Federally Qualified Health Center

A Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is a reimbursement designation in the United States, referring to several health programs funded under the Health Center Consolidation Act (Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act). Health programs funded include:

*Community Health Centers which serve a variety of Federally designated Medically Underserved Area/Populations (MUA or MUP).
*Migrant Health Centers which serve migrant and seasonal agricultural workers,
*Health Care for the Homeless Programs which reach out to homeless individuals and families and provide primary and preventive care and substance abuse services, and
*Public Housing Primary Care Programs that serve residents of public housing and are located in or adjacent to the communities they serve. [ [http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/ Health Center Program: What is a Health Center ] ]

FQHCs are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, oral, and mental health/substance abuse services to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay.

FQHCs operate under a consumer Board of Directors governance structure and function under the supervision of the Health Resources and Services Administration, which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. FQHCs were originally meant to provide comprehensive health services to the medically underserved to reduce the patient load on hospital emergency rooms.

Their mission has changed since their founding. They now bring primary health care to underserved/underinsured/uninsured Americans, including migrant workers and non-U.S. citizens.

FQHCs provide their services to all persons regardless of ability to pay, and charge for services on a community board approved sliding-fee scale that is based on patients' family income and size. FQHCs must comply with Section 330 program requirements.

FQHCs are also called Community/Migrant Health Centers (C/MHC), Community Health Centers (CHC), and 330 Funded Clinics.

President Bush launched the Health Centers Initiative to significantly increase access to primary health care services in 1,200 communities through new or expanded health center sites. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of patients treated at health centers has increased by over 4.7 million, representing a nearly 50 percent increase in just five years. In 2006 the number of patients served topped the 15 million mark for the first time.

Approximately two-thirds of health center patients are minorities, and 9 out of 10 have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Four in 10 health center patients have no health insurance.

The health center program's annual federal funding has grown from $1.16 billion in fiscal year 2001 to $1.99 billion in fiscal year 2007.

References

External links

*Federal Funding For Health Centers, [http://bphc.hrsa.gov/ U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration]
* [http://www.nachc.com/ National Association of Community Health Centers]
* [http://www.tachc.org/Home.asp General information Texas Association of Community Health Centers]
* [http://www.cms.hhs.gov/providers/fqhc/ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Advocacy]
* [http://www.ctpca.org Connecticut Primary Care Association]
* [http://www.paforum.com Pennsylvania (PA) Forum for Primary Health Care]


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