Health Center Regulatory Issues

NAPs Funding Opportunity Comes with Scoring Changes

BPHC has released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number HRSA-19-080, announcing $50 million for New Access Points (NAPs).  Approximately 75 NAPs are expected to be funded.  As in the past, NAP applications may be submitted by new organizations (new applicants) or by health centers currently receiving Health Center Program operational funding (satellite applicants.)

The methodology for determining which applications will be funded contains some significant policy changes:

  • New automated system for calculating need: As in previous competitions, up to 20 points are available based on the need in the proposed services area.   However, in the past, these points were assigned using the “Need for Assistance” (NFA) Worksheet.   The NFA provided applicants with a fair amount of flexibility around data sources, measures reported, unit of measurement, etc.  The NFA has been replaced by the Service Area Needs Assessment Methodology (SANAM) which will be used to calculate an Unmet Need Score (UNS) for each proposed service area. The UNS is calculated in advance by zip code, and incorporates data on about 20 different measures.
  • General rules around Service Area Overlap: For the first time, this NOFO authorizes – but does not require – BPHC to deny applications that it views as raising concerns around Service Area Overlap.  Specifically it states that “HRSA may opt not to fund” applications that propose:
    • A site located within one-half mile of another 330 grantee site or look-alike.
    • A service area that has health center penetration level of low-income population that is 75% or greater and do not sufficiently document both collaboration and unmet need,
    • A service area that does not have “relevant/ rational boundaries by itself and in relation to your existing service area (e.g., reasonable distance to your other sites in scope.”
  • Ten priority points for look-alikes; five each for serving high need and sparsely populated zip codes: Applicants can receive 10 extra points for being a Section 330 look-alike who is performing well and is proposing to expand its patients base.  Applicants may also receive 5 extra points each for having a high Unmet Needs Score (UNS) and/ or serving a sparely populated area.  The BPHC webpage contains links to help determine which zip codes qualify for these extra points.

In addition to these changes, HRSA has stated that NAP funding will not be awarded to a current Health Center Program award recipient that has 1 or more 60- or 30-day conditions on their award at the time that HRSA issues awards under this NOFO.

Deadline: There are two phases and separate deadlines to the NAP application:

  • March 12th, 2019: Application due in
  • April 11th, 2019: Supplemental information due in HRSA’s Electronic Handbook (EHB)

For more information on the FY19 NAP opportunity, see BPHC’s Health Center Program New Access Point (NAP) Technical Assistance webpage.