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A Conn. FQHC chief see great opportunities in PMI


Mark Masselli, founder and CEO of Community Health Center Inc., in Connecticut, says that the Precision Medicine Initiative presents great opportunities for it.

When CHC heard  that its name was on the list of six Federally Qualified Health Centers tapped to participate in the PMI Cohort Program, everyone at CHC was very excited, Mr. Masselli said to FierceHealthIT.

“It’s a really seminal research project, and we have been keeping an eye on the message [former President] Obama has laid out around the value of doing this.”

CHC operates  at 200 locations in Connecticut,  primarily caring for special populations who live in poverty. Mr. Masselli noted that the community is very   ethnically diverse.

Fierce reported  “that as part of the early trial for the PMI Cohort, CHC will help examine problems that may be faced as recruitment of patients starts, and how to scale the program up without facing barriers.”

“We’re sort of guinea pigs. We’re going to be poked and prodded and really think critically about what is an enormously exciting opportunity.”

CHC  has its own research arm called the Weitzman Institute, which, Mr. Masselli said, is unique among health centers and does a lot of work with scientific evidence and rigor to improve  primary care.

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Medicaid to reimburse some Conn. FQHCs for telemedicine with specialists

The New Haven Register reports that Medicaid will reimburse some  Connecticut Federally Qualified Health Centers  for providing patients with access to specialists via electronic consultations. The idea is that this might widen some low-income patients’ access to care.

“The impact is potentially huge,” said Dr. Daren Anderson, director of the Weitzman Institute, the research and quality improvement arm of Community Health Center Inc., said.

CHC is a  network of 13 health centers with facilities in New Britain, Stamford, Norwalk, Clinton and Old Saybrook.

The newspaper said: “An e-consult enables a primary care doctor to contact a specialist — for a second look at patient’s echocardiogram, for instance — and securely send part or all of a patient’s medical records electronically. The specialist then replies to the primary care doctor within a few days (but more typically within just a few hours), reducing the need for a patient visit to the specialist.”

“Anderson, who studied e-consults for about a year, said he found the process increased access to specialty care for underserved populations, reduced the need for in-person care, streamlined specialty referrals and had the potential to reduce emergency department visits.”

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