How Do We Choose an FQHC Mock Site Visit Consultant?
Though HRSA is emphasizing the importance of moving toward “Continual Compliance”, many health centers decide that an FQHC Mock Site Visit may be helpful. There are a number of consultants and companies that provide this service and many do a wonderful job but it’s important to set-up your health center for success. We’d like to give you five areas to consider when evaluating if an FQHC Mock Site Visit is right for you.
When working toward HRSA compliance, health centers must complete a number of tasks that can often not be completed overnight. This may involve re-writing policies, drafting contracts and having them reviewed by large health system legal departments, or receiving board approval on any number of health center functions. With any FQHC Mock Site Visit, consultants will undoubtedly find areas that need corrected, so it’s important to allow ample time for corrections prior to your HRSA Operational Site Visit (OSV). We recommend that Mock Site Visits be completed no less than six months before your OSV. Any less time will lower your potential for being able to act on the recommendations of the consultants. If you find yourself with less than six months remaining before your OSV and still choose to have a Mock Site Visit review, your health center’s preparation will require dedication and focus from numerous health center staff to act on their recommendations.
Remote or Onsite
Some Mock Site Visit consultants will perform their reviews onsite (usually spending 1-2 days interviewing staff and reviewing documents) while others will review remotely. Depending on where your health center is (Missouri, Hawaii, Guam, etc.) and the home base for your consultants, travel and lodging costs could be a significant percentage of the total costs. You may be able to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by having a review completed remotely.
Number of Reviewers
Many Mock Site Visit companies will assign one reviewer to your health center who has general working knowledge in the various compliance areas (Governance/Admin, Fiscal, and Clinical). Though this design will likely significantly reduce the cost of the review, it is important to assess whether that single consultant has the level of expertise needed to complete a thorough and accurate review. Often this one reviewer will have expert knowledge in one of the three areas while having more superficial knowledge in the other two. It is also critical to evaluate whether the consultant has current and up-to-date knowledge of the HRSA Site Visit process. HRSA Program Requirements are continuously changing and your health center will benefit most from consultants who are actively performing HRSA OSVs.
Verbal or Written Report
When talking with potential consultants, ask them what the deliverable(s) for the review is/are. Some consultants will just sit-down with you and talk through their findings while your team feverishly jots down notes. Others will write up an email that they will send to you after completing their review. Others will compile a detailed report that your team can review and tackle areas of non-compliance one-by-one. There is no right or wrong way to do this but it’s a good idea to know what you should be expecting.
This may seem like an obvious question but it is also an area that should be considered. All of the above areas may influence the proposed price you give so I intentionally listed this consideration last. If you’ve thought through all of the other variables you may be able to negotiate with the consultant to bring the price down by altering some of the options. For example, if the review is proposed to be an on-site review, you may request it to be completed remotely to lower the price.
Every health center leadership team has different needs, wants and considerations unique to your situation. We hope these thoughts will help you as you consider your options when working to more your health center to continual compliance.
Note: RegLantern provides remote Mock Reviews using our unique and modern web-based platform. We utilize three expert reviewers in their own areas (Governance/Admin, Clinical, and Fiscal) who are actively doing reviews (We require all of our reviewers to have performed an actual HRSA Operational Site Visit in the last four weeks). At the conclusion of our review, we provide a 50-70-page detailed report clearly outlining areas of non-compliance and steps to become compliant. If you are interested in receiving a proposal for our Mock Reviews, please contact us today!