MACHC
Weekly E-Blast:  
Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue
 
For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind.  ~Eleanor Everet 
"Safety First" is "Safety Always."  ~Charles M. Hayes
Better a thousand times careful than once dead.  ~Proverb
Precaution is better than cure.  ~Edward Coke
As soon as you see a mistake and don't fix it, it becomes your mistake.  ~Author Unknown 
Safety is a cheap and effective insurance policy.  ~Author Unknown 
Safety means first aid to the uninjured.  ~Author Unknown
Accidents, and particularly street and highway accidents, do not happen - they are caused.  ~Ernest Greenwood
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.  ~William Shakespeare   
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
    
June 14, 2013 
Community Health Center Spotlight

Walnut Street Community Center Plans Move to Cleveland Avenue.....walnut

Hagerstown, MD, June 6, 2013 - Walnut Street Community Health Center in Hagerstown has purchased property near its current location and within its service area for purposes of relocating to a larger facility.

 

The Center's patient population has increased between 10%-15% annually over the past eight years, with a comparable increase in the number of patient visits. The Center's Board of Directors, in consultation with its executive leaders, concluded that the current building has reached capacity and will not accommodate continued and significant growth. The Board initiated a search for a new location starting in early 2010.

 

"We've gone through several renovations to make use of available space at our current location," stated Kim Murdaugh, Executive Director. "The former Stine building on Cleveland Avenue will provide three times the amount of space we have now, once it's renovated."

 

The Center currently employs approximately 50 medical, support and administrative personnel. Given the projected growth over the next five years, the Center estimates a significant increase in total staff.

 

Walnut Street Community Health Center is the only health facility in Hagerstown recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center, a level of certification that requires rigorous performance measures and provides access to federal and state funding through the public health system. The Center is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers.

 

Walnut Street patients range in age from infant to senior citizen. The Center operates a Family Practice and provides behavioral health services. Its Dental Practice is directed by Dr. Ilaya Rajagopal, one of only three pediatric dentists in Washington County. In addition, its Healthy Smiles in Motion mobile dental unit provides care to students at Head Start centers and selected Washington County public schools.

 

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
Has your Health Center signed up for your Access to Care Regional Forum?
Sign up NOW!
Forum discusses your state's latest on Health Reform and the Marketplace.
 
Delaware:
Host Agency
Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center
1570 North DuPont Highway, Dover, DE, 19901 
Contact: Robin Lawrence at 302-739-2730
Margaret O'Neill Bldg. 410 Federal St., Suite 7, Dover, DE 19901
 
Maryland:
*There is NO registration fee or charge associated with attending the forum, but you are requested to RSVP toaccess.tocare@maryland.gov

Western Maryland (Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, Garrett Counties)
June 18, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Venice (Best Western) Hotel (Ballroom)
431 Dual Highway, Hagerstown MD
 
Washington Metro region (Montgomery, Prince George's Counties)
June 20, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Silver spring Civil Building
One Veterans Place, Silver Spring MD
 
Baltimore Metro region (Baltimore City, Baltimore County)
June 25, 10:00 am to 12 noon
UMBC Tech Center, 1450 S. Rolling Rd, Baltimore MD

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

Ban on Patenting DNA cheers researchers

Researchers hailed the Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that bans the patenting of human DNA, saying it would expand access to genetic testing for disease at lower cost to patients.

In a unanimous decision, the justices said Myriad Genetics did not have exclusive rights to the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes that are linked to significantly greater risk for breast cancer and thus should not be the only company allowed to test for it.

The Obama administration is trying once again to convince Congress to provide more funding for the health law's insurance exchanges, which are set to begin enrollment this October. According to figures released in the fiscal 2014 budget request Wednesday, the administration estimates that the federal government will spend about $4 billion on those federal- and state-run marketplaces for individual and small businesses purchasing insurance coverage.
The availability of employer-sponsored insurance has fallen by about 10% over the past decade, which has spurred an increase in the overall number of Americans without health insurance, according to a report released today. ... The new study found that employer-sponsored coverage dropped from 69% to 60% between 1999 and 2010. The amount each employee paid annually for insurance more than doubled in that period from $435 to $1,056 for an individual and from $1,526 to $3,842 for a family.
The National Association of Community Health Centers has recently released three new briefs on key topics for state policy makers:
  1. Health Insurance Exchanges: Key Issues for Community Health Centers provides analyses of the major policy issues impacting FQHCs for the different types of exchanges.
  2. Medicaid Premium Assistance and Health Insurance Exchanges addresses some of the most common questions that have been raised in two parts: an overview of the different Medicaid eligibility groups and coverage and benefits they are entitled to, and a discussion on how Exchanges will likely interact with Medicaid under the Arkansas proposal, which is being used as the model.
  3. State Fiscal Year 2013 Funding for Community Health Centers: Funding Levels Remain Inadequate Amidst Signs of Leveling Off Cuts shows that 29 states appropriated $287 million for the state fiscal year 2013, a 14% decline from last year
Medicaid Expansion Update
So far, 23 states and DC plan to expand Medicaid in 2014, 19 states will not and 8 states are undecided. Iowa and Tennessee are currently pursuing a similar option as Arkansas with a premium assistance model for expansion using exchange plans for some or all newly eligible. Arizona is making progress with the Senate passing expansion. This follows the map update brought to you on our E-Blast two weeks ago. MACHC hopes to keep you updated on the latest Expansion news.
Capital Link, with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has released its latest publication, "Understanding Hospital Community Benefit Obligations: A Guide for Health Centers." Developed to assist health centers in forming productive collaborations with other providers, this publication describes hospital community benefit requirements and how they can spur community efforts to expand access to care and improve local health outcomes.
State News

A recent report by the not-for-profit United Health Foundation, ranked Delaware 12th in the nation when it comes to indicators including prescription drug coverage, hospitalizations, health outcomes and socioeconomic data.

Among the findings for Delaware:

* Delaware has the highest rate in the nation of dedicated health care providers, with almost 97 percent of seniors reporting they have a doctor or provider.

* 91 percent of seniors in the First State get the recommended health screenings, the third-highest rate in the nation.

* Almost 29 percent of Delawareans aged 65 or older are obese, the fifth-highest rate.

A state panel voted unanimously Wednesday to increase the rates hospitals can charge by 1.65 percent, but the medical institutions say the amount is inadequate and will collectively drive hospitals into the red.

The Maryland Hospital Association said the decision will cause operating margins to plummet to negative 0.24 percent. The association had pushed for a rate hike of 2.43 percent, which would have also pushed down margins, but still left hospitals operating in positive territory.

is just 65 days away - August 11-17! Click hereto access media templates in both English and Spanish. 
  
All health centers are encouraged to post Health Center Week celebration and event details on the website here - the password to post events is: healthy.  While NHCW 2013 is August 11-17, events occurring anytime during the entire month of August are welcome to be posted on the website.
 
 

Invite Your Legislators during NHCW!

NACHC strongly encourages Community Health Centers nationwide to celebrate National Health Center Week (NHCW) in August by holding events, inviting Members of Congress to visit health centers in the districts, and hosting events, such as health fairs, community celebrations, or media events to educate the public about the mission and value of health centers. The theme for this year's NHCW is: Celebrating America's Health Centers: Transforming Health Care in Our Local Communities. 
Visit the National Health Center Week website for information and resources. 
Has your FQHC joined the 
National Branding Campaign?

 

With more than 43 billion people  eligible to enroll in private insurance starting this October 1, FQHCs strive to create an identifiable unifying identity for themselves. This is where the National Branding Campaign for Our Health Centers comes into place. 

The campaign is a national branding effort to strengthen recognition of our Health Centers as a unified and nationwide network of quality community-based primary care providers.  Initially created at the state level by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) and its membership, the National Association of Community Health Centers has expanded the campaign nationwide.

 

Why a National Brand?

The evolving health care environment is ushering in new financing and insurance structures, new marketplace players, and greater opportunities to expand health care access to more medically underserved and uninsured Americans.  It is more important than ever that our unique and cost-effective Health Center model, i.e., Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), is readily identifiable and distinguished from other provider types. 

FQHCs are present in over 9,000 rural and urban communities across America.  They have a successful track record second to none in the delivery of affordable quality care to more than 22 million people.  They play a significant role in lowering health care costs and producing savings for the nation's health care system and the American taxpayer.

 

The FQHC Brand Components  

MACHC recently hosted a Branding Webinar for MD and DE Health Centers with CEO of PACHC, Cheri Reinhart and Event and Communications Coordinator, Kirsten Keyes, as guest speakers. If you missed the webinar and would like access, please click here.

Finance & Business

Some Drug Makers Cut Payments, Meals Provided To Doctors

Two pharmaceutical companies that are among the biggest payers of fees to doctors reduced such spending last year by double-digit percentages, as greater transparency sheds light on the hundreds of millions of dollars the industry pays physicians for marketing and research efforts.
Getting your appendix out can cost between $2,000 and $180,000. Hip replacements run from $10,000 to more than $100,000. Hospitals, we have also learned, frequently mark up the price of cotton swabs and routine X-rays by 300 or 400 percent, with most patients oblivious to the reason their health care bills are so large. As a response to the hidden variability in health care prices, an increasing number of states have passed price transparency legislation. Federal legislators have even introduced several bills into Congress to make health care prices more transparent. Expect more such bills to follow
Affordable Care Act News

 

Getting a Seat at the Table -- Auerbach "learned the hard way" that public health personnel had to fight for a decision-making role in implementing health care reform. They needed a crash course in the basics of insurance, while building an appreciation for the "values, priorities, and incentives" of insurers. They also came to understand the need for hard data to demonstrate some of the "core assumptions" of public health -- for example, that smoking cessation programs would produce short-term reductions in health costs.

Taking a Critical Look at Public Health Work -- Rather than a "circle the wagons" me ntality, Auerbach and colleagues learned they needed to make a "balanced, analytical assessment" of how health care reform would affect public health initiatives. Instead of reacting to program cuts, Auerbach now thinks his department would have been better off performing a comprehensive review of the likely impacts on various programs. "[C]hange was inevitable," he writes. "We were either going to be guiding change or reacting to it."

Defending Traditional Public Health, When Appropriate -- In some cases, public health officials needed to make a stand in defense of traditional public health services. Auerbach cites the key example of childhood vaccination programs -- planned cuts in state funding would have dealt a major setback to statewide success. It took months of negotiations with the legislature and insurers to come up with a "creative alternative" to across-the-board cuts.

Watching for Chances to Contribute -- By "trial and error," Auerbach and colleagues identified a few important opportunities for public health to contribute to the success of health care reform. These included efforts to help reduce health care costs while documenting improved health outcomes. In hindsight, Auerbach believes this should have been a higher priority -- perhaps coordinated by national public health organizations.

Envisioning a Better Model -- Over time, the emphasis of health care reform in Massachusetts shifted from expanding access to controlling costs and improving the quality of health care. As they gained familiarity with the insurance industry, the public health community became "better prepared to conceptualize new models for linking population health with reimbursable clinical care." Auerbach outlines some programs included in the state's updated global payment model, developed with public health input.

While there's still a "very steep learning curve," Auerbach says, "Health care reform is working in our state [with] continual involvement of public health officials and practitioners in the process." He hopes the lessons learned in Massachusetts will be of value as the ACA becomes implemented nationwide -- particularly in ensuring that the essential public health mission continues to survive and thrive in a changing health care environment.

Grants & Funding Opportunities

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.

 

Smiles Across America Grant & Webinar  

Application Deadline: July 1, 2013 
A unique funding opportunity from Smiles Across America is designed to help support local, community based oral health preventive services programs in expanding their programmatic capacity and the number of children served. Grant award amounts for this grant cycle will range from $3,000 - $20,000. 

 

Faculty Loan Repayment Program
Application Deadline: June 27, 2013 by 7:30 pm EDT
Up to $40,000 per eligible individual to support health profession educator education for a two-year service commitment, with opportunity for one additional contract with an additional two-year service commitment. The program requires a funding match from the applicant's health professions school.
 

 

 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.

June is National Safety Month! 
Each June, the National Safety Council encourages organizations to get involved and participate in National Safety Month. NSM is an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.

 

This year's theme, "Safety Starts with Me," was inspired by the pillar of Leadership and Employee Engagement from the Journey to Safety Excellence.Successful organizations engage everyone in safety and create a culture where people feel a personal responsibility not only for their own safety, but for that of their coworkers, family and friends. While leadership from the top is important, creating a culture where there is a sense of ownership of safety by all, makes everyone in the organization a safety leader. 

Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers | | aneeqa@machc.com |
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