Eligible healthcare facilities can apply to become National Health Service Corps (NHSC)-approved sites.
Determine if your site meets our set of eligibility requirements—then take the necessary steps to apply.
NHSC Site Application Cycles
We open a new site application cycle every year for sites that have never been NHSC-approved.
How long is an application cycle?
A typical application cycle remains open for six to eight weeks for submission of new site applications.
What to Do Before You Apply
First: Read our Site Reference Guide (PDF – 915 KB). It details everything we expect of NHSC-approved sites.
What are the initial steps in the application process?
- Gather all required documentation.
- Create an account and/or log into the BHW Customer Service Portal.
Complete Seven Sections to Submit Your Application
You must complete each of the following seven sections, before you can submit your application. Contact your state primary care office (state PCO) if you have questions.
Note: If your organization has multiple sites in multiple Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), you must submit a separate application for each location. We will also approve each individually.
- If your site does not pass the pre-screening portion, you’ll be unable to continue with the rest of the application.
- Refer to the Eligibility Requirements and Qualification Factors section in the NHSC Site Reference Guide (PDF – 915 KB).
- Enter your site’s name, mailing and email addresses, and other contact information.
- We require each site (except: solo private practices) to list two site contacts.
- At least one POC must be serving in each of the following NHSC roles:
- Personnel Verifier, and
- For a POC to submit a site application, they must:
- Own, oversee, or manage a significant portion of their organization; and
- Have the ability to answer questions about organization policies and operating procedures.
- Select the appropriate primary care services you provide at your site.
- Address questions regarding your:
- Discounted/Sliding Fee Scale Information Package (PDF - 761 KB)
- Accepted insurance
- Recruitment and retention plan
- Determine your appropriate HPSA type.
- Primary care
- Dental health
- Mental/behavioral health
- Enter in your suggested HPSA score based on verified information found in HPSA Find.
- NHSC and state PCO staff will verify this information and add all applicable HPSA IDs to the application during the review process.
- We do not require you to submit this information to submit an application – however, we recommend you consult with your state PCO to verify your HPSA ID and score.
- Upload the following required documents:
- 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.
- NHSC Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services Checklist (PDF – 170 KB). Review the NHSC Behavioral Health Certification Information Package (PDF - 227 KB). Required for sites that provide behavioral health services.
- Sliding Fee Schedule Documents. Upload the following:
- Discounted/Sliding Fee Scale Information Package (SFS) (PDF – 761 KB)
- Patient Application for SFS
- SFS Policy; include: Ensure that the site’s SFS applies to all residents of your site’s HPSA(s).
- How your site will advertise the SFS
- The procedures for patients who wish to apply
- Policies and procedures on processing applications
- 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 finalized description of how it refers patients to ancillary, inpatient, and specialty care.
- Acceptable documents include:
- NHSC Site Data Tables. Upload completed NHSC Site Data Tables (PDF – 432 KB) with information on the individual site location.
- Six continuous months of data
- Demonstrates site’s sound fiscal management policies
- If data tables don’t apply to your site, you must provide documentation on letterhead explaining that you provide services free of charge
- Note: you may not submit these documents after you submit the application.
Review and certify your compliance with the NHSC Site Agreement (PDF - 179 KB).
Making Edits to Your Application
We encourage you to thoroughly review your application before you submit it to us.
During this time—before application submission—we allow you to do the following:
- Make edits to your site application
- Upload new documents
- Cancel the application
What edits can you make after the application cycle closes?
None. You may not make changes to your NHSC Site Application after you submit your application.
What Happens After You Apply
After you submit your application, your state’s primary care office (PCO) and BHW’s Division of Regional Operations (DRO) will review and evaluate it.
The DRO makes the final decision regarding the approval of your NHSC Site Application.
When will we finish processing your application?
Once you submit your application, we typically process it within six to eight weeks.
Note: It may take longer due to application volume, pre-approval site visit requirements, and the quality of submitted information.
How do we determine whether to approve your site?
We determine your approval based on your ability to meet the eligibility criteria and further evaluation by the state PCO and the DRO.
How will you find out if we approved your site?
You will receive a notice from the NHSC through the BHW Customer Service Portal confirming your approval status.
We will also send you information on how to post job positions on the Health Workforce Connector.
Does the NHSC site approval period expire?
Yes, with the exception of eligible auto-approved NHSC sites.
If we approve your application, it is valid for three years from the date of its approval.
However, you must ensure that the site remains in a HPSA and continues to meet the NHSC eligibility requirements and qualification factors.