Building Capacity of Community Health Centers to Participate in System Expansion and Transformation
April 16, 2014
With the implementation of federal health reform, enhanced primary care access and capacity are necessary both to care for the influx of newly insured patients and to ensure a strong safety net for those who remain uninsured.
To address this increased demand, the federal government released in spring 2014 a $150 million national funding opportunity for up to 250 New Access Point (NAP) awards to help FQHCs enhance primary care. In addition, new federal funds were available to FQHCs as part of the recently approved $8 billion Medicaid waiver. The majority of waiver funds were used to support a five-year delivery system reform incentive payment (DSRIP) program with the goal to reduce avoidable hospitalizations for Medicaid patients through a collaboration of providers, including FQHCs. NYHealth awarded a grant to Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) to provide FQHCs with technical assistance in preparing high-quality, competitive applications to secure NAP and DSRIP funding.
Under this grant, CHCANYS addressed two immediate opportunities to maximize FQHC funding. To strengthen the quality of submitted applications for NAP funding, CHCANYS provided project development and technical assistance; data tools and analytic support; and application consultants. In addition, CHCANYS offered its support throughout the DSRIP application process by ensuring that FQHCs had the information and tools needed to fully function as strong, central network partners and support their own expansion and performance goals. Specifically, CHCANYS provided three levels of support: all 63 FQHCs in New York were offered low-intensity, basic support, including educational webinars, basic data tools, and conference calls for data questions; 10 centers in need of specific guidance were offered medium-intensity support, including additional individualized data support and strategy meetings; and 7 centers were offered high-intensity, targeted support, including customized data analyses, joint strategy meetings with other centers, and on-site technical assistance.