Federally Qualified Health Centers must grow to cover the uninsured and underinsured

Monday, November 6, 2017 – 2 a.m.

Money should never be the reason people don’t get the health care they need, but it often is. That’s why in the 1960s, during the anti-poverty movement, the roots of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) were created as a response to the struggles of poor communities to cover medical and mental health needs.

“They have quite literally become the backbone for health care for underinsured and low-income communities,” said Angela Quinn, CEO of FirstMed Health and Wellness Center.

In Nevada, six entities have the federal designation. While their 33 outlets for subsidized care crisscross the state, Quinn says needs still aren’t met.

“In Nevada, we should have about 100 FQHCs,” she said. “You look at our demographics: For every 7,000 people who are at or below median income, there is one doctor to provide primary care. It should be 2,000 to 1.”

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