Community Development

Starting a FQHC

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)—often referred to as community health centers (CHCs)—are nonprofit, community-directed health care providers serving low income and medically underserved communities. Created by Congress, the national network of community health centers provides high-quality, affordable primary and preventive care for those whom other providers do not serve, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.

Requirements and FAQ

In order to achieve the “federally qualified” status, CHCs must be located in or serve a high need community (designated Medically Underserved Area or Population) and must be governed by a community board composed of a majority (51 percent or more) of health center patients who represent the population served.

Comparison of Federal Support for Section 330 Health Centers and FQHC Look-Alike Health Centers Section 330
Health Centers
FQHC Look-Alikes
Competitive application process
Receive direct funding from federal government
Located in medically underserved area
Provide services based on ability to pay
At least 51 percent of governing board members represent active users of the health center
Provide a detailed scope of primary health care and enabling services
Enhanced Medicaid/Medicare Reimbursement
Access to National Health Services Corp/J-1 Visa Waiver programs
FTCA Coverage
340B Drug Pricing Program
Federal Loan Guarantee Program
Comply with BPHC Uniform Data System (UDS) and Performance Review Protocols