TRANSFER, Pa. and ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Keystone Healthcare Development Services (Keystone) announced today that is has secured $3 million in financing through Capital Impact Partners' Age Strong Investment Fund to develop a 9,300 square foot multi-service Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Transfer, Pennsylvania. Primary Health Network (PHN) will operate the facility serving low-income and older patients whose access to quality care has become increasingly limited in this rural part of the state.
"I have been involved in rural health care since 1984 and I have never seen such an uncertain future for access to rural health care as we have in today's environment," said Jack Laeng, board chair of Keystone and retired CEO of PHN. "That is why I am thrilled to work with PHN and Capital Impact to bring this state-of-the-art facility online. It will help residents in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio live healthier and more fulfilling lives."
Located on the campus of Edgewood Surgical Center, the new site will replace a smaller space and allow PHN to provide 3,400 new patient encounters annually in a high need area. More than 40% of local residents are aged 50+ and 30% of households earn less than 80% area medium income.
In addition to primary care, the PHN will also provide its patients with behavioral health care, urgent care, and a pharmacy that provides retail, and drive through services. PHN will also establish a referral relationship with the surgery center to improve care coordination. The health center is the second project of a planned three site medical campus which will ultimate include an elderly housing facility.
"In urban areas, there is often access to multiple medical services. In rural America, however, the next hospital or doctor maybe 50 miles down the road. Indeed, here in Pennsylvania, nearly 20 counties have no FQHCs at all. For many of our older and low-income patients, that often results in putting off or skipping medical care. That creates long-term negative implications for these individuals," said Drew Pierce, chief executive officer at PHN. "It's important to have forward thinking organizations like Keystone and Capital Impact to help us bridge that gap."
While The Affordable Care Act has expanded access to health care, many practitioners are also seeing reduction in reimbursement through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Add to that a startling statistic in the July 2016 issue of Governing magazine which suggests that a third of rural hospitals are in danger of closing over the next two years. As a result, many doctors are proactively leaving rural health centers and clinics. This combination of factors overwhelming hurts seniors and low-income residents who have limited choice when it comes to health care.
"As a mission-driven lender, we saw a great opportunity to utilize our Age Strong Fund to work with Keystone to finance this health center operated by PHN in rural Pennsylvania," said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners. "Once completed this center will greatly enhance the lives for the residents, many of whom are older and low-income. We hope others see this as a model for investment in rural communities that deliver social impact."
Age Strong is a $70 million initiative launched in partnership with AARP Foundation and Calvert Foundation, to provide financing for enterprises and projects that create affordable homes, increase access to healthy foods, improve financial security, and offer more community-oriented models of care.
By the nature of how FQHCs are reimbursed for their services, they often do not have the required equity to fund a real estate development program. They need to allocate existing budget to expand operations and meet increasing patient demands. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are especially equipped to meet the financing criteria of FQHCs.
"This financing partnership is a great concept which should be a model for others. Too often, large banks will not take the risk in lending to FQHCs in rural areas. Capital Impact and Keystone have a least taken the initiative to recognize the problem and say hey here is an option for dealing with the situation," said Nate Voss, managing director of Baker Tilly Capital, LLC, a national accounting firm specializing in FQHC consulting and funding.
About Keystone Healthcare Development Services:
Is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 real estate development company headquartered in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Keystone was created in 2015 to specifically develop, fund, and own medical facilities to house federally qualified health centers in primarily rural America.
The Primary Health Network began as one small community health center and has grown to include over 50 service facilities throughout 16 counties within Pennsylvania and Ohio. We offer comprehensive primary health and subspecialty services and work within your communities and employ a medical staff that consists of over 165+ physicians, dentists, physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals; a support staff of over 600; and reach more than 118,000 people annually through our health and educational services. Learn more at https://primary-health.net/
About Capital Impact Partners
Capital Impact Partners transforms underserved communities into strong, vibrant places of opportunity for people at every stage of life. We deliver strategic financing, incubate new social programs, and provide capacity-building to help ensure that low-to-moderate-income individuals have access to quality health care and education, healthy foods, affordable housing, and the ability to age with dignity. A nonprofit community development financial institution, Capital Impact Partners has disbursed more than $2 billion to revitalize communities over the last 30 years. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., Capital Impact Partners operates nationally, with local offices in Detroit, Mich., and Oakland, Calif. Learn more at www.capitalimpact.org.
SOURCE Capital Impact Partners