UCLA CHPR works with Mathematica, Inc. to evaluate HRSA’s Health Center Program, the nation’s largest primary health care safety-net system

For nearly 60 years, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded health centers provide care to low-income and uninsured patients in the United States. Health centers are unique in the comprehensiveness of services they provide and their mission to provide care to everyone regardless of the ability to pay.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s Health Economics and Evaluation Research (HEER) Program evaluates health centers on emergent health care priorities and assesses the impact of specific policy or program shifts on health centers in access, quality, cost of services, and health equity using nationwide data.

Led by HEER Program Director Nadereh Pourat, PhD, the HEER team led the Health Center Program evaluation from 2017 to 2023. The project produced more than 20 peer-reviewed articles that covered topics such as medical homes, health disparities, quality of care, and variations in and access to care. 

Health Centers at a Glance

Nearly 15,500

sites operated by 1,480 health centers.

31.5 million +

health centers provide access to enabling services (e.g., care coordination, health education) which address a combination of social determinants of health and barriers to access to primary care.

22 million

COVID vaccines have been administered by health centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 72% of these vaccines having gone to patients of racial and ethnic minority backgrounds.