HCP member health centers place among the nation’s
top performing Federally Qualified Health Centers
October 20, 2021
I started this blog a year and a half ago to try something new, to connect with others during a new and frightening pandemic, to offer hope, humanity, a way through, a way forward toward that light at the end of the tunnel. Along the way, many of you responded with your own views. Thank you for that opportunity to dialogue with you.
When the pandemic first made news, we were told COVID-19 would be insignificant and would soon go away. Unfortunately, many believed that, got stuck there, and paid the price. Early on, those in health care were aware of models illustrating that the contagion would likely claim the lives of half a million Americans – astounding at that time. We have surpassed that number now: over 700,000 lost souls before I started writing this edition.
The numbers have become mind-numbing. We don’t relate to them anymore. They’re numbers, not people, unless you’ve lost someone. And we’re fatigued. What if we stopped to think about an entire U.S. city gone, wiped off the map, equivalent to the growing number of souls lost? There are literally hundreds of U.S. cities that size or smaller: Washington D.C., Nashville, Oklahoma City, El Paso, Boston, Portland, Las Vegas, Atlanta – gone from the face of the earth? Would it change how we’ve reacted if we put the numbers of human lives lost in those terms? I have to hope so. Because something needs to happen, to change, to get people more engaged to end this thing. I know things could have been done better, differently. And I have to hope that things will get better – soon.
We will always have hope – hope for an end to this; hope that things will change, get better. Hope for survival, the sanctity of human life. Nowhere is that hope stronger than in the health care professions among those mission driven, with an avowed purpose, to care for and cure others. Where else do we go to disrobe, describe our symptoms and our pains, and ask another for help? Where else do we exhibit that level of vulnerability, trust, and hope with another? We have faith that we will be treated appropriately, that health care workers will hold our trust without prejudice, help us to care for ourselves and shepherd us to wellness. Places like Federally Qualified Health Centers, the backbone of primary care in the region and across the country, the nation’s largest primary care network, where talented teams come together, to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate, affordable, and accessible, high-quality preventive and primary health care. Every patient. Every day.
That care quality is being recognized this week during Healthcare Quality Week, which was established by the National Association for Healthcare Quality to celebrate the profession and raise awareness of the positive impact health care quality professionals have in their organizations and communities.
Recently, 13 HCP member health centers earned Community Health Quality Recognition awards for their achievements in access to care, quality outcomes, health equity, information technology, and contributions to the COVID-19 pandemic response. These HCP member health centers placed among the nation’s top performing Federally Qualified Health Centers in clinical quality measure performance and quality of health care services. As part of this recognition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded approximately $14.9 million in funding to these members to advance health equity and health outcomes in underserved patient populations throughout southern California.
Similarly, when the members of HCP’s HHS-funded Health Center Controlled Network compared their performance and health outcomes to the approximately 50 other Health Center Controlled Networks across the country, their performance was equal to or better than their peers on the majority of health metrics year-over-year, demonstrating their high level of care quality that makes and keeps local patients healthy.
For the years 2015-2018, San Diego County's Medi-Cal plans’ aggregated HEDIS measures were as good or better than all plans statewide.
For the year 2019, DHCS ranked San Diego County tenth among 31 regions in Average Quality Factor Scores, a full 10 percent above the statewide average.
For the 280,000 patients in our clinically integrated network, Integrated Health Partners, their quality outcomes continue to rival the best in the state, year-over-year. Among the 10 consistently reported payer quality metrics for Integrated Health Partners’ largest payer with over 115,000 lives, 3 HEDIS measures were above the 75th percentile, and 6 were above the 50th.
So, while we adjust to this new normal, or try to, by continuing to employ common sense and practice public health guidelines, vaccinate, mask, wash, disinfect, distance, and hope, why not find out what 1 in 5 San Diegans already knows, and choose a local community health center near you. More likely than not, certainly more likely than someplace else, you’ll get – and stay – healthier.
Henry N. Tuttle
President and Chief Executive Officer