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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Primary Care: The Health Center Program

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Program Benefits

Benefits to the Community

Health centers provide

  • A health home for underserved people, improving public health, reducing the burden on hospital emergency rooms, and providing needed services such as free immunizations for uninsured children
  • A voice (through the consumer majority Board of Directors) in the operation of that health home
  • Broader health insurance coverage as the health center assists uninsured patients enroll in Medicaid, CHIP, and other assistance programs
  • Less costly care for Medicare patients, whose Medicare deductible costs are waived for FQHC-provided services

Benefits to the Health Center

  • Section 330 grant funds to offset the costs of uncompensated care and other key enabling services (Health Center Program grantees receive these grant funds. Look-alikes are eligible to compete for them.)
  • Access to medical malpractice coverage under Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) (Look-alikes are not eligible for this benefit.)
    More about the Federal Tort Claims Act
  • Prospective Payment System reimbursement for services to Medicaid patients
  • Cost-based reimbursement for services to Medicare patients
  • PHS Drug Pricing Discounts for pharmaceutical products under the 340B Program
    More about the 340B Drug Pricing Program
  • Federal loan guarantees for capital improvements (Look-alikes are not eligible for this benefit.)
  • Access to on-site eligibility workers to provide Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment services
  • Reimbursement by Medicare for “first dollar” of services because deductible is waived if FQHC is providing services
  • Access to Vaccines for Children Program for uninsured children
  • The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) can help health centers, look-alikes, and free clinics recruit and retain qualified providers who care about communities in need and choose to work where they are needed most. 
  • National network of similar organizations committed to improving the health of the Nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations by assuring access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services