Identification of High-Need Rural Counties Lacking an FQHC Presence

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2016
Project completed:
May 2019

Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) expansion has been a key component of expanding access to care in rural areas since 1975, when the Community Health Center program was established under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. While existing FQHCs are broadly distributed across the US, there are still many rural communities that lack access to this resource. The purpose of the proposed research is two-fold: to identify rural counties with the greatest health disparities as potential targets for FQHC expansion, and to ascertain perceived barriers to such expansion through interviews with local officials. Given the high proportion of minority populations served by FQHCs nationwide, this project aligns with the SCRHRC focus area of disparities among rural vulnerable and minority populations.


Publications

  • Identification of High-Need Rural Counties to Assist in Resource Location Planning
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2019
    To identify high-need, low-resource locations, we began by identifying counties that lacked safety-net providers. For the purposes of this analysis, we identified Medicare-certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs).
  • Identification of High-Need Rural Counties to Assist in Resource Location Planning for Primary Care
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2019
    We examined simultaneously areas with poor health outcomes and limited access to primary care safety net settings. The combination of facility availability with health status indicators may help with identifying those areas in rural America that are in the greatest need of additional primary care resources.