How CredentialStream Addresses Key Use Cases for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)

How CredentialStream Addresses Key Use Cases for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)

May 16, 2023
  • Author:
    Noelle Abarelli

Since the year 2000, the number of patients served by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) has tripled. In 2020 alone, it is estimated that more than 29 million people received care at an FQHC.

An increase in patients has led to an increase in challenges. In March of 2022, Qure4u, an all-in-one digital health platform that optimizes patient care before, during, and after visits, partnered with healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners, to learn more about the issues keeping FQHCs from expanding access to healthcare in underserved communities.

The survey found issues with staffing and digital technology are most common:

  • Staff recruitment and retention is a top FQHC strategic imperative (60%) in the next 12-24 months.
  • 33% of FQHC leaders said budget and financial limitations continue to impede their mission.
  • 83% of FQHCs fall within the middle of the technology adoption curve, while 34% are ready to try a new technology at an early adoption stage.
  • 87% said the most important technology is a digital solution platform that addresses a variety of use cases, rather than using niche solutions from multiple vendors.

As a leading provider of credentialing, enrollment, privileging, and evaluation solutions, we have experience working with over 3,000 healthcare organizations, including many FQHCs. And, we have seen firsthand how a lack of digital technology to support enrollment, credentialing and privileging can impede an FQHC's ability to serve their community.

When The Centers, an FQHC serving more than 23,000 people annually in Northeast Ohio, found themselves managing their credentialing, privileging, and enrollment process with a mix of paper and Excel spreadsheets was slowing them down, they knew it was time to automate. Data was spread out over multiple locations and often had to be manually scanned to be shared, and reports had to be generated on a case-by-case basis.

As they searched for a solution, they were attracted to CredentialStream® because of its ability to handle credentialing, privileging, and enrollment within one solution. Other features, including a library of criteria-based privilege forms, instantly deployable content tailored to the specialties offered by FQHCs, Medicare and Medicaid payer enrollment capabilities and expirable management, also made CredentialStream a great fit.

Since implementing the solution, The Centers have achieved many benefits, including:

  • Time Savings: CredentialStream saves all the OIG/SAM information in the provider record, meaning The Centers no longer need to manually pull provider data. In fact, the need to manually check licenses has largely been eliminated, and better yet, the organization went from having a monthly credentialing meeting to only once a quarter. That's a lot of valuable reclaimed time.
  • Streamlined Privileging: CredentialStream's library of continuously updated, best-practice, evidence-based, specialty-specific privilege forms eliminates the need to conduct time-consuming research on new procedures and update privilege forms accordingly.
  • Accelerated Application Processing & Improved Provider Satisfaction: With full automation, The Centers is able to provide accurate reports fast, whenever needed. Pair that with the ability to turn enrollment applications around quickly to get providers to work, and you have happy patients and providers.

Experts agree that managing patient volume will continue to be a challenge for FQHCs in the near future. To keep pace, FQHCs need to embrace changes that will enable them to run better businesses. Ty Meredith, Senior Director, Outpatient Sales, VerityStream by HealthStream states, "The more efficient their operations are, the more patients they can see, and efficiency begins with automation.

If you're an FQHC, looking for more information about automating enrollment, credentialing and privileging, learn more about how CredentialStream can help and request a demo here.