Why Community Health Centers?

Iowa’s Community Health Centers

Iowa’s community health centers provide high quality, cost effective health care services to over 226,000 Iowans at 47 full-service clinics and an additional 40 sites that include schools, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and other locations where special populations are served. In total, Iowans can access health care services at 87 sites statewide.

Health centers can provide you a one stop shop for health care services, providing medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and enabling services under one roof. Patients can access high quality, affordable health care regardless of income or insurance status.

You can trust that you will receive high quality care from providers who truly care about you. Learn more about Iowa’s health centers.

Ensuring Access for All

Community health centers welcome all. They provide care to all ages – from infants to the elderly – and regardless of income or insurance status. We also have staff that can help patients find affordable health insurance coverage options, and utilize a sliding fee scale to ensure affordability.

While these statistics can vary greatly in each community and often look different in urban versus rural areas:

  • 22% of health center patients statewide have private health insurance
  • 23% are uninsured
  • 46% have Medicaid
  • almost 70,000 are children.

Health Innovators

Community health centers are at the forefront of the health care system in addressing social determinants of health, which can include lack of transportation, food insecurity, housing, etc. Health centers provide enabling services – non-clinical services such as outreach, transportation, interpretation, case management, health education, and eligibility assistance – which lead to increased access to health care and improved health outcomes.

Iowa's health centers have joined together to form IowaHealth+, a statewide network of health centers that are demonstrating how primary care clinics can improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. With values rooted in patient engagement and empowerment, IowaHealth+ is a national leader in health care reform.

Health centers are also working to fill gaps in care for Iowans. Through partnerships with the Veterans Administration, implementation of telehealth services, increased availability of behavioral health services, and expansion to underserved areas, health centers are extending their reach to become Iowa's largest primary care network.

Economic Impact

Community health centers provide high quality, cost effective care, saving the U.S. healthcare system over $24 billion annually. Iowa’s health centers also have a significant impact on local economies. In 2018, over 1,800 Iowans were employed at health centers.

Cost Effective Medicaid Providers

A study of 13 states found health centers each year save Medicaid on average $2,371 per person in total cost of care when compared to other providers. In Iowa, health centers have a 27% lower cost compared to traditional care.

Focus on Special and Vulnerable Populations

Health centers value diversity and inclusiveness, providing comprehensive, culturally-competent health care services. Focused populations include, but are not limited to, children, minority populations, pregnant women and infants, LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, persons living with HIV/AIDs, veterans, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, individuals experiencing homelessness, and those living in public housing.

In 2019, 22% of patients were best served in a language other than English, 10,507 patients experienced homelessness, over 3,650 veterans received care, and 55% of patients identified as an ethnic or racial minority.

Wherever you are in life, health centers are here to help you achieve your best health outcomes.