The California Primary Care Association (CPCA) is the statewide leader and recognized voice representing the interests of California community clinics and health centers and their patients. CPCA represents more than 1,000 not-for-profit Community Clinics and Health Centers (CCHCs) and Regional Clinic Associations who provide comprehensive, quality health care services, particularly for low-income, uninsured and underserved Californians, who might otherwise not have access to health care.
The mission of CPCA is to lead and position community clinics, health centers, and networks through advocacy, education and services as key players in the health care delivery system to improve the health status of their communities.
CPCA’s diverse membership includes community and free clinics, federally funded and federally designated clinics, rural and urban clinics, large and small clinic corporations and clinics dedicated to special needs and special populations. CPCA is designated by the Federal Bureau of Primary Health Care as the state primary care association and receives federal program support to develop and enhance services for member clinics.
Since 1994, CPCA has successfully worked with its members to strengthen and protect the role of CCHCs in the health care delivery system and to effectively form partnerships and collaborations at the state and federal level, advancing the interests of clinics and their patients.
As members of CPCA, community clinics and health centers participate in joint advocacy, consensus building, regional collaborations, group educational and training forums and other shared activities so that CCHCs can continue to serve the health care needs of their communities through innovation, collaboration and commitment.
Some of the programs and services offered by CPCA include:
CPCA actively represents its diverse membership in legislative and regulatory forums in Sacramento and Washington. CPCA sets an aggressive advocacy agenda to ensure and sustain state and federal funding for clinics and to protect the ability of clinics to offer affordable, quality care. CPCA also places particular emphasis on education and advocacy regarding the needs of special populations, such as migrant and seasonal farm workers, immigrants, diverse cultural communities, homeless persons, and other disenfranchised groups.
CPCA maintains research capacity to ensure timely and accurate analysis and action on regulatory and legal issues affecting clinics and their patients. CPCA’s staff actively monitors and informs members of pertinent legislative and regulatory developments that affect clinics, and prepares comments regarding such developments on behalf of CPCA.
CPCA is committed to providing members with the training and technical assistance they need to effectively compete in California’s aggressive managed care environment, to advance the clinic and health center delivery model and to effectively manage and improve the health of patients. Clinics have regular access to information and programs on a variety of timely topics, i.e. state and federal regulatory compliance, change management, leadership development, managed care, chronic disease management, financial management, operational efficiency, technology management, quality improvement and assurance, including boutique events, such as the CPCA Tech Summit and CFO Conference.
CPCA assists member clinics in keeping pace with the sweeping changes occurring in technology and information systems in health care. CPCA’s Technology (IS) program offers training and technical assistance and low-interest loans to help clinics secure critical tools to be competitive and efficient in managing limited health care resources. CPCA is a founding partner of the California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) created to help priority primary care providers in CCHCs and other settings meaningfully use certified EHR technology to improve the quality and value of healthcare.
Through CPCA, members have access to multiple professional forums providing networking and educational opportunities for clinic managers and professionals. The CPCA Board and Committees bring clinic representatives together to debate and consider the pressing political and social issues facing CCHCs, and to collaboratively develop strategic direction and guidance for CPCA programs and activities. Peer networks exist to provide a forum for collaboration, information-sharing and strategy development among clinics and consortia. Peer networks available for clinic staff include: CFO, CIO, Clinic Billing Staff, Clinic Emergency Preparedness, Compliance Officer, Dental Director, Mental Health, and 330 New Starts.
CPCA dedicates staff resources and works closely with its members to enhance the quality of clinic care and services and to reduce documented health disparities among the vulnerable populations served by CCHCs. In addition to ongoing training, educational and networking opportunities, the Aligning QI in California Clinics for Meaningful Use (AQICC-MU) initiative was established. The goal of AQICC-MU is to help support clinics’ meaningful use of health information technology to improve clinical outcomes and operational efficiency via statewide data benchmarking, regional trainings, and learning communities. There are currently 291 clinic sites participating in the initiative.
The sheer size, scope and diversity of California, along with the complexity of health programs and policy choices that are often locally based, necessitate both a strong statewide clinic presence and solid representation of clinic interests in local and regional forums. The CPCA membership includes multiple regional consortia of community clinics and health centers. In partnership with the CPCA, regional consortia advocate on behalf of health centers and their patients, with special focus on local government programs and services, and also provide services to clinic members such as group purchasing, joint MIS collaboration, centralized billing and claims management, joint managed care contracting and cooperative fund development.
CPCA seeks out and develops strategic partnerships with state and federal agencies, foundations, allied state and national health organizations, elected officials and advocacy groups to forge consensus and build coalitions to achieve mutual goals. CPCA has taken a leadership role in facilitating and organizing partnerships in key areas of concern to clinics and their patients, including the HIT-oriented California Safety Net Coalition, Oral Health Access Council, Latino Health Alliance and the California Women’s Health Partnership. CPCA also meets regularly with leadership from the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the State Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) a well as participates in state level working groups and task forces.
CPCA engages in regular and strategic communications to inform and educate the media and the public about clinic services, clinic patients and critical public policy issues affecting clinics and their patients. The CPCA media and public relations program is a partnership between CPCA and its members to celebrate community clinic and health center achievements and to alert opinion makers and the public about pressing health and public health concerns affecting clinics and the communities they serve.
CPCA publishes a quarterly newsletter and an Annual Report which are widely distributed to CPCA members, legislators, key state departments and other health care related partners and organizations. CPCAccess features current news regarding health care and health care access, legislative updates, program information, upcoming events and employment opportunities.
CPCA annually convenes health care professionals from around the state and the nation to explore the changing health care environment, consider pending challenges and opportunities for clinics and the health care system and to engage key stakeholders in an ongoing dialogue on the issues surrounding health care access and quality. The conference is heavily attended and consistently yields new strategies and approaches to meeting pressing needs in the upcoming year.
Once a year, generally in April, CPCA members come to Sacramento to meet and talk with legislators, legislative staff and agency personnel and share information about clinics and their legislative and policy priorities. Day at the Capitol is one other opportunity for members to actively participate in organized advocacy to demonstrate the mission and political commitment CCHCs bring to the care of their patients and communities.
Requests for further information about membership should be directed to Jodi Johnson or 916-440-8170 ext.1093.