At this crucial moment before a second wave of COVID-19 crests and crashes, policymakers should confront a significant payment problem brewing within our primary-care safety net that, if unaddressed, threatens care for millions of Americans. Though much of healthcare has made progress with valuebased payment models, most federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) remain tethered to an outdated, visit-based payment structure. Without change, many centers will not stay afloat for long. In her Sept. 8 opinion piece for Modern Healthcare, “Agility is the key to success for community providers-and for the future of value-driven care,” Tara Hoffman of California-based Borrego Health outlines the importance of FQHC services, particularly in lower-income and rural communities, and the steps necessary to adapt in a post-COVID reality. To support those concepts, policymakers must advance policies that enable FQHCs to re-invest and re-invent.
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