Fiscal Year 2020 Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (LAL ECT) (HRSA-20-147) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question that is not addressed by these FAQs, by the LAL ECT notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) (PDF - 325 KB), or by the LAL ECT technical assistance webpage, please submit it through the BPHC Contact Form HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer. Select "Coronavirus Inquiries (COVID-19)" as the issue type, and then select “Look-Alike COVID-19 Funding.”

For general COVID-19 information, including additional testing-related FAQs, see the Health Center Program COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.

Categories

Funding Purpose and Methodology

Allowed Uses of Funds

Maintaining Capacity and Personnel Support

Application Components

Funding Purpose and Methodology

What funding is available to support Health Center Program look-alikes in responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency?

Health Center Program look-alikes are eligible to apply by June 2, 2020, for fiscal year 2020 Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (LAL ECT) funding (HRSA-20-147) provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PDF - 209 KB). For additional information, see the LAL ECT technical assistance webpage.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

What are the purpose and allowed uses of LAL ECT funding?

The purpose of the LAL ECT funding is to enable Health Center Program look-alikes to purchase, administer, and expand capacity for testing to monitor and suppress COVID-19. Funding may support a wide-range of testing and testing-related in-scope activities that may change as COVID-19 needs evolve within your community.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

How was the amount of LAL ECT funding determined for each Health Center Program look-alike?

HRSA will award approximately $17 million in LAL ECT funding. Each Health Center Program look-alike may apply for a maximum amount based on the following formula and displayed in the list of maximum funding you may request:

  • Base value of $98,329, plus
  • $15.00 per patient reported in the 2019 Uniform Data System (public release of 2019 Uniform Data System data is scheduled for August 2020).

(Added: 5/21/2020)

How do Health Center Program look-alikes apply for LAL ECT funding?

On May 18, 2020, the Authorizing Official and Project Director assigned in the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) for each Health Center Program look-alike received an email from lookalike@hrsa.gov with a direct link to the LAL ECT NOFO in Grants.gov (HRSA-20-147). LAL ECT applications will be submitted through Grants.gov. Go to the link in the email to access the SF-424 workspace application package associated with this NOFO in Grants.gov. Note that you must have a Grants.gov account to access the application. For more information on completing an application in Grants.gov, view the Intro to Applying on Grants.gov video and other tutorials.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Allowed Uses of Funds

Can a Health Center Program look-alike propose to use LAL ECT funds to cover costs for COVID-19 testing from prior months that were not reimbursed through other programs or insurance?

You may propose to use LAL ECT funding for pre-award costs that support non-reimbursed expenses related to COVID-19 testing and testing-related activities to address the coronavirus public health emergency dating back to January 20, 2020. These pre-award costs must be explained in your budget narrative.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

What should a Health Center Program look-alike do if testing supplies cannot be purchased with LAL ECT funds at this time?

HRSA acknowledges that health center and community testing needs, access to testing supplies, and/or roles in public health responses vary. Your proposed activities should take into account testing needs that may evolve over the 12 months you have to use your LAL ECT funds from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021 (e.g., available tests, workflows, personnel skills and knowledge, technology, supplies).

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Can LAL ECT funds be used to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing?

LAL ECT funds may be used for COVID-19 contact tracing of health center patients, provided such activities are within the health center’s scope of project. Contract tracing activities should follow CDC and other applicable public health guidance, and be coordinated as appropriate with federal, state, and local public health response efforts.

Health center contact tracing activities other than those described above, as well as activities performed on behalf of a third party, including on behalf of a federal, state, or local public health agency, would constitute another line of business outside the scope of the Health Center Program project. See the Health Center Program COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

(Updated: 5/27/2020)

Can LAL ECT funds be used to rent space, including temporary structures?

LAL ECT funds can only be used for sites or locations where in-scope testing or testing-related activities occur, including an approved temporary site. The process for adding temporary sites during emergencies is described in PAL 2020-05: Requesting a Change in Scope to Add Temporary Service Sites in Response to Emergency Events (PDF - 184 KB). See the Health Center Program COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for more information about temporary sites.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Can LAL ECT funds be used to purchase a mobile van/unit?

Yes, you may propose to use LAL ECT funding to purchase or lease a mobile medical unit or other vehicle to directly support testing capacity.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Can LAL ECT funds be used for supplies necessary for health center personnel to participate in telehealth from their homes, including tablets, phones, webcams, speakers, etc.?

LAL ECT funds may be used to purchase supplies necessary for health center personnel to use telehealth to support COVID-19 testing-related in-scope activities. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum M-20-17 (PDF - 5.4 MB) allows flexibilities to continue service provision during the COVID-19 public health emergency, including using grant funds to support the purchase of appropriate technologies to perform the required activities of the grant award, in accordance with the individual funding announcement requirements, the Uniform Administrative Requirements, federal cost principles, audit requirements for HHS Awards (45 CFR Part 75), and your organization’s policies. You must maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as required by 45 CFR § 75.302 - Financial Management and Standards for Financial Management Systems, and 45 CFR § 75.361 - Retention Requirement for Records, to substantiate the charging of any salaries and other project activities costs related to interruption of operations or services.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Since LAL ECT funds only support in-scope testing-related activities, how can a Health Center Program look-alike determine whether a scope adjustment or change in scope is required to ensure their scope of project accurately reflects the LAL ECT proposed activities?

Review the Scope of Project requirements, including information on Form 5A: Services Provided, Form 5B: Service Sites, and Form 5C: Other Activities/Locations to ensure your scope of project accounts for your proposed testing activities, testing location(s), and whether testing and/or laboratory services are provided directly by the health center, through a formal written contract/agreement, or through a referral arrangement. For additional information on service delivery and temporary sites, see the Health Center Program COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions. Consult your Project Officer as needed to submit any necessary scope adjustment or change in scope requests.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Maintaining Capacity and Personnel Support

Can LAL ECT funds be used to cover revenue lost as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency?

Many health centers are experiencing reductions in revenue due to COVID-19 related closures and limitations on non-urgent care. While federal award funds do not replace lost revenue (e.g., reimbursement for dental or primary care visits from public and private health insurance sources), you may use LAL ECT funding to cover fixed operational costs that support COVID-19 testing-related in-scope activities, (e.g., rent and utilities for testing sites, testing-related supplies, personnel engaged in testing activities). This includes the use of funds for testing-related obligations incurred during the course of the emergency, since January 20, 2020, that have not been reimbursed through other sources.

Separate from LAL ECT funding, Health Center Program look-alikes may be eligible to be reimbursed or compensated for lost revenues through other federal or state programs. For additional information on other available resources during the COVID-19 public health emergency, see the Health Center Program COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Can LAL ECT funds be used for hazard pay or a “pandemic premium”?

LAL ECT funds may be used for hazard and premium pay only for personnel involved in COVID-19 testing-related in-scope activities, and only if you have policies and procedures in place that cover this type of hazard or premium pay. Personnel who will be paid with grant funding must receive salary and benefits consistent with your health center's policies for paying salaries under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances from all funding sources, federal and non-federal.

If you do not have such policies in place, you should immediately develop and officially adopt them. This is allowed through the OMB flexibilities listed in memoranda M-20-11 (PDF - 1.3 MB) and M-20-17 (PDF - 5.4 MB). You must document that you are following your organizational policy for charging salaries during unexpected and extraordinary circumstances. You should also document that you are following HRSA guidance as adopted and permitted by the OMB memoranda.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

In addition to LAL ECT funding, can a Health Center Program look-alike access loans, reimbursement, and other funding sources that are available through other COVID-19 relief programs?

There are no specific funding prohibitions regarding health centers accessing loans and other economic relief programs. However, you must demonstrate distinct use (i.e., by budgeting and documenting expenditures) of funds consistent with the applicable law. You may not use LAL ECT funds for costs that are reimbursed or compensated by other federal or state programs or resources (e.g., the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program, Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program, the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, unemployment compensation). In applying for and accepting these loans or funding, review the programs’ particular requirements to determine their eligibility, adhere to any conditions and terms, and consult with the relevant organization or agency making the loans or grants for further guidance.

In addition, you must monitor expenditures from all sources to ensure compliance with the individual funding requirements, as well as with any requirements of loan agreements, and adhere to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, federal cost principles, audit requirements for HHS awards (45 CFR Part 75), and your organization’s policies. To meet program requirements and correctly attribute costs to specific programs, you must maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as required by 45 CFR §75.302 - Financial management and standards for financial management systems, and 45 CFR §75.361 - Retention requirement for records to substantiate the charging of any salaries and other project activities costs related to interruption of operations or services. For additional information on maintaining compliance with Health Center Program requirements (e.g., applicability of sliding fee, billing and collections) during the COVID-19 public health emergency, see the Health Center Program COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Application Components

How do I complete the SF-424?

See the Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) form instructions. The table below includes information on how to respond to specific sections:

Application for Federal Assistance SF-424

Box Number Question Response
1 Type of Submission Select Application.
2 Type of Application Select New.
3 Date Received Completed automatically in Grants.gov.
4 Applicant Identifier Enter your look-alike (LAL) number (not required).
5a, 5b Federal Entity Identifier,  Federal Award Identifier Leave blank.
12 Funding Opportunity Number HRSA-20-147
14 Areas Affected by Project Leave blank.
15 Descriptive Title of Applicant’s project “Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (LAL ECT).” The attachment is not required.
16 Congressional Districts Include the congressional district for your main site. The attachment is not required.
17 Proposed Project The project period is July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
18 Estimated Funding ($) Enter amount of LAL ECT funding requested in a. Federal box (see the list of maximum funding you may request).
19 Is Application Subject to Review Under Executive Order 12372 Process? Select b. Program is subject to E.O. 12372 but has not been selected by the State for review.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Who is the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR)?

The AOR is the member of your organization authorized to submit applications in Grants.gov on behalf of your organization. The AOR is usually the Authorizing Official (AO) you have designated in the EHBs.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

How do I complete the SF-424A Budget Form?

The table below includes information on how to respond to specific sections:

SF-424A Budget Form

Section Box Title Response
SECTION A – BUDGET SUMMARY – only complete Line 1 1(a) Grant Program Function or Activity Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (LAL ECT)
SECTION A – BUDGET SUMMARY 1(e) New or Revised Budget Enter amount of LAL ECT funding requested under Federal (see the list of maximum funding you may request).
SECTION B – BUDGET CATEGORIES – only complete Column (1) 6(1) Grant Program, Function or Activity Health Center Program Look-Alikes: Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (LAL ECT)
SECTION B – BUDGET CATEGORIES 6 a-k Object Class Categories Fill in costs under Column (1) that apply to your requested LAL ECT funding.
SECTION B – BUDGET CATEGORIES 7 Program Income You may enter “0.”
SECTION C – NON-FEDERAL RESOURCES 8(a)-(e) Grant Program Non-Federal Sources Enter “0” if your budget does not include non-grant sources of funds.
SECTION D – FORECASTED CASH NEEDS 13 Federal Enter the entire LAL ECT grant amount under 1st Year. Enter the estimated amount of grant funds to be used for each quarter. The entire amount can be entered in the 1st Quarter if applicable.
SECTION E – BUDGET ESTIMATES OF FEDERAL FUNDS NEEDED FOR BALANCE OF THE PROJECT 16 Future Funding Periods Enter “0” for all future years.
SECTION F – OTHER BUDGET INFORMATION 21-23 Direct & Indirect changes Enter “0” for Indirect Charges if all grant funds are budgeted for direct costs.

(Added: 5/21/2020)

Date Last Reviewed:  May 2020