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Background: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). We defined FQHC service areas based on patient use and examined the characteristics of areas that gained FQHC access post-ACA. Methods: We defined FQHC service areas using total patient counts by ZIP code from the Uniform Data System (UDS) and compared this approach with existing methods. We then compared the characteristics of ZIP codes included in Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/Ps) that gained access vs. MUA/P ZIP codes that did not gain access to FQHCs between 2011–15. Results: FQHC service areas based on UDS data vs. Primary Care Service Areas or counties included a higher percentage of each FQHC’s patients (86% vs. 49% and 71%) and ZIP codes with greater use of FQHCs among low-income residents (29% vs. 22% and 22%), on average. MUA/Ps that gained FQHC access 2011–2015 included more poor, uninsured, publicly insured, and foreign-born residents than underserved areas that did not gain access, but were less likely to be rural (p?


Behr, Caroline L., Peter Hull, John Hsu, Joseph P. Newhouse, and Vicki Fung. "Geographic access to federally qualified health centers before and after the affordable care act." BMC Health Services Research 22.1 (March 2022): 385.