Ohio sees surge in community health centers amid Medicaid expansion, federal funding for uninsured

October 11, 2015

In Ohio, federally qualified health centers, which receive grants under the Public Health Service Act's Section 330 and were set up to care for underserved populations, have worked to encourage more people to consider community health centers for care. Through federal grants and the state's Medicaid expansion, community health centers have flourished across Ohio, added branches and health care services, expanded their hours and bulked up their staffs. Across the state, there are 45 federally qualified health centers with at least 244 sites, up from 23 centers and 110 sites in 2002. In federal FY2014, the centers employed the equivalent of 3,275 full-time workers, an increase of 22% from just two years earlier. The centers offer some of the most comprehensive primary-care safety nets for the community, tending to a person's immediate illness as well as their overall health. Community health centers in Ohio received nearly $29 million in federal grants in FY2015. Statewide, 53% of patients at Ohio's federally qualified health centers were enrolled in Medicaid in 2014, up from 43% the previous year, while the percentage of patients who were uninsured fell to 19%, from 32%.