Community Health Centers are public or private non-profit health organizations that meet federal requirements and improve health outcomes by providing high-quality, affordable, patient-centered, comprehensive primary and preventative health care.
• Serve communities and rural areas that are medically underserved
• Provide health care and support services that are affordable, with fees adjusted based on ability to pay,
• Demonstrate clinical and financial management that is sound, and
• Be governed by a board, with a majority of members being served by the health center.
There are over 1,400 Federally Qualified Health Centers across the United States who serve more than 29 million people. “Health centers help increase access to crucial primary care by reducing barriers such as cost, lack of insurance, distance, and language for their patients. In doing so, health centers provide substantial benefits to the country and its health care system.
• Provide highly efficient and cost-effective care, generating $24 billion in savings for the health care system annually.
• Increase access to timely primary care, playing a role in reducing costly, avoidable emergency department (ED) visits and hospital stays. The average cost for a health center medical visit was less than one-sixth the average cost of an ED visit in 2012.
• Deliver a broad array of primary and preventive care services, including screening, diagnosis and management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, heart and lung disease, depression, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
• Reduce mortality, health disparities and risk of low birth weight with the care they deliver.
• Offer numerous enabling services such as transportation, translation, case management and health education in order to ensure their patients are receiving the care they need.
Source: National Association of Community Health Centers