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Frequently Asked Questions

Medical & Dental Care
Getting Services

How can I find a City health center near me?

The City of Philadelphia operates 8 health centers.

Who is eligible to receive services from a City health center?

In general to receive primary healthcare services (basic care from a doctor for an adult or child, prenatal services and tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment and HIV treatment), you must be able to show that you are a resident of Philadelphia. You do not have to be a Philadelphia resident to receive STD diagnosis and treatment, HIV counseling and testing, childhood immunization or flu shots. To receive family planning services you must reside in the five county southeastern Pennsylvania area.

What services are offered at the City health centers?

The health centers offer a wide range of primary care and public health services.

Primary Medical Care
  • Adult and pediatric care including check-ups, well and sick childcare, urgent care, immunizations, STD, HIV and after hour on-call service.
  • These services are supported by on-site lab, x-ray, pharmacy, EKG, vision and hearing screening services.
  • Most centers provide podiatry, dermatology, and gynecology services. Patients requiring additional outpatient specialty services are referred to a designated hospital.
  • How can I find a City health center near me?

    You may browse by neighborhood to find health centers near you.

Other Clinical Services
  • Dental treatment for adults and children
  • Prenatal care, family planning and emergency contraception - HIV/AIDS counseling, testing and care
  • Pharmacy services

Other Support Services
  • Social workers provide counseling on mental health, housing, SSI, family planning, and other issues. In addition, they make referrals to other support services outside the health center.
  • Benefit counselors are also available to assist patients with applications and information about health insurance.
  • On-site and telephone interpreters are available for patients who speak and/or read languages other than English.

What dental services are offered at the City health centers?

A full range of primary dental services is available at seven of the health centers. (There are no dental services at Strawberry Mansion Health Center.)

These services include diagnosis and treatment of adults and children, cleaning, x-rays, restorations, (fillings), and simple extractions. Some prostodontal (dentures) and endodontal services are also available.

The dental program will provide urgent care to relieve pain and discomfort but encourages all patients to make regular appointments to maintain their dental health.

Are services at the City health centers available for people who do not speak English?

Yes. On-site and telephone interpreters are available for patients who speak and/or read languages other than English.

Do the City health centers have a walk-in clinic?

While we prefer patients to make appointments, each health center operates a walk-in clinic every day of the week. The walk-in clinic is designed to ensure that adults or children who have urgent medical care needs can have them addressed.

To receive care in the walk-in clinic, patients must be able to meet the eligible criteria related to the medical services they seek. A registered nurse will evaluate every patient seeking walk-in care. Based upon the nurse's evaluation, patients will then either see the doctor, be sent to an emergency room if necessary, be given an appointment for a future date, or be directed to a facility best able to meet the patient's needs.

Patients must meet all program eligibility requirements in order to be seen in the walk-in clinic.

  • Will the City health centers complete medical evaluation forms for things such as driver's licenses, employment or summer camp?

Our doctors will complete all required forms for our patients. In order for a form to be completed, the patient must have had a physical exam from us within the last year. Patients can drop the form off, or bring it with them to one of their scheduled visits. We do not complete forms in the walk-in clinic.

Are there any patients who can not come to a City health center?

If a patient has a doctor who works outside of a health center that is being paid (capitated) by an HMO, or if a patient is a member of a non-participating HMO, that patient will not be seen by a doctor for a primary healthcare problem.

Patients can still come to the health center if they require care for a public health problem such as STD treatment, HIV counseling and testing, TB diagnosis and treatment, family planning, or immunizations.

How can I find other health centers near me?

You may browse by neighborhood to find other community health centers near you.

For New Patients

What information do new patients need to bring to a City health center on their first visit?

New primary care patients should bring proof of identity and proof that they live in Philadelphia. All patients should bring all their insurance information including their insurance card(s) and/or forms.

What should I bring to a City health center as acceptable proof of identity?

Acceptable proof of identity is a driver's license, or any official picture ID (university, school, employer), a passport, an I94 card, or an alien registration card.

If you do not have a picture ID, we may accept: a voter's registration card, some sort of medical record document, an insurance card or other some official/legal document. We may also accept a checkbook with the patient or parent's name and address printed on the checks.

You do not need to have a social security number or card to get services.

What is acceptable proof of residence in the City?

If your proof of identity does not also prove residence, you will also have to demonstrate that you are a resident of the City for some services. A bill or letter addressed to you at your home is acceptable proof of residency. Otherwise, an official document from a government agency or a business is acceptable if it identifies the patient with a Philadelphia address.

Insurance and Fees

Are services at the City health centers free, or is there a charge?

We charge a small sliding-scale fee to uninsured patients based on household income. We also accept Medicare, Medical Assistance and most health insurance plans.

What insurance do the City health centers accept?

The health centers participate with all of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield programs. They also all participate with all of the Medicaid managed care programs including AmeriChoice/HMA and Oxford/Oak Tree Health plans. Health centers 2, 5, 6, 9, 10 and SMHC accept Health Partners.

Can I come to a City health center if I have no insurance?

You are not required to have insurance to be seen in a health center. If you are uninsured, one of our benefits counselors or social workers may be able to assist you in getting insurance for you and/or your family.

We charge a small sliding-scale fee to uninsured patients based on household income.

Can a City health center help me get health insurance for my children or myself?

Benefits counselors are stationed at most health centers and can assist you with applying for health insurance benefits.

STD Testing & Treatment

Do I need to make an appointment for an STD test?

No. Patients are seen on a walk-in basis.

Are there any charges for your STD testing services?

No. All services are provided free of charge.

Are your STD testing services confidential?

Yes. We will not give your information to anyone.

What number can I call to get more information about STDs?

To get more information about STDs, please call 215-685-6585.