Community Health Centers are non-profit, community-directed providers that remove common barriers to care by serving communities who otherwise confront financial, geographic, language, cultural and other barriers. Health centers:
are located in high-need areas identified as having elevated poverty, higher than average infant mortality, and where few physicians practice;
are open to all residents, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay;
tailor services to fit the special needs and priorities of their communities, and provide services in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner;
provide comprehensive primary and other health care services, including services that help their patients access care, such as transportation, translation, and case management;
provide high quality care, reducing health disparities and improving patient outcomes;(1) and
are cost effective, reducing costly emergency, hospital, and specialty care, and saving the health care system $24 billion a year nationally.(2)
(1) See Summaries of Literature on Health Centers, Quality of Care, www.nachc.com/research.
(2) GWU, Using Primary Care to Bend the Curve: Estimating the Impact of a Health Center Expansion on Health Care Costs, September 2009, www.gwhealthpolicy.org.