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Keywords:

  • nurse-midwives;
  • health centers;
  • community health centers;
  • National Health Service Corps

Midwives are working in federally funded health centers in increasing numbers. Health centers provide primary and preventive health care to almost 20 million people and are located in every US state and territory. While health centers serve the entire community, they also serve as a safety net for low-income and uninsured individuals. In 2010, 93% of health center patients had incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and 38% were uninsured. Health centers, including community health centers, migrant health centers, health care for the homeless programs, and public housing primary care programs, receive grant funding and enjoy other benefits due to status as federal grantees and designation as federally qualified health centers. Clinicians working in health centers are also eligible for financial and professional benefits because of their willingness to serve vulnerable populations and work in underserved areas. Midwives, midwifery students, and faculty working in, or interacting with, health centers need to be aware of the regulations that health centers must comply with in order to qualify for and maintain federal funding. This article provides an overview of health center regulations and policies affecting midwives, including health center program requirements, scope of project policy, provider credentialing and privileging, Federal Tort Claims Act malpractice coverage, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs.