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Eligible healthcare facilities can apply to become National Health Service Corps (NHSC)-approved sites. NHSC-approved sites provide outpatient, primary health care services to people in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Sites must contact their State Primary Care Office (PCO) when applying for, or inquiring about, a HPSA designation.
We require behavioral and mental health providers to practice in a community-based setting that provides access to comprehensive mental and behavioral health services.
NHSC sites that don't offer all required services must demonstrate a formal affiliation with a facility that provides these services.
What are the benefits of becoming an NHSC site?
As an NHSC-approved site, we can assist you in your efforts to recruit, hire,and retain clinicians.
When do site application cycles open?
We open a new site application cycle every year. The new site application cycle is for sites that:
- have never been approved for NHSC, including sites that have applied and had their application denied or cancelled
- are currently inactive for NHSC due to expiration or past compliance issues.
How long is the application cycle?
In a typical cycle, you have six to eight weeks to submit your site application.
What should I do before I apply?
- Read our Site Reference Guide. It details everything we expect of NHSC-approved sites.
- Read the NHSC Site Agreement (PDF - 255 KB)
- Gather or create all required documentation.
- Create an account or log into the BHW Customer Service Portal.
What are the sections of the application?
The NHSC Site Application contains eleven sections. 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 review/approve each site individually.
- This section assesses a site’s eligibility. If a site applicant does not pass the pre-screening portion of the online application, the applicant will not be able to continue with the Site Application. Refer to the “Eligibility Requirements and Qualification Factors” section in the NHSC Site Reference Guide to ensure that the site meets the appropriate requirements.
- This section asks the site applicant to confirm general information, such as site name, location, mailing and email addresses, and other contact information.
- This section provides details regarding any similar or potential duplicate sites that already have a BHW site record. This section should be reviewed carefully to ensure duplicate site records are not created. If you previously submitted an application, please use the same site record. Do not create a duplicate site record.
- In this section, applicant sites will select the type of comprehensive primary medical, mental/behavioral health and/or dental health care services provided onsite. In addition, the applicant site will need to fill out information in regards to the service site staffing full-time equivalents. The information collected in this section is part of the NHSC Site Data Tables (PDF - 312 KB).
(applicable only for sites that provide Behavioral Health/Mental Health services)
- If the applicant site provides Behavioral Health services on-site, the site is required to complete the NHSC Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services Checklist (PDF - 319 KB).* Refer to the “Requirements for Primary Behavioral and Mental Health Sites” (PDF - 1.1 MB) section of the NHSC SRG to ensure that the site meets the appropriate requirements.
- This section addresses questions and requires data regarding accepted insurance, payment types, and sliding fee schedule. Note in this section that the Medicare ID number refers to the site’s six-digit, federally-assigned CMS Certification Number (CNN). The information collected in this section is part of the NHSC Site Data Tables (PDF - 312 KB). **NOTE: The NHSC Site Data Table is updated and includes new instructions. Please review to ensure accurate data submission.**
- This section asks questions regarding the applicant site’s utilization of telehealth services.
- Each site (with the exception of Solo Private Practices) is required to list two (2) site contacts in this section. Only POCs who have indicated that they own, oversee, or manage a significant portion of their organization and have the ability to answer questions about organization policies and operating procedures can submit a site application. If approved, the POC information will be visible to the public on the Health Workforce Connector.
- Use our Site Points of Contact User Guide (PDF - 2.7 MB) to assist you with your application.
- Site applicants will determine their appropriate HPSA, and enter in their HPSA score based on verified information found in the HPSA Find Tool. DRO and State PCO staff will verify this information and add all applicable HPSA IDs to the application during the review process. This section is not required, but we recommend that sites consult with their State PCO to verify their HPSA ID and score.
- Site applicants must upload all required supporting documents (refer to the “Required NHSC supporting documents” section in the NHSC Site Reference Guide) PRIOR to submission of the application. Required supporting documents cannot be submitted electronically once the application is submitted.
- In the last section of the online Site Application, sites will review and certify their compliance with the NHSC Site Agreement (PDF - 255 KB). An agent for the organization with express authority must sign the application and the NHSC Site Agreement. A copy of the NHSC Site Agreement is included in Appendix A of the NHSC Site Reference Guide for reference. Note that eligible auto-approved NHSC sites must have a signed NHSC site agreement on file, and are required to submit an online application.
Can I make edits to my application?
You can make edits before you submit your application. In fact, we encourage you to review your application before you submit it to us. In doing so, you can make edits, upload new documents--or, even cancel your application.
What edits can I make after the application cycle closes?
If NHSC staff need additional information, they may return the Site Application to the Site POCs for revision and resubmission. The Site Application must be submitted again to continue the review process.
What happens after I 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.
DRO makes the final decision on whether to approve your NHSC Site Application.
How long does it take you to process my 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 the information you submitted.
How do you determine whether to approve my site?
NHSC approval of a site is based on a site’s ability to meet the eligibility criteria set forth in the NHSC Site Reference Guide (PDF - 1 MB) and NHSC Site Agreement (PDF - 255 KB), as evaluated by the state PCO and DRO. An application may be disapproved if it does not meet NHSC site eligibility requirements, or is incomplete or contains illegible documents.
How will I find out if you approved my site?
We notify you through the BHW Customer Service Portal.
We will also send you information on how to post job positions on the Health Workforce Connector.
Does the approval period expire?
Yes, with the exception of eligible auto-approved NHSC sites.
If we approve your application, it is valid for three years.
However, your site must remain in a HPSA and continue to meet the NHSC eligibility requirements and qualification factors throughout the approval period.
*If you use assistive technology, you may not be able to access information in this file. For help, contact us at 800-221-9393.