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FDA approved 1st hybrid closed loop system- Artificial Pancreas Device System

(Source: FDA ) There have been tremendous strides made in the research and development of an Artificial Pancreas Device System. On Septembe...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's the Difference? Federally Qualified Health Center vs Rural Health Clinic

What's the Difference? Federally Qualified Health Center vs Rural Health Clinic
A common question we receive is "what is the difference between a federally qualified health center(FQHC) and a rural health clinic(RHC)?" Here's the answer:

Basically, they differ in location, services they’re required by the federal government to provide, and how they are paid by the federal government.

  1. FQHCs are typically located in urban areas; RHCs are in rural areas (the government defines the areas that constitute rural)
  2. FQHCs must be non-profit; RHCs can be for-profit
  3. FQHCs must provide preventive services; RHCs only need to offer primary care and lab services
  4. FQHCs must offer services at a reduced fee schedule for patients (based on patients’ income); RHCs do not have this requirement

Do you have a question about health care providers? Ask us and we'll post answers here.


  1. I noticed you stated that FQHCs are located in urban areas. I'm pretty sure they can be in either urban or rural areas; RHCs are the only location-specific designation. I found the other answers helpful. Thank you.

  2. Yes, the comment is correct. FQHCs must be located in Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) - a federal designation. MUAs can be both rural and urban. Roughly half of FQHCs are located in rural areas.