October 23, 2013 (Boston, Mass.) —The Partnership for Community Health, a 15-year, up to $90 million initiative ofNeighborhood Health Plan (NHP) and Partners HealthCare, announced today it is making $6 million in competitive grant funding available over two years for community health centers (CHCs) in Massachusetts. The new Excellence and Innovation Program enables CHCs to apply for individual or collaborative grants for projects that will drive long-term, sustainable advancements at health centers in the state.
“We believe that CHCs are vital community assets in a continuously evolving health care landscape,” said Deborah C. Enos, President and CEO of Neighborhood Health Plan. “This funding serves as a catalyst for change by meeting the unique needs of the CHCs and supporting innovative work to improve the health and wellness of the populations they serve.”
“Patients and families across the state depend on their community health centers to keep them healthy,” said Gary Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare. “These grants – and the innovations that arise from them – will help to strengthen health centers so the dedicated clinicians and staff members can continue to deliver high quality, affordable, accessible health care in the most effective way.”
“This funding for the state’s community health centers is unprecedented in size, scope and commitment,” said James W. Hunt, Jr., President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. “These long-term investments will allow health centers to build upon and share the pioneering work they do to continually improve the health of patients across the Commonwealth.”
The $6 million in program funding will enable the CHCs to develop projects that focus on operational innovation and service excellence in one of four targeted areas:
- Data and Decision Support: To assist health centers to improve data integrity in their electronic health records and to support data analysis for quality reporting and decision making.
- Operational Improvement: To support health centers to standardize operational processes and implement practice redesign that ultimately improves the delivery of care and service that is provided.
- Shared Services: To support multiple health centers to create operational efficiencies by integrating administrative functions such as back office services.
- Engagement and Communication: To support health centers to explore new ways of engaging patients and providers through innovative patient communication strategies and/or innovative provider engagement and retention strategies.
All CHC Organizational Members of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers are eligible to submit an application for funding by January 3, 2014. Grants will be announced in March 2014.
The Partnership for Community Health will also include the development of a Learning Community that is open to all CHCs in the state and includes educational and skill-building initiatives; resources for collaborative problem solving and sharing best practices; and a multi-platform “Knowledge Center” for collecting and accessing shared information.
Launched in 2012, the Partnership for Community Health has committed up to $90 million in grant funding over the next 15 years for CHCs to develop and launch measurable programs that enhance health outcomes, service, efficiencies, and quality of care. The first round of funding in 2013 totaled $4.25 million in infrastructure improvement grants to CHCs across the state.
About Neighborhood Health Plan
Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP), a Massachusetts-based not-for-profit corporation, is fully licensed by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance as a health maintenance organization and has provided comprehensive health services since 1986. An NCQA-accredited managed care organization, NHP serves MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, Commonwealth Choice, and fully insured commercial members across the Commonwealth. By working closely with the MassHealth program and commercial purchasers, and by partnering with community health centers and other providers, NHP grew rapidly from a few thousand members in the late 1980s to more than 260,000 members today throughout Massachusetts. Headquartered in Boston, NHP serves members who have access to a provider network of more than 4,300 primary care practitioners, over 13,000 specialists, and 69 teaching, community, and specialty hospitals. Our network includes nationally known, major academic medical centers such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Tufts Medical Center, and major medical groups such as Atrius Health/Harvard Vanguard and Lahey Clinic. Neighborhood Health Plan is a member of Partners HealthCare, which was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For more information, visit www.nhp.org.
About Partners HealthCare
Partners HealthCare is an integrated health care system, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, that offers patients a continuum of coordinated and high-quality care. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, a physician network, community health centers, home health and long-term care services, and other health care entities. Partners HealthCare is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.
About the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
Established in 1972, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (“the League”) is the statewide association representing and serving the needs of the state’s 50 community health centers through grassroots advocacy; technical assistance with state and federal health regulatory and policy issues; promotion and management of clinical quality initiatives; training and education for administrators, clinicians and board members; help with health center technology development; and work with local health advocacy organizations seeking to open health centers in their communities. The League also serves as an information source on community-based health care to policymakers, opinion leaders and the media.