Wisconsin Primary Care ProgramsFree
clinics are volunteer-based organizations that provide a range of
outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and mental health care to low-income,
Funding Support: Donations, small grants; some clinics have small patient co-pays.
- Are a non-profit (501(c)(3) organization or are affiliated with one
- Use volunteer health professionals and may use some paid administrative
- Have no specific federal or state definition or regulation
Wisconsin Volunteer Health Care Provider Program – A state
program that can provide liability coverage for licensed health professionals
who volunteer their services to provide outpatient care at free clinics. In
April 2014, Wisconsin Acts 241 and 344 became effective, amending statute 146.89
which authorizes the program. These acts authorized a few key changes:
- Program administration will move from the Department of
Administration to the Department of Health Services
- The current paper application process for registering volunteer
providers will be replaced with an online registration and management
- Clinic and non-profit sites will be responsible for credentialing
At this time, while the program is in transition between the two
agencies, the current paper application process through the Department
of Administration remains in place. Further details regarding complete
program transition, when the new online system will be up and running,
and how to comply with the new statutory requirements, will be
In the meantime, program questions should be directed to the following:
Current application materials may be found here:
Resources for communities interested in developing a free clinic:
Association of Free Clinics (exit DHS) -
A membership organization that has resource publications on clinic
start-up and job descriptions, helps free clinics order discounted and
donated products, and maintains a list of many free clinics.
Clinics of the Great Lakes (exit DHS)
- A regional membership organization
that shares information and holds educational conferences.
Tort Claims Act Coverage of Free Clinic Volunteer Health Care
Professionals (exit DHS) – Similar to Wisconsin's program.
Clinics must submit an annual application to HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care.
Rural Health Outreach Grant Program (exit DHS)
– Federal program that
offers competitive grants to support the development of new and
innovative health care delivery systems in rural communities that lack
essential health services. Applicant
must be located in a rural area, must be public or private non-profit, and
must include collaboration with at least two other community partners.
October 02, 2014