Melanie Moelis,
Chief Business Officer

MelanieAs you know, Metro Community Health Centers is a new Network of Sub-recipient Federally Qualified Health Centers. We are partners of the NYU/Lutheran Family Health Center System and a community-based organiza- tion that provides comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, oral, and behavioral health services to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status. MCHC is a critical com- ponent of the health care safety net. FQHCs operate under a consumer Board of Directors governance structure and func- tion under the supervision of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In general, an FQHC’s mission is to enhance primary, dental and behavioral care ser- vices in underserved urban and rural communities and to reduce the patient load on hospital emergency rooms. In particular, they serve underserved, underinsured, and uninsured Americans, including migrant workers and non-U.S. citizens. FQHCs provide their services to all persons regardless of ability to pay, and charge for services on a community-board approved sliding-fee scale that is based on patients’ family income and size. In return for serving all patients regardless of ability to pay, FQHCs receive free mal- practice coverage under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). This means that most of MCHC’s providers have their malpractice insurance covered when they are working at our Health Centers. This not only benefits the provider, it also saves MCHC a considera- ble sum of money every year. We received our approval for this coverage in July, a terrific and very important achievement! MCHC is also now recognized as an FQHC, eligible for National Health Service Corps benefits. The NHSC is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in the division of Health Resources and Services Administra- tion. NHSC members are health professionals providing FQHC-based health care services in underserved communities. In exchange, the providers are given either loan repayment or scholarship benefits throughout their medical, dental or be- havioral health education (not to exceed four years).
After graduation (and residency for medical, osteopathic medical, and dental students) the student must apply for pre- approved positions in underserved areas. The student must apply just like any job applicant. Providers who have already started their careers can also apply for the program. NHSC repays up to $60,000 every two years. There is also the option to work in an NHSC approved location for 5 years, which entitles the provider to potentially receive $170,000 in loan repayment!
Our NHSC designation is another wonderful benefit for our eligible existing providers and is an excellent recruiting tool as we look to hire additional primary care, dental and behavioral health providers. Malpractice costs covered and significant grants to cover clinical education and training – 2 great benefits of being an FQHC!