Community Health Centers
Community health centers (also known as federally qualified health centers, FQHCs, or health centers) provide high-quality, affordable, primary and preventive health care services to people who otherwise may lack access to medical care due to where they live, lack of insurance, language barriers, income level or their complex health care needs. Community health centers reach low-income and medically underserved communities and serve patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. They also provide enabling services like health education, transportation and case management. Health centers are community-driven, with patients making up at least 51% of each health center’s board of directors.
Health centers are a driving economic force in their communities, adding over $2.3 billion annually to the Texas economy. More than 11,850 full-time equivalent employees work at Texas health centers in a wide range of positions from primary care physicians to pharmacy technicians and outreach workers.
Health center revenue comes from a variety of sources. Medicaid dollars represent the largest source, accounting for 27% of total health center funds. Health centers also receive ongoing federal grants used primarily to fund care for the uninsured. State and local funding comprise 10% of health center revenue. Patient self-pay revenues account for 7% of total health center income.
Health centers provide preventive care and assist patients to effectively manage chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Research shows that effective preventive care and chronic disease management reduces the need for more costly urgent hospital emergency room care.