Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Health First recieves $30,927 in grant funds

J-E News Editor
Officials at Health First CHC in Providence announced last week that they would be the recipients of $30,927 in grant money during the upcoming year. This quality improvement grant is part of $36.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding being awarded to health centers across the country by Health and Human Services (HHS).
“We didn’t realize we were going to get it,” said Shelley Gobin, a RN and Director of Quality Improvement for Health First. “It’s not something we applied for.”

Healthcare facilities such as Health First follow standards set by the Health and Resources Administration (HRSA). Those standards, created through ‘evidence based medicine’, help dictate patient care.
“We do chart reviews,” said Dr. Tristan Lineberry, who oversees Health First’s adherence to the HRSA guidelines in Providence. “Every provider who comes and goes, I check their charts every 4-6 weeks.”
Lineberry said they also have other providers check charts (with names redacted) to make sure everything is being handled properly.
“This funding rewards health centers that have a proven track record in clinical quality improvement, which translates to better patient care, and it allows them to expand and improve their systems and infrastructure to bring the highest quality primary care services to the communities they serve,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “With these funds, health centers in all 50 states will continue to provide access to high quality, comprehensive primary and preventive health care to the patients that need it the most.”
The $30,927 coming to Health First is the combination of two separate grant funds. $12,964 are for Clinical Quality Improvers, which are health centers that have demonstrated improvements in one or more clinical measures. Facilities in this category were required to demonstrate at least a 10 percent improvement in clinical quality measures between 2012 and 2013, showing a significant improvement in the health of the patients they serve
The remaining $17,964 was for being a Health Center Quality Leader, which goes to facilities judged to have the highest performance compared to their health center peers using risk adjusted quartile rankings. Health center quality leaders received awards if they were among the top 30 percent of all health centers that achieved the best overall clinical outcomes, demonstrating their ability to focus on quality in all aspects of their clinical operations.
“These funds reward and support those health centers that have taken steps to achieve the highest levels of clinical quality performance and improvement,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.
Now that Health First has earned the award, they will have to decide how to use it. As Quality Improvement grants, these funds can only be used in certain ways. In this case, they must be in an area that would help Quality Improvement.
“I would like to hire a pharmacist,” Lineberry said. “We would have them go through some of the files of some older patients who are on multiple medicines and make sure they understand what they’re taking.
Nearly 1,300 HRSA-supported health centers operate more than 9,200 service delivery sites that provide care to nearly 22 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin.

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