"Federally Qualified Health Centers" is a perfect example of a paper on the health system. The central principle behind Federally Qualified Health Centers is to “ enhance the provision of primary care services in underserved urban and rural communities” (CMS par. 1). These centers exist to offer a variety of medical services, including preventative services and oral, mental health, and substance abuse services, as well as services for the wellness of women, serving individuals who are unable to obtain the services they need due to costs or lack of insurance.
Such centers are considered to be safety nets in the health care services and are critical components in ensuring that nobody goes without medical attention regardless of their age, income, or ability to pay. Federally Qualified Health Centers are distinct from other community clinics in the sense that they also offer “ dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and community outreach services” (Tucker par. 6), whereas other clinics only offer medical services and, occasionally, preventative services. Furthermore, there is a difference in funding, in which community clinics must offer specific services to receive grants and the qualifications required to be considered a Federally Qualified Health Center.
Though these community clinics serve the basic needs of residents, we need the Federally Qualified Health Centers to tend to the needs that other clinics are incapable of meeting. While community clinics aid those who cannot afford basic medical care, the FQHCs offer other services that would be otherwise financially unobtainable. Federally Qualified Health Centers are reimbursed through Medicaid and Medicare, based on the patients that are seen face-to-face at an average of $60 per person, regardless of what services they receive.
While FQHCs, like any other health clinic, can be open to Medicaid fraud, these centers are necessary for those who cannot afford the medical attention they need.
CMS. "Federally Qualified Health Center." Department of Health and Human Services. N.p., 15 Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2012.
Tucker, Jacob. "About Community Health Centers." Idaho Primary Care Association. N.p., 26 May 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2012.