Health Center Program Look-Alikes

Look-Alike Designation Blackout Period

  • New Look-Alike Initial Designation applications cannot be created between May 19, 2016 through July 2016 while we are improving the Electronic Handbook system for Look-Alike applicants. See the Program Assistance Letter for more details: PAL 2016-04.

Interested in becoming a Health Center Program look-alike?

What is a Look-Alike?

Health Center Program look-alikes operate and provide services consistent with all statutory, regulatory, and policy Health Center Program requirements. They provide a comprehensive system of care that is responsive to each community’s identified health care needs. Together, Health Center Program grantees and look-alikes ensure health care for the Nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations through service provision to all, regardless of ability to pay.

Look-Alikes are expected to demonstrate compliance with the applicable requirements of section 330 of the PHS Act, 42 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Part 51c (Grants for Community Health Centers), and 42 C.F.R. Part 56 (Grants for Migrant Health Services and Migrant Health Centers), as applicable.  Organizations are encouraged to review the section 330 program requirements, in addition to the applicable statutes, regulations, and policies (located in the Resources section of this page) for look-alikes prior to developing an application.

Eligibility Requirements

Under the current Look-Alike Initial Designation Application Instructions (PDF - 1 MB), organizations applying for look-alike designation must meet the following eligibility requirements at the time of application:

  • Be a public or private, nonprofit entity, including tribal, faith-based, and community-based organization;
  • Be independently owned, controlled, and operated;
  • Provide comprehensive primary medical care as its primary purpose;
  • Provide services, either directly onsite or through established arrangements, without regard to the patient’s ability to pay;
  • Serve a defined geographic area (service area) that is currently federally designated, in whole or in part, as a Medically Underserved Area or a Medically Underserved Population;
  • Ensure access to services for all individuals in the service area/population;
  • Provide services at one or more permanent, full-time service delivery sites; and
  • Be operational and compliant with all Health Center Program requirements for at least 6 months.

How to Apply

Initial Designation

New Health Center Program look-alike applicants should review the Look-Alike Initial Designation Application Instructions and Resources (PDF - 171 KB) for assistance with the application process, the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHB), and instructions to complete the data, measures and mapping application requirements.

Application Help

Additional technical assistance is available from your state/regional Primary Care Association (PCA), state Primary Care Office (PCO), and/or any of HRSA's National Cooperative Agreement organizations.


Contact Us

Please submit your Look-Alike application assistance and/or general information requests to the health center LAL application team. To make sure you receive our reply email, add 'BPHCAnswers@hrsa.gov' to your address book