Two regional community health center groups have earned badges of honor for quality care, putting them in the top 20 percent nationally.
Ashland-based North Mississippi Primary Health Care received a gold badge, ranking its clinics among the top 10 percent of 1,400 community health centers from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, federally qualified health center program.
“We scored in the top quartile in all measures except one,” said nurse practitioner Christina Nunnally, chief quality officer for North Mississippi Primary Health, Ashland, Booneville, Corinth, New Albany, Oxford Ripley, Tishomingo and Walnut.
Efforts to help their patients better manage diabetes were particularly successful, Nunnally said. Its clinics had a 20 percent reduction in the number of patients with poorly controlled diabetes.
“It’s huge for us.”
For its performance on quality measures, North Mississippi Primary Health will receive $149,600 in grants.
Smithville-based Access Family Health Service received a silver badge, putting it in the top 20 percent of community health centers nationally.
“We were especially proud to be one of the quality leaders,” said Marilyn Sumerford, executive director for Access Family Health, which has clinics in in Houlka, Nettleton, Smithville, Tremont and Tupelo. Access also staffs school-based health centers with Monroe County, Pontotoc County and Okolona School school districts.
Access Family Health has focused on using technology to get patients what they need, Sumerford said. It helps them track chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure more closely as well as tracking preventive screening tests.
“We’ve finally built up an infrastructure with our electronic health records so we can maximize what we get out of it,” Sumerford said. “We’re using technology to see if we have gaps in care.”
Access Family Health received $107,300 in quality award grants.
“We don’t get increases in our grant funding except for these awards for quality,” Sumerford said.
Past grants allowed Access Family Health to invest in digital retinal cameras so that patients with diabetes can be screened at its clinics, Sumerford said. The grants help them extend the screenings to those without insurance or with limited resources.
In all, 16 Mississippi community health center groups received $1.36 million in quality awards. The only other community health center to receive badge recognition was Amite County Medical Services in Liberty, which received gold. Mantachie Rural Health Care received $64,400 in quality grant awards. It was one of 13 Mississippi community health centers to receive a clinical quality improver award.