Community Health Centers
“Community Health Centers” are facilities that meet the requirements of the federal Community Health Center Program and are intended to increase access to comprehensive primary care, dental and mental health care for underserved populations. To be eligible to apply for federal community health center (CHC) grants, facilities must:
- Be public or non-profit health care organizations that meet all federal CHC requirements.
- Be located in or serve a designated Medically Underserved Area or Population (MUA/MUP).
- Be governed by a community board where at least 51% of board members are health center patients.
- Provide comprehensive primary health care, preventive dental care, mental health care and supportive services.
- Provide services to low-income Medicaid, Medicare and un/underinsured populations (using a sliding fee schedule).
Wisconsin has 18 CHCs located around the state which receive federal CHC grants.
- Organizations can apply for competitive federal CHC grants (new access point or planning grant) or expansion grants for current CHCs. The grant offsets the cost of care for low-income, uninsured patients.
- CHCs are eligible for cost-based reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare services.
- Revenue can be obtained from billing any private insurance and patient co-pays from sliding fee schedule.
- Other CHC benefits include participation in: Federal Tort Claims Act (malpractice coverage), Drug Pricing Discounted Purchases, federal loan guarantees for capital improvements, Vaccines for Children Program, eligible site for National Health Service Corps provider recruitment assistance.
- CHCs are also eligible for a portion of the State Community Health Center grant funding.
Resources for Communities Interested in Developing a Community Health Center
- DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration CHC Program (Exit DHS) - The federal program's website with all program guidance, application information and requirements, and a current listing of all CHCs
- Medically Underserved Area/Population designations.
- Check if an address is located in a HPSA or MUA/MUP (Exit DHS).
- Request an application for a new HPSA or MUA/MUP designation from the state primary care office.
- MUA/MUPs and Health Center Sites map (PDF, 439 KB)
- Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (Exit DHS) - How a community can establish a community health center, technical assistance and training for CHCs, and assistance with development of community applications for new CHCs.
- Wisconsin Primary Care Office - State program that coordinates all shortage designation work and National Health Service Corps assistance in the state.