Best Practices for Federal Poverty Guidelines

What are some best practices to make sure that the federal poverty guidelines are updated every year?

The Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) are vital to the health center program. In fact, they are the basis of the Sliding Fee Discount program and it is a HRSA program requirement that health centers ensure that the federal poverty guidelines are incorporated (and current) for all discount pay classes (Chapter 9-Sliding Fee Discount Program Element E; Updated FPGs are normally published each January (sometime around the middle of the month). Keeping this in mind health centers can:

  • Subscribe to various newsletters, such as those published by the Health and Human Services (HHS) and Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). Government entity newsletters or bulletins are great resources because they provide notices of upcoming changes and important reminders that health centers should be paying attention to.
  • It’s vital to update your sliding fee scale as soon as possible, as a change to the FPG affects how much a patient would pay for a health center visit. A health center should not wait more than 30 days to update their sliding fee scale. Some health centers designate their finance department or a specific individual to monitor the federal register and newsletters/publications the month before the FPG are due to be released.
  • Updates to the FPG can also be added to the annual Board of Directors’ calendar or other corporate calendars the health center utilizes to keep track of other regulatory annual updates.

Have a question?