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Program Requirements
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Community health center (CHC) status is awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) after a competitive process in which entities demonstrate their capacity to meet the criteria under section 330 of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C.254b).

CHC grants support the losses incurred in caring for uninsured and low-income populations. The federally qualified health center (FQHC) designation is awarded to providers designated by the Medicare and Medicaid statutes to receive cost-based reimbursement for serving a disproportionate share of Medicaid and Medicare recipients.

FQHCs include all CHC organizations receiving grants under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, certain tribal organizations, and FQHC Look-Alikes. In this sense, all CHCs are designated FQHCs; however, not all FQHCs receive CHC funding.

As agencies of the federal government, CHCs are held to rigorous standards and must comply with the legislative requirements in four main areas.

  1. Need
  2. Services
  3. Management and Finance
  4. Governance
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