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Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are one of the most important safety nets in the United States healthcare system. By offering treatment regardless of patient’s ability to pay or their lack of insurance, the healthcare providers and support staff at FQHCs help keep underprivileged communities healthy. Between the increasing rate of patients without adequate insurance and the added strain of Covid-19 on community health centers, FQHCs are playing a more important role than ever. 

A 2020 report by the Congressional Budget Office projected that 31-32 million people are uninsured, while 238-241 million are insured. This suggests that about 11.5% of Americans are uninsured, but does not account for insured individuals with insufficient plans. With the projected growth of uninsured and underinsured Americans, FQHC patient bases are likely to grow as well. 

Unfortunately, a Capital Link report on the financial impact of COVID-19 on FQHC determined that patient visits declined 26% from April to December 2020, and that FQHCs conducted 36% of visits via telehealth. They predicted COVID-19 expenses and lost revenue will cost the 1400+ FQHCs $10.5 billion between April 2020 and June 2021. This far exceeds the $5 billion awarded in federal funds.

In order to best serve their communities without increasing costs for the people who need access to affordable healthcare most, it’s integral for FQHC healthcare executives to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of care or important staff. 

Why do federally qualified health centers need medical records solutions?

Keeping up with medical records requests can be a major point of stress for many healthcare providers. This goes doubly so for understaffed facilities. While release of information (ROI) authorization forms flood healthcare facilities, medical staff scramble to return records before the deadline. The current 30-day timeframe can be challenging to meet, but an HHS proposal suggests reducing the deadline to 15 days.

Additionally, the HIPAA Privacy Rule outlines steep penalties for covered entities that do not comply with the regulations. When processing multitudes of records requests, it takes a keen eye to avoid wrongful disclosures day after day. Healthcare providers are also required to maintain a record of every disclosure to enhance accountability and traceability.

When mistakes like forgetting to respond to a request or sending medical records to the wrong recipient can constitute HIPAA violations, the right medical records exchange software is an important tool to protect healthcare staff. ChartRequest understands the burdens FQHCs face in today’s healthcare climate.

How can ChartRequest help federally qualified health centers?

ChartRequest is a referral management, care coordination, and medical records request management software company that helps over 5,000 healthcare organizations. We help reduce turnaround times, save on administrative costs, and ensure HIPAA compliance. 

Improve the patient experience by simplifying the medical records request process. With ChartRequest, patients can submit electronic health records requests in just minutes. Also, patients can save time by checking their request status online. If the patient has any additional questions, they can message the healthcare provider directly via provider chat.

Reduce incoming phone calls by putting the power into your patients’ hands. If you offer patients an alternative to navigating prerecorded phone menus every time they need an update, they’ll likely take it. This goes doubly for professional requestors like law firms or insurance agencies. 

Reduce administrative costs by minimizing the labor hours involved in processing medical records requests. By clearing up the phone lines and expediting the ROI workflow, your staff can spend more time doing what matters most — offering the best care possible.

Improve referral management and care coordination to easily collaborate with specialists. ChartRequest helps healthcare providers exchange important information before the appointment date and discuss any new information afterward. Additionally, when the patient is involved, they are more likely to remember their appointment and close the loop.

Protect your staff with the safeguards ChartRequest offers. Our double-QA process verifies that the retrieved medical records are for the correct patient, timeframe, and reason for the visit. Additionally, ChartRequest tracks every interaction with the request, including each step in the ROI process and every message and reminder sent. This helps develop a complete audit trail to keep your team safe in the case of an audit. 

Which solution is best for your practice?

ChartRequest is designed to ensure there’s a plan that’s right for healthcare facilities of all sizes. There are two subscription tiers for healthcare providers: self-service and full-service. 

The self-service plan allows healthcare staff to utilize our software to help manage medical records requests and care coordination. Small FQHCs who do not have excessive incoming requests and don’t mind handling some legwork can save a lot of time and stress by adopting this plan. 

The full-service plan is the total ROI solution, which utilizes our expert staff to completely outsource your medical records exchange needs. This is ideal for FQHCs that are larger, span multiple locations or have unmanageable amounts of incoming medical records requests. 

If you’re not sure yet which solution is right for your FQHC, schedule a demo today!

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