San Francisco Homeless Resource
San Francisco Department of Public Health - Primary Health Care Programs (Sliding Fee Scale Program)
Address 1001 Potrero Ave. (near 23rd St.), 94110 (primary location)
Phone 415-206-8558
Summary See article

This County-funded program is designed to provide full medical care for those individuals who slip between the cracks in the health care system -- people who cannot pay for regular health services, yet who do not qualify for Medi-Cal benefits (a State program). Until 1983, such persons could receive Medi-Cal coverage by paying a small deductible. That option was eliminated in the budget cuts of 1983, making it primarily the County's responsibility to provide health care for the non-elderly, "non-disabled" poor. The following provides practical information about the Medically Indigent Adult program (MIA). Please call Patient Referral and Assistance to find out if the individual qualifies for MIA benefits.


San Francisco General Hospital (primary location)[]

1001 Potrero Ave. (near 23rd St.), 94110

415-206-8558: Sliding Fee Scale Program Eligibility Line

415-206-5166: Patient Referral and Assistance (M-F: 8:30am-5pm)

Off-Hours: Please call Emergency at 415-206-5252

Refugee Clinic (M-F: 8:30am -12pm, 1pm-5pm)

415-206-8111: Emergency

There are also 7 District Health Centers around the city. All of them should have someone answering the phone between the hours of 8am and 5pm; all have 24-hour answering service with a physician on call.

Castro-Mission Health Center[]

415-487-7500 (appointments)

3850 17th St. (bt. Noe & Sanchez), 94114

Maxine Hall Health Center[]


1301 Pierce St. (at Ellis), 94115

Silver Avenue Family Health Center[]


1525 Silver Ave. (near San Bruno Ave.), 94134

Chinatown Public Health Center[]


1490 Mason (near Broadway), 94133

Ocean Park Health Center[]


1351 24th Ave. 94122

Southeast Health Center[]


2401 Keith, 94124

Tom Waddell Clinic[]


50 Lechwalesa St (formerly Ivy) (cross Van Ness & Polk St), 94102

415-355-7407 (Medical Records FAX)

For homeless people wanting primary care.

What services does Sliding Fee Scale Program provide?[]

Generally, Sliding Fee Scale provides any essential medical care the individual needs. Only elective care (e.g. plastic surgery) will be denied.

S.F. General: Primary care (outpatient and inpatient), eye exams/surgery, general medicine, immunizations, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, emergency room services. Specialty Clinics: children's health, family health, refugees, AIDS. Also limited mental health (inpatient/crisis only) and substance abuse treatment.

Health Centers: generally provide all or most of the following: immunizations, routine physical examinations, outpatient primary care, women's health, prenatal care/family planning, some dental care, geriatrics, AIDS screening and foreign language clinics. S.E. Health Center provides some general dental care including extractions, filings and emergency care. Other services may be provided; call specific centers for more information.

Who is eligible for Sliding Fee Scale Program?[]

Any S.F resident between the ages of 21 and 64 who is not eligible for Medi-Cal, and who meets the income guidelines, is eligible for MIA services. These guidelines are as follows: If the individual is on GA, then there is no fee. If the individual is not on GA, then there is a fee for all services including emergency room visits.

No ID or proof of income is required, even for patients who haven't used the system before - just a personal statement of income. Note: Persons who receive or are eligible for Medi-Cal do not need, and cannot use, MIA.

How to access the Sliding Fee Scale Program system?[]

The usual method is to call or stop by the Patient Referral desk (415-206-5166) at S.F. General; they will listen to your particular problem and refer you to the department or clinic you need. Tell them as much information about yourself and your situation as you can; you may be eligible for one of the special clinics. If you know that primary or general medical care is what you need, call patient referral at 415-206-5166 to set up an appointment. Go directly to the Emergency Room in an emergency. You can also make an appointment at any of the District health Centers. Call one convenient for you to find out if it offers the services you need and has regular drop-in hours (some are by appointment only). All after- hours or urgent problems should go to the Emergency Room at S.F. General. Remember, you do not need to bring ID or proof of income to get help through MIA. But if you have ID, bring it.