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August 23, 2013 
Community Health Center Spotlight

Annual Health Fair Marks National Health Center Week at Walnut Street CHC


Walnut Street Community Health Center's annual health fair on Saturday, August 3, saw children and adults enjoying jump rope and hula hoop demonstrations, free health screenings, and free food distribution courtesy of the Maryland Food Bank. The Healthy Groove mobile unit, operated by Maryland Physicians Care, offered healthy tasting and cooking demonstrations and interactive games and fitness activities. And UnitedHealthcare's Dr. Health E. Hound was on hand to greet children and adults alike.
Congratulations on all your successful National Health Center Week Events! 
But wait, there are still more events in the horizon....
Walnut Street will also host a roundtable with NACHC on August 28th starting at 11:30 am.
The day will include free health screenings, food distribution courtesy of the Maryland Food Bank, and representatives from 25 local and state social service agencies and organizations on site to answer questions and provide information. Children's activities, fitness demonstrations and free prize drawings will make the day a festive event. T-shirts decorated by children who attend the Health Fair will be displayed during National Health Center Week.

 Greater Baden Capital Heights will have a roundtable discussion with NACHC with the presence of Lt. Governor Brown. This event will take place on August 23rd from 1 pm - 3 pm.
Baltimore Medical Systems' Highlandtown location will host Governor O'Malley as well as state and local health officials will come to announce Maryland's latest infant mortality data, and to discuss progress made in addressing this public health issue.  The visit will be at 10:00 AM on Thursday, August 29 and will go for about an hour.


We will continue to highlight and support all the wonderful achievements of Health Centers! 
You could be next! Please contact Aneeqa Chowdhury at to be placed on the SPOTLIGHT!
MACHC Happenings

Negotiate Managed Care Contracts

Did you know that many managed care contracts:

  • Contain provisions which permit managed care organizations (MCOs) to pass any fines imposed on them by state and federal agencies to providers?
  • Recoup payments through off-set so that they are rarely noticed?
  • Bar health centers from waiving patient cost-sharing amounts?
For more on these and other managed care contract issues, register for one or more of NACHC's Managed Care Contracting series webinars. Click here.


Did you miss HRSA's Outreach and Enrollment meeting? 

Don't worry...

We have the recording and presentation of slides for you.

  • HRSA: FY2013 Health Center Outreach and Enrollment Call
    Summary- This call covered training and certification requirements for all health center grantees and look-alikes with outreach and enrollment programs. The discussion covered the different certifications available, how they apply to health centers, and where to go for help. This call is for health centers across all Marketplace types.
    - Presentation slides are HERE.
    - An audio replay from the call can found HERE.
    The presentation emphasizes for health centers to apply to be Certified Application Counselor (CAC) certified. This is discussed in detail during the call so please listen to the audio recording and follow the slides. You can find the Certified Application Counselor Organization application here. Applications are expected to be turned in by August 31st.



ACA Outreach and Enrollment Strategies and how your health center can brand itself in light of ACA.

Guest Speaker: Danielle Davis and Leslie Lyles Smith from Maryland Exchange 

The presentation will include an overview of the statewide outreach and communications campaign scheduled to launch in August 2013 that will raise awareness of the new health coverage options available through the Affordable Care Act. Specific tools and resources available through Maryland Health Connection for community-based organizations and stakeholders will be shared. 

Date: Wednesday, August 28th 12 pm -1 pm



ACA: The National Perspective

Guest Speaker: Shawn Frick, National Association of Community Health Centers

The Affordable Care Act continues to dominate the headlines as Community Health Centers near implementation.  While some states such as Maryland have a better defined path to January 2014, most states are struggling with many unanswered questions.  All states, however, should be aware of the strategic moves your health center should be considering at the local, regional or statewide level to protect the best interests of your business and your patients.  This webinar will examine what Community Health Centers can anticipate moving forward relative to federal funding and ACA implementation as well as strategies other states are using to place their health centers in the best strategic position as today's health care delivery systems continue to evolve. 

Date: Thursday, September 5,  10 am - 11 am

Register HERE.


Has your Health Center been attending the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) monthly calls and Regional Meetings?! 
Attending HPP Meetings will not only keep you and your health center on top of the latest Emergency Preparedness requirements and news, but there are other great incentives for those health centers who attend!
For a list of other EP events, please visit this url.



Registration is Now Open!!! 

MACHC's 31st Annual  Meeting & Conference   "Strategic Perspectives on Reform, Innovation and Accountability"  September 19th & 20th, 2013
Turf Valley Conference Center
Ellicott City, MD 


Join us at MACHC's 31st Annual Meeting & Conference, where you will receive the latest information on all areas relevant to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. There will be much to learn for individuals of all positions, including but not limited to: CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Site Administrators, and Board Members of your health center!    

The full implementation of the Affordable Care Act by the Obama Administration is already underway. Health Care Reform is now the law of the land. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is perhaps the most revolutionary health reform breakthrough to occur in the healthcare sector since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.  


Community Health Centers are being challenged to combine efficiency and innovation in order to deliver quality health care in an increasingly competitive environment. However, there remains much speculation and uncertainties about what the ACA will do this fall.

Join us at MACHC's 31st Annual Conference where we will discuss some of the hottest subjects surrounding the ACA:

  • Best practices on how to market your Health Center and the FQHC brand
  • How to conduct an Organizational Readiness Assessment  
  • Maryland and Delaware from each State's perspective in readiness for ACA implementation 
  • Preparing for the new complexities in billing in order to receive maximum compensation
  • The importance of board member preparation and participation in the new healthcare paradigm 

 Click here to register! 

Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News
Did you know?
More Hospitals Use Social Media to Gather Feedback from Patients' Families The efforts are part of a larger movement to engage patients and families in care and enhance the hospital experience. The federal Medicare program is basing some hospital payments on patient satisfaction surveys, including questions about how responsive a hospital is to concerns. Similar surveys are being developed for pediatric hospitals. 
Is your Health Center using Social Media for outreach or to connect with folks?

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "The health care overhaul requires every state and the District of Columbia to establish a Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP exchange, to enable businesses with 50 or fewer workers to offer health insurance to their employees. These exchanges will function much like the online marketplaces for individual coverage that will open this fall, but with some key differences

Approximately, 27 percent of young adults said they were aware of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges that are launching Oct. 1, a survey released Wednesday showed. Furthermore, those most likely to benefit from the ACA's exchanges and expanded coverage are the least likely to be aware of the exchanges, the liberal Commonwealth Fund said in the survey "Covering Young Adults Under the Affordable Care Act." Just 19 percent of young adults who were uninsured in the last year and 18 percent of low-income adults were aware of the exchanges -- or marketplaces, as they are sometimes called -- according to the survey.
The "young invincibles" are what health policy wonks call healthy young adults (18-30) who don't see being uninsured as a problem. But it is a problem, at least for the success of the Affordable Care Act. That's why the Department of Health and Human Services is spending $30,000 on prizes for a national video contest, in a frank appeal to the YouTube generation

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a toolkit for community conversations around mental health. This toolkit includes three components: an Information Brief, which provides data and other facts about promoting mental health, preventing mental illness, and how to promote awareness, early identification, access to treatment, crisis response, and recovery supports; a Discussion Guide, which can be used  to help guide participants and facilitators through a one-day community conversation; and a Planning Guide, which provides tools to plan for those discussions.
KHN's Julie Appleby was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal Monday morning taking questions about the latest Obamacare implementation delay - this one delaying a provision of the law that limits some consumers' out-of-pocket expenses for one year. Watch the video HERE. 
Catchy jingles? Splashy videos? Multi-million-dollar public education campaigns? For the 16 states and the District of Columbia that have opted to run their own online health insurance marketplaces, these are among the tools being used to make sure residents know the exchanges will be open for business Oct. 1. ... Here's an alphabetical list of state exchanges and a sampling of their strategies, ranging from clever advertising to unique health exchange names. CLICK HERE for the list of names. Shoutout to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange!!!!!!!!!!!!


Health insurance agents, feeling threatened by the Affordable Care Act, will welcome research from the University of Minnesota that supports their longstanding argument that agents and brokers make insurance shopping easier and cheaper

State News

The state's three federally qualified health centers - Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, Westside Family Healthcare and La Red Health Center - are expecting an influx of patients newly insured under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Open enrollment for the new insurance marketplace begins Oct. 1 and Medicaid expansion takes effect Jan. 1.

"We expect to see [4,000] to 5,000 more patients in our service area," said Rosa Rivera, CEO of Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, which operates clinics on Wilmington's Eastside and Southbridge neighborhoods.


Delaware Health Care Commission gets update on plans to implement health care reform

Delawareans will soon be bombarded with the new health insurance exchange information being set up under the federal health care reform law.

Delaware's Health Care Commission on Wednesday announced a mass media campaign to educate the public about the exchange. It will include advertisements on radio, on network and cable television and in newspapers.


Premature newborns who once could have been nurtured on Delmarva will now have to be transferred to better-equipped hospitals in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center officials announced they are downgrading services in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit from Level 3A to 2B.

The change means doctors and nurses will no longer be allowed to care for children who are below 3.3 pounds or are born before the 32nd week into the pregnancy.

Hospital officials expect the lower level of service to affect about 35 of the 2,000 babies born annually at PRMC.



Hopkins' researchers are in a holding pattern, unsure whether there will be funds for projects come fall, and young researchers hoping for small pilot grants to launch careers face long odds. The funding problem also could affect researchers at the University of MarylandCoppin State and Morgan State, as they compete for a share of a National Institutes of Health program worth tens of millions of dollars. 

Finance & Business
For many states with a mild climate, farm work is a year-round business like California, and come 2015, the Affordable Care Act will require farm labor contractors to offer health insurance to field workers for the first time.
The Patient-Centered Primary Care  Collaborative has released an updated Summary of Medical Home Cost & Quality Results: 2010-2013.  It provides an overview of evidence and results from medical home demonstrations taking place throughout the U.S. and reinforces the medical home's direct and tangible effects on quality, outcomes, and cost.


The Latest News on ACA
What's the LATEST 
on the ACA this week?

Navigator and Assistor Training

Schedule for Maryland has now been released!!!!

Please find the PDF version of the Assistor schedule HERE and the Navigator schedule HERE. Make sure to save the date for the trainings. The registration information has not been released; however, the registration for the trainings as well as the Navigator and Assistor Applications will be available on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange website VERY SOON. Keep an eye out for these to be posted on the website soon and we will provide an update on the status on next week's E-Blast.

More Health Insurance Marketplace Resources Released

On the Marketplace website, you can now: 

  • Create a Personal Account.  The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has added a new feature to that allows people to create a personal account - including a username and password - which is the first step to enrollment in new coverage options in the Marketplace
  • Visit the SHOP Marketplace. A call center, 1-800-706-7893, specifically to serve small businesses interested in the SHOP Marketplace has also been launched to help small businesses get information to make the best decisions for their employees.  The SHOP Marketplace Call Center is open Monday - Friday from 9 am - 5 pm and hours will expand after October 1, with customer service representatives available to help in English and Spanish
  • Register as a Certified Application Assister Organization. Applications are now being accepted from organizations interested in providing in-person assistance to consumers that want to enroll in the Marketplace
  • Get Training Resources.  Some training resources are now available for those who will serve consumers in person during open enrollment.
  • Become a Champion for Coverage. Initiative launched this week for organizations that want to help spread the word to people about the Marketplace.   

Why Obamacare Is Good For Young People

The key is that not everyone uses their health insurance at the same time, or with the same frequency. Sick people use it more than healthy people. The elderly use it more than the young. Women use it more than men. The trick to making any health-insurance system work is to attract enough healthy and young people into the insurance pool. Their low costs offset the care provided to elderly and unhealthy people, who drive costs up. This is the task that obsesses the Obama administration. It's also the task that has begun to obsess its opponents.  



Obamacare's Success

Three states could have an outsize role in the success - or failure - of Obamacare. California, Florida and Texas are home to more than one-third of the nation's 46 million uninsured people. If the White House and its allies can't convince large chunks of the uninsured in those three states to enroll in the Affordable Care Act's new insurance exchanges, the administration could have a very hard time reaching its enrollment goals  

Grants & Funding Opportunities

HHS/HRSA Care Counts Challenge

Application Deadline: August 30, 2013

$7500 for First Place Winners, $5000 for Second Place Winners in English and Spanish categories.  This Challenge calls for the creation of an innovative, educational Tool that informs women about enrollment in their State's Marketplace as well as key provisions of the Affordable Care Act designed specifically to improve their health and that of their families.  Sponsored by the Office of Women's Health at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health, in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee on Women's Health, the Challenge aims to reach all women, but particularly those in medically underserved communities.

Debunk the Myths: Grant Application Video Series

Federal grants can be excellent funding opportunities for your project, but not understanding the process can lead to a great deal of frustration. This video series will debunk common myths and assist you with your grant applications.

FY 2014 Service Area Competition (SAC) Technical Assistance

Service Area Competition - New, Competing Continuation, and Supplemental (HRSA-14-021, HRSA-14-022, HRSA14-023, HRSA-14-024, HRSA-14-025, HRSA-14-026, HRSA-14-027, HRSA-14-028)

Through the Service Area Competition (SAC), HRSA will award approximately $468 million in funding to an estimated 310 SAC applicants. A SAC application is a request for Federal financial assistance to support comprehensive primary health care services for a competitively announced underserved area or population. All available service areas (see below) are currently served by Health Center Program grantees whose project periods are ending in FY 2014.

Application Deadlines

Project Period Start DateHRSA Announcement Deadline (11:59 PM ET)HRSA EHB Deadline (5:00 PM ET)
November 1, 2013HRSA-14-021July 24, 2013August 7, 2013
December 1, 2013HRSA-14-022July 31, 2013August 14, 2013
January 1, 2014HRSA-14-023August 14, 2013August 28, 2013
February 1, 2014HRSA-14-024September 11, 2013September 25, 2013
March 1, 2014HRSA-14-025October 9, 2013October 23, 2013
April 1, 2014HRSA-14-026October 30, 2013November 13, 2013
May 1, 2014HRSA-14-027December 4, 2013December 18, 2013
June 1, 2014HRSA-14-028January 8, 2014January 22, 2014

*Please click on the title for more information regarding the various grants. 


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.


AHRQ Disseminating Patient Centered Outcomes Research to Improve Health Care Delivery

Application Deadline: September 27, 2013

Grants to leverage the capacities of existing broad-based networks of providers and other key stakeholders to disseminate and implement existing evidence for improving the quality of care delivery. Spread of evidence to support change in care delivery requires coordination, buy-in and active participation by diverse providers across multiple settings of care, collaboration with other key stakeholders (including payers and consumers) who are instrumental in shaping care delivery, and adaptation of interventions to local conditions. In recognition of these well-documented challenges and needs, this funding opportunity requires that applicants represent existing networks of providers and other stakeholders that have the knowledge, on-going relationships, expertise, infrastructures, past experience and understanding of local needs and constraints to maximize buy-in, collaboration, and appropriate adaptation to local conditions. 


Bureau of Primary Health Care Loan Guarantee Program

Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Loan program to Section 330 health centers to obtain a loan guarantee for the financing of a medical facility construction, renovation and modernization.


Application Deadline: Letter of Intent: June 28, 2013 
Applications: August 15, 2013
Under this announcement, 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. This round of funding 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:
  • 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 extends beyond the clinical service delivery setting.
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.  
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.


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.


*MACHC will bring back Cheri Reinhart, CEO of Pennsylvania PCA present and lead a workgroup during MACHC's Annual Conference on Thursday - September 19, 2013! 

Health Observances This Week
August IS.............................
Children's Eye Health and Safety Month 

It's almost back-to-school time and you're prepared with your child's enrollment forms, orientation schedules, and immunizations--but what about their eyes?

August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month-a great signal for you to get your child's eyes checked before school starts.

Join us as we observe Children's Eye Health and Safety Month in partnership with Prevent Blindness America and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists.

Most children have healthy eyes. But there are conditions that can threaten good vision. Because you can't always "look" into your child's eyes to tell if they have eye health problems, set up some time today for an eye exam:

  • Your child's eyes should be examined during regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted around age three.
  • Parents should be aware of signs that may indicate their child has vision problems, including:
    • Wandering or crossed eyes
    • A family history of childhood vision problems
    • Disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
    • Squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television

Talk to your child's pediatrician if you suspect your child has any of the eye diseases below:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid)
  • Color deficiency (color blindness)
  • Refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism)

Let's Talk Eye Safety:

Use this month to discuss the importance of eye safety with your children.

More than 12 million children suffer from vision impairment, and eye injuries are one of the leading causes of vision loss in children*. There are an estimated 42,000 sports-related eye injuries each year and the majority of them happen to children.

Children should:

  • Wear protective eyewear while participating in sports or recreational activities
  • Play with are age-appropriate toys. Avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts

One of the best ways to ensure your child keeps his/her good vision throughout life is to set a good health example.

To find more information about Children's Eye Health and Safety, visit:

*Nearly 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. Of children ages 3 to 5, close to one in 20 has a problem that could result in permanent vision loss if left untreated. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 80 percent of preschoolers do not receive vision screenings. 

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