New Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike Designated in Michigan

Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) congratulates Traverse Health Clinic on receiving Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike status from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Since the mid-1970s, Traverse Health Clinic has provided safety net health services to thousands of individuals and families experiencing challenging circumstances or who have difficulty accessing health services.

An FQHC Look-Alike is a community-based Health Center that has been certified by CMS based on recommendations of the Health Resources and Services Administration/Bureau of Primary Health Care as meeting all Health Center Program requirements. This certification makes FQHC Look-Alikes eligible for fair reimbursement through Medicaid and Medicare, participation in the 340B federal drug pricing program, and assists in recruiting and retaining providers through the National Health Service Corps and the State Loan Repayment Program. Having these resources will enable Traverse Health Clinic to provide care to even more people in need.

“After much community collaboration, many necessary organizational changes and a long wait, we are thrilled that we were successful in being granted designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike. We could not have achieved this without community support,” said Arlene Brennan, Chief Executive Officer, Traverse Health Clinic.

Approximately 25% of the people Traverse Health Clinic serves are currently enrolled in Medicaid. If the Michigan Legislature passes the Healthy Michigan Plan to extend Medicaid eligibility to adults whose income is below 138% of poverty, approximately 60-65% of Traverse Health Clinic’s currently uninsured patient population will be eligible for insurance coverage through Medicaid.

“We celebrate Traverse Health Clinic’s new designation because establishing more Health Centers in Michigan expands access to care for more Michigan residents,” said Kim Sibilsky, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Primary Care Association. “Health Centers are a key strategic tool in assuring that underserved areas and populations have access to health care where they need it, when they need it, and at a price they can afford.”

Today there are 36 Health Center organizations in Michigan, including 30 Health Center Program grantees, four FQHC Look-Alikes, and two organizations which are both a Health Center Program grantee and an FQHC Look-Alike. These Health Centers provide quality, comprehensive, affordable primary and preventive care to more than 600,000 Michigan residents at over 220 delivery sites across the state. Their doors are open to all, regardless of insurance status or income level, and their services range from medical care, to dental care, to behavioral health care, to pharmacy services, and beyond.

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