FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Alliance Health Centers, a non-profit, community-based health clinic, has been designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). The designation is effective Dec. 1, which also marks one year since the clinic opened and expanded access to care for medically underserved residents in southeast Fort Wayne.
The following was issued by Alliance on Wednesday:
With the FQHC Look-Alike designation, Alliance Health Centers must meet a stringent set of federal requirements and operate under an independent governing board that includes patients as members. FQHC Look-Alikes do not receive federal grant funding but are eligible to receive enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid. The clinic will also be eligible to purchase discounted prescriptions through the 340B Federal Drug Pricing Program and receive automatic approval as a National Health Service Corps site, which assists with provider recruitment and retention.
Alliance Health Centers chose to pursue Look-Alike status because grant opportunities for the FQHC designation are not currently available. However, the Look-Alike designation better prepares the organization to apply for potential grants as an FQHC in the future.
“In the past year, our team has done a lot of behind-the-scenes work to ensure compliance with HRSA requirements so we could be designated as an FQHC Look-Alike,” said Brooke Lockhart, chief executive officer, Alliance Health Centers. “I am incredibly proud that this day has arrived for our organization and also extremely grateful to our dedicated board of directors, staff, providers and community partners who played critical roles in getting us to this point. This designation will help us to further our mission of impacting our community by providing access to high-quality, affordable care.”
While services are available for all in the community, Alliance Health Centers focuses on serving those who face barriers to receiving care. The clinic is located in the 46806 ZIP code, which is a federally designated health professional shortage area.
Alliance Health Centers offers a sliding fee scale discount for services (available to those who qualify) and will not turn away anyone for inability to pay. Nearly 70 percent of the clinic’s patients meet the criteria for discounted services. A certified Indiana navigator is onsite to assist all area residents, not just patients, with applications for Indiana Health Coverage Programs such as Medicaid. Additionally, the clinic refers patients to community resources for needs such as housing and utility assistance.
Approximately 33 percent of patients identify as Hispanic, and 33 percent identify as a racial minority to include African American or Asian. Alliance Health Centers has responded to its patients’ needs by hiring a team that is equally diverse, including staff who are fluent in Spanish.
As a collaborative partner, Parkview Health provides financial and operational support to Alliance Health Centers, and clinic providers are leased from Parkview Physicians Group. When needed, Alliance Health Centers also refers patients to Parkview Health for services such as diagnostic radiology or gynecological and obstetrical care.
Alliance Health Centers is located within the Lafayette Medical Center, 2700 Lafayette St., Suite 050 (lower level), Fort Wayne. Currently, the clinic offers primary care services to all ages with a full-time primary care nurse practitioner and two physicians who see patients on a part-time basis. Alliance Health Centers also offers behavioral health services with a part-time psychiatric nurse practitioner.
All providers at the clinic are accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call 260-266-0780.