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. 




Friday, June 10, 2016

Capital Link article on Investing in Health Centers Featured in OCC Publication

An article by Peg Underhill, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Development at Capital Link, is featured in this month’s issue of Community Developments Investments, a newsletter distributed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “Investing in Expanding Health Centers” highlights the importance of finding new ways to support health center growth so that they may fulfill their crucial role in serving the newly insured and remaining uninsured populations.

Click here to read the article on OCC's website.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Reports Examine the Financial and Operational Trends of California Health Centers

Capital Link announces the release of an updated statewide financial and operational profile and an analysis of the financial sustainability of rural health centers in Northeastern California. These resources, sponsored by Blue Shield of California Foundation, highlight data trends in an effort to identify opportunities to ensure the financial sustainability of community health centers. With millions of new patients gaining insurance and the changing nature of the healthcare landscape, providing analyses that bolster the success of health centers is critical.

California Community Health Centers: Financial & Operational Performance Analysis, 2011-2014 updates Capital Link’s statewide, multi-year financial and operational profile.

Analysis of the Financial Sustainability of Rural Health Centers in Northeastern California sheds light on the unique challenges confronting frontier and rural health centers and offers ideas for strengthening operations.

Click here for a free download of the Financial & Operational Performance Analysis.

Click here for a free download the Analysis of the Financial Sustainability of Rural Health Centers in Northeastern California.

Over our long history of working with health centers, Capital Link has amassed a database of financial and operational information to develop field-building resources on the factors affecting health center performance, impact, and growth. For more information, visit www.caplink.org.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Help Us Report on the Capital Needs of Health Centers!

Capital Link is updating our national capital needs assessment, with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration (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.

We are requesting that all US health centers complete our brief, five question survey here:
http://survey.clicktools.com/app/survey/go.jsp?iv=3ok1aexdiqcr4


(It should take no more than a few minutes to complete.)

Access the results from our last national capital needs assessment, “Capital Plans and Needs of Health Centers: A National Perspective” here on our website. 

Thank you for your assistance in this important effort.

 
 


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Application Deadline Extended to 3/25/16 for Healthy Futures Fund Readiness Program


The Healthy Futures Fund (HFF) and Capital Link are offering new resources to help health centers seeking financing for projects that address the social determinants of health. A collaboration between the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Morgan Stanley, and The Kresge Foundation, HFF launched in 2012 with an initial investment of $100 million, which is now fully deployed, and recently announced an additional investment of $100 million. Utilizing New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing, HFF is seeking to finance innovative, groundbreaking projects that will serve as models for the unique ways in which FQHCs are collaborating with partners to improve the health of their communities.

In addition to providing attractive financing, HFF is offering a free HFF Readiness Program, sponsored by LISC and Kresge, for a limited number of FQHCs interested in obtaining financing through the HFF. Offered through Capital Link, the HFF Readiness Program is available to select health centers through a competitive application process. Those that successfully complete the technical assistance program will be eligible for HFF grant funding to advance their project planning.

Given the level of interest and time needed to coordinate partner activities, we've extended the application deadline for the HFF Readiness Program to March 25, 2016 at 5 p.m. ET.

Access the application here.

Ideal projects will include those that involve collaborations between health centers and other community partners that 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.

Learn more by visiting Capital Link's HFF Readiness Program web page or www.healthyfuturesfund.org. Contact Jonathan Chapman, Capital Link’s Director of Community Health Center Advisory Services, at jchapman@caplink.org for details.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Resources Available for Health Centers Seeking Funding for “Gazelle Projects”

By Allison Coleman, Chief Executive Officer, Capital Link
Emily Chen, Director, Healthy Futures Fund, LISC


What’s a “gazelle project,” you might ask?

Definition: A capital project sponsored by a Federally Qualified Health Center that is out ahead of the pack, moving quickly to address the social determinants of health in its community; characterized by nimble leadership, discerning vision and swift progress.

For Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) working on a ‘gazelle project,’ Capital Link and the Healthy Futures Fund (HFF) are offering new resources to help you achieve your goal! HFF is a $200 million initiative formed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Morgan Stanley and The Kresge Foundation. Initially formed in 2012 with $100 million in resources that have been fully deployed, the partners recently announced that they will invest an additional $100 million in projects that promote healthy communities and address the social determinants of health. 

Utilizing New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing, HFF is seeking to finance innovative, groundbreaking projects that will be models for the ways in which FQHCs are engaging with others to improve the health of their communities. Ideal projects will include those that involve collaborations between health centers and other community partners that 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 projects to advance community wellness.

In addition to providing attractive financing, HFF is offering a free HFF Readiness Program, sponsored by LISC and Kresge, for a limited number of health centers interested in obtaining financing through the Fund. Offered through Capital Link, a national non-profit that assists health centers in planning for and financing growth, the HFF Readiness Program is available to select health centers through a competitive application process. Those that successfully complete the technical assistance program will be eligible for grant funding to advance their project planning.

The HFF Readiness Program will offer group learning opportunities followed by individualized assistance to enable selected health centers to understand the basics of NMTC financing, what it takes to be ready to successfully obtain financing from this highly attractive funding mechanism, and lessons learned from peers who have undertaken collaborative projects to address the social determinants of health. A key part of the individualized assistance is to develop a specific work plan to achieve readiness for financing and application materials for the planning grant opportunity described below.

Upon completion of the HFF Readiness Program, health centers will be eligible to apply for planning grants to support pre-development and technical assistance project activities. LISC, a non-profit that works with a network of community-based partners to make investments in housing, businesses, jobs, education, safety and health, will provide the planning grants in addition to co-sponsoring the HFF Readiness Program.

Health centers are invited to apply to participate in the HFF Readiness Program by accessing the application here. Applications are due March 4, 2016.

Learn more by visiting Capital Link’s Healthy Futures Fund Readiness Program webpage or www.healthyfuturesfund.org for details.

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Study Examines the Relationship between Health Center Clinical, Financial, and Operational Excellence

Health centers are experiencing greater demands on their services as health reform implementation proceeds, often necessitating growth and operational transformation. As their role as key providers of primary care increases, health centers need to assess their current performance and develop strategies for improvement. Prior Capital Link studies have provided insight to health centers, Primary Care Associations, and other stakeholders about financial and operational trends. This analysis furthers our knowledge by examining the operating models, strategies, and practices of high-performing health centers to better understand the factors that work for and against the co-occurrence of strong clinical performance and financial sustainability.
 
This research sought to answer the following questions for the first time: 
  1. Do health centers that excel in providing high-quality patient care have better or worse financial results than other health centers?
  2. What are the characteristics of health centers that achieve both high-quality care and strong financial results?
  3. What do high-performing health centers do differently or better than their peers?
The results of this analysis show that it is possible for health centers to reach quality targets while also performing well financially. Quality Awardee health centers achieve key quality targets and invest more in enabling staff and services, but are also able to produce strong financial results through revenue maximization, efficient medical care teams, and higher utilization through positive engagement with patients. The data further indicates that the highest performers have a greater ability to control costs—in particular, staffing costs—even though they are more heavily staffed with generally higher-cost physicians.
  
Key findings are illustrated in our infographic. Access a free download of the complete report at www.caplink.org/resources/publications.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Health Centers Continue to Have a Powerful Impact on Communities Nationwide

In order to illustrate the most current economic effects of health centers across the nation, Capital Link has updated the national Economic Impact Analysis to include the latest Uniform Data System data (2014). Results show that health centers collectively generated more than $45.6 billion in total economic activity for their local communities in 2014 – a 46% increase since 2010. Health centers also directly supported over170,000 full-time jobs plus an additional 169,000 jobs in other industries, a 37% increase from 2010. Download a copy of the updated infographic here.

http://www.caplink.org/images/stories/Resources/reports/Infographic-National-EIA-2016.pdf

Capital Link also offers customized statewide and individual Economic Impact Analyses (EIAs). In the past, health centers have used EIAs to educate policymakers, seek community support, and pursue funding opportunities (click here to read specific examples). For more information on EIAs, please visit our website or contact Steve Rubman, Director of Data & Information Systems, at srubman@caplink.org.