There is a widespread false impression that federally certified well being facilities and neighborhood clinics are suppliers of final resort. However once you take a look at the numbers and well being outcomes, FQHCs are main the cost in high-quality healthcare with necessary classes about delivering worth and adapting quickly, particularly throughout COVID-19.
In lower-income and rural areas particularly, entry to healthcare providers is scarce. The mission of those facilities is to serve the underserved and attain populations that do not in any other case have entry to high-quality healthcare, together with behavioral well being, girls’s well being, pediatrics, major care and social providers.
As medical practices and well being techniques adapt for a post-COVID-19 world in addition to adjustments in insurance coverage protection and value-driven monetary fashions, we all know as healthcare leaders that we’ll all should be doing much more with rather a lot much less. That is a world that FQHCs know nicely, and we have discovered some keys to success alongside the way in which:
Ship care the place sufferers want it. Throughout healthcare, we have shortly realized how necessary telemedicine is for sufferers proper now, however how about care in different nontraditional settings for the “new regular”? Sufferers want selection and adaptability. We’d like massive clinics and small clinics. We should be inside hospitals, in faculties, in cell models. The dramatic expertise and parity reimbursement improvements of the previous a number of months implies that we will all re-imagine what it means to go the place our sufferers want us to be.
Get proactive with real-time knowledge. With the intention to enhance well being outcomes and meet value-based care metrics, healthcare organizations must know in actual time when their sufferers are in want. Becoming a member of a well being data trade is one method to obtain this. My FQHC, in Southern California, is a part of Manifest MedEx, a not-for-profit statewide trade, that notifies us instantly when one in all our sufferers is hospitalized or discharged. Our case managers log in very first thing each morning to achieve out and get sufferers again into the clinic for post-hospital visits. That makes a distinction. Affected person well being is enhancing and readmissions are declining. Sufferers respect that somebody is reaching out and displaying they care.
Reply shortly to adjustments in affected person wants. Most medical suppliers noticed a pointy decline in affected person quantity at the beginning of the pandemic. Many non-public, boutique and concierge medical suppliers have been closing their doorways. In my neighborhood, with these clinics out of the blue not out there, and an absence of testing providers in our areas, we noticed the necessity shift. We quickly put collectively a clinic command middle and a job drive. We shortly turned 17 of our websites into COVID-19 testing facilities and added telehealth capabilities, a triage hotline and elevated behavioral well being entry. We put collectively pop-up occasions to assist individuals in communities that had particularly tough entry to testing. As a result of well being facilities are in so many U.S. communities, they play a vital function in delivering care throughout occasions of public well being disaster.
Make data-sharing a precedence. COVID-19 has additional underscored the vital want for data-sharing. It is vital that healthcare organizations have direct entry to lab outcomes, hospitalization knowledge and longitudinal information with out having to request data manually each time it is wanted. We use our well being data trade as an alternative of countless faxing and cellphone calls. When knowledge is available, it makes collaboration a lot simpler. Effectively sharing knowledge with different healthcare organizations is essential for not simply neighborhood well being facilities, however all suppliers.
Put money into a tradition of motion. You possibly can’t simply ask individuals to alter, it needs to be a precedence in your group. You have to adapt and alter to satisfy shoppers’ wants. The best way you do that is by listening to your workforce and your neighborhood. Whereas the shift to value-based care comes with complexities for a lot of organizations, it additionally could be a method to simplify and refocus on what actually issues most to affected person well being. Is your crew prepared to surrender concepts of “the way in which it is at all times been achieved” in trade for brand spanking new power about “the way in which we will do issues in another way”?
Between the pandemic, the shift to value-based care, new laws and extra new insurance policies forward, we’re all pondering extra flexibly concerning the future. FQHCs might have a little bit of a head begin. We have been working in an intensely value-focused a part of healthcare, at a time when our sector is extra intensely taking a look at worth. We’re not that particular although. Any healthcare group can take a look at and take a look at new applications like we have outlined right here. The telehealth increase has already helped so many organizations understand they will ship care in new methods.
Beginning subsequent 12 months, most hospitals must share notifications on affected person transitions underneath a brand new CMS rule. Which means extra clinics and suppliers may have the flexibility to get proactive and collaborate utilizing well being knowledge. A tradition centered on motion and an agile response to what sufferers want and the place they want it’s hopefully going to be a part of the brand new regular for healthcare.