The Drexel University School of Public Health (Drexel) conducted a Needs Assessment of the forty-three non-profit, private community health center sites that comprise the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation's Blue Safety Net Program. The IBC Foundation sought this Needs Assessment to better understand the impact of the program and to reengineer its Blue Safety Net grant program to address the needs of these community health centers following implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with the complementary aims of improving integration and coordination among health care safety net providers, assuring healthcare quality and efficiency, assisting centers with achieving sustainability, and assuring sound stewardship of Foundation funds. In conducting this assessment, Drexel sought to answer five overarching questions about the Blue Safety Net Program:
1. How is funding currently used, and reimbursement structured, to meet the needs of individual grantee's safety net population?2. What is the role of Health Information Technology (electronic health records andparticipation in Health Information Exchange—HIE networks) in the operations of the Blue Safety Net grantees and how might that change in the future?3. What are the implications of the Affordable Care Act and potential Pennsylvania Medicaid expansion on the Blue Safety Net grantees?4. If IBC made additional funds available, how would grantees use those dollars to enhance the work that they do?5. What could the IBC Foundation do differently—or additionally—in the administration and organization of the Blue Safety Net program to maximize its investment in the safety net?