Relevance to the Underserved Issue
The National Health Service Corp provides underserved communities with the healthcare professionals necessary to provide adequate health and mental health services.
Summary of Key Information
Over the past 25 years the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), a section of the Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has provided underserved communities with sufficient health services by recruiting primary care physicians, dentists, and mental health professionals. The recruited healthcare professionals are placed in locales across the United States that are designated as professional shortage areas. The shortage areas may be urban or rural, but by definition they are underserved.
National Advisory Council
In order to ensure that the healthcare professionals participating in the NHSC are getting adequate support and guidance, NHSC has an advisory council that comprises healthcare practitioners and administrators who have a background working in underserved communities. The council provides support, information and resources, and serves as a liaison between the clinicians and the NHSC managers.
NHCS Community Commitment
The NHSC has a commitment to:
- Partner with public and private organizations in the community;
- Develop relationships with academic institutions to train future participants in the National Health Service Corps;
- Provide Interdisciplinary Teams; and
- Look at each community individually to determine their specific needs.
NHSC Eligibility in Communities
To be eligible to receive NHSC assistance, programs must:
- be situated in a Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA);
- be located in an urban or rural area that works with at-risk or high-needs populations;
- accept Medicaid and Medicare assignments;
- have a discounted fee schedule (with no barriers for individuals who are at or beneath the 200 percent of the federally designated poverty level);
- work with other systems of care and provide hospitalization and referral services; and
- provide full-time hours.
There are several ways to get involved in the National Health Service Corps. To find out more information about these opportunities visit their website http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/ or call 1-800-221-9393.