Year-long initiative culminates with mutual agreement to terminate Allina Health services contracts at year’s end.
ST. PAUL – December 31, 2020 –United Family Medicine (UFM), a federally-qualified health center (FQHC) in St. Paul, has formally submitted to the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), its federal regulator and funder, a notice of its organizational changes to strengthen its compliance with federal requirements.
Foremost among these changes is the mutual agreement between UFM and Allina Health to end their services contracts on December 31, 2020, involving Allina’s residency program within UFM and UFM’s leasing of health care providers from Allina.
As of January 1, 2021, UFM will employ the entirety of its provider workforce, including a full complement of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychiatrists, behavioral therapists and dentists. These providers will serve UFM’s 15,000 patients in a team-based care model, designed to improve their health care outcomes and experience. This expanded and UFM-employed workforce will enable patients to receive care much sooner than before by removing scheduling and administrative inefficiencies.
“UFM’s board is proud of the clinic’s success in recruiting a high-quality provider workforce so quickly in response to Allina’s request to withdraw its Residency Program,” said Jinny Palen, UFM Board Chair. “As patients of the clinic ourselves, we are in very good hands. This transition will secure the future of access to care for me personally and thousands more across the city.”
Federal law requires the patient-led Board of Directors of Community Health Centers to have full authority over their operations, and for the Health Centers to offer a sliding fee scale to ensure care is accessible to underserved patients, and to provide care that addresses the diversity of their community.
In its 2018 and 2020 site visits, HRSA recommended that UFM exert direct control over certain clinical functions that UFM had obtained through leased services from Allina Health, to permit UFM to allocate more resources directly to providing patients with comprehensive and timely access to care.
“As a Community Health Center, UFM serves society’s most vulnerable citizens. Many patients lack access to affordable health care and have significant medical, mental health, behavioral health and oral health needs,” said Ann Nyakundi, United Family Medicine CEO. “Our leadership and patient-led board knew we needed to make substantial changes to strengthen service to our patients and ensure UFM continues addressing the care needs of our community sustainably for many years to come.”
Nyakundi, who joined the organization as Interim CEO in October 2019, initiated structural changes to address HRSA’s recommendations and improve patients’ access to their UFM providers. Over the past year, these efforts resulted in 96% compliance with HRSA review standards. UFM’s transition to ending its leased services agreements with Allina and fully employ its staff of providers will contribute to the completion of its initiative to sustain full federal compliance.
About United Family Medicine
United Family Medicine, a federally qualified health center in St. Paul, Minnesota, provides high quality primary care, dental services and behavioral health services to all persons regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. As a community health center, we operate as a patient-focused team to support health and well-being, connecting patients with helpful resources for housing, jobs, transportation and more. Mission statement: Excellence in delivering healthcare for all; training the providers of tomorrow. Vision statement: A healthy, vibrant and thriving community. More information is available at https://unitedfamilymedicine.org/.
Board of Directors