In the current health care environment where health centers seek to negotiate adequate reimbursement from payers and become as cost-efficient as possible, accurately tracking, comparing, and allocating costs across all service lines is critical. Yet as health centers evolve to provide a broader range of services beyond just medical, these tasks have become more complex.

Capital Link announces the release of two new cost of care resources: Cost of Care Trends for Community Health Centers 2012-2016 and Cost Per Visit – Measuring Health Center Performance. Together, these complementary resources support the ongoing focus on tracking and understanding costs in order to provide a strong foundation for current and future financial and clinical operations at health centers. 

Cost of Care Trends for Community Health Centers 2012-2016 provides median health center cost trends for all services using national data from Uniform Data System (UDS) from 2012 to 2016, providing general comparative data for benchmarking. The report further breaks down the data by separately analyzing direct staff and related costs, and the allocation of facility and non-clinical support costs (overhead) for each service. Results of the analysis show that health center costs have been increasing across all service lines at a relatively rapid pace. However, there is one area where cost increases have risen at a more modest rate: cost per-full time equivalent employee (FTE). This implies that health centers have been broadening the services offered to patients without increasing the cost per-FTE. Download the full report here.

Developed by Capital Link and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) as an update to NACHC’s original 2003 publication, Cost Per Visit – Measuring Health Center Performance, reviews in detail the process and methodology for calculating the component costs of care with a focus on cost per visit across all service lines — medical, dental, mental health (including substance abuse), and vision services. It also examines methods for reducing health center costs through population health management, global payment methodologies, and tying reimbursements to outcomes. Download the Issue Brief here.

For more information on this topic, attend Capital Link’s upcoming webinar, Managing Your Health Center's Cost of Care on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 2-3 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more and register.

Capital Link will soon be launching two new reports that can be customized using individual health center cost of care data: Cost Comparison Profile and Cost Comparison Snapshot. Details and ordering information will be released in the next month, so keep an eye out.

While increasing access to health care and transforming the health care delivery system are important, there has been growing interest in the impact of social, economic, and environmental factors to health and well-being. Community health centers have long served both the clinical and non-clinical needs of their patients and collaborated with community and social support services. A natural extension of this commitment is to track their patients’ social determinants of health requirements, such as The Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks, and Experiences (PRAPARE), in order to begin to inform care plans and connect patients to community and social services.

As health centers begin to offer non-health related services to address the social determinants of health (SDOH), they should also collect data on (1) what services are being offered; (2) the scope and reach of these services; and (3) which SDOH interventions hold the most promise for improving health outcomes. A new baseline analysis by Capital Link, sponsored by Blue Shield of California Foundation, provides a start to measuring health center efforts to impact the non-clinical dimensions of the SDOH.

The analysis documents SDOH interventions offered by health centers as reported to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Uniform Data System (UDS) during 2015 and 2016, the most recent data available, in California and nationwide. SDOH interventions seek to link patients with programs that provide social and economic opportunities that promote good health but are not part of the listed medical, dental, behavioral, and other health services. They are distinct from clinically-focused enabling services which facilitate access to care, and include services such as: Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs, job training, head start programs, shelters, housing programs, child care, frail elderly support, adult day health care programs, fitness programs, and public/retail pharmacies. Prior to this review, no substantive research had been conducted on these services, although multiple studies have been undertaken on clinically-focused enabling services.

Click here for a free download of Tracking Social Determinants of Health Interventions: Health Center Reporting of Non-Health Related Services in the Uniform Data System

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.

Capital Link announces the release of an updated statewide financial and operational profile of California health centers. This resource, sponsored by Blue Shield of California Foundation, presents multi-year trends as well as comparative data for health centers nationally, offering a framework for identifying the financial strengths, challenges, and benchmarks that support opportunities for performance improvement.

Covering the four-year period of 2013 to 2016, this analysis focuses on the following trends for California Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and FQHC Look-Alikes (LALs):

  • Growth and expansion of the patient population and service provision
  • Financial performance as shown by revenue growth and operating margins
  • Financial health as measured by liquidity and revenue collections 
  • Operational measures such as patient utilization and practice mix
  • Productivity metrics and quality of care indicators


Click here for a free download of California Community Health Centers: Financial & Operational Performance Analysis.

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.

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