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 March 2019
- 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 2019
- 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 February 2019
- Need: To increase access and quality of care for Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured, and commercial patients in rural Maine.
- Intervention: Hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine formed the Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization (CCPM ACO).
- Results: CCPM serves about 100,000 patients in Maine. In addition, it implemented ACO shared savings plans with Maine Medicaid, Medicare, and five commercial health insurance and Medicare Advantage plans in the state.
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.
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 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: 3/5/2019