Created by the FQHC Telehealth Consortium, ‘How-To’ Guide Supports Adoption and Sustainability of Telehealth
Boston, MA August 11, 2021 – The FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) Telehealth Consortium today announces the publication of the Telehealth Playbook, a new “how-to” resource designed to help health centers and other primary care providers implement and improve telehealth within their practices. The Playbook is a product of the Consortium’s work to greatly increase telemedicine capacity in Massachusetts’s community health centers and nationally.
Designed as a free, practical, online resource for clinical leaders, telehealth program managers, providers and staff, the Playbook includes frameworks, best practices, clinical pathways, workflows, job descriptions, and many other resources. As telehealth practice evolves, the guide will also be updated with user input to reflect emerging best practices and realities.
The Consortium – a partnership of Community Care Cooperative (C3), a non-profit, FQHC-led Accountable Care Organization (ACO), and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, the state-based association of health centers– is working to address health disparities through telemedicine, achieve sustainable telehealth capacity at FQHCs, and measure, evaluate, and disseminate learnings. The Playbook is part of the effort to share learnings, best practices, tools and resources.
“What makes this playbook different is that it’s proven: all of the resources and best practices that it outlines have been effectively used by primary care practices with a framework of team-based, patient-centered care,” said Christina Severin, President and CEO of C3. “The Telehealth Playbook comes from a deeply held belief that technology should serve all patients, and must be used to increase access and diminish the disparities that are too often seen in our BIPOC and low-income communities.”
Organized around the five domains of the Consortium’s telehealth maturity model, the Telehealth Playbook offers guidance and best practices for Strategy and Leadership, Clinical Integration, People, Technology & Tools, and Reimbursement & Policy – the pillars of an effective telehealth program.
“We designed the Playbook to increase the capabilities that health centers and other providers need to advance their telehealth performance,” said Michael Curry, President & CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. “The Playbook, which comes directly from the learnings of health centers and with no commercial bias, offers resources in areas like compliance, HR and policy – all of which are tailored to meet the needs of partners not only in Massachusetts, but nationally.”
The playbook is already resonating with potential partners nationally who seek to improve their telehealth programs. “As a not-for-profit Medicaid/Medicare health plan governed by a network of community health centers in the State of Washington, we were especially excited to learn of the work being done by the Consortium in Massachusetts,” said Leanne Berge, CEO, Community Health Plan of Washington and Community Health Network of Washington. “We share the goals of improving telehealth access for traditionally underserved, geographically diverse, multicultural populations and have learned so much already from the Consortium’s work to advance telehealth services for the benefit of our patients and providers here in our State. We hope to share best practices with the Consortium in this and other innovative initiatives in the future.”
Community Care Cooperative (C3) is a 501(c)(3) Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that leverages the proven best practices of ACOs throughout the country and is the only ACO in Massachusetts founded and governed by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and exclusively focused on advancing integrated and coordinated community-based care for MassHealth members. C3 works with its 18 member FQHCs to strengthen health centers across the state, and continued growth enables C3 to better serve MassHealth members across the Commonwealth. To view a list of C3 health centers, click here.
The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (the League) is a 501(c)(3) membership organization supporting and representing the Commonwealth’s 52 community health centers, which offer primary and preventive care to more than one million residents. The League serves as an information resource on community-based primary care to policymakers, opinion leaders, and the media. It provides a wide range of technical assistance to its health center members, including advocacy on health policy issues, support for workforce development, clinical care and technology initiatives, and guidance to state leaders and community-based organizations seeking to open health centers.