By Natasha Robinson, Communications Specialist
Traverse Health Clinic has received $100,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) to help the clinic pursue Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) designation from the federal government.
In the pursuit of becoming an FQHC, Traverse Health Clinic has expanded to provide services to all ages and will apply for FQHC Look-Alike status this year, according to Traverse Health Clinic Executive Director Arlene Brennan. The $100,000 BCBSM grant received yesterday will help the community-based provider meet requirements for a FQHC Look-Alike designation and write the application, as two major sources of revenue will go away with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Brennan said.
“We need a business model to replace those sources of funds and to allow us to continue as the major primary care safety net provider for this area,” Brennan said.
FQHC Look-Alikes are Health Centers that have been certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), based on recommendations provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), as meeting all Health Center Program requirements. FQHC Look-Alikes do not receive funding under the Health Center Program. This certification makes them, like Health Center Program grantees, eligible for fair reimbursement through Medicaid and Medicare, participation in the 340B federal drug pricing program, and assists in recruiting and retaining providers through the National Health Service Corps and the State Loan Repayment Program.
Health Center Program grantees are organizations that receive grants under the Health Center Program as authorized under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.
Traverse Health Clinic served about 2,000 medical, dental, and behavioral health patients last year in Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Leelanau counties, most of whom were uninsured.