The Kansas City CARE Clinic (formerly the Kansas City Free Health Clinic), a private, nonprofit community health center, was designated in August by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). With this designation, the clinic will receive annual federal funds of about $650,000, which will greatly expand its capacity to provide high-quality primary care for those who need it in the Kansas City region.
News of this designation arrived shortly after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $169 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 266 new health-center sites in 46 states for the delivery of comprehensive primary health-care services in communities that need them most. These new health centers are projected to increase access to health care for nearly 1.2 million patients nationwide, adding to the more than 700 new health-center sites supported through the Affordable Care Act.
“The Kansas City CARE Clinic has provided critical community health services in the Kansas City area for more than four decades,” said U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver. “I am pleased that they have earned status as a fully fledged FQHC. The Affordable Care Act established $11 billion in additional funding to increase and expand the operation and construction of health centers throughout the nation. This is a great opportunity to ensure we are taking care of the area’s most vulnerable.”
As a safety net provider in the Kansas City metro for more than 44 years, the KC CARE Clinic has always been committed to providing high-quality, culturally competent primary care and reducing health disparities in the underinsured and uninsured populations. With nearly 250,000 individuals estimated to need access to primary care in the Kansas City metro, the KC CARE Clinic views itself as a leader in HIV services and an essential regional partner, collaborating for years with the area’s other FQHCs, community safety-net clinics, health-care providers, regional foundations, and civic leaders to help address this larger community need.
The clinic also received notification that it has been recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, which is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health-care quality. Its standards were established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.
“The safety net for Kansas City is now stronger with the clinic becoming both an FQHC and a Patient-Centered Medical Home,” said Sheri Wood, chief executive officer of the KC CARE Clinic. “These significant designations are the next steps in our evolution as we respond to the rapidly changing health-care environment that exists today.”
(Originally reported in Camp Magazine)