What is a Federally Qualified Health Center?
Community Health Centers are community-based providers of comprehensive primary and preventative health care and enabling services to medically underserved populations. Many also offer comprehensive dental care and mental health services.
Health Centers is an all-encompassing term for a diverse range of public and nonprofit organizations and programs. Many receive federal funding under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (Consolidated Health Center Program) and may also be called Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).
Health Centers focus on improving individual patient health and improving the health status of the entire community. Needs assessment, program development and evaluation are all framed in terms of both community health needs and patient health.
Southern Missouri Community Health Center 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.
Clinical Quality Measure
Southern Missouri Community Health Center follows guidelines set forth by the Bureau of Primary Health Care and the Health Resources & Services Administration. These guidelines focus on quality, comparability, and integration through a variety of clinical measures. These measures have been standardized by the National Quality Forum to ensure standard application across a broad variety of providers, locations and facility types. Southern Missouri Community Health Center reports on these measures at least annually. Listed below are a couple of our most recent clinical quality measures.
- Performance Measure: Percentage of patients age 18 years and older seen for at least one medical visit during the reporting period and two total visits ever, who were queried about tobacco use and if they are positive cessation intervention and/or pharmacotherapy was given.
Result: 94% Goal: 100%
- Performance Measure: Percentage of diabetic patients whose HbA1c levels are less than or equal to 9 percent
Result: 70% Goal: 85%
In the spring of 2001, community members of Howell and Oregon counties came together in a series of community meetings hosted by the Missouri Primary Care Association (MPCA) to discuss access to care issues in their region. As a result, a committee was formed with the intent to pursue section 330 funding to create a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in West Plains, Missouri.
In February 2003, Southern Missouri Community Health Center Medical Clinic opened its doors. In July 2004, the SMCHC Dental Clinic opened and in March 2005, mental health services began.
In April 2006, SMCHC opened Oregon County Community Health Center in Thayer, Missouri, offering primary care, medication assistance and mental health services and in 2009 at their new location on Highway 63 North, dental was added.
SMCHC West Plains Clinic moved to 1137 Independence Drive in August 2006. The 14,000 square foot building is the current location of SMCHC’s medical, mental health and dental services.
In 2011 we changed Oregon County Community Health Center in Thayer, Missouri name to Southern Missouri Community Health Center Thayer Clinic to share the name of the West Plains location.
SMCHC accepts most private insurances, Medicaid and Medicare. A sliding fee program is available for patients who qualify financially based on federal poverty levels and family size. Medication assistance is also available for those who qualify.
The mission of SMCHC is to provide access to excellent quality, affordable medical, dental, and mental healthcare delivered with respect and compassion to all individuals in need of such services.