Community Health Centers: A Best-Kept Secret in Healthcare
For many people seeking healthcare, Community Health Centers aren’t even on the radar. What makes these hidden gems so special?
CHC’s, as they are often called, are federally subsidized clinics that offer services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. CHCs are the safety-net clinics for many areas in which it’s hard to recruit doctors and keep a non-subsidized clinic afloat. These clinics exist throughout the U.S., in both rural and urban communities, and they provide medical, dental, behavioral health, and other services. Here are three reasons you should consider visiting a CHC for your health needs:
Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH): Many CHCs have obtained PCMH status, meaning that you’ll have a designated team taking care of both your acute and preventive health needs. You’ll see the same provider/physician as often as possible, which allows them to build a strong relationship with you and your family.
Quality Leaders: Since CHCs are federally regulated, they have high quality standards to which they must adhere; in most cases, this obsession with quality exceeds what you’ll find in private practice. Even when you haven’t been in for a recent visit, the clinic staff are behind the scenes, evaluating how well you and your team are doing with managing your care, and ensuring all your preventive services are current (such as cancer screenings, immunizations, etc.).
Subsidizing Care for the Un/Under-Insured: If you have private health insurance, the services you receive at a CHC help to subsidize care for those who aren’t adequately insured. Because the CHCs keep their costs as low as possible, and offer services on a sliding-fee scale to the un-insured, any insurance reimbursement helps support the center’s ability to provide healthcare services to the people who need it most.
If you’re in the market for a new healthcare provider, I suggest you try to locate a Community Health Center near you. You can use this site to see what’s available in your area.