DEFINING THE PHRASE: Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)

fqhc

In today’s economy, it is sometimes hard for individuals or families to find affordable health care options, which leaves them without proper care in an emergent situation, or on a day-to-day bases. The Bureau of Primary Health Care, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the United States Department of Health and Human Services created a reimbursement designation that allows funding for several health programs called a FQHC, or Federally Qualified Health Center. These organizations receive grants under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, which allows them to offer health services at a discounted rate, or for free.

FQHCs are opened in underserved areas, which allows people, from all walks of life, to have access to affordable health care. These health care services include dental services, preventative health services, mental health and substance abuse services, and more.

There are a lot of benefits in opening a FQHC facility including eligibility to purchase prescription and non-prescription medications for outpatients at a reduced cost, eligibility to various federal grants, start-up funding up to $650,000, and more.

Becoming an FQHC is a simple, yet comprehensive process. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services outlines the process in four steps (www.cms.gov):

 

Step 1:

Provide comprehensive primary health care

  • Medical, Dental, and Behavioral health services

Step 2:

Obtain FQHC status

  • Apply to and obtain approval from Medicare and Medicaid

Step 3:

Bill for services at bundled FQHC rate

Step 4:

Leverage enhanced Medicare & Medicaid revenue for quality care

FQHC facilities are needed and pivotal in communities who wouldn’t normally have access to affordable health care. Affordable health care should be easily accessible for all people, and opening a FQHC facility brings us one step closer to making that a reality.

To find a FQHC in your area, visit http://www.mpca.net/

 

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federally_Qualified_Health_Center
https://www.hrsa.gov/healthit/toolbox/RuralHealthITtoolbox/Introduction/qualified.html
http://www.fqhc.org/what-is-an-fqhc/
https://www.machc.com/content/benefits-being-fqhc
https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/American-Indian-Alaska-Native/AIAN/Webinar-Archive-Documents/CMS_FQHC_Webinar_FINAL.pdf
https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/downloads/fqhcfactsheet.pdf

 

About Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc.:

Established in 2002 and headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, BHPI is a Managed Behavioral Health Organization offering behavioral health services through a fully integrated network of world class healthcare providers.  Our emphasis is on adding value for our customers by offering expert behavioral care management, medical coordination, and behavioral disease and chronic behavioral condition management.  BHPI offers collaborative solutions by building strong partnerships with health plans, health systems, community mental health organizations, and employer groups.   For more information visit:BHPI.org