Community health centers have been important sources of treatment for underserved and low-income communities, roles that expanded with the passage of the ACA. Run by both private and public organizations, community health centers saw an estimated 24.3 million patients in 2015 according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, growth spurred largely by Medicaid expansion. The following list identifies the top 20 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) by volume and reimbursements.
FQHCs generally operate in urban and rural settings, often functioning as safety-net providers or expanding healthcare access in loosely populated areas. Unsurprisingly, the centers with the highest volumes are generally found in or near large cities. Ventura County, whose publicly funded centers had the highest volume, is located just outside Los Angeles. A disproportionate number of high-volume FQHCs operate in California, likely due to the state’s high population and significant enrollment in Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid. The top 20 centers also had wide variations in total service sites and employed physicians. Neither is necessarily a strong indicator of volume as some locations may be in rural areas and many can be staffed by physician assistants or nurses rather than physicians.
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