This report analyzes federal funding and patient population trends in Community Health Centers from 2015 to 2021. While federal funding for Community Health Centers has increased in nominal terms since 2015, inflation and an increase in patients during this period have resulted in a decline in inflation-adjusted terms and an even larger decline on a real, per-patient basis. View three-page summary.
Background on the Federal Community Health Center Fund
The federal Community Health Center Fund (CHCF), operated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), supports qualified community healthcare facilities that provide care in medically underserved areas or to medically underserved populations. Community Health Centers receive funding from a variety of sources, including Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, self-pay, state and local grants, federal CHCF grants, and other grants.
CHCF funding is the largest dedicated source of funding and the second-largest funding source overall, after Medicaid. More than 80 percent of patients are either uninsured or have Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare, or other public health insurance coverage.
In inflation-adjusted terms, federal funding for health centers has dropped 9.3 percent while the number of patients has jumped 24 percent. Taken together, inflation-adjusted, per-patient funding has declined 27 percent. To achieve the same per-patient, inflation-adjusted spending level established in 2015, federal funding should be increased by $2.1 billion.