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Community health centers perform equal to or better than private practice PCPs

10-1-12 Feature Story:

Boston, October 1, 2012 - Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP), Partners HealthCare and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers ("the League") launched today a new initiative that will bring significant resources and investments to the state's community health centers (CHCs) in their continued efforts to reduce barriers to access promote health equity and provide care for patients in their communities.

During the next 15 years, Partnership for Community Health will provide up to $90 million in grant funding to CHCs to develop and launch measurable programs that enhance health outcomes, service, efficiencies and quality of care. Grants will focus on projects that support expanded programs and improve the infrastructure of CHCs.

"Both NHP and Partners are deeply committed to the belief that CHCs are the cornerstone of an accessible, high-quality, and cost-effective health care delivery system, particularly for the underserved," said NHP President and CEO Deborah C. Enos. "This new initiative is vital in our effort to enhance our support for the CHCs that care for so many of our members."

"CHCs are among our most important health care assets," said President and CEO of Partners Gary L. Gottlieb, MD. "Partnership for Community Health will help NHP and Partners continue our mission to support CHCs as they continue to improve access to care and promote health equity for the underserved."

"This new initiative will help CHCs prepare for the upcoming changes that health reform will bring, while allowing them to continue delivering their innovative care to the more than 800,000 patients they serve statewide," said the League's President and CEO James W. Hunt, Jr.

In its first round of grants, Partnership for Community Health will provide a total of $4.25 million in grants to each of the 49 CHCs that are members of the League to fund initiatives that will help prepare CHCs for patient centered medical home, state payment reform and federal health reform requirements.

After the first round of grants, the CHCs will be eligible to apply for grants through a competitive application process.

Partnership for Community Health's grant making board includes representatives of NHP, Partners and the League.

About Neighborhood Health Plan:

Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) is a licensed, not-for-profit Managed Care Organization (MCO) founded in 1986 by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and the Greater Boston Forum for Health Action. NHP provides health care programs and related services to individuals receiving Medicaid benefits through small business employer groups and Massachusetts' groundbreaking health care reform. Working in partnership with community health centers and other community-responsive providers, NHP offers our more than 248,000 members access to care from more than 4,000 credentialed primary care practitioners; 13,400 credentialed specialists; and 65 teaching, community, and specialty hospitals throughout Massachusetts. This includes major academic medical centers such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Tufts Medical Center. Neighborhood Health Plan is a member of Partners HealthCare, which was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. For more information, visit nhp.org.

About Partners HealthCare:

Partners HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, community health centers, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health-related entities. Partners is one of the nation's leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.

About the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers:

Established in 1972, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers ("the League") is the statewide association representing and serving the needs of the state's 49 community health centers through grassroots advocacy; technical assistance with state and federal health regulatory and policy issues; promotion and management of clinical quality initiatives; training and education for administrators, clinicians and board members; help with health center technology development; and work with local health advocacy organizations seeking to open health centers in their communities. The League also serves as an information source on community-based health care to policymakers, opinion leaders and the media.

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