Community Health Centers
in the Philadelphia Area

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Community Health Centers (CHCs) are local, non-profit or city-run primary care providers operating in medically underserved neighborhoods.

Community Health Centers provide a health care home for thousands of Philadelphians, who would otherwise have no access to care because of poverty, lack of health insurance, language barriers, and complex medical needs.

  • Eleven CHCs operate 34 sites in Philadelphia and 6 sites in nearby suburban areas.
  • Over 280,000 patients made more than 900,000 visits to health centers for medical dental and behavioral health care in 2010.
  • 95% of patients served by CHCs have incomes under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($40,000/year for a family of four).
  • Almost 40% of health center patients are uninsured and approximately 44% are on Medicaid.
  • Approximately 25% of women who deliver babies in Philadelphia receive their prenatal care at a Community Health Center.

Community Health Centers provide jobs and economic activity in some of Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. 

  • The Health Federation commissioned an Economic Impact Analysis in 2007, which found that:
    CHCs are directly responsible for creating over 1100 full time jobs ranging from health care providers to clerical workers and indirectly responsible for an additional 700 employment opportunities in their communities.
  • The combined economic impact of Philadelphia’s CHCs is more than $202 million dollars.  Of that, $113 million is the direct operating expenditures of the health centers, while $89 million is indirect economic activity stimulated by the health centers. Read the full report: The Economic Impact of Community Health Centers in the Philadelphia Area.

All of the HFP’s members are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or FQHC “look-alikes.”  This means that they comply with a series of criteria, including:

  • They serve a community that is considered a Medically Underserved Area/Population (based on the ratio of primary care providers to population and/or demographic factors like poverty).
  • They are governed by a community board, a majority of whose members must be health center patients.
  • They provide comprehensive primary care services as well as services that help people access these, such as interpretation and transportation.
  • They turn no one away based on insurance status or ability to pay.

FQHCs receive grants from the federal government that help them to serve the uninsured. Both FQHCs and FQHC look-alikes are eligible for enhanced reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare and for programs that offer loan repayment for providers and place National Health Service Corps providers. For more information on the Health Center program go

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