|We are pleased to report that we were found to be 100% compliant with all expectations of the Federal Health Resource Services Administration Compliance Program during their recent three day site visit from July 17th to July 19th.
HRSA implemented an extensive new Compliance Program in 2018, and the site visit consultants informed us that 100% compliance in ALL areas assessed is a major accomplishment! Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) site visits support the effective oversight of the Federally Funded Health Center Program. Operational Site Visits (OSVs) provide an objective assessment and verification of the status of each Federally Qualified Health Center Program’s compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the Health Center Program. This funding is 25% of our annual revenue.
The focus of the Operational Site Visit included a detailed review of several functions including: a) Management and Administration b) Financial Management c) Quality Assurance and Quality Improvements (Clinical Outcomes, Patient Safety, Performance Improvements, d) Patient Access, Community Needs Assessment and Programming e) Federal Torts Claims Act Compliance (Malpractice & Risk Management) and f) Governance
We also presented two best practices to be shared with other health centers. Dr. Cyril Ubiem presented our Infectious Disease and Special Populations Program, a full continuum of care for our HIV, Hepatitis C, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and our LGBTQ programs. In October 2016, sexual and gender minorities were officially recognized as a health disparity population by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)—meaning they’re more apt to be affected by disease, injury, and violence and are lacking opportunities to achieve optimal health. Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control, Blacks/African Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those who have ever received an AIDS diagnosis, compared to other races/ethnicities. In 2016, African Americans accounted for 44% of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12% of the U.S. population.
Christine Pajarillo presented our “It Takes a Village” program which is an integrated and holistic program to address the growing opioid epidemic in marginalized communities. Both programs were accepted as ‘promising practices” by HRSA to be shared with other health centers.
Another focus during the site visit was on our health center’s Diabetes Management and Prevention Program. Diabetes is a growing epidemic with a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. It kills more Americans each year than AIDS and breast cancer combined.
We have a wonderful team at Whittier, and they worked hard to prepare for this site visit and to ensure we are consistently compliant with all regulatory, funding and accreditation standards.
Frederica M. Williams