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Health Center Sustainability
Community health centers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Established as a result of primary care provider shortages in underserved areas of the District, community health centers have become vital resources to residents. As the centers provide compassionate, culturally competent, comprehensive care and wrap-around services, residents have come to rely on them for their needs. In 2013, DCPCA member health centers provided care to their communities through one million patient visits, serving one out of every three DC residents.
As the leading voice for an integrated health system with primary care at the core, DCPCA is focused on driving improvements in the District’s health care system and strengthening the sustainability of our member health centers. With a broad goal of strengthening population health, we provide technical assistance, data as a tool to drive improvements in population health, and other necessary resources to help our member centers thrive in the new health care arena. Additionally, we facilitate collaboration among our member centers and other primary care providers in order to drive system change and make a collective impact.
Policy and Advocacy
For almost two decades, DCPCA has set the course for high quality, sustainable, accessible primary health care for all in the District of Columbia. More than ever before, primary care is at the heart of the effort to rewrite the District’s health story, and the survival and success of community health centers remains critical to a successful and thriving city. Over the last ten years, the District has achieved unprecedented health insurance coverage. Ninety-four percent of residents have health insurance, and 98% of DC’s children are covered. We are first in the nation in rates of health insurance for Latino children.
Looking forward, our challenge is to deliver on the implicit promise of coverage and access for all. Working in partnership with health centers, District government, public health advocates, and community members, we intend to match the increase in coverage and access with improvements in health outcomes and quality of life for all residents. Our aggressive advocacy agenda identifies and works to take action on legislative, administrative, and budgetary opportunities to support health center sustainability and continued access to the comprehensive, integrated primary care that helps all our residents get and stay strong both mentally and physically.
The implementation of new care delivery model, and a data system that integrates over sites and time of care, is necessary in order to drive improvement in population health. Furthermore, meaningful data is necessary in order to achieve the care management, coordination and quality improvement efforts necessary to transform health outcomes and contain costs. The Health Information Technology team at DCPCA supports these efforts through a variety of initiatives.
DCPCA hosts and maintains electronic health records for seven community health center providers and provides training and technical support for health center staff in the effective use of the technology. We also provide technology management support to our health centers, the District’s Managed Care Organizations, and the DC Department of Health for several population health data acquisition and analysis efforts.
In addition, DCPCA participates as a key stakeholder on the DC Health Information Exchange (DC HIE) Policy Board. Established in February 2012, the purpose of the Board is to advise the Mayor, the Director of the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), and other District agencies regarding the implementation of secure, protected health information that benefits District stakeholders in accordance with DHCF HIE Action Plan. Members of the DCPCA Health Information Technology team provide health information technology expertise and counsel, and assist in the development of the Health Information Exchange for the District as a means for driving improvements in population health.