Stories from Rural Colorado Safety Net Clinics

In an effort to raise awareness of Colorado’s Healthcare safety net providers, the Colorado Rural Health Center produces short videos and hosts an annual Safety Net Clinic Week Showcase.  The annual event and videos offer a rare look into the unique challenges facing healthcare in rural Colorado and a special glimpse into rural life.  The videos are an opportunity for policymakers, healthcare advocates, and community leaders to engage with rural health providers and serve an educational tool to help viewers understand the fragile healthcare system in rural Colorado and why it is so important to support the clinics and communities they serve.


2018 Safety Net Clinic Videos

2017 Safety Net Clinic Videos

2016 Safety Net Clinic Videos

2015 Safety Net Clinic Videos

By the Numbers

CSNCs and RHCs throughout Colorado.

Number of visits to CSNCs and RHCs annually.

Unique patient visits at RHCs annually.

Number of RHCs in CO.

About Rural Health Clinics

A Rural Health Clinic is a federally designated clinic located in a non-urban health care professional shortage area. As of June 2011, there are 50 RHCs in Colorado which serve an approximate 175,000 unique patients per year. An RHC may be a public or private, for-profit or not-for-profit entity and can be housed in a permanent structure or a mobile clinic. RHCs are certified as provider-based or independent, free-standing. Provider-based RHCs are affiliated with a parent entity which is typically a rural hospital or hospital system. RHCs must be staffed by at least one nurse practitioner, physician assistant or certified nurse midwife who must be on-site to see patients at least 50% of the time the clinic is open. A physician (MD or DO) must supervise the midlevel practitioner in a manner consistent with state and federal law. The greatest benefit of the program is cost-based (enhanced) reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid; however, RHCs do not receive any additional federal funding to operate.

About Community Safety Net Clinics (CSNCs)

CSNCs are very diverse in their models and include non-profit community clinics, residency clinics, free clinics (predominately faith-based), and select private practices that fund their operations through grants, patient revenue and/or donations – none receive enhanced reimbursement or federal funding. Clinic staffing models vary greatly but often include volunteer providers and support staff.  Forty Five CSNCs serve approximately 150,000 patients annually and provide some 350,000 visits each year. They are not federally certified or qualified and therefore do not receive enhanced reimbursement for Medicare or Medicaid.

Get Involved

Contact your elected state official


Contact your county comissioner


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