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), The Students to Service (S2S) Loan Repayment Program, and State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). The NHSC Loan Repayment Program offers fully trained primary care clinicians the opportunity to receive financial assistance to repay their 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 financial assistance to repay 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 the form of a grant to States to operate their own loan repayment programs in HPSAs.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
93.547
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Health Resources and Services Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Direct Payments for Specified Use; Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
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.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
For specific program and eligibility requirements, please see: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SLRP: Entities eligible to apply for this grant program include the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government and Native American Organizations may apply if they are otherwise.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Health professional
U.S. citizen
Education (13+).
Credentials/Documentation
Applicants should review the individual HRSA Application and Program Guidance (NHSC LRP, NHSC SP, NHSC S2S) or Funding Opportunity Announcement (SLRP) 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. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. 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 Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to SLRP.

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

Other applicants apply through http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/
Award Procedure
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.

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

NHSC SP awards are very competitive; the Program anticipates more applicants for scholarship awards than there are funds available. Qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee and scored numerically. Based on the advice of the objective review committee, the HRSA program official with delegated authority is responsible for final selection and funding decisions

SLRP awards, all eligible, qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee and scored numerically. 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.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
NHSC LRP and SLRP, approximately 120 days.

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

NHSC SP, notification to successful and unsuccessful applicants is made no later than September 30th of the application year.
Appeals
Not Applicable.
Renewals
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.

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.

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).
How are proposals selected?
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.
How may assistance be used?
NHSC Loan Repayment Awards provide payments of up to $50,000 towards a participant’s qualified federal and commercial health professions undergraduate and graduate educational loans during the first 2 years of full time practice or 4 years of half time practice at a selected NHSC 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 Grant Program funds can only be used to repay the qualifying educational loans of health professionals who have entered into a SLRP contract with the States. Federal grant funds cannot be used to cover the costs of administering the program or as the source of State matching funds. 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.

Restricted Uses: Indirect costs that are allowed for administrative costs incurred as a result of the project, are limited to 8 percent of direct costs. Please see the applicable program funding opportunity announcements.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
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 - Program reports are required. 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.
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Annual reporting does not apply to NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP.

Records
None for NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP.

SLRP Grantees are required to maintain grant accounting records 3 years from the date they submit the final Federal Financial Report (FFR). 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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Matching requirement does not apply to NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and NHSC S2S.

SLRP Matching Requirements: 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 periods subject to the 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: Grantees drawdown funds, as necessary, from the Payment Management System (PMS). PMS is the centralized web based payment system for HHS awards.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
Division of National Health Service Corps, Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Health Resources and Services Administration Room 8C-26, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857 Phone: (301) 594-4400
Website Address
http://nhsc.hrsa.gov
Financial Information
Account Identification
75-0350-0-1-550.
Obligations
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 14 $41,767,450; FY 15 est $38,500,000; and FY 16 est $79,600,000 - NHSC SP. (Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 14 $151,061,936; FY 15 est $159,200,000; and FY 16 est $345,800,000 - NHSC LRP. (Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 14 $9,246,518; FY 15 est $12,000,000; and FY 16 est $15,000,000 - NHSC S2S. (Project Grants) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - SLRP.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
NHSC LRP - New awards for FY14 ranged from $1,439 to $50,000; with an average new award of $43,245.

NHSC S2S - New awards for FY14 range from $40,186 to $120,000; with an average new award of $116,694.

NHSC SP - New awards for FY14 ranged from $47,611 to $411,478; with an average award of $209,799.

SLRP (Project Grants for FY14) – Not applicable.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Please see application process for NHSC LRP, NHSC SP and S2S LRP at http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

For SLRP:
All administrative and audit requirements and the cost principles that govern Federal monies associated with this activity will be subject to the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 as codified by HHS at 45 CFR 75. 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 also 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.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.