California Primary Care Association (CPCA)


CPCA represents more than 1,300 not-for-profit community health centers (CHCs) and Regional Clinic Associations who provide comprehensive, quality health care services, particularly for low-income, uninsured and underserved Californians, who might otherwise not have access to health care. California's diverse membership of 1,334 CHCs includes includes 877 Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) sites, 407 licensed primary care or free clinics, 50 FQHC Look-Alikes, and 27 Rural Health Centers. Combined, these CHCs serve more than 6.9 million patients annually through over 22.5 million patient encounters.



The mission of CPCA is to lead and position community clinics, health centers, and networks through advocacy, education and services as key players in the health care delivery system to improve the health status of their communities.



Community Clinics and Health Centers (CHCs) are mission driven to minimize the impact of barriers to health and health care access including poverty, lack of health insurance, immigration status, ethnicity, language and culture, disability, homelessness, geographic isolation and other diverse needs. These barriers continue to exist despite recent expansions in publicly supported health insurance programs for uninsured populations. CHCs address access barriers through tailored programs and delivery systems that offer culturally appropriate, high quality, primary and preventive health services.

California's CHCs offer a proven delivery model that can serve as a quality benchmark for meeting the needs of California's diverse and disenfranchised populations. CHCs developed as a public health oriented model to reduce health disparities and to focus on improved health outcomes for their patients and communities. As policymakers and stakeholders work to develop a health care system that is gradually more inclusive of those who have been left behind, the CHC infrastructure and model delivery system can and should be recognized, supported and replicated to ensure meaningful, quality access for all Californians.

As providers for the most vulnerable Californians, CHCs understand that in order to achieve the goal of access to health for all, California cannot rely entirely on incremental expansion of existing publicly funded health insurance programs. Access to health will require: (1) ongoing investment in services and delivery models that recognize the special needs of California's diverse communities; (2) sound policies to maintain a responsive community-based alternative (safety net) for those who will continue to face barriers to care; and (3) comprehensive strategies to fundamentally improve the health status of individuals and communities by reducing or eliminating the underlying causes of poor health in underserved communities including lack of education, high-risk behaviors, unemployment and low wage employment, and unhealthy living conditions.

Community clinics and health centers are those nonprofit, tax-exempt clinics that are licensed as community or free clinics, as defined under Section 1204 of the California Health and Safety Code, and provide services to patients on a sliding fee scale basis or, in the case of free clinics, at no charge to the patients. The term "CHCs" includes federally designated community health centers, migrant health centers, rural health centers, and frontier health centers. Clinics meeting federal requirements and definitions for purposes of Medicaid reimbursement may also be referred to as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) or FQHC look-alikes.



For further information about CPCA or if you have any questions about becoming a member, please contact Jodi Johnson.


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