June 14, 2013 (Chicopee, MA) —Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) and Partners HealthCare today announced $200,000 in grants given to Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield-area community health centers through the Partnership for Community Health. The grants are part of a total of $4.25 million in a first round of grants that will benefit all 49 members of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.
“This Partnership for Community Health grant is incredibly important to our community health center,” said Holyoke and Chicopee Executive Director Jay Breines. “Through this grant we will provide stronger, more-efficient care and ensure that all of our patients have access to the quality care and comprehensive community-based programs they deserve.”
The Holyoke and Chicopee Health Centers will use this grant to improve health information technology reporting and to prepare for impending state-based payment reform initiatives. Baystate Health’s Brightwood and Mason Square Neighborhood Health Centers in Springfield will train clinical and billing staff on new medical coding protocols. Both Springfield-based Caring Health Center and Health Services for the Homeless will focus on enhancing health information technology use with the goal of qualifying for federal financial incentives under the national health reform law.
“In this era of health reform, it’s critically important that health centers in our state have strong partners and are able to continue to meet the demands of the changing health care landscape,” said Senator James T. Welch, Chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. “Partners HealthCare is providing the support that health centers in western Massachusetts need to meet those demands and address the health care needs of patients in this region."
“The importance of community health centers in western Massachusetts cannot be overstated,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “For many of the most vulnerable individuals in the Pioneer Valley, these centers are a dependable and accessible source of their primary care. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which ensures an additional 32 million Americans, local health centers will become even more critical. In addition to providing quality health care in communities like Holyoke and Chicopee, these centers are also engines of economic activity and job creators. Today's announcement will help more patients in our region get the care they need."
Each of the 49 community health centers that were awarded a grant have chosen a project related to infrastructure improvement that will allow them to continue their efforts to reduce barriers to access, promote health equity and provide care for patients in their communities.
In the first round of funding, grants were awarded in four categories:
- Health Information Technology Reporting: For the purchase, implementation and training of staff on new information technology systems designed to enhance patient care and improve patient health through the collection and application of valid and timely health data.
- Meaningful Use Training: For staff training on how to meet a core set of federally-mandated objectives for using health technology to improve the delivery of health care and the health outcomes of patients. Under the national health reform law, achieving Meaningful Use determines whether a health care organization can receive incentive payments from the federal government for care provided to Medicaid and Medicare patients.
- Medical Coding Training: To assist health centers in meeting new coding requirements established by the Affordable Care Act. This funding provides clinicians with the necessary knowledge and skills for accurately documenting the complexity of care among their patient populations, and to ensure the necessary revenue to support that care.
- Training and Capacity Building for Performance Improvement: To provide opportunities for health center staff teams to participate in structured Performance Improvement programs. These teams gain the knowledge and competencies critical for building and sustaining quality improvement across their organizations.
During the next 15 years, the Partnership for Community Health will provide up to $90 million in grant funding to CHCs to develop and launch measurable programs that enhance health outcomes, service, efficiencies and quality of care. Grants will focus on projects that support expanded programs and improve the infrastructure of CHCs.
“Neighborhood Health Plan’s mission is rooted in providing better access to health care for underserved populations throughout the state,” said NHP President and CEO Deborah C. Enos. “This first round of grants is vital in our effort to enhance our support for the community health centers that care for so many of our members.”
“Community health centers are a cornerstone of an accessible, high-quality, and cost-effective health care delivery system, particularly for the underserved,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO, Partners HealthCare. “The Partnership for Community Health is a crucial initiative that will support the state’s community health centers for years come in serving the needs of patients across the Commonwealth.”
"This first round of grants will help CHCs prepare for the changes that health reform has brought, while allowing them to continue delivering their innovative care to the more than 800,000 patients they serve statewide,” said the League’s President and CEO James W. Hunt, Jr.
After the first round of grants, the CHCs will be eligible to apply for grants through a competitive application process.
The following 49 CHCs received a first round grant:
- Baystate Medical Center Health Centers, Springfield
- Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
- Bowdoin Street Health Center, Dorchester
- Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
- Brookside Community Health Center, Jamaica Plain
- Cambridge Health Alliance Health Centers, Cambridge, Somerville, Malden and Revere
- Caring Health Center, Springfield
- CHP Health Center, Great Barrington, Lee and Pittsfield
- Codman Square Health Center, Dorchester
- Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Falmouth, Mashpee and Bourne
- Community Health Center of Franklin County, Greenfield, Orange and Turners Falls
- Community Health Connections Family Health Centers, Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster
- Dimock Community Health Center, Roxbury
- Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
- Duffy Health Center, Hyannis
- East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
- Edward M Kennedy Community Health Center, Worcester, Framingham and Clinton
- Family Health Center of Worcester
- Fenway Community Health Center, Boston
- Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, Dorchester
- Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
- Greater New Bedford Community Health Center
- Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center
- Harbor Community Health Center - Hyannis, Hyannis and Harwich
- Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, Dorchester
- HealthFirst Family Care Center, Fall River
- Hilltown Community Health Centers, Huntington and Worthington
- Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke and Chicopee
- Island Health Care, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
- Joseph M Smith Community Health Center, Allston and Waltham
- Lowell Community Health Center
- Lynn Community Health Center
- Manet Community Health Center, Quincy and Hull
- Martha Eliot Health Center, Jamaica Plain
- Mattapan Community Health Center
- MGH Community Health Associates Health Centers, Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett and Revere
- Neponset Health Center, Dorchester
- North End Waterfront Health, Boston
- North Shore Community Health, Peabody, Salem and Gloucester
- Outer Cape Health Services, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown and Wellfleet
- Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center
- South Boston Community Health Center
- South Cove Community Health Center, Chinatown and Quincy
- South End Community Health Center, Boston
- Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center
- Springfield Health Services for the Homeless
- The Family HealthCare Center at SSTAR, Fall River
- Upham's Corner Health Center, Dorchester
- Whittier Street Health Center, Roxbury
About Neighborhood Health Plan
Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP), a Massachusetts-based not-for-profit corporation, is fully licensed by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance as a health maintenance organization and has provided comprehensive health services since 1986. An NCQA-accredited managed care organization, NHP serves MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, Commonwealth Choice, and fully insured commercial members across the Commonwealth. By working closely with the MassHealth program and commercial purchasers, and by partnering with community health centers and other providers, NHP grew rapidly from a few thousand members in the late 1980s to more than 250,000 members today throughout Massachusetts. Headquartered in Boston, NHP serves members who have access to a provider network of more than 4,000 primary care practitioners, over 13,400 specialists, and 66 teaching, community, and specialty hospitals. Our network includes nationally known, major academic medical centers such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Tufts Medical Center, and major medical groups such as Atrius Health/Harvard Vanguard and Lahey Clinic. Neighborhood Health Plan is a member of Partners HealthCare, which was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For more information, visit www.nhp.org.
About Partners HealthCare
Partners HealthCare is an integrated health care system, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, that offers patients a continuum of coordinated and high-quality care. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, a physician network, community health centers, home health and long-term care services, and other health care entities. Partners HealthCare is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.
About the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
Established in 1972, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (“the League”) is the statewide association representing and serving the needs of the state’s 49 community health centers through grassroots advocacy; technical assistance with state and federal health regulatory and policy issues; promotion and management of clinical quality initiatives; training and education for administrators, clinicians and board members; help with health center technology development; and work with local health advocacy organizations seeking to open health centers in their communities. The League also serves as an information source on community-based health care to policymakers, opinion leaders and the media.
Find coverage of this announcement from WAMC Northeast Public Radio.