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August 30, 2013 
Community Health Center Spotlight

BMS Hosts Event to Discuss Infant Mortality and Healthy Babies with Maryland's Governor Martin O' Malley

 Maryland's infant mortality rate is at a record low according to Governor O'Malley who along with state health officials announced the latest figures Thursday morning during a visit to Baltimore Medical System's Highlandtown Healthy Living Center.

The Governor announced the infant mortality rate in 2012 was 6.3 per 1,000 live births, down six percent from 2011. The mortality rate for African American infants declined by 14 percent, to 10.3 per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate fell by 21 percent between 2008 and 2012, which translates to 159 fewer infant deaths in 2012 than in 2008.



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

(1) Navigator & Assistor Training Application Released!!

(2) Did you miss HRSA's ICD-10 Basics Training Webinar

CMS for a keynote presentation on ICD-10 basics. 

Presentation materials are available HERE


(3) 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: Sally Smith 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

If you missed this webinar, please find the presentation here:

(1) Presentation 1: Outreach

(2) Presentation 2: Operations



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.


(5) HIPAA Final Rule Webinar: Are You Ready for September 23, 2013?

When: September 9th, 2013 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM 

This webinar provides an introduction to some of the major changes in the Omnibus Rule

This webinar provides an introduction to some of the major changes in the Omnibus Rule and identifies actions health centers should take to implement these changes.  Following this 90-minute HIPAA webinar, you will be able to:

* Summarize the impact of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule on your health center.
* Identify changes that need to be made at your health center, including changes to your Business Associate Agreements and Notices of Privacy Practices, as well as to your policies and procedures governing patient access to medical records
* Understand the consequences of non-compliance with the HIPAA Omnibus Rule.
Register HERE 
Friday, September 13, 2 to 3:30 p.m. EDT 

Call-in Number: 888-390-0782 - Participant Code: HRSA 


Health center clinical and quality leaders play an essential role in improving the health of the Nation's underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Join BPHC clinical leadership to hear important updates regarding clinical performance measures, quality improvement, patient-centered medical home, meaningful use, and the primary care workforce.  You also will hear from colleagues across the country regarding their successes and challenges, and have an opportunity to have your questions answered.


Save the Date: Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid Expansion Outreach and Enrollment in Health Centers Part II
Tuesday, September 17, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. EDT 

This session will describe strategies health centers can employ to plan for and conduct outreach and enrollment activities that will begin October 1, 2013. Guidance on developing outreach and enrollment activities, targeting uninsured eligible populations, and examples of successful health center initiatives will be discussed.



(7) Executive Employee Retention Seminar

The one day seminar is being provided for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Hospitals, Local Health Departments and Health Clinics to learn strategies to retain health providers. The meeting will meet federal grant activity requirements by helping health centers retain providers in underserved communities.


When:  Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Where: Anne Arundel Community College
              101 College Parkway
              Arnold, MD 21012
Room:  Center for Applied Learning and Technology Building- Room 100
Time:    Exact time TBD- but this will be an all day event


(8) 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.
(9) Save the Date: Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid Expansion Outreach and Enrollment in Health Centers Part II (by HRSA)
Tuesday, September 17, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. EDT
This session will describe strategies health centers can employ to plan for and conduct outreach and enrollment activities that will begin October 1, 2013. Guidance on developing outreach and enrollment activities, targeting uninsured eligible populations, and examples of successful health center initiatives will be discussed.



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

HHS Releases First Rule About Health Benefits For Same-Sex Couples; IRS Issues Guidance On Tax Filing

In what the department described as its "first guidance" in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, HHS said that all Medicare Advantage enrollees, including same-sex couples, will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home. The Internal Revenue Service made a similar announcement today regarding tax filing by same-sex couples. 

Michigan lawmakers voted to extend Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of low-income adults in the state after a late legislative session Tuesday, in a boost for the Obama administration as it seeks to roll out its health law this fall. The vote was a victory for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who had struggled to persuade GOP legislators in his state to implement a major provision of the health law, which faced strong opposition from his party. The GOP-led state Senate voted 20-18 to expand the Medicaid program in line with the provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act 

Florida has the nation's second-highest rate of uninsured residents younger than 65 - a total of about 3.8 million people, or about 25 percent of the state's population, including more than 500,000 younger than 19, according to U.S. Census data released Thursday
The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources. ... Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains "on track to open" the marketplaces on time on October 1. The reason for the hold-up was unclear. Sources attributed it to technology problems involving the display of insurance products within the federal information technology system.
With open enrollment scheduled to start in about five weeks, the race is on to train workers to help residents around the region obtain health insurance through marketplaces established under the federal health reform law commonly referred to as Obamacare.
With new health insurance exchanges set to launch in just over a month, there's been a lot of chatter about how shocking the rates might be. One possibility is that adding sick people to a more comprehensive benefits package will cause premiums to soar. Last spring, the Society of Actuaries predicted an average increase of 32 percent because of to the law, which prompted an outcry from opponents of the law              
More than one in four Texans under the age of 65 lacks health insurance, more than any other state in the nation. Florida is next, followed by Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Those results are from a new Census Bureau report released Thursday morning detailing health insurance rates at the state and county level. The report is a fascinating read if you're into health policy and demographics, but we found one map -- the first -- especially interesting  

Health insurance agents, feeling Soon, Texas will join a number of states that bar minors from tanning indoors, which experts say greatly increases the risk of melanoma in those under 18. Senate Bill 329, written by State Senators Joan Huffman, Republican of Southside Place, and Sylvia R. Garcia, Democrat of Houston, automatically became law in June without the governor's signature and will take effect on Sunday   

State News

As states work on implementing the complex federal health care reforms, some have begun tackling an issue that has vexed employers, individuals and governments at all levels for years - the rapidly rising costs of health care. The success of models that are beginning to emerge across the country ultimately will determine whether President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act can make good on its name.

It's too early to tell what will work and what won't, but states, insurers and medical groups are experimenting with a variety of programs to contain costs without undermining care. These test runs come as millions of new patients will gain eligibility for health insurance under the federal law, putting additional pressure on the system.

The Affordable Care Act is expected to extend coverage to many of the roughly 50 million Americans who lack insurance by expanding Medicaid, the state-federal health care program for low-income people, and requiring most others to purchase insurance or pay a fine.

U.S. health care spending reached $2.7 trillion in 2011, or $8,700 per person, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency says those numbers are climbing and predicts spending will reach $14,000 per person by 2021.

In Delaware, the spending per capita reached $8,480, with an annual increase of 7.7 percent from 1999 to 2009. That spending and growth rate is higher than in nearby states.


AstraZeneca is giving a boost to MedImmune, its biologics unit that develops treatments for cancer and other major diseases, by acquiring Amplimmune.  




The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange plans to unveil next week a marketing campaign for the new online insurance marketplace.

The new marketplace, called Maryland Health Connection, opens for enrollment in October.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Health SecretaryJoshua Sharfstein and the exchange's Executive Director Rebecca Pearce plan to unveil the marketing campaign Tuesday at an event at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Finance & Business
Over the past weeks, the Senate group - which called itself the "sounding board" - had moved away from the kind of "grand bargain" Mr. Obama had sought, which would combine higher tax revenues and changes to social programs like Medicare to produce trillions of dollars in deficit reduction. Instead, they aimed simply to replace the automatic across-the-board cuts known as the sequester over the next eight years with other budget changes. Mr. Obama, in his most recent budget plan, had accepted $200 billion in sequester savings over eight years, and both sides appeared ready to leave in place small cuts to entitlement programs in the sequester legislation. 
But the federal subsidies that make this possible for older people are causing headaches that insurers are struggling to understand. The programs reverse a long-standing tenet of the insurance business: That riskier customers pay more. The subsidies can be far more generous to older people than younger ones, the analysis of Ohio's marketplace shows. 
The Latest News on ACA
What's the LATEST 
on the ACA this week?


As congressional Republicans push for a
delay in the 2010 health law's individual mandate, the Obama administration Tuesday announced final regulations implementing the requirement that most Americans have health insurance coverage by Jan. 1 or pay a fine. The document from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service is in addition to regulations the Department of Health and Human Services published in late June.  
Here are seven things you need to know about the mandate, what the law calls your "Shared Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coverage."

1. You pay a fine if your spouse and kids are uninsured


2. Pretty much any employer-sponsored plan meets the mandate's requirements

3. The mandate fine is small, and will have even less impact over time

4. The IRS can't go after you if you don't pay the fine

5. Many older individuals will be exempt from the mandate

6. If you don't file a tax return, you're exempt

7. 'Members of recognized religious sects' and American Indians are also exempt

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. I'm not living with my husband, but he still provides health insurance for me through his employer. Will I be eligible to go on the health insurance marketplace if I choose not to have him cover me through his employer?

A. Almost anyone can buy a plan on the health insurance marketplace, sometimes called an exchange. But tax credits that reduce the premium are only available to people who don't have access to other coverage that meets the law's standards for affordability and adequacy. Coverage is considered affordable if it costs no more than 9.5 percent of income, and adequate if it pays at least 60 percent of allowed medical expenses. Chances are your husband's employer health plan meets those standards. If it does, you probably wouldn't be eligible for subsidized coverage on an exchange, say experts.

If you were legally separated, the situation would likely be different. In that case, "they would be considered two separate tax households, and her eligibility for coverage through his employer does not impact her eligibility for the premium tax credit," says Dania Palanker, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center. Tax credits for exchange coverage will be available for people with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($45,960 for an individual in 2013).

If your situation changes next year and you become legally separated or divorced, the online marketplace in your state can help determine at that point whether you're eligible for subsidized coverage.

Alternatively, if you live in one of the states that has expanded Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level ($15,856 for an individual in 2013), you could be eligible for Medicaid, says Palanker.

Grants & Funding Opportunities

HHS/HRSA Care Counts Challenge

Application Deadline: August 30, 2013 (TODAY!)

$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 National Psoriasis Awareness Month
Life with Psoriasis Photo Contest

Picture this: If you have psoriasis or love someone who does, enter our Life with Psoriasis Photo Contest held during Psoriasis Awareness Month. This August, submit a photo that depicts your life with psoriasis-with its challenges, breakthroughs, frustrations and achievements.

We want to see life with psoriasis through your lens. The winner of the Life with Psoriasis Photo Contest will receive a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera. Second and third place winners get cool prizes, too.

Deadline for submission is Friday, Aug. 31.

For more information and to enter,  

Psoriasis facts:
  • Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S., affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans.
  • Psoriasis occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells, resulting in painful red, scaly patches on the body that bleed and itch.
  • Psoriasis is not contagious.
  • Psoriasis frequently occurs with a range of other health concerns including diabetes, hypertension, heart attack and depression.
  • Psoriasis impacts the emotions. Nearly 70% of people with psoriasis say their disease makes them feel self-conscious, embarrassed and helpless.
  • Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, swelling and stiffness around the joints.
  • There currently is no cure for psoriasis.
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