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September 2015
In This Issue:
Health Center Profiles in the Field 
ACU, through the new STAR2 Center, has developed and delivered unique workforce profiles to all 1,300 federally qualified health centers as part of our national cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Primary Health Care. The profiles include both national and local data relating to each health center's workforce recruitment and retention activities, with flags on data points that may warrant further attention. 
If you are an FQHC and have not received your STARCenter profile, please contact Allison Abayasekara at aabayasekara@clinicians.org
ACU will be using the profiles to both tailor and target technical assistance and training on the highest priority issues and centers across the country. We are very excited about the project and the STARCenter website already contains over one hundred resource documents and self-assessment tools that any organization can use.

New Journal Edition!


The  August edition of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved is now available online! It contains  over 30 different articles, reports, original papers and commentaries within four different themes: Medical Education, Children, Interventions and the Voices of People in Care, and Epidemiology. The edition starts out with two powerful papers on Medical Education; the first focusing on the performance of African American medical students, and the second article focusing on the performance of premedical post-baccalaureate programs designed to promote access and diversity.

In addition, we are seeking abstracts for our next ACU Column. If you are interested in publishing an article in the Journal on a key topic for the underserved, please send a short description to ckennedy@clinicians.org. We'd love to publish your work!  

Clinical News & Resources
Ready or not, the U.S. healthcare industry is poised to flip the switch from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural coding system on Oct. 1, significantly changing how billions of dollars in medical claims are calculated and billed every day. Experts predict most large hospitals and health systems and most large physician groups will weather the federally required conversion just fine, though they could experience temporary cash-flow squeezes because of ICD-10-related payment delays. The organizations most likely to have trouble, however, are smaller providers, particularly smaller physician practices. (Modern Healthcare)

When clinicians work with symptoms of infection, they can put patients and colleagues at risk. ... [In a survey] ... in a large children's hospital in Philadelphia. ... 446 respondents (83.1%) reported working sick at least 1 time in the past year, and 50 (9.3%) reported working while sick at least 5 times. Respondents would work with significant symptoms, including diarrhea (161 [30.0%]), fever (86 [16.0%]), and acute onset of significant respiratory symptoms (299 [55.6%]). ... Reasons deemed important in deciding to work while sick included not wanting to let colleagues down (521 [98.7%]), staffing concerns (505 [94.9%]), not wanting to let patients down (494 [92.5%]), fear of ostracism by colleagues (342 [64.0%]), and concern about continuity of care (337 [63.8%]). (JAMA Pediatrics)

About half of all Americans have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to a new report. And experts in the field say that's good news. That's because the study finds that after two decades of linear growth, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States has finally started to plateau. In a paper published Tuesday in JAMA, the authors write that their findings are consistent with other studies that show the percentage of people with diagnosed diabetes remained steady from 2008 to 2012. (Los Angeles Times)
We used data on more than 1.5 million Medicaid enrollees to examine the impact of changes in prescription drug use on medical costs. For three distinct groups of enrollees, we estimated the effects of aggregate prescription drug use-and, more specifically, the use of medications to treat eight chronic noncommunicable diseases-on total nondrug, inpatient, outpatient, and other Medicaid spending. We found that a 1 percent increase in overall prescription drug use was associated with decreases in total nondrug Medicaid costs by 0.108 percent for blind or disabled adults, 0.167 percent for other adults, and 0.041 percent for children. Reductions in combined inpatient and outpatient spending from increased drug utilization in Medicaid were similar to an estimate for Medicare by the Congressional Budget Office. (Health Affairs)
Over the past several years, large and wealthy hospital systems have been investing in technology and dedicated staff to meet the goals of the Affordable Care Act and better coordinate patient care among different healthcare and social-service providers. But for hospitals that serve largely low-income residents, it can be difficult to pay for the programs to attain this level of coordination. A training program called the New Jersey Innovation Catalyst Initiative and funded by the Nicholson Foundation, aims to close the gap between wealthier providers and those that serve as a safety net for patients who are uninsured or receive Medicaid. (NJ Spotlight)

Policy Update
Federal regulators announced a new plan Tuesday to make health care for minority and poor senior citizens more equitable, a challenge that persists 30 years after the Department of Health and Human Services issued a powerful report on the problem. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first plan to address health equity in the mammoth Medicare program. The "equity plan" focuses on six priority areas, including increasing the ability of health care workers to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. (USA Today)

A change in government procedures has led to a big jump in people losing coverage under the Obama health care law because of immigration and citizenship issues. More than 400,000 had their insurance canceled, nearly four times as many as last year. The Obama administration says it is following the letter of the law, and this year that means a shorter time frame for resolving immigration and citizenship issues. But advocates say the administration's system for verifying eligibility is seriously flawed, and consumers who are legally entitled to benefits are paying the price. (Associated Press)
About 9.9 million people have signed up and paid for health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, the administration said Tuesday, a slight dip from a previous count but on track toward the administration's year-end goal of 9.1 million. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that 84 percent of those, or more than 8.3 million, were receiving tax subsidies to help with the cost. A Supreme Court decision earlier this summer upheld insurance subsidies in all 50 states, a major victory for the White House. (AP)

Doctors and patients haven't discussed the cost of medical care. But that conversation is becoming vital, and medical schools are trying to teach their students how to think - and talk - about cost. (Kaiser Health News)
Today, Xavier's campus is mostly wedged between a canal and the Pontchartrain Expressway in Gert Town, a neighborhood in the western part of New Orleans. It has some 3,000 students and consistently produces more black students who apply to and then graduate from medical school than any other institution in the country. More than big state schools like Michigan or Florida. More than elite Ivies like Harvard and Yale. Xavier is also first in the nation in graduating black students with bachelor's degrees in biology and physics. It is among the top four institutions graduating black pharmacists. It is third in the nation in black graduates who go on to earn doctorates in science and engineering. (The New York Times Magazine)

NHSC Program Update
Add a description
Applications are being accepted until October 22nd for the 2016 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program, which provides fourth-year medical students up to $120,000 in tax-free loan repayment in return for three years of full-time service in underserved areas.

On Thursday, September 17th from 7-8 pm ET, the NHSC will hold a technical assistance webinar to answer questions about the application process, program eligibility and service commitment. Dial-in number: 1-888-566-6151, passcode 4221465.



You can also apply for one of the 9,991 Jobs from 1,113 Employers hiring today in the ACU Career Center, including these:


There are many opportunities for primary care providers in Oregon, Texas, Washington and more. Search the ACU Career Center today.

Conferences & Webinars
ACU supports the health care workforce by providing opportunities for continued professional development and interaction with other health professionals committed to the underserved.
For Scholarships and fellowships - click here
For Archived programs - click here

Sustainable Funding for Asthma-Related Home Interventions
Sponsored by the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
Tuesday, September 15th, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (EDT)
Who's Leading the Leading Health Indicators?: Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
Sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (Healthy People 2020)
Thursday, September 17th, Noon - 1:00 p.m. (EDT) - webinar
Health Professional's Access to Workforce Integration Act
Sponsored by the American Public Health Association
Thursday, September 17th, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. 
2103 Rayburn House Office Building
Advancing the Science to Improve Population Health
Sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences
Wednesday, September 30th, 8:15 a.m. (meeting/webinar)
The National Academy of Sciences Building - 2101 Constitution Ave, N
Unite to Face Addiction Rally
Sponsored by Facing Addiction, Inc.
Sunday, October 4th
National Mall, Washington, DC
Opening Congregational Doors to Community Clinics
Sponsored by Let's Move Faith and Communities
Wednesday, October 7th, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. (EDT) - webinar
Pathways Into Health 8th National Conference:
Achieving Excellence, Harmony, and Balance: Uniting and Sustaining Pathways into Health Professions
October 12th -14th (October 11th Welcome Reception)
Hotel Deca, Seattle, WA
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Annual Health Care Summit: 
Optimizing the Next Generation of Health Care
Tuesday, October 20th, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Washington, DC
National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention: 2015 Annual Meeting
Wednesday, October 21st, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kaiser Family Foundation's Barbara Jordan Conference Center
Equity 2015:  The National Summit
Sponsored by PolicyLink 
October 27th - 29th
Los Angeles, CA 
National Summit on Health Equity
Sponsored by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Tuesday, November 10th, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sheraton Westport Plaza
St. Louis, MO