Friday, March 3, 2017

Communicating the Value+Impact of Health Centers

For more than 50 years, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) have delivered comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. With revenues exceeding $21 billion in 2015, FQHCs constitute the largest network of primary care providers in the US and the second largest nonprofit health system, behind only Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. If FQHCs were listed on the Fortune 500, they collectively would rank #133, on a par with Staples and ahead of Whirlpool, Starbucks, Kraft Heinz and Facebook. However, as independently operated, locally-controlled nonprofit organizations, FQHCs focus on providing excellent care at the local level to their 24 million patients in the 9,800 urban and rural communities they serve.

The story of what health centers bring to their communities can be told along the following domains:

  1. Employment and Economic Impacts, using economic modeling software
  2. Savings to the Health Care System
  3. Access to Care
  4. Comprehensive Coordinated Care
  5. Preventive Care and Chronic Disease Management

Health centers are facing the prospect of a changing financial landscape. Now more than ever, there is a need to demonstrate the value health centers have on the communities they serve and communicate this impact. To illustrate the value and impact of health centers nationally, Capital Link has created the Value + Impact of Health Centers, an updated version of our Economic Impact Analysis. Click on the image below to view a sample of the infographic and supporting data report.



Capital Link’s customized Value + Impact of Health Centers is available for $2,000, discounted from $2,500. Order by March 17th for use at the NACHC Policy & Issues Forum.

To assist PCAs in advocacy efforts, we are also offering customized statewide and congressional district Value + Impact of Health Centers infographics and supporting data reports. Click here to view a sample of a statewide report. Interested PCAs should contact Steve Rubman, Director of Data & Information Systems, at srubman@caplink.org or 617-422-0350 for more information.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

What Can Health Centers Do to Be Resilient During Uncertain Times?

The health care landscape is evolving and changing, but patients will still need access to care and health centers will need to serve them. It is particularly important now for health centers to operate efficiently and effectively in order to weather whatever lies ahead. Capital Link has created a library of resources and tools to assist health centers in planning, whether the goal is growth, stabilization, or sustainability. Below are some strategies to consider and a collection of related resources available to health centers and PCAs.





Assess Your Financial and Operational Strength. The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to understand where you stand today by tracking performance and benchmarking results against peers and targets.

Related Resources, Services, and Programs:




Understand Your Market. Health centers should have an understanding of their communities and the unmet needs in order to identify opportunities for growth and better programs of care.

Related Resources and Services:





Develop a Strategic Business Plan. The health centers most prepared to respond to changing conditions have developed a dynamic strategic plan that they use actively.

Related Resources and Services:




Develop Your Leadership and Workforce. For the insight and agility to react to change, health centers need to have a strong board and staff. They also need to have the ability to support team-based care, recruit and retain providers, and establish project teams for expansion plans.

Related Resources and Services:




Assess Your Capital Needs and Funding Sources. Understand your need for facilities and how to finance growth.

Related Resources and Services:




Communicate Your Value. Now more than ever, it is imperative that health centers document and demonstrate the valuable impact they have on the communities they serve on national, statewide, and local levels.

Related Resources and Services:





Monday, November 21, 2016

Four Capital Link Readiness Program Participants Awarded Healthy Futures Fund Planning Grants

Capital Link would like to congratulate Avenue Community Development Corporation with Legacy Community Health, Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Esperanza Health Centers, and First Choice Community Healthcare for being awarded Healthy Futures Fund (HFF) planning grants provided by The Kresge Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The health centers were selected for their ability to demonstrate plans for innovative, groundbreaking capital projects (described in the box below) that involve unique collaborations with community partners to expand access to health care while also addressing at least one other critical community need, such as affordable housing, access to healthy food, job training, schools, elder care, and other community wellness projects.

Prior to receiving the grants, all four health centers participated in a free HFF Readiness Program, offered by Capital Link and sponsored by LISC and Kresge. Capital Link provided program participants, a group of 10 centers selected through a competitive application process, with technical assistance to advance their capital project plans and prepare for additional funding. A HFF partner, Capital Link developedthe Readiness Program based on our 18 years of planning and development experience in support of FQHCs nationwide.

A $200 million initiative formed by the LISC, Morgan Stanley, and Kresge, HFF utilizes New Markets Tax Credit and loan capital to improve community health by expanding healthcare access and addressing social determinants of health. Read more here.





New Markets Tax Credit Program Allocation Awards Announced

On November 17th, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund announced the awardees for the combined 2015-6 round of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations. The awards, which were increased to an historic high of over $7 billion, are aimed at revitalizing low-income communities and increasing economic opportunity nationwide. The 120 Community Development Entities (CDEs) that received these awards are actively seeking projects to finance. This is great news given that many CDEs are interested in providing financing for community health center expansion and renovation projects. For health centers needing additional funding for a project, NMTC could be the answer.

NMTC financing is a critical source of low-cost capital and equity for health center facility projects—often subsidizing project costs by 20% to 25%. In order for health centers to obtain credits with a CDE, they must demonstrate a high level of project readiness and be able to communicate the merits of their projects to CDEs with allocation. Furthermore, the process of structuring and closing an NMTC transaction is complicated and the terms, benefits, and fees offered to borrowers vary widely. 

Capital Link has extensive knowledge of the NMTC financing process and strong connections with virtually every CDE interested in working with health centers. Capital Link can provide assistance with the complex process of completing a NMTC transaction. We’ve also helped many health centers with combining NMTC financing with HRSA capital grants—an excellent option, especially for projects of $5 million or more. Our lending affiliate, Community Health Center Capital Fund, can provide leverage loans to complete the NMTC financing package, as needed.

Of the nearly $1 billion in financing obtained by health centers through the NMTC program, approximately 60% was raised with Capital Link and/or Capital Fund assistance.

For help in determining whether NMTC financing could be a good fit for your health center, please contact us here.

To learn more about the NMTC program and how it works, click here to access Capital Link’s three NMTC publications and here to access a recording of the recent webinar, Financing Health Center Projects with New Markets Tax Credits.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New Resource on New Markets Tax Credit Program Extension

Until recently, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program was one of several tax credit programs that required annual approval and appropriation through the federal budget process. In December 2015, the situation changed when Congress approved the program for five more years (2015-2019) at an annual appropriation of $3.5 billion. While the program is still not permanent, this extension provides a welcome degree of certainty to the industry. Health centers with capital project plans will have the time to find and secure a site in a qualifying census tract and, if necessary, conduct a multi-year capital campaign with reasonable confidence that the credits will be available when it is ready to begin building.

Our latest resource publication, Spotlight on Capital Resources: New Markets Tax Credit Program Extension, is designed to help health centers better understand the extension and its implications. The third in a series of NMTC Program resources published by Capital Link, this resource also describes the steps necessary for preparing to utilize NMTCs for your capital project (including a discussion on new constraints on the use of the “one-day loan” structure) and the feasibility of using a “developer fee” in the transaction to increase investment in your project.

To access this new resource, please click here.


To help health centers take advantage of this opportunity, we will also be hosting a webinar, Financing Health Center Projects with New Markets Tax Credits, on Thursday, October 13, 2016, from 2-3 pm ET. This work session will acquaint participants with the benefits provided by using NMTC, how to obtain them, and how to structure and close transactions. We will discuss some near-term opportunities arising from the historically large 2015-2016 allocation round. Register by clicking here

Monday, August 1, 2016

Using Predictive Analytics to Drive Health Center Decision-Making

Using data and technology, organizations can now move beyond simply tracking the past to anticipate the future through the use of predictive analytics, technology that learns from experience [data] to predict the future behavior of individuals in order to drive better decisions. Predictive analytics is now becoming more applicable to health care, and will eventually become essential for health centers to improve patient care, reduce costs, and negotiate favorable contracts with payers.

Health centers can utilize predictive analytics in a multitude of ways, furthering its consideration and implementation of patient engagement, patient compliance, chronic disease management, regulatory compliance, avoidable deaths, hospital readmissions, public health, waste and abuse, and health outcomes. And this is only the beginning. Predictive analytics is in its infancy within health care, and the exponential pace of technological advancements will identify additional uses and benefits we have yet to consider.


Capital Link and the National Association for Community Health Centers (NACHC) have just released, Predictive Analytics: An Overview for Community Health Centers. The purpose of this publication is to:
  • Define predictive analytics
  • Provide an overview of its history and development
  • Address the data and resources needed to predict a patient’s future behavior
  • Identify how a health center can begin utilizing it
  • Include specific examples of how it has been successfully used
  • Clarify health centers’ understanding and expectations of predictive analytics

 Access this publication at no cost here and at MyNACHC.  


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Resources to Support Sustainable Patient-Centered Care

Health centers that have made the decision to obtain certification as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) seek to improve quality, outcomes, patient and staff satisfaction, and to prepare for new reimbursement methodologies. However, this endeavor comes with challenges. Capital Link announces the release of two new resources for health centers that support a patient-centered, team-based model of primary care delivery. These resources, developed with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration, address the issues health centers face in creating and sustaining an organizational culture and facility design that support a PCMH and provide strategies for success.



Developing an Organizational Culture that Sustains the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Lessons Learned examines the cultural challenges and successes health centers face in transforming to this new model of primary care delivery, offering considerations for the patient, family, and staff experience and flexible organizational structures to support team-based care delivery. 

Click here to access this resource. 




Creating a Place for Care: Fostering Alignment and Eliminating Barriers in the Patient-Centered Medical Home
 
provides health centers with insight on how to respond to and reflect the unique needs and preferences of the patients they serve in order to align their facility design with their process of care, and the people they support. 

Click here to access this resource.