Building an Ecosystem of Support around FQHCs to Relieve Provider Burdens and Further the Mission

FQHCs have a tough job to do – and that’s putting it mildly. Community health centers work with some of the most vulnerable and challenging patient populations while operating on a shoestring, often lacking the internal resources, staffing, and technology to meet the overwhelming needs their patients experience each and every day.

Operating in such an environment makes FQHCs incredibly resilient, and creative. They’re used to going it alone in an industry that focuses much more on the money than the mission, and they have adapted accordingly.

But FQHCs shouldn’t have to believe that they’re all on their own. That’s because they aren’t.

Dedicated partners, like the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), can fill in knowledge gaps, advocate with local and regional entities, provide guidance on maximizing resources, and assist FQHCs in identifying capital to meet their growth and transformation needs.

Since 1993, PCDC has been offering these and other services in New York and elsewhere, successfully assisting FQHCs as they transform themselves into the health centers their disinvested communities so desperately need.

With experienced and dedicated partners on their side, FQHCs can unlock access to the knowledge and resources required to retain control of their own future and continue to offer exceptional care to everyone who comes through their doors.

Serving the people who serve the vulnerable

Over the past 29 years, PCDC has worked with numerous primary care providers to level up FQHCs located in some of the most challenging neighborhoods in the country.

“When a clinician walks into a room with a patient, they start off by assuming nothing. They ask the patient, ‘What can I do for you to help you?’ then use their knowledge and experience to meet those needs. We take the same approach when we get into a room with FQHC leadership,” explained Deborah Johnson Ingram, Senior Director of Performance Improvement at PCDC.

“We’re here to take care of all that noise: all the technical and administrative issues that you’re having a hard time managing on your own because you simply don’t have the time or staff to do so. We love it when an FQHC takes charge and tells us exactly what they need, because they are the ones who know themselves and their communities best.”

Yuvo Health is proud to join PCDC in this mission.  Together, Yuvo and PCDC will offer additional administrative and contracting capabilities to the New York FQHC community, making it even easier for FQHCs to reach their clinical and financial goals.

Building a comprehensive ecosystem of support and supplementary knowledge is crucial to help FQHCs achieve financial sustainability and meet a growing laundry list of requirements for payers and regulators in a healthcare industry that is constantly shifting under their feet, said Ingram.

“These days, FQHCs have so many reporting programs; so many public report cards,” she said. “They’ve got staffing issues and grant applications and trainings. And unfortunately, a lot of them don’t have the most transparent and equitable relationships with their health plans, so they’re not getting everything they deserve out of those interactions.”

“We want to ensure that FQHCs are demonstrating their high performance correctly and getting accurately rewarded for the work that they’re doing without putting extra administrative burdens directly on providers’ shoulders. For that to happen, it helps to have people who have been there before to provide some insight and assist with problem solving. Not every FQHC has those people in-house, but that’s why we’re here.”

Empowering FQHCs with an all-in-one toolkit for success

For decades, FQHCs have partnered with PCDC to achieve a variety of high-value initiatives, including obtaining patient-centered medical home (PCMH) recognition, reducing barriers to care for HIV and chronic disease patients, and developing staff skill sets.

Now, with Yuvo Health joining the ecosystem, FQHCs can receive assistance with even more crucial pieces of the puzzle: negotiating with health plans to secure advantageous contracts and leveraging data analytics to meet reporting objectives and internal goals.

“FQHCs aren’t used to having power at the negotiating table when contracting with health plans,” said Ingram. “And honestly, most health plans are aware of this and will use it to their advantage. We can’t afford to keep letting that happen, which is why we’re so excited to work with Yuvo.”

“With their FQHC experience and contracting expertise, the team at Yuvo can shift that dynamic and fiercely advocate for FQHCs with the health plans so that they get fair and equitable reimbursement for their efforts,” she said. “Having access to those skills is new in the community health world, but this approach brings us a lot closer to what other types of private practice providers have been doing all along.”

Since its launch in 2021, Yuvo Health has been busy equipping New York FQHCs with these tools for success through its independent provider association (IPA).  Four initial partners, including Long Island Select Healthcare, Metro Community Health Centers, Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, and Advantage Care Health Centers, have thus far joined to bring shared benefits to their communities.

Additionally, Yuvo Health and Fidelis Care, New York State’s largest Medicaid managed care organization, announced the submission of a value-based payment (VBP) contract to the New York State Department of Health that supports the provision of quality, affordable care to historically marginalized and priority populations.

Over the coming months, Yuvo Health will be developing customized programs to support the unique needs of their FQHC and community health center partnerships throughout the country, starting with New York.

“FQHCs need to invest in themselves in every way they can,” urged Ingram. “One of the best ways is to seek out partners that have skills and tools that can supplement what you have internally. This is a proven path to success – we have seen it over and over.”

“We know that FQHCs know what they need. Our mission, together with Yuvo Health, is to provide it to them. It’s not an easy time to be a community health center, but it gets a lot less lonely when you have people on your side to support you, relieve your burdens, and work with you to achieve your goals.”

To learn more about the partnership between PCDC and Yuvo Health, read our press release here.

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