Why Everyone is Talking About Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)

By AxiomEHR | December 8, 2021

There has been a lot of talk lately about Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and this was especially evident at the recent conferences we attended. There is no lack of information out there on this subject, but it can be confusing, and often conflicting. So, let’s discuss the benefits of FQHCs, how this program became so prevalent in integrated health and how HiMS is helping to support these organizations. 

What is an FQHC?

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, FQHCs must meet a specific set of criteria including qualifying for enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, serving an underserved area of the population, offering a sliding fee scale, and providing comprehensive services such as mental health, preventative care and dental (these can be in-house or through a referral program). You can find the full list of qualifications here.

In a nutshell, FQHCs are health clinics that offer resources to communities in need at lower costs. There are clear benefits to patients and communities to have FQHC centers available. However, there is also clear benefits to behavioral health providers to become an FQHC, because the Centers of Medical and Medicaid Services (CMS) has formally published rules that allow FQHCs to bill for health integration services, chronic care management and the collaborative care model. Essentially, FQHCs can get more federal reimbursements for the same services.

Therefore, becoming an FQHC is often a win/win for care providers and patients, as well as their respective communities.

The unique needs of FQHCs 

While there are no specific rules around the type of Electronic Health Record (EHR) an FQHC needs to use, providers can benefit from flexible and customizable solutions.  FQHCs tend to offer a wider variety of services to a diverse patient population with more chronic health conditions requiring complex billing and a high number of referrals. A solution that doesn’t offer integrated Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) functionality, customized templates, specialized FQHC billing codes, and advanced reporting capabilities will create an undue administrative burden on the clinical staff.

AxiomEHR is specifically designed for all types of integrated health care organizations from FQHCs, Community Mental Health Centers, and Patient-Centered Medical Homes. For the FQHCs that we have worked with, what is most valuable to them is our transparent billing model with absolutely no additional fees, our mobile-friendly, vendor-agnostic technology and our RCM capabilities that help any clinic maximize revenue potential.

If you represent an FQHC or a behavioral clinic looking to streamline technology to improve your clinic, contact us today.

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