Ensuring Access to Health Care through NEMT by FQHCs

  • Date: 08/27/2020

One in 5 Americans utilizes federally qualified health center (FQHC) services for their primary care, preventive, and community health needs. Medicaid and FQHC programs have been partners at the forefront of addressing population health needs for more than 50 years. Although testing and contact tracing during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis are helping rural FQHC patients, there are other vital Medicaid services that are both available right now and ripe for enhancement to ensure the accessibility of services during and after the COVID-19 emergency. A primary example is nonemergency medical transportation (NEMT). Community health centers must focus on NEMT use to ensure access to care for rural patients as states reopen. This commentary defines NEMT and ways that FQHCs can enhance it as a Medicaid benefit as states reopen amid COVID-19.

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