Feds Earmark $42M for FQHC Demo Project

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , June 7, 2011

To help cover any investments in patient care and infrastructure, FQHCs will be paid a monthly care management fee of $6 for each eligible Medicare beneficiary receiving primary care services. CMS and HRSA will provide technical assistance.

“The transformation to a patient-centered medical home is designed to improve the coordination of care for Medicare beneficiaries by helping doctors and other health professionals work in teams,” Mary Wakefield, M.D. and HRSA Administrator, said in a statement. “FQHCs in this project can increase access to important primary care services and thus reduce the need for costly hospitalizations or emergency department visits.”

FQHCs that have provided medical services to at least 200 Medicare beneficiaries, including dual-eligibles, in the previous 12-month period will be invited by letter to apply to participate in the demonstration, which will begin Sept. 1, 2011 and end on Aug. 31, 2014.

CMS is using a web-based application process for this demonstration. Eligible FQHCs will find an application form and instructions here. Applications will be accepted through August 12, 2011.

 “FQHCs provide essential primary care services to seniors and others in underserved communities,” said Donald Berwick, M.D. and CMS administrator. “This project will go a long way toward creating comprehensive and coordinated healthcare opportunities for the many people with Medicare who rely on FQHCs as their primary medical providers.”

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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