Assessing and addressing legal barriers to the clinical integration of community health centers and other community providers

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Safety Net; Underserved Populations; Community Health Centers; Legal; Disparities; Health Reform


Collaborations that clinically integrate community health centers with hospitals, providers, and/or public health agencies have yielded substantial benefits for patients, including an expansion of services and increased access to medical information. These types of collaborations are expected to increase as health centers expand with the $11 billion in funding the Affordable Care Act provides them. However, the laws and policies governing collaborations between health centers and their partners are complex and failure to comply with them may lead to a loss of federal funding as well as the revocation of important legal protections for health centers. This report outlines that laws and policies that govern clinical collaborations and profiles health centers that have worked within the law to develop partnerships that benefit patients while still adhering to the health centers’ core mission, which is to assure health care for all patients regardless of insurance coverage.


Edited by Sarah Klein.

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Open Access