Community Health Centers (CHC) like Rural Health Medical Program, Inc. (RHMPI) set themselves apart from other providers by delivering a wide range of services to improve the overall health of their patients and the community. They are private, nonprofit, patient-governed, community-directed organizations that remove common barriers to care by serving communities who otherwise confront financial, geographic, language, cultural or other barriers.
Rural Health Medical Program, Inc. is part of a nationwide network of 1200 Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) established in the late 60’s during the War on Poverty. Health Centers are comprehensive accredited primary care systems that partner with hospitals to serve as Alabama’s public health system. Community Health Centers:
- Operate in medically underserved areas providing services to medically underserved population;
- Provide care to all Alabama residents, regardless of their health insurance status;
- Provide access to affordable primary care; health centers are not free clinics. Care is provided based on a sliding fee schedule based on the patient’s income;
- Operate statewide in 138 practice locations;
- Employ over 1,800 employees, over 630 of these employees are physicians, advanced practice nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, pharmacists, behavioral health providers, and vision providers;
- Provide coordinated care to over 350,000 Alabama residents annually; many with chronic disease; and
- Health centers must offer discounts through a sliding fee schedule based on family size and income to patients below 200% of the poverty limit ($48,600 for a family of 4). Almost all, 95% of health center patients, are eligible for the sliding fee program.
- Health centers must meet national quality standards and support the Triple Aim of improving population health, enhancing the experience of care, and reducing the per capita cost of care.
- Health Centers are required to actively engage in continuous quality and performance improvement programs within clinical and operational areas and to report performance data annually to HRSA.
- Health Centers have been early adopters of care coordination and integration. Health Centers are the medical home for over 350,000 Alabamians each year, most with chronic diseases or at risk for chronic disease.