Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are federally funded community-based health care providers.  They receive funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program in order to provide primary care services in underserved communities (HRSA, 2018). The Social Security Act is the legislation the defines and governs this program.  In order for centers to qualify for the program they must meet a stringent set of requirements, including providing care on a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay and operating under a governing board that includes patients (HRSA, 2018). FQHCs are made up of Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, Health Care for the Homeless, and Health Centers for Residents of Public Housing (HRSA, 2018).

     The target patient population for the federally qualified health centers are the financially underprivileged, those in rural communities, migratory and seasonal agricultural workers, persons experiencing or at risk for homelessness, and residents of public housing (Federally Qualified, n.d.). There are many financial motivations for patients to receive care at an FQHC. The incentives vary. The largest incentive is being able to seek and obtain medical care for free or at a very low cost. One of the most effective ways in which to encourage compliance with children’s immunization schedules in a FQHC is to provide parents with gifts cards for back-to-school items or other items related to the child’s well-being (Dowell, 2021).  Some locations provide diapers, formula, gift cards for baby items, and car seats, these methods of giving have proven effective in encouraging compliance with prenatal regimens (Dowell, 2021). Some offices also provide “every-day” necessities that are connected to either the patient’s condition or the particular service or treatment he or she receives (Dowell, 2021).  Items like this are necessary for the general well-being of the patients and their families. This often alleviates the need for low-income patients to choose between receiving necessary health care services or obtaining other necessities (Dowell, 2021). 


Dowell, M. (2021). New OIG Guidance Permits Federally Qualified Health Centers to Offer Remote Patient Monitoring, Big-Box Store Gift Cards, and Other Incentives to Medicare and Medicaid Patients. Retrieved from

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and the Health Center Program. (n.d.). Retrieved from

HRSA. (2018). Federally Qualified Health Centers. Retrieved from    and-registration/health-centers/fqhc/index.html



Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), often referred to as community clinics, are the first line of care for many patients. Analyze their target population and explain how they offer patients financial motivation to receive care at an FQHC.

FQHCs or community clinics target underserved populations,  including those not uninsured by medical health coverage like Medicare, ethnic and racial minorities, and low-income class members. These clinics are primarily established in low-income and rural regions as replacement hospitals (Wright, 2015). FQHCs comprehensive team-based services provide holistic patient care, including substance abuse treatment, mental health, dental, and preventative health care. To reach the poor and marginalized communities, FQHCs like Health Centers for Residents of Public Housing, Health Care for the Homeless Health Centers, Migrant health centers, and community health centers provide easy access to outpatient primary care services (Alba et al., 2016). These centers also provide community members with employment opportunities. Therefore, FQHCs focus on improving public health among those who cannot afford insurance, populations less proficient in English, and homeless and low-income households.

FQHCs are tax-exempt and non-profit organizations whose funding comes from donations, private sector grants, and government grants. FQHCs provide patients with financial incentives by receiving high-quality healthcare services at a minimal cost (Wright, 2015). Patients do not worry about medical bills they cannot afford, with most costs absorbed by the FQHC. It is an essential financial incentive considering most low-income populations cannot afford most medical care services due to financial problems (Roland Katherine et al., 2017). Patients are usually eager to receive high-quality healthcare due to the lack of fear of unaffordable medical costs. FQHCs hold power to set the prices for the care services. Their care service price adjustments depend on various factors, including Annual Wellness Visits, Initial Preventive visits, Geographic Adjustment factors, and  New Patient adjustments (Bryce et al., 2017). These aspects help these clinics adjust their care costs for patients’ financial benefits to encourage more patients to seek medical attention. Again, every patient receives one uniform medical fee.


Alba, A. D., Britigan, D. H., Lyden, E., & Johansson, P. (2016). Assessing health literacy levels of Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients in Spanish at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in the Midwest. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 27(4), 1726-1732. doi:10.1353/hpu.2016.0158

Bryce, R., Guajardo, C., Ilarraza, D., Milgrom, N., Pike, D., Savoie, K., … & Miller-Matero, L. R. (2017). Participation in a farmers’ market fruit and vegetable prescription program at a federally qualified health center improves hemoglobin A1C in low income uncontrolled diabetics. Preventive Medicine Reports, 7, 176-179.

Wright, B. (2015). Do patients have a voice? The social stratification of health center governing boards. Health Expectations, 18(3), 430-437. doi:10.1111/hex.12059 

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