Federal funding over the past few years has helped many health centers increase their capacity, but there is still a need to complete hundreds of projects to meet patient demand. Given that no additional federal grants are expected for the foreseeable future, how can health centers that did not receive grants advance their capital projects? There are many paths to success, but take a moment to reflect if your health center is well-positioned to proceed with a financing/funding plan.
Health centers that have been successful in stimulating investment from granters and lenders have some common elements, so the first step is to assess if improvements or changes need to be made to move you forward.
Does your health center have the following qualities?
· Management and Board strength
· Demonstrated internal planning capabilities
· A compelling business case
· The ability to leverage community partnerships or resources
· A financing strategy with a variety of sources identified
If you feel that you health center doesn’t demonstrate the qualities referenced above as well as it could, you may need to step back and complete a strategic capital planning process to ensure you are ready to proceed with your project. The overall process, which is diagramed below, results in specific action steps to improve operational efficiencies, maintain a good financial condition, and plan long-range facility requirements given patient population needs. Once these key planning activities are complete, your health center has the data to put together a written business plan.
Program & Staff Planning
Describe Market & Current Patient Base
Identify Program Priorities
Calculate Required Spaces
Consider Funding Sources & Financial Profile
Identify Key Competitors
Consider Capacity & Efficiencies
Consider Adjacency & Flow
Develop Financing Plan
Analyze Demand for Future Services
Create Staffing & Recruitment Plan
Facility Layout & Design
Project Financials Based on Trends & Demonstrate Financial Feasibility
For more information on capital project readiness, health centers and Primary Care Associations can access Capital Link’s manual “Preparing for a Capital Project: Are You Ready?” in the Resources section of our website at http://www.caplink.org/.