MACHC
Weekly E-Blast:  
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 aneeqa@machc.com. 

Let's Stay Connected
    
January 31, 2014 
Community Health Center Spotlight
MACHCWebsite Under Construction..... 

 

New Website COMING SOON!!!!

 

*New
Technical Assistance Request Form 
(to be submitted prior to receiving any TA from MACHC)
. 



Congratulations Cherie Clippinger from Walnut, Charles Wilt and Leonard Terry, both from Mt. Laurel on completing the Applying ICS to Healthcare Organizations ICS-200 for Health Care/Hospitals and receiving your certificate. 
MACHC hosted a ICS100-200 webinar for membership Emergency Preparedness Coordinators. The test for the course is posted on the FEMA website. Every FQHC staff should have a basic Emergency Preparedness course completed and this can be done on the FEMA website.
Please look out for the ICS-700 course in the coming month.
Congratulations to the course graduates and if you have not taken to exam, take it and send us an email verifying you have completed it!!
MACHC Happenings

(1)  Updated: BPHC All Programs Webcast - Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm, ETThis call will be an opportunity for participants to hear updates on current BPHC activities and future plans for Fiscal Year 2014.   To access the webcast, please click BPHC All Programs Webcast. To participate by audio only, call: 1-800-988-9503; Passcode: HRSA.

 

(2) National Health Insurance Literacy Webinar for HHS Office of Minority Health Partners

Who Should Attend: OMH partners and others who are interested in learning about health insurance literacy resources and tools to support community outreach and education efforts. 
When: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at 1 pm ET 
 Webinar link: http://engage.vevent.com/rt/betah_associates_inc~020514  
Note: The audio will be available through your computer via the webinar link.
 
(3) On February 6 from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) will host an all program-- Health Centers, Look-Alikes, primary care associations, national cooperative agreements, health center controlled networks--webcast to provide an update on BPHC activities in Fiscal Year 2014 and an opportunity for participants to ask questions.
Link: http://services.choruscall.com/links/hrsa140204.html

(4) Beyond the Basics of Health Reform: Navigating the Application Process for Families that Include Immigrants 
Join us for a Webinar on February 5
Image removed by sender. http://img.gotomeeting.com/g2mimages/webinar/themes/basic/button_registerNow.gif
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/857817327 
The next Beyond the Basics of Health Reform webinar presented by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will take place on Wednesday, February 5, at 2 pm Eastern (11 am Pacific).  
We will focus on the application experience for households that include immigrants and will present several scenarios that illustrate some of the complexities that arise when families that include immigrants apply for coverage.
This webinar will be presented in partnership with the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the Georgetown Center for Children and Families (CCF). If you would like to prepare for this webinar by reviewing the eligibility rules for immigrants under health reform law, please see this webinar (http://ccf.georgetown.edu/ccf-resources/health-insurance-for-immigrant-families/), which was presented by CCF and NILC.
This webinar is intended for those working on the implementation of health reform.

(5) Title: Beyond the Basics of Health Reform: Navigating the Application Process for Families that Include Immigrants
Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST
 
   
(6) 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.

 

(7)  SAVE THE DATE
Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
When: February 20th - 21st, 2014
Where: Turf Valley, Maryland

  

(8) 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.

  

(9) NACHC Policy & Issues Forum 
Please remember that NACHC's Policy & Issues Forum is scheduled for March 19 through 23 in Washington, D.C. We encourage all health centers to participate and schedule appointments with your Congressional delegation for Thursday, March 20. More details are forthcoming from NACHC.
Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News

Health Center Program Site Visit Guide Updated

In response to health center feedback, HRSA has streamlined the Health Center Program Site Visit Guide to improve overall clarity and focus on program requirements. View the updated Health Center Program Site Visit Guide.

Background: The Health Center Program Site Visit Guide is the Bureau of Primary Health Care's standardized review instrument used to conduct Operational Site Visits and, when appropriate, other types of site visits at health centers. It includes review questions used by the team conducting the site visit to assess compliance with each program requirement, as well as to review progress on clinical and financial performance and capital grants (if applicable), and, when possible, to identify any best practices established by the health center. Health centers also may use this guide to assess compliance with program requirements and to identify clinical and financial performance improvement areas. 
New: Policy Information Notice (PIN) "Health Center Program Governance"
 HRSA has issued Policy Information Notice 2014-01, "Health Center Program Governance" to convey and clarify requirements for Health Center governance.  

This Policy Information Notice (PIN) provides detailed information regarding Health Center Program governance requirements. The purpose of this PIN is to:

  • Convey and clarify statutory and regulatory requirements regarding the structure and functioning of governing boards for all Health Center Program grantees (e.g., section 330(e), (g), (h), and/or (i) grantees) and look-alikes;
  • Provide clarification regarding board requirements for public centers under co-applicant arrangements, including public centers funded or designated solely under sections 330(g), 330(h), and/or 330(i) to serve special populations; and
  • Outline the eligibility and qualifying requirements for Health Resources and Services Administration approval of a governance waiver for the fifty-one percent patient majority governance requirement for eligible section 330 grantees and look-alikes. This PIN also establishes Health Resources and Services Administration policy that eliminates the monthly meeting requirement from waiver consideration.

Currently funded health center grantees and currently designated look-alikes are encouraged to contact their Project Officer for further assistance regarding the governing board requirements and/or questions that specifically relate to their health center projects. If you have any additional questions or require further guidance on the policies detailed in this PIN, please contact the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Office of Policy and Program Development atBPHCPolicy@hrsa.gov.

 

 Read the PIN for full details and check the technical assistance section of this digest for information on an upcoming call about this PIN. 
 
Coordinated Health Care Program Saves Millions
Nearly half of the 114 hospitals and doctor groups that began Accountable Care Organizations under the health law in 2012 managed to slow Medicare spending in their first year, but only 29 of them saved enough money to qualify for bonus payments, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Thursday. CMS called the results "very promising"-particularly for the first year of a program that involved significant changes in the delivery of health care. But the fact that more than half the ACOs didn't achieve savings underscores the challenges that remain in curbing health-care costs this way.  
House Republicans plan to pass a healthcare reform bill that could replace the Affordable Care Act, Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Thursday. The No. 2 House Republican included the announcement in his presentation to rank-and-file members at the party's three-day retreat here on its legislative agenda for 2014. Cantor's promise comes just two days after President Obama, during his State of the Union address, mocked the House for its repeated efforts to repeal his signature legislative accomplishment.
CDC's 2013 Prevention Status Reports are now available to help health centers learn about the status of policies and practices designed to prevent or reduce important public health problems nationwide.

Instead, Obama also praised his health care law, which is both the signature achievement of his administration and -- because of the fraught rollout of healthcare.gov last year -- the centerpiece of Republicans' case against him. Obama described the situation of an Arizona woman, Amanda Shelley, who he said had obtained coverage Jan. 1 because of the law. On Jan. 6, she had emergency surgery -- which, Obama said, "would've meant bankruptcy" if she had not been covered. Then, after saying that the law had made changes for the better, Obama made a blunter argument aimed at congressional Republicans: No matter what they think of the law, they now have no choice but to live with it. 

A congresswoman from New Hampshire asked the U.S. government Tuesday to clarify how families can obtain coverage under the federal health insurance law when children are eligible for Medicaid but their parents are not. Parents in New Hampshire, California and Florida have been surprised to learn that children who qualify for Medicaid can't be covered under subsidized family plans purchased through the federal online markets, The Associated Press reported this week. Some children are going without coverage temporarily while their eligibility is determined. Others are stuck with no options because they applied for Medicaid and were rejected, but can't be added to their parents' plans.
State News
DELAWARE
Check out the Delaware ACA Toolkit right here!

State Medical Board Effort to Streamline Medical Licensing Gains Support in U.S. Senate

Bipartisan group says new licensing concept is 'in best interests of physicians and patients'

(Euless, Texas, January 14, 2014) - A bipartisan group of 16 U.S. Senators has publicly commended state medical boards and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) for their recent efforts to streamline the licensing process for physicians who wish to practice in multiple states - thus helping facilitate the use of telemedicine and increasing access to care throughout the United States.

In a letter sent January 9th to the FSMB, the Senators applauded the progress being made by the state medical boards in the development of an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - a newly proposed licensing option under which qualified physicians seeking to practice in multiple states would be eligible for expedited licensure in all states participating in the Compact. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact would ensure that physicians are under the jurisdiction of the state medical board where the patient is located at the time of a medical interaction.

Under the new system, participating state medical boards would retain their licensing and disciplinary authority, but would agree to share information and processes essential to the licensing and regulation of physicians who practice across state borders. Participation in the Compact would be voluntary, for both states and physicians.

Those signing the letter included: John Thune (R-S.D.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso, MD (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R- Ark.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tom Coburn, MD (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

In the letter, the Senators noted that the proposed Compact system retains important patient-protection advantages of the current state-based medical licensing process. "We agree that allowing states to share information while allowing each state to retain jurisdiction over physicians who choose to practice in the state is in the best interest of both physicians and patients," the letter said. The Senators noted that the new expedited licensure system would help ensure telemedicine is practiced in a "safe and accountable manner."

Support is growing among legislators and health policymakers for the new system, which is expected to significantly reduce barriers to the process of gaining licensure in multiple states at a time when telemedicine is growing and millions of new patients are likely to enter into the U.S. health care system. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is expected to be of particular help in widening access to health care for patients in rural and underserved areas of the nation.

The Interstate Compact Taskforce (ICT), organized by the FSMB, is shaping the Compact's basic terms of understanding. The initial draft of the Compact was recently distributed to state medical boards and other stakeholders for comment. Revised drafts are expected to be available for review and consideration throughout the spring and summer of 2014. The ICT has received support in its efforts from experts from the Council of State Governments, an organization of state legislators and other government officials that previously passed resolutions calling for the exploration of telehealth and medical licensing compacts that would ultimately improve access to care and protect patient safety.

"We are delighted by this new expression of support for this effort, which is being carefully developed in a way that meets the needs of patients, physicians and state medical boards - while ensuring, above all, the safe practice of medicine," said Jon V. Thomas, MD, MBA, a member of the Interstate Compact Taskforce and Chair of the FSMB.

 

About the FSMB

The FSMB is a national non-profit organization representing all medical boards within the United States and its territories that license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic physicians and, in some jurisdictions, other health care professionals. It assists these state and territorial medical boards as they go about their mandate of protecting the public's health, safety and welfare. The FSMB leads by promoting excellence in medical practice, licensure, and regulation. For more information, please visit www.fsmb.org. 

 

 

 

MARYLAND
Two leading Democratic candidates for governor of Maryland harshly criticized the rollout of the state's online health insurance exchange Thursday but sparred during a candidates forum over the wisdom of a solution one of them proposed earlier in the day. Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (Montgomery) both told an audience of senior citizens that Maryland had no excuse for botching the start of its exchange, which has been riddled with glitches since its Oct. 1 debut.
Exchange Updates:

BALTIMORE (January 31, 2014) -- This week, Governor O'Malley signed into law an emergency bill that will allow Marylanders who tried unsuccessfully to purchase coverage to gain coverage through the Maryland Health Insurance Plan. The bill was proposed by Governor O'Malley and Lt. Governor Brown as one of several efforts to help individuals gain coverage. Enactment of the law follows news last week that more than a thousand households registered for the retroactive coverage option, which will allow Marylanders who experienced technical challenges on the website prior to January 1, to enroll in the private plan of their choice with coverage retroactive to January 1. 
Also this week, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Board approved a plan to allow eligible small businesses to begin offering their employees small group health insurance plans certified by the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange, and to access the federal tax credits available for SHOP-certified plans.  SHOP-certified plans, along with access to tax credits worth up to 50 percent of the employer's contribution toward employee premium costs (or up to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers), will be available directly through carriers, third party administrators, and brokers beginning April 1, 2014.  MHBE will follow the federal government's timeline in waiting to launch its SHOP website until January 1, 2015.  
In addition, MHBE this week announced the Producer Referral Program -- a partnership with the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors of Maryland (NAIFA MD), the Maryland Association of Health Underwriters (MAHU), and the Insurance Agents & Brokers Service Group (IA&B) to assist Marylanders in enrolling in health insurance plans either through Maryland Health Connection or directly with insurance carriers. Through the program, approximately 55 brokers spread across the State have volunteered to accept referrals from consumers who want the assistance of a local insurance broker in navigating the website or enrolling directly with carriers. Individuals seeking assistance through the referral program can call 877-304-9934 or 410-268-6877
Weekly Report
From October 1 through January 25, 2014, there have been 898,780 unique visitors to the Maryland Health Connection website. 144,904 Marylanders have created identity-verified accounts.  Through January 25, 26,832 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection. 
95,318 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically converted to Medicaid coverage effective on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage.  As of January 28, an additional 42,302 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1.  In total, more than 70,000 Marylanders received an initial determination of eligibility for a Medicaid program through Maryland Health Connection. As noted in previous reports, some of these individuals may have pending verifications before coverage is effective, and others may turn out to already have Medicaid coverage.
Information for Users of Maryland Health Connection
Open enrollment continues until March 31, 2014, so Marylanders will continue to be able to apply for, shop and enroll in coverage. Many of the technical glitches most frustrating to consumers have been fixed, and we continue to work to address others that continue to cause difficulties for some Maryland consumers. 
As more people learn about their health coverage options and the consumer experience on the website improves, enrollment through Maryland Health Connection into more than 60 medical and dental plans will increase. We anticipate that as many as three-fourths of individuals and families enrolling in private health coverage through Maryland Health Connection will qualify for tax credits and other assistance to reduce their costs.
Options when having trouble:
  • Visit the Consumer Information Update page for important notices before beginning. These notices include advice on how to navigate some of the issues on the website as we work to address them.
  • Try again at a later time. At times of peak usage, heavy volume can still cause errors and delays.
  • Call the Consumer Support Center toll-free at 1-855-642-8572 to discuss the issue or start an application by phone. In response to high call volumes, additional staff are being trained to provide additional customer support. Hours of operation are Mon. through Fri., 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., and Sun. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Talk to a consumer assistance worker or authorized insurance agent for assistance. The link to contact information for connector entities in each of the State's six regions can be found on thePrepare for Enrollment page, which is accessible from the landing page at the front of the website, or under the Individuals and Families tab under the heading of "Consumer Assistance." In-person assistance is available statewide through six Connector organizations and 50 supporting grassroots organizations that employ 158 navigators and 171 assisters.
Feedback:
If consumers using the site run into any issues and want to provide feedback, they can do so via the link found on the Consumer Information Update page. Information from users is sent to Maryland Health Connection's technical team working to improve the user experience on the site.
Website availability:
As the technical team continues to improve the experience of using the website, it may from time to time be temporarily unavailable. In addition, in order to perform routine maintenance, certain functions may be unavailable from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.
Insurance Producers:
More than 2,000 insurance agents in Maryland have completed training to sell qualified health plans through Maryland Health Connection. A weekly communication to all authorized insurance brokers provides details about system updates and news to increase efficiency and address issues.
Spanish language:
A Spanish language website will launch in two phases to meet the needs of Maryland's Latino community. The first phase of the launch, which went live in November, includes the information resources section of MarylandHealthConnection.gov where information, updates, outreach and resources are available. The second phase of the Spanish language website expansion includes the application portal. This functionality will launch during the first quarter of 2014 and includes account creation, application, shopping and enrollment. 
Accessibility for persons with disabilities:
Consumer information materials are now available in Braille and large print. The large print materials are available for download on the Maryland Health Connection Outreach and Education page. In addition, individuals can request to have Braille and large print materials mailed directly to them by calling the consumer support center at 1-855-642-8572. Individuals can also access the Braille and large print materials locally at the National Federation of the Blind, Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the IMAGE Center for People with Disabilities. All of these organizations serve people across the state of Maryland. Consumers seeking services for the deaf or hard of hearing may call the Consumer Support Center toll-free at 1-855-642-8573.
Outreach:
Outreach continues throughout the state seven days per week to educate consumers about their health coverage options. Grassroots outreach events are scheduled and available on MarylandHealthConnection.gov under the Calendar of Events for consumers to visit and speak directly with navigators and assisters in their local communities.
Security of information on website:
Maryland Health Connection, supported by experts in IT security at government agencies and through our IT team, has taken many steps to assure the security of the data entered on the website.
Accessing information about health plan benefits, rates, and providers before creating an account:
We have posted a webpage, Prepare for Enrollment, which provides information on plans, shows sample rates for a range of scenarios, and provides instructions on the documents needed for the application for financial assistance. In addition, a Provider Search Tool, accessible through a link on the "Prepare for Enrollment" page, allows consumers to search for a doctor and find out the plans in which their doctor participates. A link to this tool is also made available to consumers during the actual plan selection process.
Finance & Business
 
Customer service workers at a call center for insurance exchanges established under the federal health care overhaul have sued their employer in federal court, saying they were forced to work unpaid overtime. The nine workers at a Boise facility who brought the suit against Maximus Inc. say the case could potentially apply to thousands of employees, and they're asking a judge to award damages exceeding $5 million.
Maryland To Allow Small Businesses To Offer Small Group Health Plans
Maryland approved a plan Monday to allow small businesses to offer employees small group health plans in April, but pushed back the launch of its small business health care exchange website to Jan. 1, 2015, in line with the federal health exchange. The program, which would give small business employees access to federal tax credits, was initially slated to open in October, but was delayed due to glitches that have plagued the state's exchange. Certified plans and access to tax credits worth up to 50 percent of the employer's contribution toward employee premium costs, will be available directly through carriers, third party administrators and brokers starting April 1.  
The Latest News on ACA
What's the LATEST 
on the ACA this week

 

 

 

 

Two Superbowl ACA videos
 
Please see the following two celeb ACA Super Bowl videos released this morning.  Please help our outside partners get this out to your networks.
 

Using Social Media to Expand Outreach

 

After helping a person get covered through HealthCare.gov, share his or her story with us through our

Share your Story collection tool found here on the new "Got Covered" page.  These success stories will be featured to help raise awareness about the Health Insurance Marketplace, and to help put a face and story to what affordable health coverage really means.

If you manage a digital channel and would like to leverage our content you can share, retweet, or even download images and use as your own.  Here are the various platforms that you can find HealthCare.gov on:

Lastly, if you have a large in-person enrollment event, please reach out to your HHS regional connection.  The HealthCare.gov digital team will partner with our regional counterparts to lend support and attempt to promote the event within the local community through various digital media tactics. 
 

Accces to Maximize the Impact and Reach of Assisters

The time for action is now.  We must work together in the coming weeks to re-energize our outreach and enrollment efforts.  We want to highlight a few of the successful outreach best practices that enrollment assisters have discovered work well in local communities. Consider adopting these tactics in a way that would work in your community. Together we will keep the momentum going in the final nine weeks of open enrollment to help consumers better understand the facts about the law and motivate consumers to enroll. 

The three best practices highlighted in two examples below are: 1) hosting "computer bank" events, 2) holding events during non-traditional hours (like weekends and after work), and 3) leveraging partnerships to target youth and families.

Example of a Computer Bank Event at Non-Traditional Hours   Some assisters have found success in hosting computer bank events held at non-traditional hours.  During these events, multiple consumers sit at computers and enroll online, with assisters on hand to answer questions. These events have found success with numerous assister groups, including FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Health Board in North Dakota.  As another example, Health Council of South Florida, a CAC organization, through partnership with Enroll America and additional community organizations, hosts large scale computer bank enrollment events at Miami Dade College's massive computer labs - on both weekday nights and weekend afternoons.  Each Assister mans a section of 6-10 computers at a time - essentially computer pods - and walks consumers through the enrollment process. Students and members of the public have the opportunity to RSVP in advance (although walk-ins are welcome), and upon arrival each consumer checks in at the check-in station where the receptionist directs each individual to a pod that will best suit their needs. For example, if a consumer is Spanish or Creole speaking, they will be directed to a computer pod with a Spanish or Creole speaking CAC assister. 

While the events are targeted to young college students, they are also publicized to the larger public via 2,000 local organizations. The work of the Health Council of South Florida demonstrates the benefits of partnering with local universities and organizations and demonstrates how computer bank events maximize the impact and reach of individual assisters to result in higher enrollment completions.

Example of Partnerships to Target Youth and Families  An example of a partnership to target youth and families using the previously mentioned computer bank format is highlighted in the work of assisters in Tampa, FL.  Assisters in Tampa have partnered with the Mayor's office to conduct outreach and enrollment at nine of the busiest community recreation centers across Tampa.  In-person assisters, in close partnership with a local Navigator subgrantee, the Tampa Family Health Foundation, have at least two assisters at each center at least once a week between the hours of 4-7 pm or other non-traditional hours convenient to the target audience of young adults.  Each recreation center includes a computer lab with 15-20 computers which gives consumers a chance to learn about the Marketplace, browse for plans, and finish an application in a more private spot when they are ready. The mayor's office has also helped the group get media attention leading to more participants who end up enrolling in coverage. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius also drew a big crowd and media attention when she helped kick off the rec center project. The work of these Tampa assisters is a great example of productive partnerships and using computer banks during non-traditional hours to provide accessible enrollment assistance and outreach to the young and fit.

Thank you for your hard work and for your willingness to partner with us to reexamine and reinvigorate our outreach and enrollment efforts during the last ten weeks of open enrollment.  We are relying on you to get the word out and get people enrolled in coverage that works for them. 

 

 
Updated Tips for Assisting Consumers with Various Immigration Statuses

We want to highlight items that are important to remember when assisting a consumer with documentation related to immigration status.  Consumers filling out the online application will need to attest to either being a U.S. Citizen, a naturalized or derived citizen , or in an eligible immigration status in order to be determined eligible to enroll in qualified health plans, to receive Advanced Payments of Premium Tax Credits or Cost-Sharing Reductions, and/or to be determined eligible for other Insurance Affordability Programs such as Medicaid or CHIP. Some consumers with various immigration statuses have experienced issues in submitting their application. For example, some consumers have received a yellow error screen at the end of the application process.  This may be caused by the way the data is handled in the Marketplace system.

*NEW NOTE* (UPDATED INFORMATION) Currently the data verification process is case-sensitive.To avoid triggering an error, please encourage consumers to enter their first name and last name on the application in all capital letters, omitting special characters (',/,- etc.) or any spaces before or after their name. Also, there is a helpful guide on healthcare.gov that gives a description of each of the immigration documents, outlines which document numbers will be requested for each document type, and provides guidelines for entering the document numbers.

Naturalized or Derived Citizens:
If a consumer attests to being a naturalized or derived U.S. Citizen on the application, he/she will be asked to provide information about their Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship supporting their status. On the application, after a consumer attests to their status, the consumer will be given an option to choose one of these two documents and then will be shown fields to input key pieces of information that can be found on their document.

  • The consumer will be asked to provide an alien number and either a Naturalization Certificate number or a Certificate of Citizenship number, depending on which document he/she has.

Both the alien number and certificate number are needed in order to verify the consumer's information.

We highly encourage assisters to recommend that applicants locate and input all document numbers, if possible, so that we can verify the immigration status in real-time. Doing this will increase the likelihood of a successful application submission.

Eligible Immigration Statuses:
If a consumer attests to having an eligible immigration status on the application, they will be asked to provide information about their most current immigration document that supports their status. On the application, there is a drop down field where they can select their document.

After a document is selected, a number of fields will appear requesting certain document numbers that can be found on the immigration document. The specific document numbers that are requested of applicants will depend on the type of document that the applicant has selected.  Again, there is a helpful guide on healthcare.gov that gives a description of each of the immigration documents, outlines which document numbers will be requested for each document type, and provides guidelines for entering the document numbers. If consumers have difficulty locating the document numbers requested, they can also call the Call Center for assistance.

The Marketplace uses the document type and associated document numbers to verify an individual's status with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Again, we highly encourage assisters to recommend that applicants locate and input all document numbers, if possible, so that we can verify immigration status in real-time. Doing this will increase the likelihood of a successful application submission.

Since some consumers may encounter difficulty entering the document numbers into the application - due to problems finding the required document numbers or errors when trying to submit an application -- these fields are optional, and not required, on the application.  Therefore, if a consumer has problems entering their document numbers on the application, they should be able to attest to having an eligible immigration status and continue to complete and submit the application without inputting all of the immigration status information.  Consumers who choose to omit their document information will be asked to provide a copy of their documentation to the Marketplace once they have completed the application.  The Marketplace will then manually verify the immigration documentation.  

We've compiled a few best practices for assisting consumers with regards to immigration status and documentation. 

  1. 1.     *NEW TROUBLESHOOTING TIP*: To avoid triggering an error, please encourage consumers to enter their first name and last name on the application in all capital letters, omitting special characters (',/,- etc.) or any spaces before or after their name.  For example, JOHN DOE. This increases the likelihood of a smooth and swift verification of data, and increases the likelihood of a successful application submission.
  2. 2.     Although many of the few fields in the immigration section of the application are labeled optional, we highly recommend that consumers input all information they have into all of the fields, or as many of the fields as possible. This increases the likelihood of a smooth and swift verification of immigration status, and increases the likelihood of a successful application submission.
  3. 3.     We also encourage legal permanent residents with a green card, or I-551, to input both their correct alien registration number (which may be listed on the card as a USCIS #) and their correct card number into the application.  This increases the likelihood of a smooth and swift verification of immigration status, and increases the likelihood of a successful application submission. Those with other immigration statuses or documents should also complete the document fields to the extent possible.
  4. 4.     In addition to the guide on healthcare.gov, there are helpful guides located on the USCIS.gov website that include color visuals of immigration document examples with the document numbers circled in red.  Many assisters find the  guide detailing the Legal Permanent Resident Card - its layout, where to find the document numbers, and how many digits the numbers should have - especially helpful.  We're also working to update Healthcare.gov with visuals and helpful information in the future.
  5. 5.     If, after multiple attempts, the consumer is still encountering difficulty entering document numbers into the application or submitting the application, the consumer has the option to omit the numbers and try again to continue through the application to submission. In order to successfully submit and receive a determination, the consumer should be sure to attest to having an eligible immigration status when asked within the application process.  The eligibility notice should then provide instructions to the consumer to provide documentation in support of their attestation to the exchange for manual verification. The consumer should then upload supplemental documentation supporting their status through My Account or mail copies to the Marketplace.
  6. If possible, we recommend that the consumer upload supplemental documentation through My Account, as a faster process for verification of immigration status, rather than mailing them.

    The following links on HealthCare.gov should be helpful if there are questions about documentation:

    1.  Information on Eligible Immigration Status Types
    2.  More Information on Eligible Immigration Status Types
    3.  Information for Naturalized or Derived Citizens
    4.  Information on Immigration Documentation and how to correctly put it into the application 
     

 

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 help@firstbook.org.  

  

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.
   

Clinical Excellence Grant Program

Application Deadline: February 28, 2014 
Grants of up to $50,000 to nonprofit healthcare institutions to fund clinical programs that improve infection prevention practices or outcomes.
 
 Mobilization for Health: National Prevention Partnership Awards Program
Application Deadline: Non-binding Letter of Intent by January 21; Application by March 3, 2014 
Supports grants of up to $500,000 for community health programs to create partnerships and implement new and innovative programs in health information and health promotion, health services, and education in the appropriate use of healthcare.  
 

Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications

Application Deadline: April 30, 2014
Awards scholarships to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to community service or used the visual arts or media to convey culturally-appropriate health messages on behalf of a disadvantaged population.

 

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 

Action Steps and Time for NCQA PCMH Application  Processing (click on the NCQA PCMH to find the pdf)

 

With the new NCQA 2014 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Standards soon to be released, here are some dates to keep in mind for those working on the 2011 PCMH Standards for submission:
June 30, 2014 - last date to purchase the survey tool   
March 31, 2014 will be the first day to purchase the new 2014 survey tool if your health center is just beginning your PCMH journey and will therefore be seeking recognition using the new 2014 standards. Please remember that HRSA will cover the costs of the NCQA survey tools and recognition fees so if you have not done so already, complete a Notice of Intent (NOI) and submit via email if you plan to submit for recognition. For more information visit the HRSA website.
 
Community Health Centers are increasingly adopting the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. A successful implementation requires skills-based education to all members of the care team, and especially the Medical Assistants (MAs). Through the activation and empowerment of MAs, there exists huge opportunity for enhanced patient engagement and healthy behavior change support. To learn more about how to engage MAs in new roles of care delivery, register now  for a webinar on January 29 or February 13 at noon.
The AHRQ-funded Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Research Methods Series is designed to expand awareness of methods to evaluate and refine PCMH models and other health care interventions. These novel and underused methods can be used to better assess and refine PCMH models and to meet the evidence needs of PCMH stakeholders more effectively. Each brief describes a PCMH method, outlines its advantages and limitations, and provides resources for researchers to learn more about the method. This series was developed with input from nationally recognized leaders in research methods and PCMH models.
Clinical Quality 

HRSA Offers Help on Privileging

If you missed the webinar, Privileging: Real World Applications and Challenges, presented by ECRI Institute on behalf of HRSA last month, a recording of the 60-minute webinar, handouts, and post-conference speaker questions and answers are now available in the Webinar and Audio Conference Archive on the Clinical Risk Management Program website. The webinar provided information on:

  • Several approaches to privileging (e.g., core/bundle privileging format)
  • Steps in the privileging process
  • Privileging policy considerations
  • Peer review as connected to the privileging process
  • Considerations when granting temporary privileges

Tools that health centers can use when developing and implementing privileging policies and procedures were also provided. There is no fee for health centers for any of the information.  To access the webinar and materials, log in to the website with your username and password. If you don't have access or want to attend a free, live demonstration of the website, email Clinical_RM_Program@ecri.org or call (610) 825-6000, ext. 5200.

 

RWJF Offers Quality of Care Data Resources

Quality of care data resources have been released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in their latest brief that includes case studies, quality field notes, interviews and videos, and using quality of care information publicly available to everyone who receives, provides, or pays for care.Transparency of this information allows patients to make informed choices about their care, providers to identify gaps in their care, and purchasers to obtain insight into the value of the care that they buy. 


Health Observances This Week
Remember......

January is National Blood Donor Month

Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations. A reduction in turnout can put our nation's blood inventory at a critical low.

January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month (NBDM) to encourage donors to give or pledge to give blood. 

In honor of National Donor Month, ADRP would like to recognize the Donors who support our Member Centers. Click here to upload word files, photos, newsletter pdf pages, or even videos of some of the special donors who help you ensure that blood is available to patients whenever and wherever it is needed. We will post these online and in the Winter Drop.

ADRP also encourages you to upload information on how your center plans to recognize your donors this month or promote National Donor Month.

Every day in our country, approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims. Our members' goals are to help If you are at least 17 years of age (some states permit younger people to donate with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and meet other donor requirements, you may be eligible to donate blood.

For more information, visit: http://www.redcrossblood.org/ 

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.

Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers | | aneeqa@machc.com |
4319 Forbes Blvd. Lanham, MD 20706    |    www.machc.com    |    301.577.0097
 

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