What is an FQHC?

America's Health Centers Who do health centers serve? America's most underserved communities health care centers create savings and promote economic growth

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America’s Health Centers

HEALTH CENTERS are consumer-driven and patient-centered organizations that serve as a comprehensive and cost-effective primary health care option for America’s most underserved communities. Health centers increase access to health care and provide integrated services based on the unique needs of the communities they serve.

There are four key components that define health centers & help them reach America’s most underserved communities

  1. Located in Areas of High Need
    Designated as medically underserved areas or populations by the federal government
  2. Comprehensive Set of Services
    Based on community needs, health centers offer medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, and enabling services
  3. Open to Everyone
    Regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, and offer a sliding fee scale options to low-income patients
  4. Patient-Majority Governing Boards
    At least 51% of every health center’s governing board must be made up of patients

Who do Health Centers Serve?

In 2019, health centers will served over 29 million patients including:

  • Nearly 14 million people in poverty
  • 8.7 million children
  • 1.4 million homeless patients
  • Over 385,000 veterans
  • 95,000 patients receiving MAT for opioid use disorder

Health Centers Reach Into America’s Most Underserved Communities

There are over 1,400 health center organizations operating more than 12,000 service delivery locations in every state and territory. Of these, 45% Are Rural Health Centers. Health centers serve:

  • 1 in 3 People in Poverty
  • 1 in 5 Rural Residents
  • 1 in 5 Uninsured Persons
  • 1 in 6 Medicaid Beneficiaries

Health Centers’ Impact On Patients

Many Patients Present to Health Centers With Chronic Conditions like Diabetes and Hypertension. And, Health Center Patients Have Higher Rates of Diabetes & Hypertension Control. Health centers also perform better on ambulatory care quality measures compared to private physicians & are narrowing health disparities.

Health Centers Create Savings & Promote Economic Growth

Health centers employ over 236,000 people of all skill & education levels, including health professionals, administration & facility & support staff. In total, these staff provide over 115 million  patient visits annually Health centers create $54.6 billion in total economic activity each year within America’s most underserved communities.

Health centers save the health care system $24 billion annually. Their average daily cost per patient is lower and on average, save over $2,300 (24%) per Medicaid patient.

This information is Copyrighted by the National Association of Community Health Centers | August 2019 | For more information, email our research center | Sources