Women Served by Community Health Centers
Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care, Community Health Centers (CHCs) are a nationwide network of clinics that provide comprehensive primary care services, regardless of the ability to pay.1 Some health centers also target services to specific populations, such as homeless persons and migrant workers.
In 2012, Federally-supported CHCs served 21.1 million people, of whom 9.0 million were adult women aged 18 and older. Women served by CHCs tend to be younger than the general population. More than half of women (57.5 percent) served by CHCs were of reproductive age (18–44 years) compared to 45.9 percent of all women nationally.
In 2012, 92.6 percent of CHC patients had incomes at or below 200 percent of poverty, 61.6 percent were racial or ethnic minorities, 36.0 percent were uninsured, and 40.8 percent were Medicaid insured.2 As a critical access point for the uninsured, CHCs will be pivotal to the success of the Affordable Care Act in helping to enroll and care for newly insured patients and continuing to serve those who may remain uninsured, including immigrants and low-income individuals in States that do not expand Medicaid.3
CHCs have a 45-year record of providing high-quality care that has helped to reduce health disparities.4 Despite serving a low-income, mostly uninsured or publicly insured population, rates of recommended breast and cervical cancer screening among women seen at CHCs are similar to national averages for all women. In 2009, 74.5 and 85.2 percent of female CHC patients reported having received recommended breast and cervical cancer screenings, respectively, similar to 73.1 and 81.2 percent of all U.S. women. Moreover, women who were either publicly insured or uninsured and seen at CHCs were more likely to have received screenings than comparable women nationally. For example, fewer than half of uninsured women received recommended mammography screening (41.7 percent) compared to 3 out of 5 uninsured women seen at CHCs (62.0 percent).
4 Politzer RM, Yoon J, Shi L, Hughes RG, Regan J, Gaston MH. Inequality in America: the contribution of health centers in reducing and eliminating disparities in access to care. Med Care Res Rev. June 2001;58(2):234-48.↑
|Age Group||Percent of Women, Women Served by Community Health Centers||Percent of Women, All U.S. Women|
|Source: Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Primary Health Care, Uniform Data System. Table 3A - Patients by Age and Gender – 2012. Available upon request OQDrequest@hrsa.gov; U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population. Accessed 09/05/13.|
|65 Years and Older||10.1||19.7|
|Screening Type and Coverage||Percent of Women, Women Served by Community Health Centers||Percent of Women, All U.S. Women|
|*Based on U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations of biennial mammography for women aged 50–74 years and a Pap smear every 3 years for women aged 21–65 years; CHC data are from the 2009 CHC Patient Survey; U.S. data are from the 2008/2010 National Health Interview Survey.↑
**Private coverage includes persons with any private insurance, either alone or in combination with public coverage; public includes those covered only by government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, military plans, and state-sponsored health plans.↑
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Primary Health Care, Community Health Center Patient Survey, 2009. Analysis conducted by the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2008/2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
|Mammogram, Private Insurance||86.2||79.2|
|Mammogram, Public Insurance||79.8||68.0|
|Pap Smear, Private Insurance||85.1||85.8|
|Pap Smear, Public Insurance||89.8||79.3|
|Pap Smear, Uninsured||78.8||65.1|
|Pap Smear, Total||85.2||81.2|