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How to Apply for Site Recertification

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Recertify your site(s) now through September 28, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Get help with your application

Check out the NHSC New Site Application Webinar Recording – April 14 HRSA Exit Disclaimer. We use the same application process for both new and recertifying sites, so you’ll find relevant, updated information to help you complete and submit your application.

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

Before you submit, review the NHSC Site Agreement (PDF - 255 KB) and the Site Reference Guide (PDF – 1.1 MB).

Required Recertification Documents

Provide the following required documents and information. If a required document/item is missing, we'll consider the application incomplete and we may not approve it.

Policies on Non-Discrimination. Submit a copy of the site’s policies on non-discrimination of patients based upon the individual’s inability to pay; whether payment for services would be made under Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP; and the individual’s race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. 

Sliding Fee Discount Program Documents. Submit the following:

  • Policy on the Sliding Fee Discount Program:
    • Applies to all residents of your site’s HPSA(s)
    • Includes the following information:
      • Definitions of income and family size
      • Patient eligibility procedures
      • Frequency of re-evaluation of eligibility
      • Advertisement of the sliding fee discount program to the patient population
      • Nominal charge, if applicable
      • Collections policy, if applicable
  • Sliding Fee Schedule;
    • Based on most current Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)
    • It is calculated based on Family Size/Income
    • Goes up to at least 200% of FPG
    • Offers full discount for families with income at or below 100% of FPG
    • Adjust fees based on family size and income for families with incomes above 100% and at/below 200% of the FPG.
  • Patient Application for Sliding Fee Discount Program
  • Posted Signage Notifying Patients about the Sliding Fee Discount Program. Upload two photographs of the posted signage. The sign must explicitly state that “no one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay; and there is a discounted/sliding fee schedule available based on family size and income,” in accordance with the NHSC Site Agreement item #2e.  
    • The first photograph must show the sign prominently displayed in a common area visible to patients. 
    • The second photograph must be a close-up photo so the text is legible.  
  • Online Signage Notifying Patients about the Sliding Fee Discount Program. Upload a document with the screenshot and link to the published online statement in a prominent area on the site’s official website (if one exists) and social media platforms (if applicable.)  The screenshot must explicitly state that “no one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay; and there is a discounted/sliding fee schedule available based on family size and income,” in accordance with the NHSC Site Agreement item #2e.  

If the Sliding Fee Discount Program does not apply to your site, you must provide documentation explaining that no one is charged or billed for services, and individuals are not denied service because of inability to pay.

Proof of Access to Ancillary, Inpatient and Specialty Care. Upload proof of referral arrangements not available on-site.

  • Acceptable documents include:
    • Signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)
    • Signed Memorandums of Agreement (MOA)
    • Signed contracts with ancillary, inpatient, and specialty facilities
  • For non-behavioral health sites only, if formal referral arrangements do not exist, the applicant site should provide a dated and signed description of how it refers patients to ancillary, inpatient, and specialty care.

NHSC Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services Checklist and Supporting Documentation

Behavioral health/mental health and SUD sites must submit the following:

  • NHSC Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services Checklist (PDF - 411 KB) (available for direct entry online in the site recertification application).
  • Documentation that verifies all information included in the Checklist. Site policies or other internal documents must be uploaded to reflect services provided directly on-site. In addition, sites must upload formal affiliation agreements for all other services provided off-site by a third party.

Payments and Insurance data (previously NHSC Site Data Tables) (PDF - 313 KB) is now available for direct entry online in the site recertification application. **NOTE: The NHSC Site Data Table is updated and includes new instructions. Please review to ensure accurate data submission. 

  • Includes data from the previous six continuous months
  • Demonstrates site’s sound fiscal management policies

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Documentation. Facilities providing opioid treatment and/or SUD treatment must provide the following documentation: 

  • Opioid Treatment Program (OTP): SAMHSA OTP certificate; OR
  • Office-based opioid treatment (OBOT): documentation of services and MAT attestation letter describing size of MAT patient panel for last 6 months; OR
  • Non-opioid outpatient SUD facilities: documentation of services.

Clinician Recruitment and Retention Plan. The document must clearly state the policies and processes to recruit and maintain clinical staffing levels needed to appropriately serve the community, including specific strategies aimed at promoting clinician resiliency and reducing burnout.

How to meet all requirements

General

  • 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 the individual’s inability to pay; whether payment for services would be made under Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP; and the individual’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)

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.
  • Accept assignment for Medicare beneficiaries, and have an appropriate agreement with the applicable state agency for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.
  • Prominently post signage notifying patients about the Sliding Fee Discount Program. Upload two photographs of the posted signage. The sign must explicitly state that “no one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay; and there is a discounted/sliding fee schedule available based on family size and income,” in accordance with the NHSC Site Agreement item #2e.  
    • The first photograph must show the sign prominently displayed in a common area visible to patients.
    • The second photograph must be a close-up photo so the text is legible. 
    • Sites may not use the NHSC poster and/or logo until after they are approved by the NHSC.
  • Prominently post online (if applicable) signage notifying patients about the Sliding Fee Discount Program.
    • Upload a document with the screenshot and link to the published online statement on the site’s official website (if one exists) and social media platforms (if applicable.)
    •  The screenshot must explicitly state that “no one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay; and there is a discounted/sliding fee schedule available based on family size and income,” in accordance with the NHSC Site Agreement item #2e.  

EXCEPTIONS INCLUDE:

  • 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).
  • Follow 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, including specific strategies aimed at promoting clinician resiliency and reducing burnout..
    • Have a current copy of the plan onsite for review.
    • Adopt and implement recruitment and retention policies and practices to keep up clinical staffing levels to properly serve the community.
    • Submit a copy of the plan with recertification application.

Clinician Support

  • Agree not to reduce the salary of NHSC clinicians because they receive or have received benefits under the NHSC Loan Repayment or Scholarship programs.
  • 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.
  • Comply with requests for a site visit from the NHSC or the state Primary Care Office (PCO) with adherence to all NHSC requirements, including submitting all required documentation.

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.
  • Select the option to apply for recertification.
  • Start the NHSC Site Recertification Application.
  • The NHSC Site Recertification follows the same process steps as the NHSC Site Application.
  • Utilize the BMISS BHW Program Portal Site Points of Contact User Guide for guidance.

Remember: You can only submit a recertification application if your site is currently active with an upcoming expiration date.

Date Last Reviewed

Contact Us

Call 1-800-221-9393
(TTY: 1-877-897-9910)
M - F, 8 am - 8 pm ET
(except federal holidays)
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Site Guidance

Site Points of Contact User Guide
(PDF - 2.7 MB)

Site Reference Guide
(PDF - 1.1 MB)

Site Opt-In Instructions
(PDF - 824 KB)

NHSC Site Agreement
(PDF - 255 KB)

Behavioral Health Services Checklist*
(PDF - 411 KB)

Site Data Tables
(PDF - 313 KB)

*If you use assistive technology, you may not be able to access information in this file. For help, contact us at 800-221-9393.

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<a href="http://bit.ly/2Lpqlaq" target="blank"><img alt="HRSA National Health Service Corps" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/NHSC/images/nhsc-badge-site-badge.png" /></a>