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The purpose of the Look-Alike designation is to expand these types of service delivery sites to underserved and vulnerable populations. Look-Alikes were established under the health center program to maximize access to care for medically underserved populations and communities by allowing entities that do not receive full health center status (under a New Access Point or a Service Area Competition) to apply to become part of the Health Center Program and, once designated, become eligible for the benefits of being in the program.
The benefits of being in the program are considerable. While Look-Alikes do not receive annual grant funding (like their counterparts who are fully deemed grantees) they are eligible for enhanced reimbursement from the Medicaid and Medicare programs under the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Prospective Payment System (PPS). Other benefits include the ability to purchase drugs for use in the clinic at reduced amounts through the 340B Federal Drug Pricing Program, receive automatic Health Professional Shortage Area designation, and access to hiring and retention of providers through the National Health Service Corps.
Once a practice has transformed into a Look-Alike, there are renewals and annual certifications involved depending on where in the current designation period the Look-Alike entity is. It is critical to maintain compliance with the program and demonstrate this compliance as needed and FQHC Consultants, Inc. is here to help do just that!