What is A FQHC?
A Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is more commonly known as a Community Health Center (CHC) and is a provider of primary care services in a center that is community based and patient-directed. By mission and design, CHCs exist to serve those who have limited access to health care, although all are welcome. Unlike most private practices, CHCs welcome low-income individuals, the uninsured and underinsured, immigrants, migrant and seasonal farm workers, those who are homeless and those who live in public housing.
FQHCs are locally-based nonprofit organizations governed by a board of directors comprised of area volunteers.
At FQHCs, payment is based on ability to pay.
Uninsured patients, who are income eligible, pay based on a federally approved sliding fee discount to ensure income or lack of insurance is not a barrier to health and dental care. TCCH also assists insured with very high deductibles based on income and family size.
As an FQHC, TCCCH receives a small portion of funding under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Funding must be used for approved program purposes, not operations or salaries. This funding represents approximately 30% of TCCH's annual budget, yet the majority of patients who are seen at TCCH have earnings of less than 200% of Federal Poverty Level guidelines and pay a reduced amount.
What are the Basics of A Community Health Center?
- Community Helath Centers are created for specific high-risk target populations such as medically underserved, low income, homeless or migrant populations. Indian River County is a low-income area with a shortage of medical professionals.
- The volunteer Governing Board of Directors are community members, and the majority (51% or more) are users of the health centers, representing the patient population.
- Community Health Centers provide comprehensive, high-quality, primary health care as well as helping individuals access health care specialists. TCCH provides medical, dental, vision, behavioral and mental health therapy and pharmacy services.
What is A Sliding Fee Discount?
FQHCs must use a sliding fee discount program patient family size and income in accordance with annual Federal Poverty Level guidelines. FQHCs must be open to all, regardless of their ability to pay.
Who are the Board of Directors?
At least 51% of an FQHC’s the volunteer Governing Board of Directors are community members, and the majority (51% or more) are users of the health centers, representing the patient population.
The Board must meet monthly and it is responsible for a variety of areas, including:
- Legal and fiduciary oversight for TCCH operations and grants
- Strategic planning and evaluation of progress
- Approve Annual Budget & Grant Application
- Full authority over all aspects of TCCH operations
No other entity/individual can have the ability to override or veto governing board decisions.