Historically, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) have used telehealth to address geographic, economic, transportation and language barriers to health care access.  However, FQHCs existed in a policy environment that created numerous barriers to the full adoption of telehealth technologies.  Adoption of telehealth by health centers exploded as a result of the Public Health Emergency (PHE).  Policy changes opened the door for health centers to provide comprehensive services to patients through the use of digital tools.

The National Association of Community Health Centers in collaboration with the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers worked together on a pilot project to provide technical assistance to health centers who are determining how and if they will sustain telehealth operations and virtual modalities coming out of the PHE.  One resource that was developed was the Environmental Scan of Telehealth Technical Assistance Resources for FQHCs: Curated list of top telehealth technical assistance resources for FQHCs in each of the following eight categories:

  1. The Digital Divide - access, broadband, equity
  2. Implementation & Operations - workflows, procedures, platforms
  3. Quality Assurance - measurement, data collection, improvement
  4. Data & Reporting - definitions, taxonomy, EHR alignment, reporting, systems/process
  5. Policy, Financial Reimbursement & Legal - advocacy efforts, regulatory surveillance
  6. Patient Engagement - patient education, navigation, outreach, technical support
  7. Clinical Delivery - clinician-focused services, CME/CEU, clinical skills, competencies
  8. Financial Models - balancing service & payer mixes, reimbursement implications

Following are a few highlighted resources from that document .  To see all the resources, download the document!

Telehealth Policy, Financial Reimbursement and Legal Resources for FQHCs:

Have an FQHC telehealth billing question that you were unable to find in the above resources?  Get Technical Assistance! Send emails regarding FQHC billing questions to: [email protected]

Telehealth Program Development Resources for FQHCs, most of which are also found in the Environmental Scan Resource Document!

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Telementoring and Clinical Support Resources for FQHCs:

  • Weitzman ECHOCommunity Health Center, Inc. was the first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to operate its own Project ECHO® clinics. Weitzman ECHO clinics are specifically designed to meet the needs of safety net primary care providers and their communities.  CHC conducts Weitzman ECHO sessions for multiple specialties and provides nationwide access for individual health centers as well as larger entities.
  • Safety Net Connect:  In response to COVID-19, Safety Net Connect is offering primary care physicians free access to a dedicated eConsult platform providing electronic specialist triage and advice, often in less than 4 hours.
  • ConferMED Coronavirus eConsults: Consult with experts to get answers to your clinical questions about COVID-19. This service is exclusively for primary care providers at safety net practices at no cost through ConferMED.
  • ConferMED Specialty Care eConsults: With funding provided by the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, FQHCs in the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston and Miama metro area can access this service free of charge.
  • MAVEN Project: MAVEN Project uses telehealth to connect primary care providers from safety net clinics with expert physician volunteers for consultations, mentoring, and education.  .