March 7, 2022

The Future of Community Health Centers (CHCs)

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), also known as Community Health Centers (CHCs), provide essential medical care to over 27 million…

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), also known as Community Health Centers (CHCs), provide essential medical care to over 27 million patients from underserved and vulnerable populations, such as the uninsured, rural communities, and those living below the poverty line.

In their role as safety net providers for these vulnerable populations, CHC primary care providers and staff develop special relationships with each patient they serve, while helping them to navigate complicated medical systems to access needed services or assisting them with other barriers to healthcare, such as transportation issues. These centers have a unique role by combining traditional medical care coordination with case management, ensuring that the comprehensive needs of patients are met in order to improve health outcomes.

As the cost of healthcare in the US soars, FQHCs have become a vital and increasingly utilized resource in over 14,000 communities where they must provide a growing number of individuals with adequate healthcare.

How can CHCs improve patient care and outcomes?

With the amount of CHCs increasing in the United States, so has their value to communities. The HRSA reported that 79% of health centers met or exceeded one or more national clinical benchmarks in 2020, with more than half (55%) reporting improvements in 5 or more clinical quality measures (CQMs). Additionally, the FQHC model was shown to reduce ER use while keeping spending 24 percent lower than non-health center patient care.

Part of reason for lower costs is that FQHCs receive a fixed reimbursement amount for each patient member, called a “capitation payment”. Capitation places the responsibility for managing patient care expenses on the CHCs. This model can also add to the complexity of making health services decisions when navigating different healthcare plans and may encourage over enrollment. As a result, the capitation payment model can make it challenging to ensure optimal patient care when CHC providers, staff, or other resources become overburdened.

To manage these challenges while still providing care to growing populations of patients, CHCs must increase efficiencies in order to adhere to quality of care standards. Some efficiency goals CHCs should focus on are:

  • Streamlining operations to increase patient throughput
  • Reducing staff time spent on administrative and manual tasks
  • Automating processes to reduce errors and patient wait times and collect data in EHRs

Relaymed is a connectivity solution that can help CHCs achieve these outcomes. The middleware solution eliminates manual data entry of lab test results into EHRs, provides faster test results to patients, and is 100% error-free.

The result is less stress for FQHC staff and improved care for more patients in need while keeping costs low.

Minimal implementation costs vs. overall community benefit

We understand that the cost of medical services is an important consideration when determining what services are needed. That is why we created the Relaymed platform to be a cost-effective care process that helps deliver the best patient outcomes. As the only solution of its kind for primary care providers, Relaymed is committed to providing the lowest cost solution for all providers, including CHCs.

Implementation is simple and quick, and it won’t add to your center’s workload. Instead, Relaymed will enable CHC providers and medical center staff to reduce their workloads affordably, allowing them to spend more time and money caring for more patients, which ultimately, benefits the underserved communities they know and care about so deeply.

Find out how your Community Health Center can gain efficiencies and better serve your local patient community with Relaymed.

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Further Reading

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