Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation and New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute Partner to Build New Jersey's Safety Net
Might primary care centers directed by nurse practitioners meet the need for higher quality, more comprehensive, and lower cost healthcare in underserved communities in New Jersey? Two feasibility studies conducted by the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation and the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute over the last year assessed the health services needed in Trenton and Newark, New Jersey. Through a grant funded by The Nicholson Foundation, the goal of the project was to lay the groundwork for the delivery of NP- directed and operated primary care services. The grant supported an in-depth feasibility study of each city and a Toolkit for New Jersey Communities* that serves as a guide to assess the feasibility of NP led/owned practices in underserved communities in New Jersey that are considering this model of care.
Even before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the expected influx of an additional 600,000 uninsured individuals, New Jersey was facing substantial challenges in meeting primary care needs in the state. In particular, Newark and Trenton are both listed on the New Jersey Medically Underserved Index, and have major unmet needs. For example, underserved African American and Hispanic populations in these cities have significant health disparities in the areas of early cancer detection, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma. In Newark, African American child-bearing women have higher rates of low birth weight infants and a higher infant mortality rate than Whites. Newark and Trenton rank in the top 10 cities in New Jersey with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS; in Newark 1 in 32 African Americans are living with HIV/AIDS. This is only a snapshot of the primary care needs in these cities- the health needs are daunting.
The grant, Health Centers in Trenton and Newark, assessed the feasibility of establishing new nurse practitioner (NP) health centers in Newark and Trenton. The goal of the project was to lay the groundwork for the delivery of NP directed and operated primary care services in Newark and Trenton that are higher quality, more comprehensive, and lower cost than are otherwise available. The grant supported an in-depth Feasibility Study of each city and a Toolkit for New Jersey Communities.*
The Feasibility Studies include:
1. An assessment of each community and services needed
2. An examination of financial models for such practices, including potential partners for each clinical site
3. Identification of practice management services that address financial stability while emphasizing the triple aim and value- based care
4. An assessment of sustainability factors
This Project creates an unprecedented opportunity to establish and sustain a new care delivery model that is patient centric, focused on wellness and prevention, and gives significant attention to chronic care management as well as care coordination. It provides the foundation for care that is more accessible and valued because of its focus on an enhanced provider-patient relationship.
These studies provide the foundation for NP led practices that will enhance and expand the safety net for patients across the state. Further, the sustainability plan provides information for how other centers can meet the business and financial requirements of the practices, thus providing operational guidance that benefits NP practices throughout NJ.
* Toolkit for New Jersey Communities (1.3 MB)
Newark Feasibility Study Executive Summary
Newark Feasibility Complete Report (2.3 MB)
Trenton Feasibility Study Executive Summary
Trenton Feasibility Complete Report (3.6 MB)