MidMichigan Community Health Services Passes Site Review, Gets Best Practice Designation on Diabetes Clinic

By Natasha Robinson, MPCA Communications Specialist

MidMichigan Community Health Services passed its Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) site review, and their Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic received a “Best Practices” designation this month.

A HRSA site review occurs about every five years to assess an organization’s compliance with key section 330 Health Center Program requirements, and to assist grantees in identifying areas for performance improvement.  There are 19 requirements Health Centers must meet that range from establishing the community’s need for a Health Center, to billing practices, to governance.

MidMichigan Preventive Services/Quality Improvement Coordinator Mary Anne Van Oosterhout, MS, RD, CDE, said the site review allows the Health Center to make sure it’s adhering to the essential grant requirements.

“It’s an excellent thing to periodically do a really deep dive into how well we’re meeting our mandates and mission. And when there’s a good outcome, which we expected, you feel really good,” Van Oosterhout said. “It gives you a real sense of organizational pride.”

Oosterhout said MidMichigan Community Health Services is working toward National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) designation, which means they’re “deep in the middle of practice transformation.” She said the site review also gives them an opportunity to compete for the service area competition grant from a “position of real strength.”

“The other thing it means is that, because of the collaborative nature of the site review, we were able to hear and accept suggestions for really good quality improvement projects.”

MidMichigan Community Health Services was also recognized for its Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic, which offers diabetic patients an opportunity to see a primary care provider, registered dietician, and psychologist in one visit. The Health Center’s Director of Behavioral Health and Integrated Primary Care Stacey Gedeon, PsyD, MSCP said patients complete paperwork that includes a depression screening. The providers rotate rooms to see patients in 15-minute increments, giving patients a chance to address health, nutrition, and behavior issues without multiple visits to the Health Center. Gedeon said the clinic reduces barriers, such as needing transportation for multiple visits and reducing the stigma of seeing a behavioral health care provider. Afterward, the providers have a team meeting and collaborate on their patients’ care, Gedeon said.

“The trend has shown that those participating actively tend to have better A1Cs and lower depression scores,” Gedeon said. “We do an integrative primary care program here, so they’re not slipping through cracks.”

The best practices designation from the site reviewers will be documented in a written report to HRSA and to MidMichigan Community Health Services. Gedeon said she’s not aware of any other Health Center doing the Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic the way MidMichigan does it.

About two weeks ahead of the site review, MidMichigan was given a list of documents that reviewers requested. Van Oosterhout said they created file folders for each category and added pertinent documents, and the reviewers were pleased with the Health Center’s organized process.

“Preparation was the key to good performance,” Van Oosterhout said.

MidMichigan Community Health Services is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) based in Houghton Lake, Michigan, and serves the surrounding area.

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