Frequently Asked Questions:
What is an FQHC?
A Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is a reimbursement designation from the Bureau of Primary Health Care and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This designation is significant for several health programs funded under the Health Center Consolidation Act (Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act). FQHCs operate under a consumer Board of Directors governance structure and function under the supervision of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). FQHCs mission is to enhance primary care services in underserved urban and rural communities. FQHCs also serve underserved, underinsured, and uninsured Americans, including migrant workers and non-U.S. citizens. FQHCs provide 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. Services are provided to Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Insured and Uninsured individuals. FQHCs must comply with Section 330 program requirements. In return for serving all patients regardless of ability to pay, FQHCs receive consideration from the Federal government in the form of a cash grant, cost-based reimbursement for their Medicaid patients, and free malpractice coverage under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
What types of services do you provide?
We offer a broad range of health services, which vary by location. Check the clinic nearest you for specific information on services we provide.
What is AHC's service area?
Atascosa Health Center, Inc.'s five county service area includes: Atascosa, McMullen, Live Oak, Wilson, and Karnes Counties. Check out our six rural health clinics to find one nearest you.
Who is AHC's patient population?
AHC's patient population is diverse in age, income, and ethnicity. We accept patients with and without insurance coverage. As a NHSC- approved site, we do not discriminate in the provision of services to an individual because the individual is unable to pay, because payment for those services would be made under Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP, or based upon the individual's race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. In 2019, AHC provided services to 17,480 patients across Atascosa, Karnes Wilson, Live Oak and McMullen Counties.
What forms of payment are accepted?
Services may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and most private insurance companies. We also provide a sliding fee discount for patients without insurance that varies depending on the patient's income and family size. Visit our payment options page for more information, or contact your local clinic for any questions.
Are you a “free clinic”?
Although we provide services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, we are not a free clinic. Uninsured patients are offered a discount based on their family size and income. AHC will work with patient's individually to find the most convenient, affordable payment plan.
Do you take walk-ins?
Walk-ins are accepted daily during office hours.
Can I always see the same provider when I make an appointment?
Of course! In fact, we encourage all our patients to have a primary care provider (PCP). Our PCPs work hard to build relationships with each patient, providing individualized, patient-centered care. Having a PCP who knows you well promotes “continuity” and leads to better health. Once you choose a PCP, you can then schedule all of your appointments with this provider. When scheduling an appointment, please ask for your PCP by name.
How do I make an appointment?
Please call prior to your expected visit or on the morning you would like to be seen. You will be scheduled for an appointment according to the availability of your primary provider. When calling, please clearly state the purpose for your visit. Bring a list of the medications you are currently taking or your pill bottles. Give all forms that need to be completed to the medical assistant at the beginning of your visit. Schedule an appointment with your local clinic today!
How are my medical records kept confidential?
All of your medical records are kept private and confidential as protected by the HIPPA privacy laws. Your medical records cannot be released without your signature.
What if I am a Minor (under the age of 18)?
All Minors (under the age of 18) coming in for a primary care visit must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parents please note that any child under age 18 can receive reproductive health treatment and/or behavioral health services without parental consent. By law, AHC, Inc. is not allowed to release information about these visits to parents or guardians.
What if I need to speak to someone after regular business hours?
AHC provides coverage 24 hours, 7 days a week by offering patients a nurse triage line before and after regular business hours.
If you are facing a life threatening medical emergency, please call 911. If not, please call your clinic and your call will be routed to the after-hours nurse triage line.
Non urgent matters, such as scheduling appointments, billing inquiries, non-urgent test results, and status of referrals can only be handled during regular business hours only.