Affordable Care Act National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) assists Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in every State, Territory, and Possession of the United States to meet their primary care medical, oral, and mental and behavioral health service needs by increasing the supply of clinicians through the following
programs: National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP), National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program (SP), and State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP).

The NHSC Loan Repayment Program offers fully trained primary care clinicians the opportunity to receive assistance to pay off qualifying educational loans in exchange for service in a HPSA.

The NHSC Scholarship Program awards scholarships to health professions students committed to a career in primary care and service in underserved communities of greatest need.

The Students to Service (S2S) Loan Repayment Program provides assistance to pay off qualifying educational loans to medical students in their last year of school in exchange for service in a HPSA.

The NHSC State Loan Repayment Program provides matching funds in a form of a grant to States to operate their own repayment programs in HPSAs.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - None.

Division of National Health Service Corps
Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 8-37, 5600 Fishers Lane,.

Rockville, MD 20857.

Telephone: (301) 594-4400.

For 24-hour toll-free calls from outside MD: (1-800) 221-9393, use for requesting applications.


Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available. Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

NHSC Loan Repayment Awards provide payments of up to $50,000 towards participants" qualified government and commercial health professions undergraduate and graduate education loans during the first 2 years of full time practice or 4 years of half time practice at a selected NHSC Loan Repayment Service Site under a written agreement with this program.

NHSC Scholarships pay tuition and required fees to the school, a monthly stipend to students for living expenses, and a single annual payment to the student to assist with other reasonable educational expenses.

Students to Service Loan Repayment Program provides payments of up to $120,000 for the first 3 years of full-time service or 6 years of half-time service.

State Loan Repayment Funds under this grant must only be used to repay the qualifying educational loans of health professionals who have entered into SLRP contract with the States.

Funds cannot be used for the following purposes: costs of administering the program, State matching funds, or any other purpose.

Refer to each of the program funding opportunity announcements that contain specific requirements for the NHSC Loan Repayment, NHSC Scholarship and State Loan Repayment Programs.

Please see the applicable program funding opportunity announcements.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Training

For specific program and eligibility requirements, please see: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Health professional
U.S. citizen
Education (13+).

Credentials/Documentation

Applicants should review the individual HRSA funding opportunity announcement issued under this CFDA program for any required proof or certifications which must be submitted prior to or simultaneous with submission of an application package. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

SLRP grantees may need State agency approval prior to submitting an application to a Federal agency.

Does not apply to NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to SLRP.

HRSA requires SLRP applicants to apply electronically through Grants.gov.

For the NHSC LRP, SP, and S2S programs, applicants may apply online at https://programportal.hrsa.gov.

Award Procedures

NHSC LRP awards are made based on the highest need as determined by descending health professional shortage area scores. Priority will be given to individuals whose training is in a health discipline or specialty determined by the Secretary for Health and Human Services to be needed by the NHSC and who the Secretary determines are committed to service in health professional shortage areas. All qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee. Based on the advice of the objective review committee, the HRSA program official with delegated authority is responsible for final selection and funding decisions.

NHSC S2S awards are prioritized based on having a disadvantaged background and characteristics likely to remain in a HPSA as identified by their essay and letters of recommendation.

NHSC SP awards are very competitive; the Program anticipates more applicants for scholarship awards than there are funds available. The applications of individuals who meet the eligibility criteria are scored numerically.

For SLRP awards, all qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee. Based on the advice of the objective review committee, the HRSA program official with delegated authority is responsible for final selection and funding decisions. Notification is made in writing by a Notice of Award.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Section 338B of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (42 United States Code Section 254l-1), as amended by P.L. 111-148, Affordable Care Act.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

For NHSC LRP and SLRP, approximately 120 days.

For NHSC S2S it is anticipated that notification to successful and rejected applicants will be made no later than 6 months after application receipt deadline.

For NHSC SP, notification to successful and rejected applicants is made no later than 6 months after application receipt deadline.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

For NHSC LRP, continuation contracts will be considered according to the availability of appropriated funds and eligibility criteria applied to the individual and the site at which that individual is employed. For NHSC S2S, continuation contracts will be considered according to the availability of appropriated funds and eligibility criteria applied to the individual and the site at which that individual is employed. For NHSC SP, Renewal applications are not necessary for students in compliance; contracts may be multi-year funded through graduation (1 to 4 years, if the applicant signs the contract through the graduation date).

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 50.%. Matching requirement does not apply to NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP.

SLRP Matching Requirements: Percent: 50.%. Fifty-percent (50%). States must agree to make available (directly or through donations from public or private entities) non-Federal contributions in cash toward SLRP contracts in an amount not less than $1 for each $1 of Federal funds provided in the grant. A State may not use any Federal funds or in-kind contributions to satisfy the non-Federal match requirement. A State must verify that contributions from sources other than State appropriated funds are non-Federal. States may use non-Federal funds in excess of the $1 for $1 minimum match to supplement the repayment of qualifying loans of health professionals.

The Federal share must be used to repay the government and commercial loans of health professionals for tuition, educational expenses and living expenses described in Section 338B(g)(1) of the Public Health Service Act. States must assume administrative costs.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

NHSC LRP - Loan repayments for 1 year of obligated service will be made no later than the end of the fiscal year in which the individual completes such year of service.

NHSC S2S - Loan repayments for 3 years of obligated service will be made no later than the end of the fiscal year in which the individual completes such year of service.

NHSC SP - Each award covers 1 to 4 years of support, as requested. No awardees may receive more than 4 years of support.

SLRP - Applicants may propose a project period of up to 4 years. However, funds are distributed in yearly budget period subject to availability of funds. States are asked to commit the full amount of funding for their loan repayment awards to practitioners in the current fiscal year to avoid out-year commitments for additional Federal funds. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Grantee drawdown funds, as necessary, from the Payment Management System (PMS). PMS is the centralized web based payment system for HHS awards.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

NHSC SP - Annual reports by schools indicating average student educational expenses.

The academic institution where the student is enrolled must complete and submit a Verification of Enrollment Form each semester as a full-time student pursuing the program for which the scholarship was awarded.



NHSC SP, NHSC LRP, and S2S LRP - The employing facility must complete and send a semi-annual In-Service Verification form verifying that the participating health professional is providing full-time or half-time service.

The certification includes a signature by an appropriate official of the facility.



SLRP - Recipient States must submit: (1) a Financial Report within 90 days of the end of each budget period; (2) Semi-Annual Field Strength Reports through the HRSA Electronic Handbooks System (EHBs); (3) non-competing continuation application(s) report through the EHBs; (4) a Final Report.

All grantees are required to submit a final report within 90 days after the project period ends.

No cash reports are required.

Progress reporting applies to SLRP only.

No expenditure reports are required.

No performance monitoring is required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Annual reporting does not apply to NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP.

Records

None for NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP.

For SLRP, Grantees are required to maintain grant accounting records 3 years after the date they submit the final Federal Financial Report. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit or other action involving the award has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records shall be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.

Financial Information

Account Identification

75-0350-0-1-550.

Obigations

(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 12 $169,201,422; FY 13 est $175,200,000; and FY 14 est $178,400,000 - NHSC LRP. (Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 12 $8,168,571; FY 13 est $12,000,000; and FY 14 est $12,000,000 - NHSC S2S. (Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 12 $42,234,761; FY 13 est $41,800,000; and FY 14 est $42,600,000 - NHSC SP. (Project Grants) FY 12 $9,843,582; FY 13 est $10,000,000; and FY 14 est $10,000,000 - SLRP.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

NHSC LRP - New awards for FY12 range from $877 to $60,000, with an average new award of $50,381

NHSC S2S - New awards for FY12 range from $5,000 to $30,000 per year, with an average new award of $118,385.

NHSC SP - New awards for FY12 range from $32,000 to $510,000 per year, with an average award of $99,484.

SLRP (Project Grants for FY12) - $76,500 to $1,000,000, with an average award of 319,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Please see application process for NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP at http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

For SLRP:
This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR Part 92 for State, local and tribal governments and 45 CFR Part 74 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofit organizations and commercial organizations, as applicable.

HRSA awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) that are applicable based on recipient type and purpose of award. The HHS GPS is available at http://www.hrsa.gov/grants.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None. Division of National Health Service Corps
Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 8-37, 5600 Fishers Lane,. Rockville, MD 20857. Telephone: (301) 594-4400. For 24-hour toll-free calls from outside MD: (1-800) 221-9393, use for requesting applications.

Headquarters Office

Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service (BCRS) Health Resources and Services Administration, Room 8-37, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857 Phone: (301) 594-4400. For 24-hour toll

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

NHSC LRP - Priority will be given to applicants who are individuals whose training is in a health or specialty profession determined by the Secretary to be needed by NHSC.

NHSC S2S - Priority will be given to applicants who have a disadvantaged background and characteristics likely to remain in a HPSA as identified by their essay and letters of recommendation.

NHSC SP - By statute, first priority will be given to any applicant for such assistance, who has previously received a scholarship under this section or under section 758 of the PHS Act. Second priority will be given to students who are from a "disadvantaged background , and third priority will be given to all students who have characteristics which increase the probability they will continue professional practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area when they complete their service obligation.

SLRP - For new and competing continuation grants the following criteria will be used to evaluate State applications to determine which States are to be supported under this notice: (a) The extent of the State"s need for health professionals consistent with the health professions and specialties identified later in this notice; (b) the number and type of providers the State proposes to support through this program; (c) the appropriateness of the proposed placements of State LRP recipients (e.g., consistency and coordination with State-based plans to improve access to primary health services for the underserved communities and individuals); (d) the appropriateness of the qualifications, the administrative, and managerial ability of the staff to implement the proposed project; (e) the suitability of the State"s approach and the degree to which the plan of a State is coordinated with Federal, State, and other programs for meeting the State"s health professional needs and resources, including mechanisms for ongoing evaluation of the program"s activities; (f) the source and plans for the use of the nonfederal match (the degree to which the nonfederal match exceeds the minimum requirements or has increased over time and the amount of the match relative to the needs and resources of the State); (g) for competing continuation applicants only, the grantee"s progress in achieving stated goals and objectives for the previous year"s grant; this includes a progress report on the impact the State LRP placements have had on the State"s short-term and long-term professional needs: (h) an assessment of the reasons for initial breaches by health professionals of repayment contracts; and (i) the grantee"s history of compliance with reporting requirements. Noncompeting continuation applications will be evaluated on the grantee"s progress in achieving stated goals and objectives for the previous year"s grant; this includes a progress report on the impact the State LRP placements have had on the State"s short-term and long-term professional needs: (j) and assessment of the reasons for initial breaches by health professionals of repayment contracts; and (k) the grantee"s history of compliance with reporting requirements.



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