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What Are Health Centers
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"Health center" is used to refer to Health Center Program grantees and Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alikes. Of Michigan's 45 health center organizations, 38 are Health Center Program grantees, three are FQHC Look-Alikes, and five are Indian Health Services organizations (one is both a Health Center Program grantee and an Indian Health Services organization).


Health Centers by the Numbers


For 50 years, health centers have been providing comprehensive, accessible, affordable, quality primary and preventive health care.


45 Michigan Health Center organizations provide care at more than 260 delivery sites across the state.


More than 680,000 Michigan residents call a health center their health care home.


1,400 health centers are spread across 50 states and all U.S. territories.

25 million

Nationally, 25 million health center patients receive care in more than 9,800 rural and urban communities.

$24 billion

$24 billion is saved annually in the national health care system by Health Centers helping patients avoid emergency rooms and make better use of preventive services.



Ninety-two percent of Michigan health center patients have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. About 16 percent are uninsured, and more than 53 percent rely on Medicaid/CHIP for their insurance.


Health Center Program Grantees

Health Center Program grantees are organizations that receive grants under the Health Center Program as authorized under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. There are four types of Health Center Program grantees, which may also be referred to as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), federally-funded Health Centers, or HRSA-funded Health Centers. A health center can have multiple designations.

Community Health Centers (Section 330E)

Community health centers were developed in 1965 in response to community need for improved health services for inner city populations. As part of the federal government’s War on Poverty, funding was made available for communities to establish primary care centers to provide comprehensive health services, regardless of the ability to pay. Although there have been many changes to the Health Center Program over the years, its foundation remains the same—to provide high-quality primary and preventive health care to people in rural and urban medically underserved areas. Medical underservice is defined by a shortage of professionals or health services and high rates of poverty and infant mortality. It may also include special considerations, such as lack of Medicaid providers, lack of bilingual services, or a large percentage of uninsured persons.

Migrant Health Centers (Section 330G)

Migrant health centers were established in 1962 to provide comprehensive primary care services to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and their families in a culturally sensitive environment. Like health centers, migrant health centers provide comprehensive health care services to their target population at an affordable price, regardless of insurance status. Migrant health centers use culturally sensitive clinical protocols, bilingual health personnel, and lay outreach workers.

Health Care for the Homeless Centers (Section 330H)

Modeled after a demonstration project jointly funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust, the Health Care for the Homeless program was initiated in 1987 as part of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. In 1996, Congress passed the Health Centers Consolidation Act, which joined the Health Care for the Homeless program to the community, migrant, and public housing primary health care programs under a single authority called the Consolidated Health Center Program. The Health Care for the Homeless program provides federal grants to non-profit organizations to deliver primary health care and substance abuse services to homeless individuals and families. The Health Care for the Homeless program provides a multidisciplinary approach to the delivery of care by combining systems of primary care, substance use disorders and mental health services, patient management, and education with aggressive outreach.

Public Housing Health Centers (Section 330I)

The Public Housing Primary Care Program was established to support the provision of accessible and comprehensive preventive and primary health care services to residents of public housing. Health promotion and disease prevention are emphasized, and primary health care services are provided on the premises of public housing developments or at other locations immediately accessible to residents of public housing.


FQHC Look-Alikes

Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alikes are health centers that have been certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), based on recommendations provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), as meeting all Health Center Program requirements. This certification makes them, like Health Center Program grantees, eligible for fair reimbursement through Medicaid and Medicare and for participation in the 340B federal drug pricing program. They also assist in recruiting and retaining providers through the National Health Service Corps and the State Loan Repayment Program. FQHC Look-Alikes do not receive funding under the Health Center Program.


Other MPCA Members

Michigan Primary Care Association also represents community-based providers as well as Indian Health Service organizations and Ryan White Care Title III Clinics:

Indian Health Service

The most prominent provider of health services to American Indians is the Indian Health Service (IHS). The IHS provides both direct care and contract care to members of federally recognized tribes on or near federal reservations with comprehensive health care services, which include medical, community health, dental, and mental health/substance abuse services.

Ryan White Program, Part C

Health care organizations funded under the Ryan White Early Intervention Services program provide a comprehensive continuum of outpatient HIV primary care services, including HIV counseling, testing, and referral; medical evaluation and clinical care; other primary care services; and referrals to other health services. Community health centers, migrant health centers, and Health Care for the Homeless sites funded under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act may receive Part C grants.

MPCA Fact Sheet

Health Center Fact Sheet

2017-18 Directory Michigan Health Centers & MPCA Members



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