- Physician care
- X-Ray services
- Laboratory services
- Preventive services (mammography, well-child, etc.)
- Transportation for health services
- Case management
- Specialty referrals
Few primary care delivery systems do more than CHCs to ensure and measure the quality of health care they provide. In fact, according to several studies, the CHC model consistently shows high quality measurements.
To that end, all CHCs regularly undergo an in-depth evaluation process conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service. Called the Primary Care Effectiveness Review, the three day evaluation reviews all clinical, governance, and administrative procedures, and provides guidance for future improvements. And now, many CHCs are also becoming JCAHO accredited.
CHCs provide a strong positive economic impact on the communities they serve. Along with quality health care services vital for economic growth, they provide local jobs. CHCs employ more than 700 full time employees in Virginia. CHCs also bring over $36 million in outside grants and non-patient revenues to these areas, adding to the economic base and development of these regions of the state.
Community Health Centers are Federally Qualified Health Centers.
In 1989 and 1990 the federal government passed laws identifying certain community-based health care organizations as unique providers of services to Medicaid and Medicare recipients. These laws, established in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Acts of 1989 and 1990:
- Designate the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) as a unique type of health care provider
- Establish a certain set of FQHC health care services that Medicaid and Medicare must cover for those beneficiaries who receive these services from the FQHC
- Require reimbursement of reasonable cost to the FQHC for the FQHC services.
By passing FQHC legislation to cover the reasonable cost of covered Medicare and Medicaid services for eligible individuals, Congress recognized two goals of the FQHC program:
- To provide adequate reimbursement to community-based primary health care organizations (FQHCs) so that they, in turn, may better serve large numbers of Medicare and Medicaid recipients and provide more services, thus improving access to care;
- To enable FQHCs to use other resources previously subsidizing Medicare and Medicaid to serve uninsured individuals who, although not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, have a difficult time obtaining primary care because of economic or geographic barriers.
FQHC laws define two types of providers that may qualify for the program. First, those who receive federal grants under the Public Health Service Act, Section 330, which include Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers and Health Care for the Homeless programs.
The second type of provider that may qualify are those meeting all requirements under Section 330 but do not actually receive federal funding assistance. To receive FQHC status a provider must apply. For details on the FQHC program and assistance in applying, contact the U.S. Bureau of Primary Health Care, the Virginia Community Heathcare Association (804-237-7677), or the Virginia Department of Health Center for Primary Care Resource Development (804-864-7435).
These are sites that are not designated as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), however they operate much like a CHC including being private, nonprofit organizations, offering universal access through a sliding-fee-scale, and governed by a local volunteer board of directors including users of the center.