Founded in 1975, The Family Health Centers of Georgia, Inc. (FHCGA), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), has a record of nearly fifty years of providing health care access to individuals from low-income families. In 2014, FHCGA was awarded the Title X grant to implement a family planning program throughout the state of Georgia (GA). The GA Title X program, branded as the “Georgia Family Planning System” (GFPS), is the largest and most ambitious effort in the nation to integrate Title X family planning services into primary healthcare centers. To support the successful integration of family planning services into the primary care medical home (PCMH) model, FHCGA has built robust training, technical assistance, and continuous quality improvement systems. GFPS is a diverse network of 28 sub-recipient agencies, including 25 FQHCs, 1 hospital system, and 2 community-based non-profit health centers, providing Title X family planning services at 178 service sites and 7 mobile units serving the entire state. In 2020, the GFPS provided Title X services to 160,837 clients, an increase of 11.3% since 2018 (Title X Family Planning Annual Report [FPAR], FHCGA, 2018, 2020). In 2020, FHCGA launched a mobile health (mHealth) project to improve accessibility of family planning services using mobile phones. From 4/2020 to 3/31/2021, 56.7% (16/28) of GFPS members provided telehealth services, documenting 6,159 telehealth visits in FPAR 2020, 3% of all family planning visits. FHCGA is requesting funding to strengthen the GFPS telehealth infrastructure, creating more equitable opportunities for more clients to benefit from family planning services. The overall goal of the FHCGA telehealth project is to implement an innovative virtual care system that increases access to Title X family planning services for low-income individuals in 26 underserved, outlying Georgia counties. Existing telehealth platforms, including the EHR systems and the mHealth application
already in use by the FQHCs, will be leveraged to increase telehealth visits. Four telehealth provider teams will be deployed in the North, West Central, East Central, and South sections of the state with a focus on engaging populations from rural, outlying counties with low enrollment in GFPS services. In addition to FHCGA, three FQHC members of GFPS who are located in those regions will lead local efforts to expand telehealth services. The Global Partnership for Telehealth (GPT) will be engaged to provide technical assistance and training, assisting project partners in leveraging telehealth technologies to improve access to family planning services for underserved and low resource communities. A compelling outreach and engagement campaign targeting 100,000 residents will be launched with a single statewide phone number linking clients to resources, intake, and appointment setting for synchronous interactions with the dedicated telehealth family planning providers. A Telehealth Workgroup will be organized to help guide and plan the project, including development of a Telehealth Operationalization Plan. Strong training and technical assistance components, including for billing and reimbursement of telehealth visits, will help to sustain the project beyond the one-year project period and support the spread of successful telehealth strategies to other GFPS members in future years. In the one-year project period, FHCGA intends to engage at least 2,000 patients in telehealth family planning services, providing at least 6,000 telehealth encounters. Training and technical assistance will include 31 training opportunities and 36 technical assistance opportunities.