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American Indian/Alaska Native Health

Technical Assistance for Health Center Building Projects go to exit disclaimer through a HRSA cooperative agreement with Capital Link

Health Center Program

Health Centers are comprehensive, community-based primary care providers that provide affordable care in high-need areas and to high-need populations.

Health Centers that receive grant funding from the HRSA Health Center Program (Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act) are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Primary care providers that meet the requirements of the Health Center Program, but do not receive program funding, are called FQHC Look-Alikes.

Outpatient health programs or facilities operated by a tribe or tribal organization under the Indian Self-Determination Act or by an Indian organization receiving funds under Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act can become Health Centers by meeting program requirements and applying to HRSA for funding or Look-Alike status.

Health Center Program Requirements

Public entities, such as Tribes, and private non-profit organizations, such as tribal corporations that have a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) or Population (MUP) within their service area are eligible to apply, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Serve a high need community or population;
  • Governed by a community board (does not apply to organizations operated by an Indian tribe or Tribal or Indian organization under the Indian Self-Determination Act or urban Indian organization under the Indian Health Care Improvement Act);
  • Provide comprehensive primary care services as well as enabling/supportive services;
  • Services are available to all with fees adjusted based upon ability to pay; and
  • Meet other performance and accountability requirements regarding administrative, clinical, and financial operations.


FQHCs receive grant funds to support the costs of uncompensated care, Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) malpractice coverage, and can participate in the Federal Loan Guarantee Program.

FQHCs and Look-Alikes can

  • Receive enhanced reimbursement under Prospective Payment System (PPS) or other state-approved alternative payment methodology for services provided under Medicaid and cost-based reimbursement for services provided under Medicare.
  • Participate in the 340B (discounted) Drug Pricing Program.
  • Be designated Health Professional Shortage Areas.
  • Become approved National Health Service Corps service sites.


Date Last Reviewed:  April 2017

Did You Know?

  • Seven Urban Indian organizations received Health Center Program grants in FY 2009. All also received Indian Health Service Urban Indian Health grants.
  • These clinics received almost $5.3 million through the Health Center Program.
  • They served more than 55,800 patients in FY 2008.