Chiricahua Receives Perfect Score
Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. (Chiricahua) provides primary care to the diverse communities and special populations of rural Cochise County, Arizona as the region’s only Federally Qualified Health Center. Every three years, the Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, conducts an Operational Site Visit that provides an objective assessment of each Health Center Program’s compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the federal government. This includes finance, clinical operations, governance, and adherence to the mission of Federally Qualified Health Centers.
HRSA uses the Health Center Program Compliance Manual to determine whether health centers conform to the statutory and regulatory requirements. The audit protocol uses standard and transparent methodologies to provide HRSA with information to monitor health center compliance.
While Chiricahua has grown dramatically in both size and complexity in recent years, the site visit, which spanned a several month period ending
in September 2023, found that Chiricahua demonstrate a perfect score, being compliant in all 18 program requirements comprised of 93 distinct elements. Review and audit methods include, but are not limited to, reviews of policies and procedures, samples of files and records, site tours, and interviews. All documentation provided by HRSA or the health center, is available to the entire site visit team and can be used to evaluate any of the 18 program requirements.
The perfect score is all the more meaningful as Chiricahua continues to grow. Last year, more than 31,000 Cochise County residents called Chiricahua their medical home and the organization provided more than 120,000 patient visits – the most in Chiricahua’ s history! While the year is not yet over, Chiricahua has already exceeded last year’s record and is on track to again serve more patients, in more places, with more services than ever before.
Further, Chiricahua continues to go beyond the clinic walls for its patients through the use of the Chiricahua Cares Fund. The Chiricahua Cares Fund is a financial safety net that removes barriers to health and well-being for patients in need. Funds are used to support Chiricahua patients who are behind on rent, in need of one-time utility or daycare payments, and helps our patients with transportation support, specialist co-pays, and much more. Since January, the Chiricahua Cares Fund has aided more than 500 children and adults. All funds received by the Chiricahua Cares Fund are dedicated to patients without ANY OVERHEAD taken by Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. – every dollar is used to help our patients!
With receipt of the final report from HRSA, Chiricahua CEO Jonathan Melk, MD, FAAP said, “At Chiricahua, we have long embraced a culture of continuous compliance and have always embraced our HRSA Operational Site Visit as an opportunity to achieve excellence. Chiricahua passed our 2016, 2019 and now our 2023 HRSA Operational Site Visit with flying colors. I am beyond proud of our team’s performance and for our proven compliance with complex fiscal, clinical, administration, and governance requirements as dictated by the federal government.”
Chiricahua Board President Carrie Gustavson added, “With three perfect scores in a row, being Board Chair at Chiricahua is something I’m very proud of. The HRSA site reviewers commented multiple times regarding the remarkable team that Chiricahua has assembled. And not only do we play by the rules, but we also go the extra mile. The Chiricahua Cares Fund is one of the many incredible programs we offer to ensure health equity for which the Board of Directors is extremely proud to support.”
All donations to the Chiricahua Cares Fund are eligible for the Arizona Tax Credit and a great way to show support for those in need in Cochise County.