ESSENTIALS FOR A STRATEGIC THINKER 4-5 What Are Federal Health Centers? areas. Most located in medically underserved

ESSENTIALS FOR A STRATEGIC THINKER 4-5 What Are Federal Health Centers? areas. Most located in medically underserved The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awards grants to four types CHC patients have incomes at or below the fed. eral poverty level. Although CHC Patients with incomes at or of Federal Health Centers (FHCS): (1) Community Health Centers (CHC ): (2) health centers for the homeless; (3) health centers for public housing below 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) pay only nominal fees, patients with incomes greater than 200 percent FPL pay full charges CHCS are required to collect reimbursement from residents; and (4) health centers for migrants FHCS are governed by community boards with a majority of members (at least 51 percent) being patients. FHCS provide direct access to health care services as part of the health safety net. third-party payers (e.g. private insurance plans Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP) for insured patients CHCS are also eligible for designation as Federally Oualified Health Centers (FQHCS) and as such par- ticipate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs In addition to providing medical services (e.g. diagnosis and treatment), CHCS provide preven- tive health services including immunizations free vaccines for children, family planning, pre- More specifically: Health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality primary health care services. In addition, health centers often integrate natal care, and preventive dental care. Further, CHCS provide behavioral health treatments and services including mental health services, sub- stance abuse treatment, and diabetes self-man- to have access to pharmacy, mental health, sub- stance abuse, and oral health services in agement training. CHCS are arrangements with outside providers for emer- gency medical services and after-hours care. CHCS employ physicians and physician extend- ers to provide services for patients; its workforce includes many primary care clinicians from the National Health Services Corps that work in medi- cally underserved areas in return for student debt required areas where economic, geographic, or cul- tural barriers limit access to affordable health care services. Health centers deliver care to the Nation’s most vulnerable indi- viduals and families, including people experiencing homelessness, agricultural workers, residents of public housing, and the Nation’s veterans. reduction. Physicians must be licensed and are Most FHCS are CHCS, Le. public, not-for-profit ordinarily required to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. CHC physicians are not required to carry medical malpractice insurance coverage because under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) entities that provide primary, preventive, and emergency services to the general population of low-income individuals. CHCS also receive grants from state and local sources, private they are within the scope of employment however, the Federal government may sill be subject to liability for patients injured by malpractice in these cases immune from liability for care provided foundations, and other federal programs. CHCS are required to provide health care to all indi- viduals regardless of ability to pay and are

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