In 1994, the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) was formed and has become the statewide leader and recognized voice representing the interests of California community clinics and health centers and their patients. CPCA represents more than 1,200 not-for-profit Community Clinics and Health Centers (CCHCs) and Regional Clinic Associations who provide comprehensive, quality health care services, particularly for low-income, uninsured and underserved Californians, who might otherwise not have access to health care.
CPCA's diverse membership includes community and free clinics, federally funded and federally designated clinics, rural and urban clinics, large and small clinic corporations and clinics dedicated to special needs and special populations. CPCA is designated by the Federal Bureau of Primary Health Care as the state primary care association and receives federal program support to develop and enhance services for member clinics.
The mission of CPCA is to lead and position community clinics, health centers, and networks through advocacy, education and services as key players in the health care delivery system to improve the health status of their communities.
Community Clinics and Health Centers (CCHCs) are mission driven to minimize the impact of barriers to health and health care access including poverty, lack of health insurance, immigration status, ethnicity, language and culture, disability, homelessness, geographic isolation and other diverse needs. These barriers continue to exist despite recent expansions in publicly supported health insurance programs for uninsured populations. CCHCs address access barriers through tailored programs and delivery systems that offer culturally appropriate, high quality, primary and preventive health services.
California's CCHCs offer a proven delivery model that can serve as a quality benchmark for meeting the needs of California's diverse and disenfranchised populations. CCHCs developed as a public health oriented model to reduce health disparities and to focus on improved health outcomes for their patients and communities. As policymakers and stakeholders work to develop a health care system that is gradually more inclusive of those who have been left behind, the CCHC infrastructure and model delivery system can and should be recognized, supported and replicated to ensure meaningful, quality access for all Californians.
As providers for the most vulnerable Californians, CCHCs understand that in order to achieve the goal of access to health for all, California cannot rely entirely on incremental expansion of existing publicly funded health insurance programs. Access to health will require: (1) ongoing investment in services and delivery models that recognize the special needs of California's diverse communities; (2) sound policies to maintain a responsive community-based alternative (safety net) for those who will continue to face barriers to care; and (3) comprehensive strategies to fundamentally improve the health status of individuals and communities by reducing or eliminating the underlying causes of poor health in underserved communities including lack of education, high-risk behaviors, unemployment and low wage employment, and unhealthy living conditions.
Community clinics and health centers are those nonprofit, tax-exempt clinics that are licensed as community or free clinics, as defined under Section 1204 of the California Health and Safety Code, and provide services to patients on a sliding fee scale basis or, in the case of free clinics, at no charge to the patients. The term "CCHCs" includes federally designated community health centers, migrant health centers, rural health centers, and frontier health centers. Clinics meeting federal requirements and definitions for purposes of Medicaid reimbursement may also be referred to as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) or FQHC look-alikes.
For further information about CPCA or if you have any questions about becoming a member, please contact Jodi Johnson.