Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center has secured funding from the Federal Bureau of Primary Health Care to improve access to quality healthcare in Houghton. This funding is helping form a unique partnership with Portage Health that will transition Portage Health’s existing primary care practice in Houghton into a Family Health Center that is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
“It was incredibly competitive to get this funding,” UGLFHC Chief Executive Officer Don Simila said. “More than 600 projects nationwide were up for this funding, and we were one of just 30 who received it.”
The FQHC designation allows the health center to accept all patients and insurances, including Medicare, regardless of ability to pay. The Houghton Family Health Center will provide services on a sliding fee, based on federal poverty guidelines.
“Everyone should be able to afford an office visit at the health center,” said Jim Bogan, President and CEO of Portage Health. “The goal here is to have a healthier community, and we’re doing that by offering patients the ability to pay a fee that they can afford.”
Established patients at the health center will continue to have the same relationship with their provider that they have come to expect. For the vast majority of patients, there will be no visible change. For many patients, this transition will lead to lower fees for care.
“There are a high number of patients in our community who need help managing their chronic diseases, or simply need to get into a health center for the first time in a long time to establish a medical home,” Bogan said. “Portage Health and UGLFHC are focused on population health management as partners in a clinically integrated system of care.”
“This is the right thing for our community,” Simila added.
Learn more about UGLFHC, and this partnership at portagehealth.org/familyhealthcenters, or by visiting uglhealth.org.
About Portage Health
Portage Health’s mission is to improve the health of the community by providing high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare. Portage Health owns and operates a 36-bed acute-care hospital, a 60-bed skilled nursing unit and related health care services in Hancock-Houghton, Michigan. More information about Portage Health can be found at portagehealth.org.
About Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center
Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center is a community-based primary care center. It is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), dedicated to providing high quality primary care throughout the lifecycle to everyone regardless of his or her ability to pay. The UGLFHC operates family health centers in Gwinn, Sawyer and Houghton. More information about UGLFHC can be found at uglhealth.org.