There are approximately 1,124 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) across the United States providing primary medical care to communities that are economically depressed and medically underserved. These include Community Health Centers (CHC), Migrant Health Centers, Homeless Healthcare and Public Housing Primary Care Programs. Unique features shared by CHCs are that they are community-based, have a community-based board of directors and provide services to anyone regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status. In return, CHC's receive federal funding and cost-based reimbursement for low-income Medicaid patients.
Health Center Demographics
The 2016 Chartbook of CHCs published by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) lists the following demographic information:
- Communities served: The largest group of CHC service recipients are the homeless, followed by agricultural workers, schools, residents in public housing and veterans.
- Populations served: Community Health Centers serve one in fourteen people and one in six Medicaid beneficiaries. One-third live below the poverty line and are mainly from racial and ethnic minority groups.
- Growth: The number of patients served by a CHC grew by 62 percent between 2005 and 2014.
- Category: Medicaid patients accounted for 47 percent of patients served by CHC's, followed by 28 percent with insurance. Of the Medicare recipients, around 16 percent were private and 9 percent were elderly.
- Services: A wide range of services are offered at CHC's, including medical care, dental care, behavioral health, enabling and vision services.
Need for Customized Supply Chain Solutions
The diversity of Community Health Centers means there can be no one-size-fits-all supply chain solution. Factors that impact individual supply chain solutions include:
- Regional spread: CHCs are spread throughout the U.S., and the percentage of population served in states varies from 6 percent to 32 percent of the population.
- Rural and cities: Both rural communities and cities are served by CHC's.
- Preventive services: The provision of preventive services varies from health center to health center.
- Chronic conditions: CHCs serve a higher percentage of chronically ill patients than other forms of healthcare.
These and other factors mean that each Community Health Center has unique and ever-changing needs. Effective management of individual supply chain requirements requires a high degree of personalized service.
Delivering on Your Supply Chain Needs
With such diverse requirements, CHCs need to work with nationwide healthcare distributors. These distributors should have the ability to adapt their services to each center's unique needs and work together to reduce costs and increase efficiency. This need is illustrated by the fact that the average operating margin of a CHC is only 3 percent.
This is why it makes sense to partner with Concordance Healthcare Solutions, one of the largest distributors of healthcare products in the country. We tailor our services to meet your supply chain needs and promise to deliver a service that's beyond your expectation. Additionally, our suite of software solutions includes features that assist you to:
- Efficiently monitor cost per patient day
- Order supplies online even from mobile devices
- Arrange direct shipment of supplies to any location
- Track facility spend
To find out more, contact your nearest Concordance Healthcare Office.