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
Required Recertification Documents
Upload the following required documents. If a required document/item is missing, we'll consider the application incomplete and we may not approve it.
Policies on Non-Discrimination. Upload a copy of the site’s policies on non-discrimination of patients based upon race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Sliding Fee Discount Program Documents. Upload 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
- If Sliding Fee Discount Program doesn't apply to your site, you must provide documentation on letterhead explaining that you provide services free of charge and you don't deny individuals 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
- 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 Site Data Tables. Upload completed NHSC Site Data Tables (PDF – 1.3 MB) with information on the individual site location.
- Includes data from the previous six continuous months
- Demonstrates site’s sound fiscal management policies
NHSC Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services Checklist - Review the Requirements for Primary Behavioral and Mental Health Sites (PDF - 397 KB) in the Site Reference Guide. Required for sites that provide behavioral health services.
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.
Note: You must submit these documents before you submit the application.
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 HPSA.
- Provide culturally competent and linguistically-appropriate, 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 - 878 KB)
- 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.
- A sliding fee discount program is available.
- 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, license 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.
- Have a current copy of the plan onsite for review.
- Adopt and implement recruitment policies to keep up clinical staffing levels to properly serve the community.
- Submit a copy of plan with recertification application.
- 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.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program (PDF - 963 KB)
- NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program (PDF - 640 KB)
- NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program (PDF - 638 KB)
- NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (PDF - 645 KB)
- NHSC Scholarship Program (PDF - 577 KB)
- 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 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.
- In the Need Assistance box, select Recertify.
- Start the NHSC Site Recertification Application.
Remember: Recertification Applications can only be submitted if your site is currently active with an upcoming expiration date or if your site was previously approved for NHSC but is currently inactive.