Metro Community Health Centers & Yuvo Health: Their Story

This story was originally published in November 2022 and has been updated in March 2024.

Metro Community Health Center (MCHC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) providing high quality, well-coordinated, primary and specialty medical, dental, behavioral, and ancillary health services to New York City residents across its four locations. MCHC has a skilled, committed, and compassionate team of healthcare professionals who provide a comfortable and caring atmosphere for all patients, regardless of their backgrounds, abilities, or needs.

To continue to provide the highest quality of care to patients, MCHC officially formed a partnership with Yuvo Health in spring 2022. To better understand how MCHC and Yuvo will work together to meet the needs of diverse patients, read about the organization here.

Related: Hear from more FQHCs like Metro in our latest Annual Report.  

The challenges facing MCHC

MCHC launched in 2015 and still considered itself a young organization when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. With the increased demand and added responsibilities, MCHC experienced significant financial strain, derailing the organization’s growth and outreach efforts. While MCHC has made significant strides to meet the needs of patients, including adding telehealth services, it has been challenging to find and maintain providers, especially psychiatrists.

“You can’t find a psychiatrist anywhere in New York right now and we can’t compete with the hospital systems and big organizations in terms of pay. We’re constantly trying to create different incentives to compensate for salary,” says Rita Bilello, DDS, Chief Executive Officer.

While many providers at MCHC have extended their hours to meet urgent needs, Dr. Bilello knows that rates of burnout are high, which is why she is focused on building reasonable boundaries and expectations to protect the well-being of providers.

"Yuvo has been incredibly supportive of Metro, not only in moving forward in terms of the value based conversation, but also supportive in terms of challenges that we've hadwith our workforce," said Dr. Bilello in the below video. "Listening to the concerns that our providers have about adding more into what their day-to-day experience is really being supportive in terms of the challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis."

MCHC had also been facing the administrative burden of overcoming existing organizational challenges, while still being in compliance with the overabundance of regulatory expectations set by the HRSA Health Center Program and the FTCA. Every year, FQHCs have to go through extensive paperwork and a lot of the work is redundant. “We all appreciate that it’s necessary, but would love to find some way to streamline it or make it more user friendly,” says Dr. Bilello. “Why report the same staffing measures twice? They all want the same thing, but slightly different formats... We don’t shine a light on this long-standing problem, because it feels like a battle that FQHCs are never going to win.”

Building potential in partnership with Yuvo Health

The FQHC world has traditionally fought battles by themselves, Dr. Bilello explains. “We’re the black sheep of the payer community. We have patients who actually utilize services.” Rarely, if ever, does a company offer to help FQHCs and with such sincerity.

“Yuvo Health is willing to work with us around the challenges that FQHCs have in the value-based conversation,” says Dr. Bilello.

Payers have created hoops that FQHCs can’t jump in, so they don’t have to engage FQHCs in healthcare conversations, Dr. Bilello explains. “With Yuvo taking this challenge on and eliminating the barriers, it gives FQHCs a voice in the conversation but also allows us, to some degree, to prove what we’re capable of doing.”

Yuvo supports FQHCs so they have enough resources and tools to continue to care for underserved communities. Yuvo is dedicated to helping health centers like MCHC scale the quality care they provide to reach community members in greatest need of medical and behavioral health services.

“There are people on our side willing to take a risk on us. In that risk, there comes potential,” says Dr. Bilello. “Cesar and his team have taken it a step forward by putting in external support to also help us, to give us a different perspective.”

Dr. Bilello understands that the work of a health center can’t be done alone. “We need someone like Yuvo to come in and work with us and assist us with our challenges and find the creative workarounds to obstacles that are in our way… “I’m excited for the growth opportunities. I’m excited for the way they positioned the company,” Dr. Bilello says.

“Right now, they’re starting with a small core group and they’re giving us the opportunity to treat it not so much as a corporate enterprise, but as a sounding board and an opportunity to work together around best practices. How can we move the needle in terms of quality and how can we help each other move forward, both from the clinical and the operations side? It gets lonely doing this and to be able to come together when we know we’re all having the same challenges and to be able to say, “how are we doing this?” is rare.”

Interested in how Yuvo can help you improve the quality of care for your patients? Schedule a call today.

Claim your seat at the table

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter just for community health centers

We’ll send occasional emails with Yuvo and FQHC news.

No items found.