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.

Specifically:
  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

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2 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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