Friday, October 16, 2015

Are Health Centers Prepared to Increase their Capacity to Meet the Needs of a Growing Patient Base?

The health center sector continues to experience impressive growth, serving almost 22 million patients in 2013, an increase of 4.6 million patients since 2008. This growth is dwarfed only by the remaining need. Today, almost 62 million people in the U.S. do not have a regular source of primary care. Health centers are striving to fill this tremendous gap, but face numerous hurdles, including gaining access to capital to expand their facilities to meet demand. Despite these challenges, health centers are also seeking ways to address the social determinants of health through creative collaborations.

Capital Link’s report on the findings from our new study, Capital Plans and Needs of Health Centers: A National Perspective, sought to determine the near-term facility needs and challenges of health centers nationwide. Supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the assessment also gathered information on funding sources and interest in collaborative projects addressing the social determinants of health.

The assessment found that 79% of the responding health centers indicated that they had specific plans to initiate capital projects within the next five years, which Capital Link estimates will total approximately $4.6 billion. This investment should build almost 12 million square feet of space and accommodate an additional 5.4 million patients for a total capacity of 27 million patients and 6,100 new providers by 2020. With 32 million patients annually projected, however, total capital investment of $8.5 billion, nearly $4 billion more than anticipated, will be needed to construct or renovate a total of 22 million square feet of space and accommodate 11,300 providers. Seventy-five percent of health centers report funding gaps for planned projects, identifying securing grant funding, building sufficient equity, and fundraising as common challenges.

Despite the difficulties in expanding capacity, 33% of health centers expressed interest in co-locating or collaborating with separate entities to address the social determinants of health. Near-term collaborations focus on behavioral health, mental health, substance abuse treatment, schools, and dental programs. 

Key findings are illustrated in our infographic.  For detailed results, access the complete report online at

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Performance Benchmarking Toolkit for Community Health Centers

Capital Link announces the release of Performance Benchmarking Toolkit for Health Centers, a new resource to help health centers access and interpret key metrics and compare their performance to their peers. As health care reform implementation proceeds, health centers increasingly need to demonstrate value and identify strategies for operational improvement. This toolkit provides analytic tools so health centers can measure and monitor data to inform decision making that targets financial sustainability and continued success.

Access a free download at with registration to our website.

This toolkit was developed with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Monday, August 10, 2015

Celebrating the Health Center Legacy during National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week (NHCW) has arrived, and with the 50th anniversary of America’s health centers this year, there is even more to celebrate. A pilot project launched 50 years ago has evolved into the largest and most successful primary healthcare system in the US. Health centers have proven to be invaluable to the health and well-being of our communities, providing greater access to quality and affordable care, reducing costs, creating jobs, and stimulating the local economy. This is certainly something to be proud of. Capital Link joins the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) in celebrating the people and achievements of the health center movement.

Below is a list of NACHC resources showcasing the health center legacy:

• America's Health Centers: An Enduring Legacy, Value for Today and Tomorrow (video)
• Health Centers, Paving the Road to Good Health (infographic)
• NHCW celebrations across the nation (searchable list)
• 50th anniversary updates and conversations on social media (#CHC50)

The celebration continues into next week with NACHC’s annual CHI & EXPO. We hope to see you at our presentations and in the Exhibit Hall at booth #308.

Capital Link offers a variety of free resources that health centers and PCAs may find helpful, including publications, metrics and analytics for the industry, and webinars.

Happy National Health Center Week!

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Analysis Shows Health Centers Have a Powerful National Community Impact

Using an integrated economic modeling and planning tool and the latest Uniform Data System information (2013), Capital Link calculated the economic effects of health centers across the nation. Health centers collectively generated more than $39.7 billion in total economic activity for their local communities in 2013 – a 28% increase since 2010. Health centers directly supported over 156,000 full-time jobs plus an additional 147,000 jobs in other industries, a 23% increase from 2010. Download a copy of the infographic here.

In the past, health centers have used this information to educate policymakers, seek community support, and pursue funding opportunities. For more information on the variety of community impact analyses Capital Link offers for health centers and PCAs, visit our website or contact Steve Rubman, Capital Link's Director of Information Systems, at

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Strategic Planning Toolkit for Health Centers

The health care industry is experiencing rapid change brought on by demographic shifts, economic influences, policy changes, and mandated system adjustments. These changes are especially significant for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) because of their significant reliance on government programs for reimbursement. While always important, strategic planning has recently become an organizational imperative for health centers as they seek to successfully navigate uncharted territory.

Creating a Dynamic and Useful Strategic Plan, an interactive resource developed by Capital Link and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), provides health centers with a toolkit to create and maintain a useful strategic plan. Organized into five sections, it begins with tools for health centers to examine and reaffirm their mission and purpose and then provides a pathway to generate well-informed expectations, measurable organizational objectives, and definitive steps to attain goals. Finally, it offers tools to distill this information into the critical actions health centers need to manage strategically and achieve sustainability. This toolkit was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Access this resource at and MyNACHC.

Attend An Introduction to "Creating a Dynamic and Useful Strategic Plan, a New Toolkit for Health Centers,” our free webinar for health centers and Primary Care Associations. This webinar will provide an overview of this new resource, introducing the specific function of each tool so that health center leaders can identify the appropriate method to complete an effective strategic plan. Register here:

Monday, June 15, 2015

NMTC Allocations Announced: Capital Link Affiliate Receives $25 Million

Health Centers with Capital Project Plans Should Act Now!

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund announced the awardees for the 2014 round of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations. The awards, which total over $3.5 billion, are aimed at revitalizing low-income communities and increasing economic opportunity nationwide. The 76 Community Development Entities (CDEs) that received these awards are actively seeking projects to finance. This is great news for health centers, given that many CDEs are interested in providing financing for community health center expansion and renovation projects.

Capital Link is proud to announce that our lending affiliate, Community Health Center Capital Fund (Capital Fund), has been awarded a $25 million NMTC allocation. This opportunity will help us provide health centers with greater access to this funding option and allow us to streamline and accelerate the process for eligible projects.

While NMTC financing is a critical source of low-cost capital and equity for health center facility projects—often securing approximately 20-22% of total project costs—obtaining credits from a CDE with an allocation is a highly-competitive and complex process. Interested health centers 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 has strong connections with Capital Fund and other CDEs interested in working with health centers. To date, Capital Link has structured 43 NMTC transactions totaling $552 million for health center projects totaling $699 million. We’ve also assisted many health centers with combining NMTC financing with HRSA capital grants—an excellent option, especially for projects of $5 million or more. (Read some success stories here, here, and here on our website.)

For help in determining whether NMTC financing could be a good fit for your health center, please contact Mark Lurtz, Senior Director of Marketing and Project Consulting at or 636-244-3082 or Mary Ann Wayne, Director of Loan Programs, Community Health Center Capital Fund at or 617-988-2230.

To learn more about the NMTC program and how it works, click here to access our Spotlight on Capital Resources: New Markets Tax Credits publication and our recently released Spotlight on Capital Resources: New Markets Tax Credit Program Update.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Capital Link Awarded USDA Grant to Assist Rural Health Centers

Capital Link has been awarded a $75,000 grant through the USDA Rural Development's Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Funds will be used to provide technical assistance and training in collaboration with regional Primary Care Associations/consortia to support 15 rural health centers in high-need states. Capital Link is one of 31 community-based organizations across the US selected for the RCDI grants, which will help small rural communities create jobs and boost economic development. Access the press release here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Markets Tax Credit Program Update Now Available

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program can be a powerful financing tool for health center capital projects. Capital Link’s latest resource publication, Spotlight on Capital Resources: New Markets Tax Credit Program Update, focuses on this valuable option and is now available to health centers and PCAs on our website.

Serving as a follow up to our initial NMTC Program resource published in 2012, this publication provides new information including:
  • Why health centers should consider an NMTC transaction
  • How to qualify for the NMTC Program even if your project is located in a seemingly non-eligible census tract
  • How to “wind-up”, or realize the equity of, a NMTC transaction as it nears the end of the seven-year tax credit period

To date, Capital Link has assisted 43 health centers in obtaining over $552 million in financing for projects totaling over $669 million using NMTCs. To find out how Capital Link can help your health center capitalize on this financing option, please contact Mark Lurtz at

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Report: Health Centers Save Massachusetts More Than $1 Billion Annually

The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers today released an economic impact analysis which shows that the Commonwealth’s 49 health centers generate annual savings of more than $1 billon for Massachusetts.

“This report demonstrates that health centers provide significant value far beyond just the communities in which they are located,” said James W. Hunt, Jr., president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, a statewide association representing and serving the needs of community health centers, which provide primary and preventive care to some 889,000 predominately low-income Massachusetts residents. “For the first time, we are able to quantify the critical role health centers play in the economic health of Massachusetts. At a time when state leaders are looking for savings and wise investments, community health centers can demonstrate that they are powerful economic drivers.”    

The analysis, conducted by Capital Link -- a national non-profit organization that works with health centers to plan capital projects, finance growth and identify ways to improve performance -- primarily relied on the federal government’s Uniform Data System (UDS), a core set of data used to review the operation and performance of health centers, including information on their costs, revenues and patient utilization rates.

“Nationally, patients who depend on health centers have significantly lower expenditures per person per year than do non-health center users,” said Allison Coleman, Capital Link’s founder and CEO. “In Massachusetts, the $1.1 billion in savings is directly linked to the impact health centers have in reducing emergency room visits, hospital stays and the need for higher-cost specialty care among patients. Locally accessible, high quality health care makes a real difference.”

Access the entire press release here:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Funding Opportunity for Health Centers Announced

Today the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a funding opportunity announcement for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Health Infrastructure Investment Program (HIIP), as authorized by the Affordable Care Act. HRSA anticipates awarding up to $150 million to support an estimated 150-175 projects. Applications are due by April 21, 2015 via Supplemental information is due in EHB by May 21, 2015. Access the funding announcement at

The HIIP funding opportunity supports existing Health Center Program grantees’ efforts to increase their patient capacity and to provide additional comprehensive primary and preventive health services to medically underserved populations through the alteration/renovation, expansion, or construction of a facility. Applicants may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $1,000,000. HRSA is hosting a question and answer application assistance call on March 24, 2015 from 2-3 p.m. ET. The Dial-In Number: 1-888-456-0354; Passcode 4004363.

Capital Link provides a variety of services that can assist health centers with aspects of this application, including service area mapping, financial forecasting, patient-centric operations planning, and financing assistance for larger projects–including project-specific structuring of financing, forecasting, business planning and lender negotiations. Contact Mark Lurtz, Senior Director of Marketing and Project Consulting at or 636-244-3082 for more information.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Report and Toolkit Provide CA Health Centers with a Framework for Performance Improvement

Capital Link announces the release of a comprehensive financial and operational profile of California health centers and a performance benchmarking toolkit. These resources, sponsored by Blue Shield of California Foundation, help health centers access and interpret key metrics and compare their performance to their peers. In an era of change driven by healthcare reform, health centers need analytic tools to help convert performance data into actionable intelligence that supports strategic growth and financial sustainability.

California Community Health Centers: Financial & Operational Performance Analysis, 2010-2013 updates Capital Link’s statewide, multi-year financial and operational profile. It also more closely analyzes select trends for rural health centers and assesses the operational characteristics of a subgroup of financially high-performing health centers.

Performance Benchmarking Toolkit for California Health Centers provides data analysis tools to help health centers more effectively track performance, benchmark with peer data, and incorporate operational insights that target financial sustainability and continued success.

Click here to download the Financial & Operational Performance Analysis.

Click here to download the Performance Benchmarking Toolkit.

Over our long history of working with health centers, Capital Link has amassed an enormous amount  of financial and operational data. This data is used to provide education and develop field-building resources on the factors affecting health center performance, impact, and growth. For more information, visit

Friday, January 16, 2015

Help Us Report on the Capital Needs of Health Centers

Capital Link is conducting a new national capital needs assessment, with support from HRSA, to help document the tremendous need for health center capital funding and identify areas where technical assistance, training, or other resources may be needed.

The participation of all US health centers is critical. Responses are due February 15, 2015. However, if you submit the questionnaire by January 31, you will be entered in a drawing to win an iPad mini!

(It should take about 10 minutes to complete.)

A report with results from our last national capital needs assessment, “Capital Plans and Needs of Health Centers: A National Perspective” is available here on our website. If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact Steve Rubman, Director of Information Systems, at

Thank you for your assistance in this important effort!