Academic Medicine

Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2013 - Volume 88 - Issue 5 > Transforming a Family Medicine Center and Residency Program...
Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828ace4e

Transforming a Family Medicine Center and Residency Program Into a Federally Qualified Health Center

Cousineau, Michael R. DrPH; Flores, Hector MD; Cheng, Scott MPH; Gates, Jerry D. PhD; Douglas, James H.; Clute, Gerald B.; Coan, Carl E. MS, MPH

Collapse Box


The authors describe a family medicine center before and after a merger between the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, the California Hospital Medical Center, and the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center in 2012. The merger provided new opportunities to stabilize the financial base of a clinical practice struggling financially and to enhance the training of residents and other health professionals in primary care, which motivated the partners to consider this new model. After 18 months of negotiations, they were able to convert the family medicine center and residency program into a new federally qualified health center. The benefits to this new model include an increase in both patient volume and the quality of education, supporting residency accreditation; a greater number of residents from U.S. medical schools; enhanced education and preparation of primary care physicians for practice in medically underserved communities; enhanced reimbursements and new opportunities for state, local, and federal grants; and quality improvement and new information technology. The partners overcame academic, administrative, legal, and regulatory obstacles, communication barriers, and differences in culture and expectations to achieve this merger. Keys to their success include the commitment of the leaders at the three institutions to the goals of the merger, a dedicated project manager and consultants, opportunities for new revenue sources and reimbursements, and support from a pioneering charitable foundation. The authors conclude by discussing the implications of using community health centers as the focal point for training primary care clinicians and addressing workforce shortages.

© 2013 Association of American Medical Colleges


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics