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Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue

Next Enrollment Period until 
March 31st,2013 
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 

Let's Stay Connected
January 10, 2014 
Community Health Center Spotlight

Health Center Advocates Deliver Fix THE Cliff Petition Signatures to the White House 

On Thursday, December 19th, Health Center Advocates along with NACHC Staff met with an Administration Representative to present some of the Health Center "Fix the Cliff" petitions collected in October. Because of Health Center Advocates like you, the Administration now recognizes the importance to communities nationwide of fixing the health centers funding cliff. Read more about the delivery here.
MACHC Happenings
(1) MACHC Outreach Team Call
  Friday, January 10th, 2014 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Call in- 1-866-740-1260  Access code: 4319483  


(2) Transformational Leadership Call
  Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Call in- 1-866-740-1260  Access code: 4319483  


(3) MACHC Emergency Preparedness Call
  Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Call in- 1-866-740-1260  Access code: 4319483  


(4) DHMH HPP Call
When: Thursday, January 16th, 2014 10:30 AM - 12 PM

Dial in from your phone:

Meeting ID: 6455

Dial in Number: 410-225-5300


When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18.

Sussex County Democratic Party Headquarters 

10 West Pine St. in Georgetown, DE

 Citizens without health insurance are invited to attend the Affordable Care Act Information and Enrollment Assistance Event at the Sussex County Democratic Party Headquarters at 10 West Pine St. in Georgetown from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18.
Certified marketplace guides will be available to answer questions, walk individuals through the enrollment process, and enroll them in an affordable plan that meets their needs.
This is an important opportunity for individuals and families to learn about the various plans and find out if they are eligible for federal tax subsidies that will help lower monthly costs. Individuals who currently have health insurance are also invited to attend to find out if they can access more affordable insurance.
To enroll at the event, individuals need to bring
* Birth dates of those applying for coverage
* Social Security numbers of those applying for coverage
* Paystubs, W-2 forms, or other information about family's income
And if applicable
* Policy/member numbers for any current health coverage
* Information about any health coverage from a job that's available to oneself or family (if applicable)
Remember that the Affordable Care Act requires every American to have health insurance. March 31 is the deadline for open enrollment in 2014.
Contact Joanne Cabry at or 302-226-5019 for directions to the event in Georgetown.
This is a great opportunity for one-on-one assistance. For those who cannot make it Jan. 18 should contact Chris Casazza, Lead Delaware Marketplace Guide for Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, at 302-853-5524 or  



(6) Training - Thursday, January 23, 2014, 12:00 pm, ET.Learn about ways to effectively address access to oral health care among underserved populations in your community through the webinar Who's Leading the Leading Health Indicators?. 
Register for this webinar.



(7) The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) invites you to

Learn about the Health Insurance Marketplace in Chinese (Mandarin)

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) invites you to join our Google Hangout in Chinese on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET.

One in seven Chinese Americans lacks health insurance. With almost half of all Chinese Americans reporting speaking English less than very well, Chinese Americans are among the highest limited English proficient populations in the nation. To help provide information to limited English proficiency communities, the White House Initiative on AAPIs is hosting a series of online Google+ Hangouts in AAPI languages. The next Hangout will be in Mandarin.

Access to quality, affordable coverage is critically important to AAPI individuals and families, and now, it will be more accessible than ever through the Affordable Care Act and the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

During the Hangout, representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will answer your questions and provide information on how to obtain health care coverage through the new Marketplace. We've already hosted a Hangout in Korean and Vietnamese, and we are looking forward to our first Hangout in Mandarin. 

The Chinese language Hangout will take place on Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM (EST). We hope you will join us by watching live at a local viewing party or online by joining our Google Hangout.  You may also submit your questions during the event via the Google+ 'Ask a Question' feature, or in advance via email, or Twitter at @WhiteHouseAAPI.  More information on the in-language Hangouts can be found at WHIAAPI's website, and more information about enrolling can be found at

Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern)

The event will be live streamed on our Google+ event page.


(8)Health/Wellness Fair:Beebe Healthcare Health Fair Rehoboth Beach Convention Center - DELAWARE 
When: Sat, Feb. 8, 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM

Sussex County:
 229 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach

For more information, CLICK HERE.


Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
When: February 20th - 21st, 2014
Where: Turf Valley, Maryland


(10) Information Session:Affordable Care Act Information Session PS DuPont School Workshop - DELAWARE 
When: Tue, Feb. 25, 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM

New Castle County:
 701 W 34th Street, Wilmington  

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News

Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.

The annual report from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs, found total U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion in 2012, or $8,915 per person.

Health spending consumed 17.2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, but that was slightly down from the previous year's 17.3 percent. And in a rare event, the growth rate of 3.7 percent was actually slower than that of the overall economy, which grew at a rate of 4.6 percent.

Former HHS Head Offers His Insight Into The Health Law's Problems
Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush administration, oversaw another troubled rollout - that of the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2006, which also was criticized for computer glitches, long waits for telephone assistance and consumers incorrectly enrolled in coverage. Leavitt, a former Utah governor who opposed the Affordable Care Act, now runs Leavitt Partners, a consulting firm that works with health care organizations and state governments on implementing the law. Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News spoke with him recently about the rollout of What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation: 
For the full transcript of the interview, CLICK HERE.  
Prospects for completing a giant spending bill and avoiding another government shutdown appeared to improve Tuesday, as a top negotiator said a repeat of October's Obamacare-driven shutdown could be avoided. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who chairs a subcommittee overseeing health, labor and education spending, told reporters that the $1 trillion omnibus is nearing completion, and both sides should be able to agree on an Obamacare compromise. 

Low Income Communities with Greater Health Center Funding Have Better Access to Care

A new study finds that low-income, uninsured adults are more likely to have a usual source of care and a healthcare visit when they live in areas with more federal health center funding. The study also finds that Medicaid-enrolled adults are also more likely to have a usual source of care and less likely to use the emergency room or forgo care due to cost when they live in the same areas. The study, which appears in the journal Health Services Research demonstrates the powerful impact of federal health center funding, and documents that health centers may be the best way to ensure that Medicaid recipients have access to a source of primary care and avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room.

The Obama administration is planning an Olympic-size ad blitz to push health coverage during the winter games next month. HHS confirmed Tuesday that it has bought advertising time in markets with high rates of uninsured people to air during the Winter Olympics, which run Feb. 7-23.


Here's the challenge the White House faces in telling Obamacare success stories: Try to picture a headline that says, "Obamacare does what it's supposed to do." Somehow, the Obama administration and its allies will have to convince news outlets to run those kinds of stories - and to give the happy newly insured the same kind of attention as the outraged complainers whose health plans were canceled because of the law. 

Federal Report Finds Electronic Health Records Push Lacks Key Safeguards

The New York Times: Report Finds More Flaws In Digitizing Patient Files 
Although the federal government is spending more than $22 billion to encourage hospitals and doctors to adopt electronic health records, it has failed to put safeguards in place to prevent the technology from being used for inflating costs and overbilling, according to a new report by a federal oversight agency. 
State News
Check out the Delaware ACA Toolkit right here!

Mark your calendars! There will be an Affordable Care Act information and enrollment session Saturday, January 18 at the Sussex County Democratic Party Headquarters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Can't attend this event? Check out the list of Delaware enrollment events,


Use the Subsidy Calculator

Use the subsidy calculator on to get an estimate of the tax subsidy you might be eligible for when you buy coverage on Delaware's health insurance marketplace. 



Rep. John Delaney (D., Md.) said he's concerned the state isn't keeping pace with enrollment goals. As of Dec. 28, 18,257 people enrolled in private health plans through Maryland's insurance exchange, which Mr. Delaney says is 12% of the state's enrollment goal of 150,000 for private health plans. Nationwide, about 2.1 million have enrolled in private health plans, which represents about 30% of a White House goal of seven million.

Mr. Delaney sent a letter Monday to Maryland's health secretary Joshua Sharfstein asking for the "pros and cons" of switching all or part of Maryland's insurance exchange,, to the federal exchange until the state's website is fully functional.

The federal government's is the portal that serves 36 states.  Maryland is one of 14 states running its own health insurance website. The state's woes were unexpected because the state's Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, was one of the early proponents of a state exchange.

Finance & Business

Expect To Pay More For Your Employer-Sponsored Health Care Next Year

If you're one of the 150 million Americans who get health insurance through your job, prepare to pay more. The new year will likely bring higher deductibles and co-payments, penalties for not joining wellness programs and smaller employer contributions toward family coverage.

While some workers and employers blame the federal health law for those changes, benefit experts say the law is mainly accelerating trends that predate it. 

Stocks rallied Tuesday, ending a slump that had ushered in the new year. The Standard and Poor's 500 index climbed the most in three weeks, led by gains for health care stocks. United­Health Group, the nation's largest health insurer, and Johnson & Johnson climbed on recommendations for brokerage firms.
The government announced this week that health care spending rose only modestly in 2012, the fourth year in a row of low growth. The numbers released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offer a broad overview of the $2.8 trillion spent on everything from hospitals and clinics to drugs and dentists. They don't, however, fully address a lingering enigma for American consumers: How much does our care really cost?

The nation's 1,200 nonprofit community health centers receive strong federal support to treat millions of uninsured residents, but still face financial challenges. Some are responding with an unusual strategy -- starting for-profit insurance plans.

In 2008, the Jessie Trice Community Health Center in Miami invested $120,000 to start Prestige Health Choice, a for-profit Medicaid health plan that the state pays a flat monthly fee per enrollee to provide care. Fourteen other community health centers also participated.

Last year, Jessie Trice got a $759,000 payout after Florida Blue, the state's largest insurer, bought a minority ownership stake. Jessie Trice used part of that windfall to open a health center in suburban Miami and to convert an existing facility into a dental clinic.

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



The Health Law Takes Effect: A Consumer's Guide

By Mary Agnes Carey

KHN Staff Writer

JAN 01, 2014


Starting Jan. 1, central provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in, allowing many uninsured Americans to afford health insurance. But the landmark law still faces heavy opposition from Republicans and from a public that remains skeptical the law can improve health care coverage while lowering its cost.

The law has already altered the health care industry and established a number of consumer benefits. It will have sweeping ramifications for consumers, state officials, employers and health care providers, including hospitals and doctors.

However,, the federal website that is managing enrollment in 36 states, has been plagued by electronic problems that botched the Oct. 1 rollout of the health law's online marketplaces, or exchanges. The problems frustrated potential enrollees and gave Republicans new fodder for their argument that the law was doomed to fail. After hundreds of hardware and software fixes, federal officials have said that the site works for the "vast majority of users," but some problems remain.

Here's a primer on how the law might affect you.

I don't have health insurance. Under the law, will I have to buy it and what happens if I don't?

You have until March 31 to enroll in health insurance before you are subject to the law's tax penalty for not having coverage. For individuals, the penalty would start at $95 or up to 1 percent of income, whichever is greater, and rise to $695, or 2.5 percent of income, by 2016. For families this year the penalty is $285 or 1 percent of income. That will grow in 2016 to $2,085 or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. The requirement to have coverage can be waived for several reasons, including financial hardship or religious beliefs.

Last month the administration decided to waive the individual mandate penalty for 2014 for some people in the individual insurance market whose plans were being canceled.  Under the law's "hardship exemption," these consumers are also eligible to buy "catastrophic" coverage policies, which have lower premiums and higher deductibles than other plans that comply with the law.

I get my health coverage at work and want to keep my current plan. Will I be able to do that? How will my plan be affected by the health law?

If you get insurance through your job, it is likely to stay that way. But, just as before the law was passed, your employer is not obligated to keep your current plan and may change premiums, deductibles, co-pays and network coverage.

The law has already made several changes to employer-sponsored insurance. For example, plans generally now ban lifetime coverage limits and include a guarantee that an adult child up to age 26 can stay on her parents' health plan. More than 3 million young adults have been able to stay on their parents' plan due to this provision, according to administration figures.

What other parts of the law are now in place?

Starting Jan. 1, insurers will not be allowed to deny you coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition or place annual limits on medical coverage of essential health benefits, which include prescription drugs and hospitalization.

You are likely to be eligible for some preventive services such as breast cancer screenings and cholesterol tests, with no out-of-pocket costs.

Health plans can't cancel  your coverage once you get sick - a practice known as "rescission" - unless you committed fraud when you applied for coverage.

The law earlier barred insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

Insurers have to provide rebates to consumers if the companies spend less than 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care.

Some existing plans, if they haven't changed significantly since passage of the law, do not have to abide by certain parts of the law. For example, these "grandfathered" planscan still charge beneficiaries part of the cost of preventive services.

If you're currently in one of these plans, and your employer makes significant changes, such as raising your out-of-pocket costs, the plan would then lose its grandfathered status and have to abide by all aspects of the health law.

I want health insurance but I can't afford it. What will I do?

Depending on your income, you might be eligible for Medicaid. Before the health law, in most states non-elderly adults without minor children didn't qualify for Medicaid. But now, the federal government is offering to pay the cost of an expansion in the programs so that anyone with an income at or lower than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, (about $16,000 for an individual or $32,500 for a family of four based on current guidelines) will be eligible for Medicaid.

The Supreme Court, however, ruled in June 2012 that states cannot be forced to make that change. As of last month, 25 states and the District of Columbia have chosen to expand Medicaid.

What if I make too much money for Medicaid but still can't afford to buy insurance?

You might be eligible for government subsidies to help you pay for private insurance sold in the state-based insurance marketplaces, also called exchanges.

These premium subsidies will be available for individuals and families with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level, or about $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals and $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of four (based on current guidelines).

If you earn less than 100 percent of the poverty level and live in a state that does not expand the Medicaid program, you generally cannot qualify for a subsidy to purchase coverage. However, you are also exempted from the penalties for not having insurance.

Will it be easier for me to get coverage even if I have health problems?

Insurers are now barred from rejecting applicants based on health status.

I own a small business. Will I have to buy health insurance for my workers?

No employer is required to provide insurance. But starting in 2015 -- a one-year delay from the previous date of 2014 -- businesses with 50 or more employees that don't provide health care coverage and have at least one full-time worker who receives subsidized coverage in the health insurance exchange will have to pay a fee of $2,000 per full-time employee. The firm's first 30 workers would be excluded from the fee.

However, firms with fewer than 50 people won't face any penalties.

In addition, if you own a small business, the health law offers a tax credit to help cover the cost. Employers with fewer than 25 full-time workers who earn an average yearly salary of $50,000 or less can get tax credits of up to 50 percent this year.

Citing technical difficulties, in late November the Obama administration announced aone-year delay in the debut of the online marketplace for small businesses, called the Small Business Health Option, or SHOP. Until the SHOP exchange is fully operational in November 2014, small business owners can apply for coverage through the mail, over the phone or with a broker or insurance agent.

I'm over 65. How does the legislation affect seniors?

There is no need for you to enroll in the health law's exchanges. Medicare is not part of those exchanges.

But the law does make other changes to Medicare.It is narrowing a gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan known as the "doughnut hole." That's when seniors who have paid a certain initial amount in prescription costs have to pay for all of their drug costs until they spend a total of $4,550 for the year. Then the plan coverage begins again.

That coverage gap will be closed entirely by 2020. Seniors will still be responsible for 25 percent of their prescription drug costs. As of late November, more than 7.3 million seniors and people with disabilities who hit the doughnut hole have saved $8.9 billion on their prescription drugs, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The law also expanded Medicare's coverage of preventive services, such as screenings for colon, prostate and breast cancer, which are now free to beneficiaries. Medicare will also pay for an annual wellness visit to develop or update a plan to prevent disease or disability.

According to CMS, in 2012 an estimated 34.1 million beneficiaries took advantage of Medicare's coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing.

The health law reduced the federal government's payments to Medicare Advantage plans, run by private insurers as an alternative to the traditional Medicare. Medicare Advantage costs more per beneficiary than traditional Medicare. Critics of those payment cuts say that could mean the private plans may not offer many extra benefits, such as free eyeglasses, hearing aids and gym memberships, that they now provide.

Will I have to pay more for my health care because of the law?

It depends. Younger people who often paid less for health insurance before the health law may pay more for coverage. Older people may pay less because there are tighter rules governing how much more insurers can charge based on age. People who could not afford insurance before may now be eligible for subsidies to cover the cost of premiums - and possibly out-of-pocket costs as well.  Individuals who purchased insurance before may pay more because the law's "essential health benefits" require that more services be covered.

Opponents say the law's additional coverage requirements will make health insurance more expensive for individuals and for the government. Even supporters of the law acknowledge its steps to control health costs, such as incentives to coordinate care better, may take a while to show significant savings.

There are also some new taxes and fees. For example, starting last year, individuals with earnings above $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000 paid a Medicare payroll tax of 2.35 percent, up from 1.45 percent, on income over those thresholds. In addition, higher-income people faced a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income, such as dividends and interest.

Starting in 2018, the law also will impose a 40 percent excise tax on the portion of most employer-sponsored health coverage (excluding dental and vision) that exceeds $10,200 a year and $27,500 for families. The tax has been dubbed a "Cadillac" tax because it hits the most generous plans.

In addition, the law also imposes taxes and fees on several major health industries. Last year, medical device manufacturers and importers began paying a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of any taxable medical device to raise $29 billion over 10 years. An annual fee for health insurers is expected to raise more than $100 billion over 10 years, while a fee for brand name drugs will bring in another $34 billion.

Those fees will likely be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums.

Has the law hit some bumps in the road?

Yes. The Oct. 1 launch of was marred by technical problems that frustrated millions of consumers and gave Republicans on Capitol Hill fresh material for another round of hearings and charges criticizing President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement. Some Democrats have urged the administration to delaythe law's individual mandate, citing the website's woes. After a series of repairs, officials have said that the website is working for the "vast majority of users."

When millions of Americans who buy coverage on the individual market began to learnthat their current health plans would not be offered in 2014 because they did not  comply with the health law's new requirements, Obama had to apologize for his oft-repeated statement "if you like your health plan you can keep it."

With some Americans still having difficulty in late December trying to sign up for coverage that starts Jan. 1, administration officials asked insurers to give people more time to pay for coverage beginning Jan. 1.  Insurers said that people who enroll by Dec. 24 can pay as late as Jan. 10.

Problems with have helped keep early enrollment well below government estimates, but administration officials have said they expect sign-ups to continue to intensify before open enrollment closes March 31.

Are there more changes ahead for the law?

Republicans are expected to continue their efforts to defund or repeal the health law and convene additional oversight hearings to highlight the law's problems as Congress gears up for the 2014 midterm elections.

It's also possible that some of the taxes on the health care industry, which help pay for the new benefits in the health law, could be rolled back due to pressure from affected groups. A repeal of the tax on medical devices was part of last fall's debate over funding the federal government and raising the federal debt ceiling but was not included in the final deal. Medicare's actuary has predicted that the law's payment reductions to hospitals and other providers may not withstand heavy political lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), one of the most contentious provisions of the health law, is also under continued attack by lawmakers. IPAB is a 15-member panel charged with making recommendations to reduce Medicare spending if the amount the government spends grows beyond a target rate. If Congress chooses not to accept the recommendations, lawmakers must pass alternative cuts of the same size.

Some Republicans argue that the board amounts to health care rationing and some Democrats have said that they think the panel would transfer power that belongs on Capitol Hill to the executive branch. In March, the House voted to repeal IPAB. The Senate did not consider the measure.





New fact sheets: several new fact sheets have recently been posted to related to using new coverage as well as various Q&As for assisters working with consumers on application and enrollment.  Feel Free to share with your distributions and thank you for all your hard work



A number of materials on the tri-department FAQs are now live. See below for links followed by the full pieces:




For other helpful outreach and enrollment resources, please click here

For General FAQs on HRSA Health Center Outreach and Enrollment Assistance Supplemental Funding, click here

Grants & Funding Opportunities

National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
is pleased to announce that the 2014 NHSC Loan Repayment Program application cycle is now open. The application cycle will close on March 20th at 7:30 pm ET.
To help ensure that the communities with the greatest need are supported, qualified applicants working in Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) with the highest scores as of January 1, 2014, will be given priority. With continued service, NHSC providers may be able to pay off all of their student loans.
The Program is expected to be competitive. On average, it takes a few weeks to complete an application so please begin the process early. It is suggested that you start gathering required documentation as soon as possible.
Technical assistance webcasts and conference calls have been scheduled to address questions. Please mark your calendars for the following webcast and conference calls.
* Webcast: Wed, January 29 at 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. ET
* Conference Call: Wed, February 5 at 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. ET
* Conference Call: Wed, February 12 at 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. ET

Health Centers Can Sign Up for Children's Health Literacy Resource

As you know, health literacy skills start early in life and are an important part 

of caring for and educating children and adolescents. First Book offers a collection of children's books that combine lessons in literacy with lessons on practicing healthy behaviors.  The program works with health professionals like you to ensure low-income kids have access to brand new, high-quality books they need to succeed.  By joining the First Book network, you'll have ongoing access to free and deeply discounted new books for the children you serve. Click here to sign-up. After signing up, keep an eye on your inbox for a welcome email from First Book and instructions on how to start selecting from the wide variety of great titles. Questions may be directed to (866) READ-NOW or by email to  


Community Health Center Executive Fellowship

Application Deadline: Prior to First Session, January 15, 2014

This 11-month distance learning program is sponsored by the University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Health Policy & Management, in collaboration with the Greater Midwest Association of Primary Health Care and the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved. The Fellowship is designed to prepare emerging leaders for increasingly responsible management positions in community health centers.  Leveraging interactive online technology, students are able to expand their knowledge and develop the professional skills necessary to respond to the dynamic challenges that exist in the community health environment. The program offers two options:


  • Option 1: By completing all six modules you will received a certificate from the University of Kansas and a lapel pin designating you a "CHC Executive Fellow." Tuition in 2014 is $4,500, plus cost of books, travel/lodging for Capstone in Washington, D.C., plus $150 for meals and transportation.
  • Option 2: Individual module(s) are available for people who may not want (or have time for) the entire curriculum or the CHC Executive Fellow designation, but just want to focus on one or more particular critical areas. Tuition for individual modules is $950 each plus cost of books.  Check the academic calendar on the program's website to see when the module(s) you're interested in are scheduled.


Please email Marsha Killian for more information and/or to begin the application process. 


FY 2014 Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program: HRSA-14-043

Application Deadline: January 16, 2014

The Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) has announced this funding to assist in the development of an integrated healthcare network.  For the purposes of this grant program, a rural health network is defined as an organizational arrangement among at least three separately owned regional or local health care providers that come together to develop strategies for improving health services delivery systems in a community.  Networks can include a wide range of community partners including social service agencies, faith-based organizations, mental health agencies, charitable organizations, educational institutions, employers, local government agencies or other entities with an interest in a community's health care system. Successful applicants may request up to $85,000 for one year to create a foundation for their infrastructure and form a coordinated plan among members to address important regional or local health needs.  ORHP expects to fund approximately 15 grantees. There will be a technical assistance call on Tuesday, December 3 at 1:00 pm ET:


Meeting Name: Rural Health Network Development 

Planning Program 

Web connection: Click here

Toll-free call-in number: (800) 475-0512

Participant Passcode:  5732913


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces new funding opportunities to support the primary care workforce

To help expand and support the nation's supply of primary care practitioners, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the availability of funds for two programs that receive funding under the Affordable Care Act. 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellowship
Application Deadline: January 14, 2014 (3:00 pm ET)  
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program is a three-year advanced leadership program for nurses who aspire to lead and shape health care locally and nationally. Fellows strengthen and improve their leadership abilities related to improving health and health care. Interested health center nurses should feel free to contact Cheri Rinehart, PACHC President & CEO and a graduate of the program, for more information, including other PA health center alumni of the program.


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. 



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.
Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Corner 

NCQA PCMH Elements Requiring a Written Process:


1A:         Offering same day appointments for both routine and urgent care

Providing and documenting clinical advice by telephone during office hours (includes definition of timeliness for returning calls)

Use of a secure electronic system for providing and documenting clinical advice during office hours (includes definition of timeliness for responses)


1B:          Offering or arranging for routine and urgent care outside of regular business hours

Making medical record information available for after hours care

Providing and documenting clinical advice by telephone after office hours (includes definition of timeliness for returning calls)

Use of a secure electronic system for providing and documenting clinical advice after office hours (includes definition of timeliness for responses)


1D:         Assisting patients in selecting a PCP


1E:          Informing patients of the obligations of a medical home and the materials provided


1F:          Providing interpretive services


1G:         Structured team member communication process regarding patient care

Standing orders

Staff participation in practice evaluation and improvement activities


2C:          Ensuring consistent collection of a comprehensive health assessment*


4B:          Arranging or providing treatment for mental health and substance abuse

Arranging or providing health education


5A:         Managing laboratory and imaging testing (includes tracking, follow up on overdue results, flagging abnormal results, patient notification, follow up with facilities on newborn screening, electronic communication to order and retrieve results, electronically incorporating imaging result in the medical record)


5B:          Managing referrals (includes clinical information to be provided to the specialist, tracking and follow up, agreements for co-management of patients, asking about self referrals)


5C:          Managing transitions of care (includes identifying patients with admissions or ED visits, sharing and exchanging clinical information with the facility, obtaining discharge summaries, contacting patients for follow up care)


*2C may also be documented using a completed patient assessment

Clinical Quality 

Clinical Quality Measures

CMS uses clinical quality measures (CQMs) in a variety of quality initiatives that include quality improvement and public reporting. ONC certifies that electronic health record (EHR) technologies are capable of accurately calculating the CQM results for the meaningful use incentive program.

Quality Measure Code Sets

The Clinical Quality Measures used by the HHS EHR incentive program are comprised of definitions, measure logic, data elements, and value sets. Four federal agencies: the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CMS, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and ONC are providing these components in various formats in order to be understood by technical, non-technical, and clinical consumers. The Value Set Authority Center will provide downloadable access to all official versions of vocabulary Value Sets contained in CQMs that support Meaningful Use Stage 2.

Data Elements Catalog (DEC) - A data element is a representation of a clinical concept that represents a patient state or attribute. This may be a diagnosis, lab value, gender, etc. that is encoded using standardized terminologies. The DEC is maintained by NLM and available through the Value Set Authority Center (VSAC).

Value Sets - Value sets define clinical concepts unambiguously. They provide list of numerical values and the individual descriptions from standard vocabularies used to define the clinical concepts (e.g., diabetes, clinical visit) within the quality measures. NLM maintains the value sets with the Value Set Authority Center.

USHIK - The United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK) is AHRQ's portal for Meaningful Use. The USHIK is intended as a one-stop shop for publically accessing the components of meaningful use quality measures, providing technical specifications including definitions, measure computation logic, data elements, context, version comparisons, and value (code) sets. Measures and value sets are available in Excel, PDF, XML, and SVS.

Note: Viewing and/or downloading Meaningful Use proprietary value sets, such as those including CPT codes or SNOMED CT codes from NLM-VSAC or AHRQ-USHIK, requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License (UMLS). Authentication via an UMLS ID and password is obtainable through the National Library of Medicine.


The ONC Certification Program provides a defined process to ensure that EHR technologies meet the adopted standards and certification criteria to help providers and hospitals achieve Meaningful Use objectives and measures established by CMS. Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that seek to qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are required to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. For more information on the ONC Certification Programs, please our section on Certification Programs & Policy

Certification of EHR technologies under the ONC certification program requires that EHR software products and EHR modules be tested, as applicable, for the capability to accurately and appropriately calculate the CQM results. ONC has commissioned the development of the Cypress certification tool. The process for submitting the Cypress tool for official approval to be used in the ONC Certification Program is currently under way.

Health Observances This Week
January is National Blood Donor Month

Find a convenient blood drive near you.

You don't need a special reason to give blood.

You just need your own reason.

  • Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend.
  • Some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day.
  • Some believe it is the right thing to do.
  • Whatever your reason, the need is constant and your donation is important for maintaining a healthy and reliable blood supply. You'll feel good knowing you've helped change a life!

    For more info: 
    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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