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3 min read

Expanding Access to Healthcare With the New Access Points Grant

Expanding Access to Healthcare With the New Access Points Grant

Health centers play a crucial role in providing primary health care services to vulnerable populations and underserved communities in the United States. Millions of Americans live more than 60 minutes from the nearest hospital or in urban medical deserts, but local health centers are fighting the good fight to help lower that number. To help achieve this goal of theirs, the Health Center Program New Access Points (NAP) grant is available, which awards funds to eligible organizations to expand access to affordable, quality, and cost-effective primary health care services. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the Health Center Program New Access Points grant, including who can apply and application requirements.

Keep in mind that while this grant may be currently closed, grants that serve a great need/are popular can often reopen again, so keep your eyes peeled!


Who Can Apply?

To be eligible for the Health Center Program New Access Points grant, applicants may either be an existing Health Center Program (HCP) award recipient or a new organization, such as a public or nonprofit organization that provides primary health care services to underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Applicants must also meet the following criteria, helpfully outlined by Cope Health Solutions:

  • Must be a public or nonprofit entity
  • Provide comprehensive primary medical care as the main purpose of the NAP project. You cannot serve only a single age group, address a single health issue/disease category, or provide only a subset of the required primary health care services
  • Ensure required primary health care services will be available and accessible in the service area, proposing at least one full-time permanent site at least 40 hours per week
  • Propose service delivery sites located in an area with a shortage of health services
  • Locate in a different building than any existing site already in the scope of project of any Health Center Program award recipient or look-alike
  • Propose to serve, in whole or in part, a medically underserved area (MUA) or medically underserved Population (MUP)

In addition, grantees must meet the following requirements based on their status, again according to Cope Health Solutions

  • Existing FQHC: The new access point needs to be a new location serving a new population, not a new building or location replacing an existing location.
  • FQHC Look-AlikeJust as with FQHCs, the new access point must be a new location and population not currently being served. Receiving a new access point grant would transition the organization to a fully funded FQHC and would extend Federal Tort Claims Act coverage to the entire organization. Also, FQHC Look-Alikes receive extra points towards their applications.
  • New provider: A new nonprofit organization that is a provider can apply and be accepted as a 330 fully funded FQHC. The organization would have to be prepared to be in compliance with all 19 program requirements within the specified period.


Application Requirements

Prospective applicants should note that the application process is highly competitive. To have a successful application, you need to carefully follow the current guidelines set forth by the HRSA. The application should also highlight the following areas:

  • A clear description of the proposed expansion or new clinical site.
  • A detailed community profile, which demonstrates how the proposed clinical site will meet the health care needs of the community.
  • A high level of unmet need in your service area and target location as regards primary care.
  • A detailed description of existing or planned primary health care services.
  • A plan and demonstrated readiness to implement and evaluate services based on established clinical quality measures.
  • How said plan will improve access to comprehensive and quality healthcare and improve health outcomes of underserved populations in target area.

In addition, the grant also looks for applications that focus specifically on expanding services to underserved populations, especially rural and frontier communities, as well as those that address new or innovative approaches to expanding services.


Post-Grant Requirements

There are also several post-grant award requirements. Grant awardees must begin delivering services to their proposed target population within 120 days, and, according to Cope Health Solutions:

  • Demonstrate compliance with Health Center Program requirements, assessed during an operational site visit.
  • Achieve the number of unduplicated patients projected to be served.
  • Annually report data on patients, services, staffing, and financing in the Uniform Data System.



Underserved communities and vulnerable populations in America often face challenges accessing primary healthcare services. The Health Center Program New Access Points grant is one amazing way to expand access to it. The application process is highly competitive, but organizations can increase their chances of success by following the current guidelines set forth by the HRSA. With the right planning and execution, organizations can help meet the health care needs of their communities and make a positive impact on the health of America's underserved populations.

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