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Community Health Centers: Improving the Health of Kentuckians

More Kentuckians than ever before, about one in eight, are now patients at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), or Community Health Center as they are commonly called. 533,787 people in Kentucky now rely on a local Community Health Center for their healthcare. That’s according to new data released by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) data warehouse for calendar year 2019. In 2018, the patient number was 492,000.

“Community Health Centers are located in underserved communities and treat patients without regard to the patients’ ability to pay,” said David Bolt, Chief Executive Officer, Kentucky Primary Care Association. “The centers are an essential, extremely valuable part of our healthcare system. They serve all people, in every corner of our great state. The facilities provide access to high-quality care, improve health outcomes, and reduce health disparities. Their medical home approach is focused on improving the health of the patients they serve.” 

The HRSA data reveal key information about patients of the 25 health systems with local facilities in more than 90 Kentucky counties:

  • 80% of the patients are white; 10% African American; 7% Hispanic; 1.5% more than one race;
  • 81% of patients are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • 43% have Medicaid coverage
  • 14% are uninsured adults; 11% are uninsured children under the age of 18
  • 12% have Medicare coverage
  • 3% are homeless patients
  • Average Accrued Cost per Patient is $793 annually, only a $20 increase from 2018.
“It’s fitting that this data is released during Community Health Center week in Kentucky and the nation, added Bolt. “Because it underscores the value that Community Health Centers provide. The dedicated teams of medical professionals are on the front lines providing care and resources that improve the quality of life for the patients they serve.”
 
Mental health and dental services are two important quality of life components also offered by Community Health Center providers. Nearly 28,000 patients now get mental health services at a center, including about 12,000 in treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders. More than 86,000 Kentuckians go to a local health center for their dental treatment.
 
The number of school-based patients is up sharply since 2017 when school-based sites saw 26,728 patients. In 2019, that number jumped to 44,235 Kentucky school children. Women between the ages of 15-44 is also up significantly from 194,853 in 2017 to 216,859 in 2019.  Local Community Health Centers now provide care to a total of 321,350 women of all ages.
 
The HRSA data warehouse report also includes information regarding chronic disease management, quality of care measures, preventive screenings and services, medical conditions, and clinical data. The complete report is available online at: https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/data-reporting/program-data. Select program awardee data under the program type category and then select Kentucky to access state specific information.
 
To find a Community Health Center in your community go to: https://kpca.net/map/ql/health-care and search the category map with FQHC.
 
About Kentucky Primary Care Association
The Kentucky Primary Care Association was founded in 1976 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation of community health centers, rural health clinics, primary care centers and all other organizations and individuals concerned about access to health care services for the state’s under-served rural and urban populations. KPCA is charged with promoting the mutual interests of our members, with a mission to promote access to comprehensive, community-oriented primary health care services for the underserved. To lean more, visit https://kpca.net/

Follow KPCA on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KentuckyPCA
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KentuckyPCA
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ky-pca
 

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