From the Board to the front desk, community health centers are using quality improvement as their strategy to bring about dramatic changes in their organizations.
Measuring, reporting, and demonstrating improvement across a variety of financial, operational, and clinical measures is becoming routine in most health care settings. In fact, an ongoing quality improvement (QI) program has long been a Health Resources and Services Administration, HRSA, requirement for Federally Qualified Health Centers, FQHCs. Health care reimbursement is steadily moving towards ‘value based’ payments. It is projected that value-based reimbursement models will eclipse traditional fee for service models by 2020. Even in a traditional fee for service model there are programs that monitor and reward achieving benchmarks for various preventive and chronic disease measures. In addition, transparency about outcomes is increasingly an expectation of patients, providers and payers.
QI and risk management remain high priority goals of HRSA and the Bureau for Primary Care. Health centers have long reported on clinical, financial and other measures in the Uniform Data System, UDS. Centers are now at the forefront of using EHR technology to demonstrate quality improvement. This technology also offers new opportunities for health centers to enhance patient safety.
FQHCs are increasingly focusing on population health, working to address the needs of entire groups of patients based on risk, in addition to caring for the patient who presents for a visit today. In fact, many of the operational measures such as wait times, patient flow, after-hours access, patient satisfaction, collections, claims denial, etc. often have the biggest impact on direct patient care.
The WVPCA provides support to health centers to make the successful transition from volume (fee-for-service) to value-based care by offering a wide variety of training programs that focus on using quality improvement to demonstrate value.
For more information, contact the WVPCA at 304.346.0032.