The Health Care Safety Net Amendments of 2002, P.L. 107-251, contained a number of provisions related to the designation of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The most significant change for Federally Certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) is the eligibility for an Automatic HPSA designation as having a shortage of health professionals to provide primary, dental, and mental health care services. In order to be eligible for the automatic designation, these clinics must demonstrate that they meet the requirements of Section 334 of the PHS Act, Charges for Services by Entities Using Corps Members. Furthermore, they must have a Sliding Fee Schedule and a completed Certificate of Eligibility.
Review the steps required of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) to be designated as an Automatic “Auto” HPSA
Meet Location Requirements
The RHC must be located in:
Submit a Certificate of Eligibility Form
If the RHC wants to become an eligible National Health Service Corps (NHSC) site, the RHC may request an Automatic HPSA designation by submitting a “Certificate of Eligibility” (PDF - 22 KB) form and a Sliding Fee Schedule to HRSA.
Submit a Certificate of Eligibility document for each individual RHC site, even if part of a larger organization. The information provided will be checked against the list of certified RHCs posted by CMS or RHC download in the HRSA Data Warehouse to confirm RHC status, and if there are any discrepancies, additional information may be requested.
Meet Specific Requirements
The RHC must also meet these specific requirements: