Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) and Partners HealthCare today announced $215,000 in grants for Cape Cod community health centers (CHCs) through the Partnership for Community Health. The grants are part of a total of $4.25 million in a first round of grants that will benefit all 49 members of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. Senate President Therese Murray, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz and Commissioner of the Department of Public Health Cheryl Bartlett joined local officials and community leaders for an event at Community Health Center of Cape Cod in Mashpee, Mass. to recognize the important role that CHCs have in providing access to quality and affordable health care.
“I thank the organizations that came together today to provide this grant to our health partners in the community. Community Health Centers are an integral part of our mission to enhance access to affordable quality care,” said Secretary Polanowicz. “Community health centers help us increase access to preventative medicine in diverse communities, while reaching our cost containment goals. I look forward to continuing our partnerships through new opportunities for our Commonwealth’s community health centers supported by the Affordable Care Act.”
“As we move into the next phase of health reform in Massachusetts, these grants are an outstanding example of the kind of innovation we, in the Legislature, hoped for when we worked to pass Chapter 224,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “This collaboration between Partners HealthCare, Neighborhood Health Plan, and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers is working to strengthen health centers across our state and helping to continue to provide quality, affordable care to more than 800,000 of our residents.”
Each of the CHCs awarded a grant have chosen a project related to infrastructure improvement that will allow them to continue their efforts to reduce barriers to access, promote health equity and provide care for patients in their communities.
The Community Health Center of Cape Cod with locations in Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne and Harbor Community Health Center in Hyannis will use these investments to enhance their ability to coordinate care across multidisciplinary teams of caregivers working to meet the health needs of patients. Outer Cape Health Services in Provincetown, Harwich and Wellfleet will use funds to train staff on performance improvement initiatives. Duffy Health Center in Hyannis will focus on improving health information technology reporting for patients who receive both medical and behavioral health services. Island Health Care, located in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, will provide staff training on the adoption of a nationally-recognized model of care management for patients diagnosed with chronic conditions.
In this first round of funding, grants were awarded in four categories:
· Health Information Technology Reporting: For the purchase, implementation and training of staff on new information technology systems designed to enhance patient care and improve patient health through the collection and application of valid and timely health data.
· Meaningful Use Training: For staff training on how to meet a core set of federally-mandated objectives for using health technology to improve the delivery of health care and the health outcomes of patients. Under the national health reform law, achieving Meaningful Use determines whether a health care organization can receive incentive payments from the federal government for care provided to Medicaid and Medicare patients.
· Medical Coding Training: To assist health centers in meeting new coding requirements established by the Affordable Care Act. This funding provides clinicians with the necessary knowledge and skills for accurately documenting the complexity of care among their patient populations, and to ensure the necessary revenue to support that care.
· Training and Capacity Building for Performance Improvement: To provide opportunities for health center staff teams to participate in structured Performance Improvement programs. These teams gain the knowledge and competencies critical for building and sustaining quality improvement across their organizations.
During the next 15 years, the Partnership for Community Health will provide up to $90 million in grant funding to CHCs to develop and launch measurable programs that enhance health outcomes, service, efficiencies and quality of care. Grants will focus on projects that support expanded programs and improve the infrastructure of CHCs.
“Neighborhood Health Plan’s mission is rooted in providing better access to health care for underserved populations throughout the state,” said NHP President and CEO Deborah C. Enos. “This first round of grants is vital in our effort to enhance our support for the community health centers that care for so many of our members.”
“Community health centers are a cornerstone of an accessible, high-quality, and cost-effective health care delivery system, particularly for the underserved,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO, Partners HealthCare. “The Partnership for Community Health is a crucial initiative that will support the state’s community health centers for years come in serving the needs of patients across the Commonwealth.”
"This first round of grants will help CHCs prepare for the changes that health reform has brought, while allowing them to continue delivering their innovative care to the more than 800,000 patients they serve statewide,” said the League’s President and CEO James W. Hunt, Jr.
After the first round of grants, the CHCs will be eligible to apply for grants through a competitive application process.
The following 49 CHCs received a first round grant:
About Neighborhood Health Plan
Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP), a Massachusetts-based not-for-profit corporation, is fully licensed by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance as a health maintenance organization and has provided comprehensive health services since 1986. An NCQA-accredited managed care organization, NHP serves MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, Commonwealth Choice, and fully insured commercial members across the Commonwealth. By working closely with the MassHealth program and commercial purchasers, and by partnering with community health centers and other providers, NHP grew rapidly from a few thousand members in the late 1980s to more than 250,000 members today throughout Massachusetts. Headquartered in Boston, NHP serves members who have access to a provider network of more than 4,000 primary care practitioners, over 13,400 specialists, and 68 teaching, community, and specialty hospitals. Our network includes nationally known, major academic medical centers such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Tufts Medical Center, and major medical groups such as Atrius Health/Harvard Vanguard and Lahey Clinic. Neighborhood Health Plan is a member of Partners HealthCare, which was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For more information, visit www.nhp.org.
About Partners HealthCare
Partners HealthCare is an integrated health care system, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, that offers patients a continuum of coordinated and high-quality care. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, a physician network, community health centers, home health and long-term care services, and other health care entities. Partners HealthCare is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.
About the Massachusetts League of Community Health CentersEstablished in 1972, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (“the League”) is the statewide association representing and serving the needs of the state’s 49 community health centers through grassroots advocacy; technical assistance with state and federal health regulatory and policy issues; promotion and management of clinical quality initiatives; training and education for administrators, clinicians and board members; help with health center technology development; and work with local health advocacy organizations seeking to open health centers in their communities. The League also serves as an information source on community-based health care to policymakers, opinion leaders and the media.