Federally Qualified Health Centers
A Federally Qualified Health Center is an entity which meets the requirements of a federally-funded health center, whether or not it receives a grant under Sections 329, 330 or 340 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act. These requirements include being nonprofit, having a community-based board of directors, providing or arranging all the necessary services, enabling the services, and providing care regardless of the ability to pay.
A Community Health Center (CHC) receives federal funding under Section 330 of the PHS Act, as amended by the Health Centers Consolidated Act of 1966 (P.L. 104-299) and the Safety Net Amendments of 2002.
Five essential elements that differentiate CHCs from other providers are: o They must be located in or serve a high need community, i.e. “medically underserved areas” or “medically underserved populations” o They must provide comprehensive primary care services as well as supportive services such as translation and transportation services that promote access to health care o Their services must be available to all residents of their service areas, with fees adjusted upon patients’ ability to pay o They must be governed by a community board with a majority of members health center patients o They must meet other performance and accountability requirements regarding their administrative, clinical, and financial operations.