While no one could argue the benefits of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and the important services they provide to under-insured or uninsured patients in low-income communities, keeping them afloat in the rapidly-changing healthcare market is difficult.
That is, with limited resources, they must oversee complex operations, manage a vast array of data and drive cash flows. No easy task for any organization, let alone ones tasked with submitting monthly reports to ensure continued federal funding.
Adding an additional layer of complexity for FQHCs, they must adapt to Medicaid and performance reporting changes, and assume greater amounts of risk (based on the large number of patients they serve and the prevalence of higher-risk patients in their communities), as the healthcare industry transitions to value-based care.
With that, FQHCS need to start looking at their data in a different light for solutions that address these challenges, so that they can develop strategies that ensure both the stability and long-term growth of their organizations. The problem is, cash-strapped FQHCs often can’t justify the expense for these services.
FQHCs, therefore, need to think outside the box to secure Population Health Management technology (PHM) solutions.
Some possibilities may include exploring opportunities in collaboration with other like-minded FQHC’s or through their state primary care associations; pulling together the resources of multiple organizations; or perhaps leveraging existing partnerships and vendor relationships.
There is no easy way to go it alone, but FQHCs that are willing to team up with other organizations are likely to discover creative ways to access PHM solutions and unlock the potential of value-based care.
HealthEC understands the unique challenges FQHCs face and is committed to working with stakeholders to optimize efficiencies, maximize reimbursements and patient enrollment under value-based contracts. In fact, we have extensive partnership experience with the District of Columbia Primary Care Association (DCPCA) and New York-based Community Health IPA (CHIPA), two health organizations comprised of separate networks of FQHCs that have explored new arrangements with their Managed Care Organizations.
If you’re attending the October 16-17 National Association of Community Health Centers’ (NACHC) FOM/IT 2018 conference, be sure to check out the session with CHIPA’s Meghann Hardesty, whose health center presentation (Community Health IPA’s Successful Implementation of a Population Health Management Platform to Optimize Value-Based Care) will focus on the ease of implementing a PHM platform, understanding how performance can be tracked and improved, and the value of using PHM solutions to optimize value-based contracts.