars, and other continuing education programs.
- Make appropriate and efficient use of assigned NHSC clinicians, or risk losing status as an NHSC-approved site and/or deactivation.
Communication, Submissions & Site Visits
- Communicate any change in site or clinician employment status to us.
- Maintain all personnel and practice records associated with an NHSC clinician.
- Make records available for review by NHSC representatives.
- Complete and submit the NHSC Site Data Tables (PDF - 506 KB) to us at time of Site Application, Recertification, and NHSC site visits.
- Must have six months of continuous data.
- Submit a completed NHSC Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services Checklist (PDF - 554 KB), if you provide behavioral health services.
- Comply with requests for a site visit from the NHSC or the state PCO with adherence to all NHSC requirements.
How to submit an NHSC Site Recertification application
Follow these steps in the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Customer Service Portal:
- Log in during the open recertification cycle.
- Select the site name.
- You may submit a recertification for an “Approved” or “Inactive” site, but not a “Terminated” site.
- Need Assistance box > select Recertify.
- Start the NHSC Site Recertification Application.