Health Center Program: 2011 Grant Award Process Highlighted Need and Special Populations and Merits Evaluation

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) revised its New Access Point (NAP) competitive award process in fiscal year 2011 to increase the emphasis on the need for services in the applicant’s proposed service area, and on the three special populations—migrant and seasonal farmworkers, homeless people, and residents of public housing—designated by the Public Health Service Act. The act requires that certain proportions of Health Center Program funding go to health centers serving the special populations. To increase the ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 29, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) revised its New Access Point (NAP) competitive award process in fiscal year 2011 to increase the emphasis on the need for services in the applicant’s proposed service area, and on the three special populations—migrant and seasonal farmworkers, homeless people, and residents of public housing—designated by the Public Health Service Act. The act requires that certain proportions of Health Center Program funding go to health centers serving the special populations. To increase the emphasis on need, HRSA increased the weight given to need in the application review process. To target health centers serving special populations, HRSA gave extra points in the application process to applicants proposing to serve them. When this was insufficient to meet the required proportions, HRSA moved some applicants ahead of others in the award rank order list, a method it had used in the past. The effect of HRSA’s actions on the award outcome was magnified in fiscal year 2011 because (1) HRSA received less program funding than it had anticipated, and (2) it needed to increase the share of grants going to health centers serving the special populations because HRSA had not applied the statutory proportions when it used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to award grants in fiscal year 2009. As a result, HRSA awarded 67 NAP grants in fiscal year 2011, 57 of which went to applicants proposing to serve at least one special population; 13 of the 57 received grants by being moved ahead of other applicants with equal or higher review scores. HRSA announced the extra points in application guidance, but not the potential moving of some applicants ahead of others. As HRSA has periodically needed to take actions to meet its statutory obligations and may need to do so again, evaluating the effectiveness and transparency of its most recent New Access Point grant award process could help it identify lessons and possible improvements for the future."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 29, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Health Center Program: 2011 Grant Award Process Highlighted Need and Special Populations and Merits Evaluation, report, May 29, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299842/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.