Federally Qualified Health Centers and State Health Policy: A Primer for California

Mary Takach
Elizabeth Osius


This is archived content, for historical reference only.

California’s federally funded community health centers (CHCs) treat more than 2.3 million patients each year. Even as the economic slowdown results in cutbacks in their state and local funding, these clinics have become a vital source of primary care for millions of low-income Californians.

This issue brief finds that California has an opportunity to improve the performance and sustainability of federally qualified health centers by integrating technology, adapting to changes in health policy, and tapping new sources of funding.

Topics include:

  • The operational history of CHCs, including their complex federal and state funding structure
  • Effects of Medi-Cal and third-party payment structures and state regulatory and licensing policies on health center finances
  • Other states’ approaches to improving funding and operations, including collaborating with federal entities, technology initiatives, and medical home pilots
  • Strategies for stakeholders and policymakers to increase reimbursement and to recruit and retain providers

The complete issue brief is available under Document Downloads.