Chapter 14: Collaborative Relationships

Note: This chapter contains language that was revised based on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. View the revisions.(PDF - 583 KB)

Authority

Section 330(k)(3)(B) of the PHS Act; and 42 CFR 51c.303(n), 42 CFR 56.303(n), and 42 CFR 51c.305(h)

Requirements

  • The health center has made and must continue to make every reasonable effort to establish and maintain collaborative relationships, including with other health care providers that provide care within the catchment area [service area], local hospitals, and specialty providers in the catchment area of the center, to provide access to services not available through the health center and to reduce the non-urgent use of hospital emergency departments.
  • To the extent possible, the health center must coordinate and integrate project activities with the activities of other federally-funded, as well as State and local, health services delivery projects and programs serving the same population.

Demonstrating Compliance

A health center would demonstrate compliance with these requirements by fulfilling all of the following:

  1. The health center documents its efforts to collaborate with other providers or programs in the service area, including local hospitals, specialty providers, and social service organizations (including those that serve special populations), to provide access to services not available through the health center in order to support
    • Reductions in the non-urgent use of hospital emergency departments;
    • Continuity of care across community providers; and
    • Access to other health or community services that impact the patient population.
  2. The health center documents its efforts to coordinate and integrate activities with other federally-funded, as well as State and local, health services delivery projects and programs serving similar patient populations in the service area (at a minimum, this would include establishing and maintaining relationships with other health centers in the service area).
  3. If the health center expands1,2 its HRSA-approved scope of project:
    • The health center obtains letters or other appropriate documents specific to the request or application that describe areas of coordination or collaboration with health care providers serving similar patient populations in the service area (health centers, rural health clinics, local hospitals including critical access hospitals, health departments, other providers including specialty providers, as applicable); or
    • If such letters or documents cannot be obtained from these providers, the health center documents its attempts to coordinate or collaborate with these health care providers (health centers, rural health clinics, local hospitals including critical access hospitals, health departments, other providers including specialty providers, as applicable) on the specific request or application proposal.

The following points describe areas where health centers have discretion with respect to decision-making or that may be useful for health centers to consider when implementing these requirements:

  • The health center determines how to document collaboration or coordination with providers and organizations in its service area (for example, through a memorandum of agreement, letters, membership on a city-wide community health planning council).

Footnotes

  1. Expanding the HRSA-approved scope of project may occur by adding sites or services through change-in-scope requests, New Access Point competitive applications, or other supplemental funding applications.
  2. Additional requirements for documented collaboration may apply based on specific Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs), Notices of Award (NOAs), look-alike designation instructions, or other Federal statutes, regulations, or policies.


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Date Last Reviewed:  January 2018


Health Center Compliance Manual

Download the Health Center Compliance Manual (PDF - 1.8 MB - Last Updated August 2018)