"The federal Health Center Program is authorized in Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) and administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within the Department of Health and Human Services. The program awards grants to support outpatient primary care facilities that provide care to primarily low-income individuals or individuals located in areas with few health care providers. Federal health centers are required to provide health care to all individuals, regardless of their ability to pay, and to be located in geographic areas with few health care providers. These requirements make health centers part of the health safety net--providers that serve the uninsured, the underserved, or those enrolled in Medicaid. Data compiled by HRSA demonstrate that health centers serve the intended safety net population, as the majority of patients are uninsured or enrolled in Medicaid. […] This report provides an overview of the federal Health Center Program, including its statutory authority, program requirements, and appropriation levels. It then describes health centers in general, where they are located, their patient population, and outcomes associated with health center use. The report also describes federal programs available to assist health center operations, including the federally qualified health center (FQHC) designation for Medicare and Medicaid payments. The report concludes with two appendixes that describe (1) FQHC payments for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries served at health centers and (2) programs that are similar to health centers but not authorized in Section 330 of the PHSA."
CRS Report for Congress, R43937
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html