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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Nguyen

Preparing for a Service Area Competition

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

HRSA has announced the 2020 Service Area Competition (SAC) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are required to complete a Service Area Competition every three years. Some may also complete a SAC more often if they have conditions placed on their grant. FQHCs demonstrating compliance with HRSA requirements and progress toward meeting their performance goals are awarded new three-year designation periods. FQHCs that demonstrate non-compliance with program requirements or submit an inferior renewal application are only given a one-year designation period. These FQHCs must complete a full new SAC the following year. The SAC, however, is not merely a report on performance. For example, organizations can share strategies that have been applied to overcome unique or unanticipated challenges, even if their goals have not been fully met. This process also encourages FQHCs to take inventory of the changing needs in their community and to share those needs with HRSA.

It’s not too early to start!

The SAC application is a two-step process. The first phase of the application is submitted through approximately four (4) weeks prior to full submission. The second phase includes the full application’s upload into the HRSA Electronic Handbook (EHB).

Successful applications require coordination across all health center departments with a primary focus on financial, clinical, governance and administrative operations of the organization. This means that department leads will be tasked with acquiring and verifying their respective data and maintaining fluid communication with the SAC preparation team.

We’re here to help!

A strong SAC application is an opportunity to measure your successes and to identify areas that need growth. Gary Bess Associates can help you meet this opportunity. We can prepare the full application, or only work on a portion such as the project narrative, completion of all or some forms, attachment review, need-related documentation, or strategic consultation and final review.

For information on how we can support you in getting your next three-year designation, contact us! Our staff is always happy to help.

To find out if you have a SAC due soon, visit HRSA’s 2020 Service Area Competition website and have your project period end data available. This can be found on your most recent Notice of Award (NoA).

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