Community Health Centers are not only medical clinics, but so much more. They are consumer-driven and patient-centered medical homes, local economic engines, and trusted community partners. They form the backbone of America’s health care safety net and play a critical role in improving health outcomes, lowering costs, and ensuring access to high-quality, integrated care. By mission and statute, the health center model requires that health centers locate in areas of greatest need and are led by representatives of the population they serve. In doing so, health centers reach people facing the greatest difficulty accessing or affording health care services, who are at greater risk of unnecessary hospitalizations or costly health complications. At health centers, everyone is guaranteed access to timely care regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. All health centers offer a comprehensive and integrated set of primary care services, including medical care, behavioral health, dental, vision, and case management, among other services, depending on the needs of the community. Thanks to continued bipartisan support from federal and state policymakers, health centers currently serve 28 million patients – or 1 in every 12 people – in every state, territory, and the District of Columbia.1 At the same time, they eliminate waste and excess costs, saving the entire health care system more than $24 billion annually.2 This graphical brief highlights the fundamental reasons why health centers have grown into America’s largest primary care network and, in doing so, have become vital health service providers for local, regional, and national health systems – and most importantly, for the millions of patients they serve.
ABOUT THE HEALTH CENTER ADVOCACY NETWORK
Currently, health centers provide comprehensive care to almost 30 million patients at 11,000 service delivery sites in every state and territory.
The primary purpose of the Health Center Advocacy Network is to support and advance the Community Health Center Movement and address the needs of the patients and communities served by health centers. HCAdvocacy.org provides access to best practices in order to establish advocacy infrastructure, training, information, tools, guidance, and general advocacy support. They welcome and offer these advocacy resources to serve two primary goals; to ensure sustained growth, consistent action, and responsiveness across the Health Center Advocacy Network and to support health centers in securing resources in order to thrive and care for all those in need in our communities through advocacy. The Health Center Advocacy Network is led and organized by The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), a nonprofit organization formed by Community Health Centers.
- Saturday (Pediatrics & Pharmacy Only)9:00AM - 1:00PM