MACHC
Weekly E-Blast:  
Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue

Enrollment until March 31, 2014
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
    
October 25, 2013 
Community Health Center Spotlight

Your Health Center Needs YOU to TAKE ACTION NOW!

In a matter of months the Health Centers Program will be facing a potential 70% reduction in funding. We are calling this the "Health Centers Funding Cliff". A funding cut this size would almost certainly force many Health Centers to close sites, lay off staff, and reduce the services they provide, leaving millions of current health center patients and communities without access to health care services they need. The only way to stop this cut from happening is for President Obama and the Congress to take action to 'fix the cliff'.

Given the intense pressure to reduce federal spending, neither the President nor Congress will act to fix the cliff unless tens of thousands of people - staff, board, patients and community allies - who care about health centers weigh in. That means we need YOU to step up and help 'fix the cliff' starting right NOW. The first thing you need to do is sign the Health Center Funding Cliff petition. The petition asks President Obama to act immediately to stop Health Center funding cuts to ensure that Health Centers can continue to meet the healthcare needs of millions of Americans. Signing the petition is an easy and important FIRST STEP to making sure we 'fix the Health Center funding cliff'.

Take Action Now:


1)    Sign the Health Center Funding Cliff Petition at the NACHC Grassroots Action Center. Our short term goal is to collecting 25,000 signatures in the month of October. You can help us do that. If we can reach this goal we hope to earn a direct response from the White House to our concerns. You can also download a hard copy template of the petition from the Campaign for America's Health Centers website.This will to allow you to ask anyone at your health center or organization to sign the petition.
2)    Forward this alert and/or the link to the petition and personally ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign it to support your Health Center and the patients it serves.

You and every Health Center Advocate should be prepared for many calls to action in the months ahead. Once we gain the support and commitment of President Obama to 'fix the cliff', THEN we will have to turn our attention to the Congress and ask Senators and Representatives to provide not only the funding to preserve ongoing Health Center services, but also to expand access to Health Centers' cost effective model of care to every community, especially those that currently lack basic primary care services.

We will need advocates like you and thousands more to take action each time you receive an alert asking for your help to 'fix the cliff'. The future of the Health Centers Program will depend on advocates like you making a commitment to Health Center advocacy and taking action when it matters the most.

If you have any questions or suggestions about how we can continue to build our advocacy network, email at grassroots@nachc.com

 

We will continue to highlight and support all the wonderful achievements of Health Centers!

  

You could be next! Please contact Aneeqa Chowdhury at aneeqa@machc.com to be placed on the SPOTLIGHT!
MACHC AT THE WHITE HOUSE
President Obama held a private press conference at The White House's Rose Garden earlier this morning with a selective few front staff helping with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. MACHC's CEO, Duane Taylor and Community Development Analyst, Aneeqa Chowdhury, who is spearheading ACA on behalf of CHCs in MD and DE, were present for the event. Needless to say, the event was riveting and highly motivating with the President encouraging folks to sign up and sharing anecdotes from letters and various encounters with people signing up for health insurance through the marketplace. He highlighted that ACA is not about the online marketplace, it is much more than that. He understands there are glitches which means they WILL BE FIXED!
MACHC Happenings
DHMH Regiosn I & II Preparedness Conference
TODAY, Oct. 25th, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Wisp Resort Conference Center
296 Marsh Hill Road 
McHenry, MD 21541  
This year's OP&R Regional Public Health and Medical Preparedness Conferences will be one-day interactive strategic planning workshops designed to build and enhance our healthcare coalitions.  The workshops will be composed of a series of highly interactive exercises facilitated by senior leaders from the National Healthcare Coalition Resource Center (NHCRC).  Faculty will assist coalition partners with developing a shared vision and future directions for the coalition.  A detailed after action report, with a summary of findings and recommendations for future action, will be provided to each coalition.

October 26, 2013 

Freedom Plaza 

The 27th annual AIDS Walk Washington will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Freedom Plaza. Activities begin at 7:00 am. The 5K timed run begins at 9:15 am with the Walk stepping off at 9:20 am. Click here to register, donate or volunteer. 
 
(2) Learning and Leading Together: Promising Outreach Practices During Open Enrollment
Date:Wed, Oct 30, 2013, 2 Pm - 3 PM

With the first month of open enrollment winding down and five more to go, we will share what we've already seen working and where we should go from here! We'll cover the best practices that have emerged so far, and you'll hear directly from leaders on the ground about what's worked -- and what is still a work in progress -- in their outreach and enrollment efforts, along with guidance on what to consider as you plan ahead. Helping consumers get familiar with the new Health Insurance Marketplaces is a marathon, not a sprint, and we're here to get you the information you need to get the word out most effectively.

You will hear from Enroll America's Best Practices Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, King County, Washington (invited), and a state director from our Get Covered America campaign.

To Register, Click HERE.  

 

(3) Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Office of Preparedness and Response

September 2013 Healthcare System Preparedness Update

2013 HPP-PHEP Fall Preparedness Conferences

DHMH's annual Fall Preparedness Conferences are still going on:

  •           -   Region IV: October 21 - Tidewater Inn, Easton
  •           -   Region V: November 1 - Universities at Shady Grove, Rockville
Agendas and additional details about this year's activities will be released in the near future. To register, please visit:http://preparedness.dhmh.maryland.gov/SitePages/Events.aspx
 
(4) Addressing the Mess: A Delaware Hoarding Symposium
November 4, 2013, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
John H. Ammon Medical Education Center at Christiana Hospital. 
$20.00 registration fee includes lunch. 
Call 800-223-9074 or 302-255-9390 for a registration form or to be a vendor at this event OR visit the following website:
 
(5) Transformational Leadership Call
November 5th, 10 am - 11 am
To get on the list, please email aneeqa@machc.com
  
(6) SAVE THE DATE: Employee Retention Webinar

Date and Time: Wednesday November, 6, 2013 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. 

The Health Systems and Infrastructure Administration (HSIA) and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers (MACHC) are hosting an Executive Employee Retention Webinar. The webinar is being provided for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Hospitals, Local Health Departments and Health Clinics to learn strategies to retain health providers. 

Richard Finnegan an employee Retention Consultant from The Retention Institute will be facilitating the webinar. 

The Seminar will cover the following topics/activities:

  • Group discussion regarding which of the principles and strategies are most driven by human resources
  • Prioritizing exercise regarding which strategies are most important
  • Identification of tactics to achieve strategies
  • Determination of schedules, sequences, and responsibilities
  • Identification of the cost of turnover
  • Outcomes will include a shift in thinking from programs to processes and if necessary from HR being solely accountable for engagement and retention to a specific model of share accountability
  • Brief overview of the value of cultural competency training 

Registration information TBA on the next E-Blast or check MACHC website.

An Open House Celebration for Chase Brexton Health Center

 

(7) Chase Brexton Open House  
November 7, 2013 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Stop by, take a journey through this monumental building, and discover what our new space is all about. Enjoy a harvest of treats, live music, education, and more.

Register here.

 

(8) MACHC Emergency Preparedness Call

When: Tuesday, November 19th from 12 pm - 1pm

(Third Tuesday every month)

Call in- 1-866-740-1260  Access code: 4319483

 

(9) DHMH Emergency Preparedness Phone Call

When: Third Thursday every Month (Next: Thursday, November 21st) from 10 am- 11am

Dial in from your phone:

Meeting ID: 6455

Dial in Number: 410-225-5300

 

(10) Uniform Data System (UDS) Training 2013

December 4th, 2013 8:00 AM - 
4:00 PM
Harbourtowne Golf Resort
9784 Martingham Circle
St. Michaels, MD 21663
Aimed at those who are responsible for gathering and reporting the data elements. The Uniform Data System (UDS) in-person training is a full day program covering the preparation of the 2013 UDS Report.  The training addresses each of the tables, including a discussion of the changes that have been made and the definitions necessary to complete the reports. The UDS training is aimed at those who are responsible for gathering and reporting the data elements included in the UDS report, as well as management and clinical staff who need to understand the definitions and concepts used.
Click here to register.
Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News
New Errors Indicate Technological Problems Extend Issues Already Identified

Insurers say the federal health-care marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far, in a sign that technological problems extend further than the website traffic and software issues already identified. 

Obama Administration Plans To Delay Penalties For Consumers Who Sign Up For Insurance By March 31

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it would delay imposing penalties for six weeks on some consumers who might have been caught in a sticky timing problem for enrolling in coverage through the health law's new insurance marketplaces. Those marketplaces, also known as exchanges, have come under intense scrutiny since opening on Oct. 1 because the technology has malfunctioned. But the White House is not linking this change of policy to website problems 
 
An elderly man calls to ask if the land he owns will count as income to qualify for health coverage through Medicaid. A legal immigrant asks if she can sign up for a health plan through the state's online insurance marketplace. A broker wants help to become certified to start selling coverage. It's 10 a.m. Monday inside the call center of Connecticut's new insurance exchange established under the federal health law. On the 21st floor of the downtown Prudential Building, about 25 operators in blue shaded cubicles are talking on telephone headsets while a dozen more callers wait on hold

If technical glitches have hindered your attempts to purchase health insurance, remember that you still have until December 15th to sign up for a January 1st coverage start date and until February 15th to complete enrollment and avoid any penalties.  

A new phase of the Obamacare launch is coming, this one involving Medicaid. And it could be déjà vu all over again. On Nov. 1, the health law's malfunctioning enrollment system is supposed to send reams of data to states so they can begin placing thousands of people into Medicaid. But state officials say that transfer system has barely been tested and could be vulnerable to technical failures like those that have crippled the broader Obamacare sign-up process   

 

Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party group that has made rolling back the health care law one of its priorities, is starting a $2 million campaign of television, radio and Internet advertisements aimed at lawmakers facing tough re-election battles in four House swing districts 
As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama's health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program's loftiest goals - to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low - is falling short for many rural Americans 

SECOND REQUEST FOR ACTION

Time is Running Out!
Contact Your Democratic U.S. Representative TODAY!
Ask Them to Sign the Health Center Cliff Letter and Help  

STOP the Health Center Funding Cliff

 

 

Without action by the President and Congress, the Health Center Program will face a 70% funding cut within the next two years.
 
Despite the fact that federal government is partially shut down, the Administration is still working NOW on its 2015 Budget proposal. That is why Representatives Gene Green (D-TX) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) are asking their Democratic Colleagues in the House of Representatives to join them in signing a letter addressed to President Obama urging him to fix the health center funding cliff in his Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) budget proposal to Congress.
   
IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT THE ADMINISTRATION KNOW NOW THAT THERE IS REAL SUPPORT IN CONGRESS FOR FIXING THE HEALTH CENTER FUNDING CLIFF. That is why YOU NEED TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS NOW to support YOUR health center and the Health Center Program.

  1. 1.     Email your Democratic Representative and ask Him/Her to sign onto the Green-Cummings Health Center Funding Cliff letter. Click here to send a message through the NACHC Grassroots Action Center.
  2. 2.     Call your Democratic Representative and ask him/her to sign onto the Green-Cummings Health Center Funding Cliff letter. Call the toll free NACHC Advocacy Hotline to be automatically connected 1-866-456-3949.
  3. 3.     Sign the NACHC Health Center Funding Cliff Petition and let the President and Congress know that YOU want them to FIX THE HEALTH CENTER FUNDING CLIFF NOW.

You can read a copy of the Green-Cummings letter and access other tools and resources on the Campaign for America's Health Centers website. Advocates can also access background talking points on the Health Center Funding Cliff and sign the Health Centers Fix the Cliff Petition. To access the most recent list of letter cosigners visit the NACHC website. We will be keeping a real-time listing of letter co-signers, so check back often for the latest updates.
 
YOU and all advocates with Democratic House Members need to reach out to them TODAY. We have every reason to believe that the Administration will be paying close attention to the level of Congressional support we can generate through this letter NOW!!

PLEASE ACT NOW!
State News
DELAWARE

Delaware and Medicare Coverage

Lots of people have questions about how Delaware's health insurance marketplace affects their Medicare coverage. It doesn't. If you have Medicare, you stay on Medicare, and you follow your usual open enrollment.
http://www.choosehealthde.com/Health-Insurance/FAQ-Detail/What-about-Medicare 

 

 

MARYLAND
Maryland's Progress So far
Maryland was leading the race to October 1st ... but due to our IT issues, which appear to be among the worst in the country, we have now reduced our speed. 326 fully completed enrollments as of 10/6. But our Connector Entities, within which the navigators and assisters are housed, are doing a great job dealing with paper applications. We are slowly seeing consumers being able to access the external portal to complete their own enrollments or to do so with navigator assistance. Postings on Facebook aren't "pretty" so there will be a lot of catch up to do from the public perception perspective once the IT issues are worked through. When that will be? No specific prognosis available, but we maintain the belief that Maryland will resume its national leader status soon.
Maryland Health Connection:

Marylanders have continued to show tremendous interest in accessing quality, affordable health coverage. Since October 1, we have seen more than 217,000 unique visitors to our website, more than 25,000 people have created identity-verified accounts, there have been over 15,000 calls to our call center, and more than 16,000 Marylanders have learned whether or not they are eligible for financial assistance. 

 

 

  

Finance & Business

In the corporate world of American health care, with its consolidating hospital chains and doctors' groups, psychologists and other mental health therapists are still mostly Mom-and-Pop shops; they've built solo practices, hanging their own shingles, not unlike Lucy in the Peanuts gang: "Psychiatric Help 5¢, The Doctor Is In." But that business model is shifting from solo practices toward large medical groups, say mental health experts  

The Latest News on ACA
What's the LATEST 
on the ACA this week?
  • Health Center O/E Assistance Workers and Outreach Activities
    NEW Question
    - HRSA O/E supplemental funding requires health centers to conduct both in-reach and outreach in the health center's approved service area. Does this conflict with CAC guidelines that have suggested that CACs in FFM/SPM states should not contact individual consumers about enrolling in the Marketplace?    A: Health centers that received supplemental funding for outreach and enrollment are required to conduct in-reach with current patients and outreach in their approved service area. Because the CAC rule does not require CACs to conduct outreach nor does it prohibit CACs from conducting outreach to the community, health centers can meet HRSA's requirement to conduct outreach without conflicting with CAC requirements. Health centers should consult with their PCA to determine if there are any additional state laws that may restrict their ability to do outreach. If such restrictions exist, health centers should conduct their activities accordingly and report those laws as "issues/barriers" in their quarterly progress reports (QPR) submitted to HRSA. 
    For more information, go to the updated FAQs for the O/E program at: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/outreachandenrollment/oefaqs101813.pdf.
  • Healthcare.gov Updates-The HHS Digital Strategy team has developed a new infographic and is providing detailed daily updates on the actions taken to improve the functionality of healthcare.gov. The Digitalk blog is found at:
  • Additional Outreach & Enrollment Resources:
53; that's the average number of health plans available to a consumer in the Health Insurance Marketplace.  
 
Straight from THE WHITE HOUSE:

It's no secret that HealthCare.gov has experienced its share of glitches and problems. We're working to correct those issues as quickly as possible.

But even in spite of these problems, the fact is that nearly half a million Americans have filled out applications nationwide. And Obamacare is having other impacts, too: Oregon's uninsured rate was cut by 10 percent in just two weeks. Right now, Americans who were previously locked out of the market due to preexisting conditions or other discriminatory practices are getting enrolled for coverage.

That is why the President fought so hard for reform.

Three recent registrants visited the White House, met the President, and told their stories about what getting enrolled has meant to them.

Watch Janice, David, and Zohre share their experiences -- and then share your own.

Janice, a new registrant from Selbyville, Delaware, was the first woman to enroll in the Delaware exchange. She says her new policy contains so many more preventative health care measures than her previous plan -- and she's saving $150 a month.

David, a self-employed IT consultant and Air Force veteran living in Washington, D.C., picked his new plan the morning D.C.'s online health insurance marketplace opened. His previous plan was $600 a month. His new one? $250 cheaper.

Zohre, a small business owner from outside Nashville, Tennessee, had never been able to find a health plan to adequately cover care for her arthritis, which insurance companies viewed as a preexisting condition. She registered for coverage through HealthCare.gov, and is now comparison-shopping for the best plan that meets her budget and her needs.

These people are going to be covered. And that matters.

And right now, we have the opportunity to make sure as many Americans as possible know how they can sign up for affordable, quality health coverage.

That's why it's so important to share your own story. Please email your stories to aneeqa@machc.com as soon as possible.  

 

----------------------

 For helpful outreach and enrollment resources, please click here.

 

Grants & Funding Opportunities

Disclaimer: Funding opportunities are scarce due to government shutdown period.

 

The RCHN Community Health Foundation is pleased to announce a new grant program in support of health center outreach and enrollment initiatives. Community health centers, designated look-alikes and primary care associations are eligible to apply for this award. The Foundation expects to fund up to five (5) awards under this RFP, with an approximate amount of $200,000.00 per award. The deadline for submissions is 5:00 pm eastern time on Monday November 4, 2013. Award announcements are expected to be made in late December 2013. More information is available on our website, at www.rchnfoundation.org. Again,  Please note that complete submissions are due no later than 5:00 pm Eastern time on Monday NOVEMBER 4, 2013. We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in CHCs across the country on this important program, and look forward to your submission.


 

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 NumberGrants.gov 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. 

 

 

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.
Health Observances This Week
 
 October is Breast Cancer Month
 

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Today, we remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Although October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NBCAM is dedicated to raising awareness and educating individuals about breast cancer throughout the year. We encourage you to regularly visit these sites to learn more about breast cancer, breast health, and the latest research developments. 

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.

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