Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center Partnerships - An Old Recipe for Success
Many opportunities exist to develop successful partnerships and collaborative arrangements between hospitals and community health centers or to improve upon those partnerships and collaborative arrangements that improve care within communities. Section 330 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act defines the Health Center Program as a funding opportunity for organizations to provide healthcare services to underserved populations. Community Health Centers are the same as an FQHC. FQHCs/Community Health Centers are community-based organizations that are funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) serving communities for over fifty years. With the ever-changing environment in the delivery of healthcare, community health centers and hospitals must continue to be flexible, creative, and responsive to those constant changes.
Below are a few ingredients necessary in a recipe for success.
3. Flexibility- be ready to pivot any time as necessary
4. Shared values
5. Commitment to purpose and “doing the right thing” at all times
6. Creating a culture of caring and wholism
As I think about collaborations and partnerships between entities like hospitals and health centers, or even a hospital system that is considering starting a health center or health center look alike, one ingredient to success is something simple but often not enough energy or focus applied. While it is critical to ensure financial viability in a partnership, new partnerships, new ventures must be built upon a strong foundation which leads to cultural establishment for the organization, especially a new organization. Existing organizations that are realigning in a partnership may also need to refocus and realign the culture recognizing the differences and the opportunities. All requires great commitment from everyone, every single member of the organization. Patients and staff must know and feel the culture of caring within the organization they are a part of or receive services from.
As we read about and consider the challenges for many businesses today particularly the health care industry and the various incentives businesses and organizations are developing and offering to recruit and retain staff, people still need a reason to work for a company that is culturally sound and employee focused. Companies are offering large financial incentives to come to work. Monetary enticement for recruitment is not the only thing to ensure the business is staffed and successful.
Hospitals and health centers must be willing to recognize their differences in business approach and be willing to create a “new model”. Successful collaboration is only achieved if true collaboration and shared values exist. The commitment to work hard from both parties is paramount to the success of a new partnership.
If you have any questions or would like more insight on how Health Centers and Hospitals can work together, please feel free to contact me at the following link and select my name from the drop-down box:
Subject Matter Expert - THRIVE
As a Subject Matter Expert for THRIVE, Beth has vast experience in healthcare including Chief Executive Officer roles at several Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), various positions focused on state Medicaid contracting, and coordinating services for the underserved. Beth’s experience as a Grant Reviewer for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) brings unique value to the table.