Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed January 2018
- Need: Meeting health care demands in a region with a limited number of physicians, where recruiting additional providers is considered impractical.
- Intervention: Using the additional support of health coaches, implementation of care teams consisting of 3 medical assistants to support each provider.
- Results: More patients seen per provider hour, with improved patient outcomes and clinic cost savings.
Updated/reviewed January 2018
- Need: To improve the oral health of children ages 3 to 13 living in underserved rural areas of Louisiana.
- Intervention: Students enrolled in school-based health centers receive oral health assessments, fluoride varnishes, and dental referrals as part of a comprehensive physical exam by nurse practitioners.
- Results: Results from the two most recent grant periods (2015-2016 and 2016-2017) included: 4,000 oral health exams, over 3,000 fluoride varnish applications, and 1500 dental referrals; the last great year seeing 68% of referrals completed, an 11% increase over the prior year.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed September 2018
- Need: Increase behavioral health services and providers in rural Appalachian communities of Southwest Virginia.
- Intervention: Implementing a behavioral health internship that is a partnership of 2 universities and a community health center, with infrastructure to also support a social work internship.
- Results: Behavioral health services now available in the 7-county area served by the health center, with designated behavioral health staff to supervise psychology and social work interns.
Updated/reviewed June 2018
- Need: New Mexico's southwestern counties of Hidalgo, Catron, Luna, and Grant have experienced chronic shortages of primary care providers. New Mexico has the oldest physician population in the country.
- Intervention: A comprehensive workforce pipeline program, including programming for middle and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, primary care program students, and medical and dental residents.
- Results: The program reaches over 2,000 school-aged students throughout the service areas and hosts 70+ rural rotation experiences annually. It has also gained partnership with the HMS-Family Medicine Residency Program since 2013 and designation as an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) since 2012.
Added February 2018
- Need: To reduce falls and improve chronic care management for adults 50 or older in rural Cross County, Arkansas.
- Intervention: The ARcare Aging Well Outreach Network, run by an FQHC, provides services like falls prevention assessments, transportation to appointments, medication management, and senior-specific exercise opportunities.
- Results: From May 2015 to December 2017, the network served 584 patients.
Updated/reviewed February 2018
- Need: To increase access and quality of care for Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured, and commercial patients in rural Maine.
- Intervention: 3 hospitals and 8 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine formed the Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization (CCPM ACO).
- Results: CCPM serves about 70,000 patients in Maine. In addition, it implemented ACO shared savings plans with Maine Medicaid, Medicare, and five commercial health insurance payers in the state.
Updated/reviewed December 2017
- Need: To provide organizations with telehealth infrastructure in order to improve the healthcare access for rural residents.
- Intervention: New York’s Finger Lakes Telehealth Network (FLTN) provides an open access network to facilitate partnering organizations collaboration.
- Results: FLTN provides connectivity using telehealth technology services to more than 20 partnering organizations, including FQHCs, specialists, hospitals, and other provider groups, allowing for a collaborative sharing of services, as well as cost savings to providers.
Updated/reviewed December 2017
- Need: Meeting the uninsured and underinsured population of Sussex County, Delaware.
- Intervention: La Red Health Center was created to offer culturally competent primary and preventative care to children and adults, regardless of ability to pay.
- Results: La Red Health Center (LRHC) serves thousands of residents at four clinical sites, a school-based wellness center and through a collaborative effort with a local senior center.
Updated/reviewed November 2017
- Need: To inform rural Louisiana residents about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion program.
- Intervention: A community health center reached out to individuals at their clinic sites, rural hospital emergency rooms, and through local governments and other community agencies.
- Results: Many rural residents have gained access to health insurance information and enrollment assistance.
Updated/reviewed October 2017
- Need: To help healthcare providers serving underserved and vulnerable populations become patient-centered medical homes (PCMH).
- Intervention: A 5-year project was launched to develop a replicable model for practice transformation for safety net providers, including rural practices.
- Results: Eighty-three percent of participating safety net clinics earned state or national PCMH recognition as of September, 2013.
Updated/reviewed June 2017
- Need: To help inform Western Wisconsin residents about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.
- Intervention: Certified application counselors provide assistance in outreach locations around the region.
- Results: In the past year, 1,835 people received guidance on health insurance through this program, with 561 completing the process to enroll in a plan.
Updated/reviewed May 2017
- Need: Safety net organizations providing healthcare for the uninsured and underinsured in rural south central West Virginia were experiencing fragmented, inefficient care delivery issues.
- Intervention: Multi-community program for efficient coordination and integration of healthcare services for uninsured and underinsured patients.
- Results: Safety net providers improved overall quality of care for uninsured and underinsured patients by resource sharing, and improved efficiencies in coordinating patient care.
Last Updated: 9/7/2018