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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.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy School-Based Health Center Dental Outreach
Updated/reviewed December 2016
  • Need: To improve the oral health status 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 as part of their comprehensive physical exams.
  • Results: During the 2012-2015 grant period, SBHCs provided 2,136 fluoride varnishes and 2,273 caries risk assessments and identified 715 dental homes for children. In year one of the 2015-2018 grant, SBHCs provided 938 fluoride varnishes.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy High Plains Community Health Center Care Teams
Updated/reviewed October 2015
  • Need: To meet demand for health care with a limited number of physicians, in a region where recruiting additional providers was impractical
  • Intervention: Implement care teams of 3 medical assistants to support each provider, with additional patient support through health coaches
  • Results: More patients seen per provider hour, with improved patient outcomes and clinic cost savings

Other Project Examples

Finger Lakes Community Health Telehealth Network
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Innis Community Health Center ACA Outreach and Education Project
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.
Safety Net Medical Home Initiative
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Stone Mountain Health Services Behavioral Health Internship
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • 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.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center Insurance Help Team
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FORWARD NM Pathways to Health Careers
Updated/reviewed May 2017
  • 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.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration West Virginia Community Access Program
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization
Added February 2017
  • 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 Maine.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy La Red Health Center
Updated/reviewed November 2015
  • Need: Sussex County, Delaware, had a large influx of Latino immigrants and a lack of bilingual, financially accessible health care services.
  • Intervention: La Red Health Center was created to offer culturally competent primary care services to children and adults, regardless of ability to pay.
  • Results: La Red Health Center (LRHC) has served thousands of residents, and is still operating today with four locations, including a school-based wellness center. LRHC provides a wide variety of medical and social services and has received recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Center for Quality Assurance.

Last Updated: 12/4/2017