Health Center Program Strategic Initiatives

HRSA supports a number of special projects to inform the strategic development of the Health Center Program.

Advancing Health Center Excellence Framework

The Advancing Health Center Excellence Framework, developed in partnership with the MITRE Corporation, aims to help HRSA and health centers to advance health center maturity and innovation in seven key domain areas that align with HRSA’s mission and the mission of the Health Center Program —Access and Affordability; Patient Experience; Quality, Patient Care and Safety; Population Health and Social Determinants of Health; Financial Sustainability; Workforce; and Governance and Management.

The basic level of performance builds on Health Center Program requirements, while integrating meaningful activities to assess performance along a four-level continuum of health center maturity within each domain. The framework will assist health centers to:

  • Self-assess their current state of performance across the seven domains;
  • Identify a desired future state of performance;
  • Identify data-driven and evidence-based capabilities, activities, behaviors, and resources needed to reach and sustain a higher level of domain performance.

The framework will also help HRSA make decisions about deploying resources, including providing technical assistance and funding, with more intention and transparency. To ask questions or provide feedback, please reach out through the BPHC Contact Form HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer under Strategic Initiatives, Health Center Performance.

Advancing Health Center Excellence Webinar

Wednesday, August 26, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET

Webinar Recording HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer*

Presentation Slides (PDF - 2.7 MB)

Medicare Site Enrollment

Health centers that receive approval from HRSA for new service-delivery sites must enroll with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to obtain Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Medicare reimbursement. They can enroll sites in Medicare using either the electronic Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) or the paper enrollment application process (e.g., CMS-855A).

CMS encourages all provider types to register in PECOS, relatively few health centers sites do so.

Since 2017, we have worked with CMS’s Provider Enrollment & Oversight Group to identify ways to streamline the Medicare enrollment process for health centers. HRSA now shares health center site data with CMS to prepopulate in PECOS to reduce the time and burden associated with the paper application process. CMS launched this PECOS upgrade in April 2019.

Medicare Site Enrollment Webinar

HRSA and CMS hosted a webinar to share more information about streamlining Medicare site enrollment for health centers and using PECOS.

To ask questions or provide feedback, please reach out through the BPHC Contact Form HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer under Strategic Initiatives, Medicare Site Enrollment.

Service Area Needs Assessment Methodology and Unmet Need Score

HRSA developed the Service Area Needs Assessment Methodology (SANAM) to provide a consistent and transparent approach to assessing unmet need to support Health Center Program decision-making.

The SANAM uses publicly available data to automatically calculate an Unmet Need Score (UNS) for every zip code within a proposed service area. The SANAM reduces burden for applicants by automating calculations of unmet need and standardizes the assessment of unmet need across different service areas to assist the Health Center Program in targeting its resources to areas of unmet need.

Resources for the SANAM and UNS include:

The SANAM was initially incorporated in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 New Access Points (NAP) funding opportunity. HRSA evaluated the use of the SANAM and UNS in the FY 2019 NAP funding opportunity and is currently adjusting the SANAM and UNS measures and weights to improve the SANAM for future use in Health Center Program decision-making.

To ask questions or provide feedback, please reach out through the BPHC Contact Form HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer under Strategic Initiatives, SANAM.

* Disclaimer: Persons using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in this recording. For assistance, please email or call 415-437-8610.

Date Last Reviewed:  October 2020