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Collecting Needs Assessment Data

Health centers must meet a strict set of requirements including assessing the needs of its target population.  This webpage provides helpful resources addressing the collection of needs assessment data. 

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Needs Assessment Information and Tips
Online Needs Assessment Resources

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NEEDS ASSESSMENT INFORMATION AND TIPS

Health centers are non-profit private or public entities that serve designated medically underserved populations/areas or special medically underserved populations comprised of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, the homeless, or residents of public housing (section 330(a) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act).  According to the first of 19 Key Health Center Program Requirements, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which receive Federal funding, and Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alikes, which do not, must demonstrate and document the needs of their target population, including updating their service area, when appropriate (section 330(k)(2) and section 330(k)(3)(J) of the PHS Act).

In order to become eligible for federally-qualified status, and to meet the requirements on an ongoing basis, health center applicants and grantees must perform periodic needs assessments.  Needs assessments document the needs of the CHC’s target population and are used to inform and improve the delivery of appropriate services.  Critical information is needed to develop the community needs assessment, services, delivery plan, and business model for the health center and for obtaining federal designations and/or funding.  Thus, needs assessments typically include, but are not limited to, data on:

Needs assessment data must be expressed in the appropriate format (e.g. percentages or fractions) and the sources for the data must be presented.  There must be a direct relationship between the needs assessment data and focus of the application, i.e. a health disparity presented in the needs assessment is addressed in the health care plan, operational support required to address the disparity is located within the business plan, and staffing required to deliver the service dictated by the disparity is identified within the budget.

For additional information about health center requirements, please review the following resources:

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

National Archives & Records Administration Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR)

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ONLINE NEEDS ASSESSMENT RESOURCES

Clinic and Community Profile
HRSA Learning Teams
A short profile template to use as a starting point when gathering basic data and information about the clinic or community
Clinic and Community Profile Template 

Community Guide for Health Professional Shortage Area Designation Applications
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Guide including the following sections: Applying for a HPSA, Rational Service Area, Population to Provider Ration, Designating a Facility as a HPSA, Application Development Tools, Terms, and Select Shortage Designation Benefits
www.cdphe.state.co.us/pp/primarycare/shortage/guide.pdf

Community Needs Assessment Tool
Community Health Needs Assessment
Web-based platform that shows demographics and performance on a core set of community indicators for a selected area
Community Health Needs Assessment

Community Needs Assessment and Data-Supported Decision Making: Keys to Building Responsive and Effective Health Centers
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
Document that focuses on the collection and use of needs assessment data and answers many common questions
Community Needs Assessment and Data-Supported Decision Making: Keys to Building Responsive and Effective Health Centers

Data Resources for Demonstrating Need for Primary Care Services
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Includes sections: How to Use the Data Resources for Demonstrating Need for Primary Care Services, Extrapolating Data, Index of Resources, and Glossary of Terms
www.hrsa.gov/grants/apply/assistance/NAP/dataresourceguide.pdf 

Data Tools
North Dakota Department of Health
Tools for calculating age-adjusted rates, locating ICD codes, converting death rates, providing age-adjusted ratios, and standard occupational classifications
www.ndhealth.gov/HealthData/DataTools.asp

Developing Effective Federally Qualified Health Centers Trainings
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
Three-day training on FQHCs including developing a comprehensive needs assessment
www.nachc.org/event-detail.cfm?EID=58

Distribution of Uninsured
Enroll America
Interactive state maps showing distribution, number, income, and ethnicity of uninsured
www.enrollamerica.org/maps

Farmworker Community Needs Assessment
National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc. (NCFH)
Tools and tips for conducting a Needs Assessment for the farmworker population
www.ncfh.org/?pid=233

FQHC New Access Point: Need for Assistance Worksheet (Form 9) Tool Builder
Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
PowerPoint presentation with step-by-step instructions to build a time-saving “Need for Assistance Worksheet”
Need for Assistance Worksheet Tool Builder PowerPoint

Needs Assessment
NeedsAssessment.org
A variety of resources—from articles to podcasts—on needs assessment
www.needsassessment.org

So You Want to Start A Health Center…? Chapter Three
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
The Needs Assessment and Planning chapter of this guide provides an overview of needs assessment and planning, and information on federal shortage designations and how to obtain federal shortage designation
Needs Assessment and Planning

Policy Information Notice 98-23: Health Center Program Expectations
HRSA's Health Center Program
Expectations of organizations with 330 funding, including information on needs assessment
http://bphc.hrsa.gov/policiesregulations/policies/pin200116.html

Primary Health Care: The Health Center Program
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Information and news on the requirements of health centers, how to apply for funding, open funding opportunities, continuation opportunities for current grantees, special populations, Policy Information Notices (PINs) and Program Assistance Letters (PALs), capital development, and technical assistance
www.bphc.hrsa.gov

Principles to Consider for the Implementation of a Community Health Needs Assessment Process
National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Report identifies seven guiding principles to inform the implementation community health needs assessments and implementation plans, including those being conducted by nonprofit hospitals
http://nnphi.org/CMSuploads/PrinciplesToConsiderForTheImplementationOfACHNAProcess_GWU_20130604.pdf

Program/Proposal Logic Model Part One: Doing Community Needs Assessments
NACHC Developing Effective FQHC Programs and Applications, September 2010
Information from Part One of Pamela Byrnes’ “The Program/Proposal Logic Model” presentation slides, reformatted in a user-friendly handout, providing guidance on identifying needs, service area, target population, patients, health status, access to care, barriers to care, environment, and special populations 
Doing Community Needs Assessments Part One

Program/Proposal Logic Model Part Two: Dig Deeper into Data
NACHC Developing Effective FQHC Programs and Applications, September 2010
Information from Part Two of Pamela Byrnes’ “The Program/Proposal Logic Model” presentation slides, reformatted in a user-friendly handout, providing guidance on finding and generating relevant data, qualitative approaches to collecting data, secondary data collection, places to find data, and extrapolating data
Doing Community Needs Assessments Part Two

Regulations
National Archives and Records Administration
Regulations for Grants for Community Health Services
42 CFR Part 51C
Regulations for Grants for Migrant Health Services
45 CFR Parts 56.201-56.604
Regulations for Health and Human Services Grants
45 CFR Part 74

Required Need Indicators Service Area Funding
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
Informational handout regarding 2011 required need indicators service area competition funding
FY 2011 Required Need Indicators Service Area Competition Funding

Resource Organizations List
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
List of agencies and organizations that provide information, technical assistance, funds, or other support to CHCs
NACHC Resource Organizations List

Resources for Implementing the Community Health Needs Assessment Process
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Resources to be used for community health needs assessments and community health improvement plans related to revised community benefit obligations for public hospitals under the Affordable Care Act
www.cdc.gov/policy/chna/

Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (42 USCS § 254b)
HRSA’s Health Center Program
Information contained in Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, including definitions, grant information, technical assistance, audits, and other information
http://bphc.hrsa.gov/policiesregulations/legislation/index.html

Special Populations Information
National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
A how-to guide on finding information on special populations by state, county, or city level
How-to Find Information on Special Populations

What is a Needs Assessment?
National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc. (NCFH)
Article offering information about conducting a Needs Assessment for the farmworker population
www.ncfh.org/newsline/11-0506.pdf

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