Community Care Cooperative (C3), the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that advances community-based care for MassHealth members through its network of 19 health centers throughout the state, today announced the launch of a $5 million campaign to greatly increase telehealth capacity in community health centers statewide. Telehealth capability is needed in order to better fight the COVID-19 epidemic and better serve health center patients when the pandemic is over.
With today’s news, C3 is also announcing that it has been awarded grants from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau, charitable foundations and individuals totaling approximately $2.8 million to advance telehealth in Massachusetts in response to COVID-19.
Foundation and individual support announced today comes from the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement (DentaQuest Partnership), The Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, the Landry Family Foundation, The Klarman Family Foundation, and Barbara and Amos Hostetter. Together, with a lead grant from The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation announced earlier this month, foundation and individual support make up $1,850,000 of the $2.8 million total.
The grants are to be used to fight COVID-19 by increasing telehealth capacity through support of the Massachusetts FQHC Telehealth Consortium, made up of 30 community health centers throughout the state, including the 19 health centers that comprise C3. The funding announced today will allow the consortium to add additional health centers to the telehealth effort to meet increasing telehealth demand.
“With the social distancing required to fight COVID-19, telehealth has become an absolute necessity in providing primary and dental care, and we urgently need to extend that access to the most vulnerable of Massachusetts’s residents,” said Christina Severin, President and CEO of C3. “With the generous support we are announcing today, we come closer to our $5 million campaign goal and greatly increase our capacity to help our community health centers to better serve the needs of the commonwealth’s Medicaid patients.”
Through this $5 million campaign, C3 will support telehealth capacity, training and infrastructure at community health centers statewide, focusing on hardware such as laptops, cameras, and headsets; support for health center IT departments; remote monitoring devices, such as scales, blood pressure cuffs, and glucose monitors; a “lending library” of patient-side phones and tablets; home phlebotomy; project management; and developing a long-term strategy for telehealth that assesses facilitators and addresses barriers to implementation.
“Nothing should stand in the way of patients getting essential care. That’s why we are proud to help scale transformative tools—like telehealth—that expand access to care, including behavioral health,” said Beth Klarman, President and Trustee, The Klarman Family Foundation. “We hope these innovations shape healthcare’s ‘new normal’.”
“It’s taken a worldwide public health crisis to illustrate just how much we need telehealth and how valuable it is in serving the needs of patients everywhere,” said Barrie Landry of The Landry Family Foundation. “We are pleased to provide this grant to C3 as their campaign progresses to provide benefits to health center patients now and in the near future, when the pandemic crisis has passed.”
The DentaQuest Partnership grant enables C3 to add a teledentistry component to its telehealth offerings, as well as develop an oral-health model that moves from procedure-based, fee-for-service dentistry to preventative well care. “The work of C3 is critical as they adapt the way oral healthcare is delivered to the patients served by community health centers during this momentous health crisis,” said Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, President and CEO of the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement and Catalyst Institute. “Good dental care and regular examinations are crucial to achieving better overall health. Through this grant, we are helping C3 to safely provide high-quality oral care through teledentistry to patients who are practicing social distancing now, along with good, prevention-based care into 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 and exclusively focused on advancing integrated and coordinated community-based care for MassHealth members. C3 works 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.