Silver Spring, MD – The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) has awarded a $600,000 Strategic Sustainability Grant to the Primary Care Coalition (PCC) to implement business transformation for long-term sustainability at four safety-net clinics that serve Montgomery County residents with limited resources.
With this funding, the PCC and participating clinics will strengthen and grow the high quality, comprehensive, cost effective safety-net health care system in Montgomery County. The participating clinics include Catholic Charities Medical Clinic, Mansfield Kaseman Clinic, Mercy Health Clinic, and Muslim Community Center Medical Clinic. Two additional clinics are expected to join the program in the future: Mobile Medical Care, Inc., and Proyecto Salud.
With this funding from the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, the PCC and clinic partners will implement a “Business Model Transformation” (BMT) project to improve clinic sustainability and strengthen the health care safety net. The PCC is providing technical support to assist these clinics to become Medicaid providers so they can continue to serve previously uninsured patients who now have Medicaid. They will also begin to serve new Medicaid patients.
Through the PCC, clinics will receive technical assistance and participate in shared learning opportunities that assist clinics in understanding their market niche and patient population, and guide clinics in exploring opportunities to redesign their revenue sources and to update their business model. Clinic directors and managers will participate in collaborative learning opportunities on industry standards for practice management. The grant also funds patient surveys and focus groups to gain greater understanding about the needs and views of those served by the clinics.
Montgomery County’s changing environment, “requires a changed response for organizations to accomplish their goals, survive, and thrive,” says the Leslie Graham, President and CEO of PCC, “This is particularly true of health care organizations, especially those serving diverse community members who face linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers to receiving health care.” This grant provides the resources for the needed response.
Recent changes in the health care environment provide opportunities for safety-net clinics that can rapidly adapt their operations. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more county residents have Medicaid or have purchased private health insurance from the Maryland Health Connection. However, many primary care providers do not accept Medicaid. To ensure these residents have access to health services, safety-net clinics must be prepared to accept these patients and meet requirements to participate in Medicaid. Requirements include minimum operating hours, meaningful use of health information, and the ability to code and bill for medical procedures. Clinics also face competition for qualified staff due to national primary care shortages. Further, clinics as organizations must diversify their revenue streams and modernize their business models in order to continue providing quality services.
It is the Healthcare Initiative Foundation’s mission to support community organizations that offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of health care for residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. This grant recognizes the PCC’s ability to devise and implement innovative approaches to effectively meet the health care needs of underserved residents of Montgomery County.
“Developing sustainable business models for the delivery of comprehensive, high quality health services to our most vulnerable residents is paramount,” said Crystal Townsend, President of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, “Creativity generates solutions. The Primary Care Coalition is a strong, creative nonprofit with solid leadership and the organizational capacity to implement and assess their programs.”
The PCC strives to ensure that low-income, uninsured and underinsured community members have access to high quality health care. These individuals are ethnically and linguistically diverse. The PCC manages Montgomery Cares and Care for Kids. These programs are public private partnerships that leverage county funding as well as grants, donations and in kind services from the private sector. They served nearly 25,000 adults and 4,000 children in the fiscal year of 2015 (FY15). Through these safety-net programs, under resourced residents of Montgomery County receive primary care, specialty care, access to medications, and behavioral health services.
The Business Model Transformation seeks to address current challenges and turn them into opportunities. With the investment of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, the PCC and clinics participating in the Strategic Sustainability initiative will work toward creating a stronger and more versatile health safety-net system in Montgomery County that will continue to deliver high quality, culturally sensitive health care to low-income Montgomery County residents now and into the future.
Hillery Tsumba, Manager Communications and Development