MACHC
Weekly E-Blast:  
Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue
 
 
Have news to share with us? Want to be featured on our next E-Digest? Want to read about something in particular? Please email us at aneeqa@machc.com. 

Let's Stay Connected
    
May 31, 2013 
CHC Spotlight
MACHC extends our gratitude to our member FQHC, Henreitta Johnson Medical Center located in Wilmington, DE for hosting the informational Finance and Payment Workgroup. We had the pleasure of having National Association of Community Health Center's (NACHC) Monica Powell-Gerald, Director of Innovative Care Networks discuss what is happening nationally with respect to Qualified Health Plans as we prepare our frontline staff for the new era of Health Reform.

We are so proud of our member CHCs and all your accomplishments!
Want your Health Center featured on our next E-Digest? Have any special events or announcements coming up? You could be next! Please contact Aneeqa Chowdhury at aneeqa@machc.com to be placed in the SPOTLIGHT!
MACHC Happenings
When: Thursday, June 13th OR Friday, June 14th, 2013

Due to the changing landscape of healthcare, particularly the implementation of Health Care Reform, the focus of this year's cultural competency training is on cultural and linguistical barriers to accessing care. The training will provide new techniques in addressing cultural and linguistic barriers to care with an emphasis on the fundamental elements of Cultural Competency for Health Care Professionals and will assist participants in providing more culturally sensitive services in a health care setting.  

When: Wednesday, June 15, 2013 - 12pm
  • Provide an overview of the relationship-centered care model and its importance in all patient interactions
  • Identify skills and tools for use in building relationships in interactions with patients and caregivers
  • Establish a standard office communication framework to encourage and improve patient motivation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has scheduled several webinar trainings on the health insurance Marketplace for partners and stakeholders. The Level 1 webinar offers a one-hour high-level overview of the accomplishments of the Affordable Care Act and a basic introduction to the Marketplace, highlighting who is eligible and how the Marketplace will work. The Level 2 webinar offers a two-hour detailed review of the Marketplace, including eligibility, enrollment, plan structure, Medicaid expansion, and the streamlined application. Registration is required.

SAVE THE DATE for the MACHC Annual Conference 

When: September 19-20, 2013

Where: Turf Valley Conference Center in Ellicott City, MD

*Registration details to come in the coming weeks!*  

Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News
Despite efforts to get health care spending under control, hospitals are still racing to build expensive new technology -- even when the devices don't necessarily work better than the cheaper kind. Case in point: proton beam therapy, a high-tech radiation treatment for cancer. 

Washington, D.C., is on the verge of approving two proton treatment facilities at a total cost of $153 million. They would be built and owned by the two dominant hospital systems in the region: Johns Hopkins Medicine and MedStar Health. At the same time, the Maryland Proton Treatment Center is already under construction in Baltimore, 40 miles away.

 

Hopkins and MedStar have been pleading their cases before a local health department agency that grants hospitals the right to build new buildings and services. Both health systems argue that the nearest proton therapy centers are too far away for Washington residents to use.
As Congress mulls changing America's border and naturalization rules, a study finds that immigrant workers are helping buttress Medicare's finances, because they contribute tens of billions a year more than immigrant retirees use in medical services.
 
Policies that reduce immigration would almost certainly weaken Medicare's financial health, while an increasing flow of immigrants might bolster its sustainability. 
The idea that uneven Medicare health care spending around the country is due to wasteful practices and overtreatment-a concept that influenced the federal health law -- takes another hit in a study published Tuesday.

The paper concludes that health differences around the country explain between 75 percent and 85 percent of the cost variations.  
The new study comes as advisers to the government consider whether regional differences are a useful tool to reduce health spending. 
According to a new RAND Corporation study, a little over three million young adults have taken advantage of health care benefits afforded to them by Affordable Care Act regulations, resulting in a total of $147 million in new hospital bills charged to private insurance companies in 2011.
During the American Academy of Physician Assistants' 41st Annual Conference, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recognized the importance of physician assistants in ensuring health care access to the country's underserved populations. She stated that "... PAs are an incredible lifeline to patients who might not have regular access to other healthcare providers. So it's vital to do everything we can to bolster the work done by PAs." 
In order to resolve the ill-defined Medicare payment issues, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has submitted a bill proposing to eliminate the sustainable growth rate formula, while at the same time introducing new incentives rewarding quality rather than quantity of care delivered. 
State News
DE and Health Reform

In partnership with Moveable Feast, which preps and delivers the food, low-income diabetics can receive three nutritious meals in their homes every day for as little as $1 per meal. Feeding the People has served more than 8,000 home-delivered meals since 2008. It also just hired a certified diabetic educator on staff who can provide free in-home education. 

 

ACA: Medicaid Expansion

*In January 2014, Delaware will widen eligibility up to 138% of the federal poverty level ($15,415 for an individual; $31,809 for a family of four).
*State expects to cover anadditional 20,000 to 30,000 Delawareans.

Delaware's Workforce Needs

*Delaware's aging population, health care reform, and additional insured clients under Medicaid expansion and health benefit exchange will increase demands on health professionals.
*To deal with shortage: Encourage nurse practitioners to practice to top of licenses, using prescriptive authority.
*Electronic medical records: As of July, 95% of providers enrolled in the DHIN.

 

Finance & Business

Medicare Now Charging Provider Fees

Section 6401(a) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to impose a fee on each "institutional provider of medical or other items or services and suppliers." The Medicare application fee is to be used to cover the cost of program integrity efforts including the cost of screening associated with provider enrollment processes. The application fee is currently $532 for CY2013, however, based upon provisions of the ACA, will vary from year-to-year. The application fee is to be imposed on providers, including Community Health Centers    and Rural Health Clinics, that are newly-enrolling, re-enrolling/re-validating, or adding a new practice location.

"We have reached a tipping point in adoption of electronic health records," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and they "are critical to modernizing our health care system."

 

More than half of doctors' offices and 80% of hospitals that provide Medicare or Medicaid will have electronic health records by the end of the year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced.

 

The announcement comes as a key part of the 2010 health care law: Doctors with data can better track errors and prevent future problems. The government can track organizations for quality, as the law requires. Electronic records allow each of a patient's doctors to see what tests have been performed and what medications have been administered, which could stop duplicated prescriptions and procedures and bad drug interactions. 

British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC plans to spend about $260 million on Omthera Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty drug developer with a potential treatment for patients who have high levels of fats called triglycerides in their blood.

 

AstraZeneca said Tuesday it will pay $12.70 for each share of Omthera, which priced an initial public offering last month at $8 per share. AstraZeneca's price represents an 87 percent premium compared to the stock's closing price Friday of $6.77.

Affordable Care Act News

The ObamaCare Medicaid Reforms

The ObamaCare Medicaid reforms were meant to expand coverage to up to 21.3 million of our nations poorest. The law had said, prior to the supreme court hearing, that very low-income individuals (those under the 133% FLP line) including adults without dependent children. Even though Medicaid is a federal and state joint program the funding for low income individuals was covered 93% over the next decade by the federal government using tax payer money.

Medicaid Expansion Means, in all States, Individuals with annual incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty line -- currently, $14,856 or less -- are able to enroll. Right now eligibility differs from State to State.

If a state refused to expand coverage then it would lose all of it's Medicaid funds, this was meant as a protection to ensure that states supported their poorest equally. However the NFIB repeal ObamaCare effort worked to some extent and now states are no longer required to insure their poorest under ObamaCare, yet they can still receive the full federal funding for their Medicaid program.

States can now opt out of Medicaid for it's poorest without losing any federal funding.

Grants & Funding Opportunities

HRSA Health Center Outreach & Enrollment Assistance (HRSA-13-279)

Application Deadline: May 31, 2013  

New funding to help more uninsured Americans enroll in new health insurance coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act. Approximately $150 million to help Community Health Centers  provide in-person enrollment assistance to uninsured individuals across the nation. With these new funds, health centers will be able to hire new staff, train existing staff, and conduct community outreach events and other educational activities. Health centers will help consumers understand their coverage options, determine their eligibility and enroll in new affordable health insurance options. Community health center staff will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, qualified health plans, and Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

 

 

 CMS Round 2 Innovation Awards

Application Deadline:  Letter of Intent by June 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm EDT; applications by August 15, 2013 3:00 pm EDT 

CMS will spend up to $1 billion for awards and evaluation of projects from across the country that test new payment and service delivery models that will deliver better care and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees. The second round of the Health Care Innovation Awards will support public and private organizations in four defined areas that have a high likelihood of driving health care system transformation and delivering better outcomes. Specifically, in this second round, CMS is seeking proposals in the following categories:

  • Models that are designed to rapidly reduce Medicare, Medicaid, and/or CHIP costs in outpatient and/or post-acute settings.
  • Models that improve care for populations with specialized needs.
  • Models that test approaches for specific types of providers to transform their financial and clinical models.
  • Models that improve the health of populations - defined geographically (health of a community), clinically (health of those with specific diseases), or by socioeconomic class - through activities focused on engaging beneficiaries, prevention (for example, a diabetes prevention program or a hypertension prevention program), wellness, and comprehensive care that extend beyond the clinical service delivery setting.

Bottom of Form

All applicants must submit, as part of their application, the design of a payment model that is consistent with the new service delivery model that they propose.

 

 

 Application Deadline: June 30, 2013  
The purpose of the 340B Peer-to-Peer Network is to connect 340B entities and stakeholders with high performing sites, called leading practice sites that have exemplary 340B pharmacy service offerings. These sites serve as guides to help covered entities strengthen their 340B programs from inventory management to quality care initiatives. Sites that receive the status of a 340B Peer-to-Peer recognized site will be asked to dedicate two members of their team to share their expertise and leading practices - for a limited amount of time per month - with other safety-net organizations to help these organizations achieve results and establish sound business practices. Selected entities will receive:
  • A participation plaque
  • Acknowledgement in publications
  • Membership in APhA for three leadership team members
  • Peer-to-Peer annual stipends of $10,000/year
  • Financial support for select conference attendance to represent 340B stakeholders

 

 Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Implementation Funds Program 

Application Deadline: July 31, 2013

Awards for $5,000 - $12,000 to support pediatricians in the initial and/or pilot stage of implementing community-based child health projects related to medical home access, health services to uninsured/underinsured, secondhand smoke exposure, immunization programs, and Native American child health.  
 

 

Application Deadline: July 31, 2013  
Planning grants for pediatricians to develop innovative, community-based initiatives that increase children's access to medical homes or to specific health services not otherwise available.

 

 

 

Scholarships
As part of our commitment to build a stronger, more empowered workforce, the National Council has partnered with USC to offer a $2,500 scholarship ($1,250 for advanced standing) for your employees when they enroll in the MSW@USC program in 2013.

Program Start Date                                                       Application Deadline
August 7, 2013                                                                June 25, 2013
September 3, 2013                                                         July 22, 2013
September 3, 2013 - Advanced Standing                   July 1, 2013

Your employees can request more information by clicking here. They should mention their National Council membership to admissions counselors to qualify for the scholarship. 

You can also sign up here to request a special onsite or virtual information session just for your staff.

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day! 

Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners everywhere mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.

 

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2013 is: ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

 

A comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship is required under the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) for all Parties to this treaty within five years of the entry into force of the Convention for that Party. Evidence shows that comprehensive advertising bans lead to reductions in the numbers of people starting and continuing smoking. Statistics show that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand and thus a tobacco control "best buy".

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