California’s federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and "look-alikes" treat more than 2.3 million patients each year. With fewer providers serving Medi-Cal beneficiaries and the uninsured, FQHCs have become an even more vital source of primary care for millions of Californians.
Despite cutbacks in state and local funding, a new report by the National Academy for State Health Policy finds California has an opportunity to improve the performance and sustainability of FQHCs by integrating technology, adapting to changes in health policy, and tapping new sources of funding.
The issue brief covers the following topics:
- The operational history of community health centers, including their complex federal and state funding structure;
- Effects of Medi-Cal and third-party payment structures and state regulatory and licensing policies on health center finances;
- Other states’ approaches to improving funding and operations, including collaborating with federal entities, technology initiatives, and medical home pilots; and
- Strategies for stakeholders and policymakers to increase reimbursement and recruit and retain providers.
This issue brief was supported by the California HealthCare Foundation. This brief relied upon NASHP’s publication Federal Community Health Centers and State Health Policy: A Primer for Policy Makers, which was supported through a National Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Primary Health Care.