Pennsylvania Association of

Community Health Centers

Supporting Pennsylvania's health centers in increasing access to quality primary health care for all

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Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers serves as the collective voice for Pennsylvania's Federally Qualified Health Centers (FHQCs), FQHC Look-Alikes (FQHCLAs), and non-profit Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).  Our members are unique nonprofit primary care facilities that provide a wide array of services to Pennsylvanians in underserved areas of the state. There are nearly 300 sites in 52 counties serving over 800,000 Pennsylvanians.  At these primary care facilities, patients will receive high quality care at a price they can afford with sliding fees based on income and family size.

PACHC News

Friday, August 31, 2018

From the NACHC CHI

This week, health center leaders and primary care associations from across the country met in Florida for the 2018 NACHC Community Health Institute (CHI) and related meetings. Here is some of what we learned:

  • Access. 28 million people across the nation now rely on a health center for access to quality, affordable primary health care: 1 in 12 overall, 1 in 9 children, 1 in 5 rural residents, 1 in 3 individuals in poverty and more than 355,000 veterans
  • Compliance. The importance of continual compliance cannot be overstated - the pressure to deliver on both compliance and performance will continue; BPHC intends to roll out an "express compliance" process to allow health centers the opportunity to resolve easy-to-fix compliance issues expeditiously
  • Funding. The Substance Use Disorder/Mental Health funding will be announced by Sept. 29 with second year funding conditional on first year performance; current health centers with positive trends and competing for a 3-year SAC will be awarded priority points in the SAC evaluation process, but health centers with 1-year project periods will not because they aren't fully compliant; other funding (for example, New Access Point or Expanded Services) will be dependent on congressional appropriations
  • Operational Site Visits (OSVs). Approximately 240 OSVs have been completed to date in 2018: 94% of the OSV reports were completed on time; 20% of health centers had no conditions; the average number of conditions at OSV was 3.7; 95% of conditions were resolved within 90 days; in the future, to improve objectivity, a health center's project officer of record will not be the HRSA representative at an OSV
  • Data. UDS modernization goals are to reduce reporting burden, measure impact and improve transparency; will be retiring EHR award and creating a new one focused on interoperability
  • Capital Support. Congressional action gave HRSA $20 million in new loan guarantee authority and the agency is working to streamline the process and make it less burdensome; HRSA can guarantee up to 80% of the loan; lgprogram@hrsa.gov for more information
  • Quality. HRSA intends to continue to raise the bar on Quality Awards so they don't simply become "participation awards;" focus will continue on improving chronic disease management because control of chronic disease translates into better outcomes and cost savings; next year, submission of UDS data via an EHR will be a prerequisite to eligibility for a quality award as will reporting on the full universe of patient data, not select data; data analysis shows that health centers with Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition have better quality of care and outcomes
  • Need Calculation. HRSA is working to create a conceptual framework to calculate need in a way that is transparent
  • Patient Targets. Health centers should use the opportunity provided during the service area competition (SAC) process to adjust patient targets as necessary - this is the only opportunity to do so
  • Resources. At HRSA's direction, resources available through the 20 national cooperative agreement (NCA) entities HRSA contracts with to support health centers are now available through a single portal: www.healthcenterinfo.org and there will be a single, consolidated satisfaction and needs assessment survey on behalf of all the NCAs
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