Rural Community Health Centers at Risk After Losing Federal Funding

KAMC News

Levelland area leaders gathered at South Plains Rural Health Services (SPRHS) Tuesday, urging Congress to renew funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). 

“In Texas, there are over 73 community health centers with over 460 clinic sites. We provide care to 1.3 million patients in Texas with over 5 million clinic visits per year,” said Dr. Judy Madura, CEO at SPRHS. 

Without funding, more than 9 million patients are going to lose access to health care, 50,000 jobs lost and more than 3,000 health center sites at risk of closing, she added.

These health care centers serve patients regardless of their insurance status, the ability to pay where they may live, what language they speak, their income or the complexity of the care, she said. 

FQHC are not free clinics, but they do charge their patients at lower rates and provide cheaper prescription costs, added Madura.

While she says they have a lot of bipartisan support, she hopes Congress will make a decision soon. The House of Representatives should be voting in the next couple days on a proposal to extend the funding.

“Late last night, we got an email that the house had put together a proposal that may have two years of funding for the clinics in it, as well as for the National Service Corps and the teaching hospitals. That will hopefully go to the floor for a vote either later today or tomorrow,” Madura said.

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