Capital Link and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) are launching a new Learning Collaborative for health centers serving rural communities to explore community needs, growth planning, and financing options. Through a series of four 60-minute interactive webinars from February-April 2021, this Learning Collaborative will address challenges and opportunities FQHCs face in communities experiencing hospital distress and closure; examine the impact of telehealth on care delivery; and address financial capacity, sustainability, facility planning, and financing options for FQHCs seeking to expand their impact in rural America.
Capital Link will be accepting applications from interested health centers, which will need to be completed and returned by Friday, January 29, 2021. There is no fee for participants as this Learning Collaborative is funded by HRSA through its cooperative agreements with Capital Link and NACHC. We recommend each organization enroll at least two appropriate team members.
All organizations interested in participating must:
- Commit to engage in all Learning Collaborative sessions and exercises with the goal of incorporating new knowledge in connection with expanding access to care in rural communities and provide feedback on the overall structure and effectiveness of the Collaborative after the last session.
- Obtain written consent from your health center’s leadership for your health center’s participation in the Collaborative (see the last page of application).
Session 1 (Feb. 17, 2021): Lay of the Land: Health Center Challenges and Opportunities in Rural America
This session will review basic data on health centers serving rural communities, including shifting market data, patient, visit, and financial trends, illustrated in a new publication by Capital Link. We will also review post-election prospects for rural America and current/emerging federal initiatives/opportunities at HRSA, USDA, FCC, SBA. We will consider areas of foundation focus in rural America and review the landscape of available resources to support health centers serving rural communities. The group will also discuss challenges participants are facing in their rural communities.
Session 2 (March 10, 2021): FQHC Roles and Opportunities in Connection with Rural Hospital Closure
This session will explore the findings of a Capital Link analysis of FQHCs’ experiences with hospital distress and closure to provide context for considering how FQHCs can play a critical role in evolving health systems in rural communities. We will be joined by several health centers to discuss their experiences and lessons learned, and will engage in dialogue regarding strategies that participants may use in engaging with their communities to address health system issues in a productive manner.
Session 3 (April 7, 2021): Enhancing Access through Telehealth
This session will review existing challenges and opportunities related to telehealth in rural areas. It will offer updates on broadband access, CMS and State reimbursement and flexibilities, as well as innovative approaches to virtual patient care and patient engagement by health centers. This session will highlight health centers that have taken the telehealth approach to a new level to ensure special populations and school based programs are supported.
Session 4 (April 21, 2021): Needs Assessment, Growth Planning & Capital Resources for Health Centers Serving Rural Communities
This session will pull together the “strands” of the Learning Collaborative to provide perspectives on planning and financing health center growth in rural communities. It will cover needs assessment, taking into account telehealth opportunities; planning flexible spaces, including facility design implications related to telehealth and potential hospital collaborations; and major capital funding information, including USDA Community Facilities Program, NMTC (focus on non-Metro), and HRSA Loan Guarantee Program—highlighting examples of health centers that have obtained these types of capital funding.
Access the recording and slides from our recent webinar:
Rural America: The Current State of Health Care Access - Dec. 9, 2020
Increase your understanding of the current reality of health care in rural America and consider provocative and innovative ideas on how health centers are an invaluable solution. The one-hour webinar will highlight challenges, successful partnership approaches and an operational impact analysis. Health centers serve as critical components to the healthcare delivery and economic infrastructure of rural America.