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Celebrating America's Community Health Centers

by Caroline Smart, CloudView Editor

Today marks the beginning of National Health Center Week. In areas of the country that are medically underserved, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) provide comprehensive primary care to patients of all ages regardless of socio-economic barriers, including the ability to pay. Each year, the National Association of Community Health Centers celebrates the work and services Health Centers provide their communities, in tandem with these centers’ health fairs, screenings, and open houses. This year, athenahealth is proud to be able to provide unrestricted grants to 12 different Federally Qualified Health Centers in support of each center’s local events.

athenahealth is proud to be part of the health center movement.  We understand FQHCs’ multiple billing requirements, unique reporting requirements, and diverse quality management programs. Most importantly, we’ve come to admire their extraordinary mission, devoted staff, and impact they’re making in their communities.

But FQHCs are faced with considerable challenges to meet clinical, financial and performance standards, which threaten to take the focus away from care. FQHCs have to spend precious time, effort and money on these administrative functions, all without compromising outreach efforts and their comprehensive clinical care.

athenahealth acts as a trusted partner to many FQHCs, including Hudson Headwaters in upstate New York, to help them more efficiently fulfill their missions by using insights from our network and our services to help satisfy complex UDS reporting requirements, manage quality, eliminate the administrative burden of sliding fees, and deliver comprehensive, coordinated care. 

UDS Reporting

Uniform Data System (UDS) reports, an annual readout of patient demographics and practice performance, represent a huge undertaking for FQHCs. Additionally, FQHCs must be able to track numerous performance-based incentive programs.  athenahealth captures UDS information systematically, with UDS data requirements mapped directly to the EHR.  FQHCs get a multi-faceted UDS reporting service, not just a data export, and support with the submission and auditing process. In addition, athenahealth and Umble together deliver a streamlined registration workflow and consolidated medical and dental UDS reporting.

Quality Measurement

FQHCS are required to report on quality metrics to meet program requirements. With athenahealth, quality guidelines are embedded directly into the practice workflow. Our teams monitor adherence to quality measures, generate reports, and automatically submit data.

FQHCs are doing remarkable things for underserved communities.  Now it’s our job to ensure these organizations have the right tools to keep pace with industry change. 

Make the most of National Health Center Week by inviting your state legislators, county and local elected officials to attend your events. Want to find an event taking place near you? NACHC has several resources available to support celebrations nationwide. Be sure to share your health center week happenings on social media and use the hashtag #NHCW16.  Join in on the celebration with athenahealth by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Caroline Smart is a Senior PR Associate and CloudView Editor.

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