Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)

What is an FQHC? What makes us stand out?

River Valley Health & Dental is a Federally Qualified Health Center, a non-profit community-based health organization. An FQHC provides comprehensive primary health care, dental care and mental health services to individuals in all stages of the life cycle. As an FQHC, River Valley Health & Dental operates under a Board of Directors comprised of at least 51% of health center patients and meets 19 FQHC program requirements set by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a branch of our federal government. These requirements ensure excellence in services, management, and governance.

FQHCs were originally created to provide comprehensive health services to the medically underserved, in order to reduce the patient demand on hospital emergency rooms. They have grown to become primary healthcare providers and to be an essential piece of the healthcare fabric.

FQHCs are also known as Community Health Centers because of the strong community-based approach and because of the value of community and community partners.

FQHCs are often located in areas near pockets of residents needing additional access to health care services where there are not enough physicians to serve the entire community, and/or where existing clinical providers are not accessible to the underserved populations.

FQHCs are not free clinics but do provide their services to all individuals, regardless of ability to pay. FQHCs screen patients for eligibility for their sliding fee scale discount program. FQHCs engage patients in their health care and help patients maintain accountability for their health. They employ support staff to assist in financial counseling, insurance enrollment, community resource linkages, and care management.

Over 50 years ago, health centers began as a pilot project as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Today, these centers generate $26.5 billion in economic activity and over 230,000 jobs while producing $24 billion in annual health system savings.

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a model of care that emphasizes care coordination and communication. River Valley Health & Dental is currently recognized as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home. River Valley Health & Dental implements the PCMH model of care by providing care that is patient-centered, comprehensive, team-based, coordinated, accessible, and focused on quality and safety.

The Patient-Centered Medical Home is an approach to care that is:

  • Patient-Centered: Care is best provided when a partnership is created between patients, their families, and their providers to ensure patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and be actively involved in their care.
  • Comprehensive: A team of care providers treats the whole person including physical and mental health care needs as well as prevention, wellness, acute care, and chronic care. River Valley Health & Dental provides comprehensive services including primary medical care, dental care, and behavioral health care.
  • Coordinated: Patient care is organized across the health care system including specialists, hospitals, and community services. Staff provides additional support to patients to assist in care coordination.
  • Accessible: Patients are able to access services with walk-in availability and extended hours including nights and weekends.
  • Committed To Quality And Safety: Clinicians and staff are focused on quality improvement to ensure patients and families are provided high-quality, evidence-based care.

Review the NCQA Release for River Valley Health & Dental

View our UDS Report – Health Center Profile

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Federal Tort Claims Act

River Valley Health & Dental receives HHS funding and has Federal Public Health Service (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).