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

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
March 7, 2014 
Community Health Center Spotlight

It's an appropriate calling card for a program called Healthy Smiles in Motion.

The RV is a dental office on wheels - a mobile oral health unit that travels three days a week to Washington County elementary and middle schools, as well as Head Start sites.

Manned by licensed dental assistants, a dental hygienist and a dentist, the vehicle has two fully equipped exam areas and all the offerings you would find in a regular dental office - dental chairs, X-ray machines and instruments to examine, clean and treat teeth.

The program, offered by the Walnut Street Community Health Center, began about three years ago, said April Stanton, coordinator of Healthy Smiles in Motion, as a way to reach children who might not otherwise visit a dentist on a regular basis.

Stanton said hundreds of students have benefited from the program, which she calls a win-win for everyone involved.

To read more, click on the title of the news piece.


Congratulations Walnut Street on such an amazing and successful program! 

MACHC Website Under Construction..... 


New Website COMING SOON!!!!


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

TAKE ACTION: Collect Access is the Answer Petition Signatures to Achieve NACHC's March Goal 

If you have not already signed the  Access is the Answer petition, please take a second and do so and then ask your friends, family, and colleagues to sign it as well. Copies of the petition are available in both English and Spanish. NACHC has set a goal to collect 500 petition signatures per Health Center by the end of March in order to make a strong statement to the President and Congress that the Health Center funding cliff MUST be fixed in order to assure quality, affordable care for this country's residents. The Access is the Answer campaign is NACHC's vehicle for communicating the critical role Health Centers can and must continue to play in solving America's health care challenges. To learn more about the campaign and how to help advance NACHC's efforts, go to the Access is the Answer website and check out the most recent blog post on the campaign. 
MACHC Happenings

Maryland Health Connection and our consumer assistance organizations (Connectors) are hosting a series of free enrollment health fairs throughout the state in March to help you get covered before the March 31 deadline. 

Come to a free HealthConnect NOW event near you, where you'll get in-person to select and enroll in health coverage that fits
your needs and budget. Insurance carriers and brokers will
also be on hand to answer your questions. Free health screenings, healthy living demos, food & fun!

  • We'll help you shop, select and enroll in health coverage that fits your needs and your budget  
  • Find out if you qualify for Medicaid  
  • Determine your eligibility for tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to reduce your insurance premiums  
Meet with navigators and authorized insurance brokers to complete your enrollment 
(1) Community Health Center Essentials: FREE 2-Part Webinar Series!!!



Wicomico Youth & Civic Center
10 am - 2 pm
500 Glen Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21804



Harford Co. Library - Bel Air
1 - 5 pm
100 E. Pennsylvania Ave
Bel Air, MD 21014



Healthy Howard/
Howard Co. Health Dept.
10 am - 2 pm
Ascend One Building
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD 21045



Southern Regional Technology
and Recreation Complex
9 am - 3 pm
7007 Bock Road
Fort Washington, MD 20744



(2) The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) is offering a webinar series, Integrating Oral Health Care in HIV Primary Care Settings: A Guide to Oral Health Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS. This is a curriculum designed to assist primary care providers with the information they need to recognize and manage oral health and disease for people living with HIV/AIDS. The curriculum is composed of five chapters: oral health and oral screening, oral diseases, dental emergencies, dental management and patient education.


Friday, March 7


2:00 - 4:00 pm, ET
Conference Line Number: 1-888-603-9693
Participant code: 9116383 


Friday, March 28


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, ET 
Conference Number: 1-888-603-9693

Participant code: 9116383 


When connecting to the webinar, please enter as a guest.


(3) 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.


(4) NACHC Offers Training for New Medical Directors

NACHC will host Training for New Medical Directors on March 22-23 in Washington, DC. For more information, click here


(5) Monday's CMS webinar: Navigating the Marketplace Application Process for Immigrant Families-March 10th at 2pm ET.

Please join CMS for a special webinar this Monday, March 10th at 2pm where CMS will provide information specific to the needs of assisting consumers who are immigrants or part of immigrant families, as well as tips and strategies for removing barriers to enrollment.  CMS is excited to make this presentation available in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Who should attend: Enrollment Assisters (including PCAs and health centers in all states) who work with immigrant families to help enroll them in affordable health insurance coverage

  • When: Monday, March 10, 2014 from 2:00pm - 3:30pm ET
  • RSVP: To facilitate a quicker registration process on the day of the event, please register for the session by visiting the following link:
  •  Space is limited - we strongly encourage individuals from the same organization to gather in a common room and participate as a group using a single computer or call-in line.
  • The audio portion of the webinar will be delivered via your computer. Please check your computer settings in advance to ensure that your speaker volume is adjusted appropriately. If you cannot hear audio through your computer speakers, please refer to the Alternate Audio tab on the left side of the webinar screen.
  • Please try to log in 5 minutes in advance so that audio links can be made.

(6) Quality Measurement to Support Value-Based Purchasing: Aligning Federal and State Efforts
March 20,12:30-2:00 pm EST

This webinar focuses on federal and state efforts to identify quality measurement priorities that reward  value. Other topics will include integrating the data infrastructure and developing strategies for using data to drive system improvement. State leaders from Vermont and Colorado and federal presenters from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will discuss key initiatives and opportunities for states.  



(7) Connecting to CRISP: Maryland's Health Information Exchange Webinar

Wednesday March 26, 2014

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EST

The Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients or CRISP is Maryland's state designated health information exchange (HIE).  CRISP is a not-for-profit organization charged with electronically connecting healthcare providers across the region

This webinar will explore how your practice can obtain critical patient data from hospitals and why Maryland is better prepared than many states to allow disparate EHR Systems to talk to each other.

Register Here.


(8) Realizing Rural Care Coordination: Considerations and Action Steps for State Policymakers
April 2, 2:00-3:15 pm EST
Webinar coming in April!

ACA: How to Enroll and Help Consumers Enroll

Do you want to know more about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on patients?  Doctors for America has a free one-hour workshop that will teach you the basics of the ACA.  This includes changes that impact all Americans, including those who already have insurance, and the new options for getting access to quality, affordable health care in Maryland.  Please join us to learn more about the details of the changes, important dates, and what you can do to help get your patients connected.



:  Cultural Competency 

Where: Doverdown, Dover, DE

When: May 8th - May 9th (attend 1 of the two 1/2 day sessions for the conference)

The training will consist of didactic training and panel discussion and will offer:

*   Discussions on cultural competency techniques

*   Importance of utilizing culturally sensitive language and behavior

*   Strategies for health entities to foster greater engagement with clients and co-workers 

*   Excellent networking opportunity   

*   Continuing Education Credits for Nurses have been applied for 
Check back for registration details! 



MACHC's Annual Conference
When: Thursday, September 18th - Friday, September 19th, 2014 
Where: Dover Downs Hotel, Dover, DE 




MACHC's Emergency Preparedness Exercise & Drill Workshop 
April 2014
Please check back next week for the Workshop Date.
*FQHC EP Coordinators MUST attend this important workshop
DHMH HPP Program Events below.
DHMH HPP Program 2014 Timeline of Events:



I. Statewide Inventory Assessment Project

DHMH, OP&R will be undertaking a statewide inventory assessment of all supplies and materials purchased with Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) funds. This will involve visiting every facility that has purchased or received items funded by HPP. In preparation for the assessment, OP&R staff will review Inventory Management Forms submitted with End of Year Reports dated from FY08 to FY12 (BP1). Data collected from these reports will serve as the minimal items that will be captured during the inventory process.


Over the next few weeks we will be making contact with facilities to follow up on missing or incomplete Inventory Management Forms.

Integrated Public Health and Medical Preparedness Forum (IPHMPF)

Healthcare coalition partners are encouraged to join us for the next Integrated Preparedness Forum, to be held on February 24, 2014. The featured presenters will be Lisa Skolnick and Reanee Murriell of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They will be speaking on the FBI Office of Victim Assistance's Response to Criminal Mass Casualty Events.

Save the Date: HPP Budget Period 3 Pre-Application Meeting

The Pre-Application Meeting for HPP Budget Period (BP) 3 has been scheduled for May 21, 2014 at the Maritime Institute Conference Center. A meeting agenda will be provided in the coming months.

Reminder: New Bimonthly Schedule for HPP Healthcare Systems Conference Calls

The HPP Healthcare Systems Partner Conference Calls have moved to a new bimonthly schedule. The first call of the year was held on January 16, 2014. Going forward, these calls will still be held on third Thursdays at 10:30am; however, they will take place on a bimonthly basis. Additional conference calls are scheduled for March 20, May 15, July 17, September 18, and November 20. Appointment notices will be sent out by Bonita Winchester-Bey.

II. Program Updates and Deliverables

National Healthcare Coalition Resource Center (NHCRC) Monthly Follow Up for Strategic Planning

NHCRC faculty will continue to engage in monthly follow-up to support healthcare coalitions with implementation of the priorities identified in the workshops. Partners are encouraged to attend and actively participate in these follow-up sessions in order to meet their coalition's goals and objectives. Contact your respective HPP Regional Coordinator


information about


 meeting times for your regional coalition.

III. Preparedness News

Proposed Rule: Emergency Preparedness Requirements for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new rule that would establish national emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers. This would include hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, hospices, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, critical access hospitals, organ procurement organizations, and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) facilities, among others. The intent of the rule is to ensure that these organizations adequately plan for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems. It would also ensure that they are adequately prepared to meet the needs of patients, residents, clients, and participants during disasters and emergency situations.

The proposed rule would add additional requirements to the Conditions for Coverage for ESRD facilities and relocate the emergency preparedness Conditions for Coverage requirement established in the April 2008 Final Rule "Conditions for Coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities; Final Rule." An overview of the proposed rule's requirements is available at Comments on the proposed rule are due by 2/25/2014.

IV. Preparedness Trainings, Exercises and Events

DHMH MSAT G2 Satellite Phone Webinar Training and Drill Schedule

DHMH OP&R has scheduled two webinars to provide preparedness partners with up-to-date, hands-on training before quarterly MSAT testing begins in March. See the attached announcement for specific information regarding the training.

Webinar Schedule:

Regions I, II & V: February 18, 10:30-11:30am  [Calendar appointments have been sent to designated primary healthcare emergency planners.]

Regions III & IV: March 6, 1:30-2:30pm  [Calendar appointments have been sent to designated primary healthcare emergency planners.]

DHMH, in partnership with local health departments, state facilities and acute care hospitals, will begin quarterly testing of the MSAT wall-mounted satellite phones in March 2014. The objective of quarterly tests is to ensure that all agencies equipped with an MSAT are familiar with the use and functionality of the device.

March MSAT Drill Schedule

Regions I-II: March 11 (1-2pm)  

Region III: March 17 (10-11am)

Region IV: March 19 (2-3pm)

Region V: March 12 (11am-12pm)

A full testing schedule that includes test times has been posted to the HAN website and can be accessed by logging in to HAN, clicking the Documents tab, and selecting Communications folder/Appendix A/Statewide Quarterly Testing Calendar. For specific questions regarding testing of the MSAT satellite phone, please contact your HPP Regional Coordinator or Alicia McClelland at DHMH Communications [W: 410-767-4493].

Region III Alternate Care Site Cache Deployment Tabletop Exercise

Date: March 6, 2014

Time: 8:30am - 12:30pm

Location: MedStar Harbor Hospital [3001 S. Hanover Street, Baltimore, MD 21225]


The purpose of this exercise is to test the newly drafted Region III Maryland Alternate Care Site (ACS) Equipment and Supply Cache Activation Plan, which impacts hospitals, public health and other responders across Region III. The Plan outlines the process for activation, deployment and return of cache equipment and supplies located at the USAR warehouse. The exercise will provide participants an overview of the Plan and address stakeholder roles and responsibilities. For more information and to register, see the attached flyer.

Preparedness Trainings   -------------

ICS 400: Advanced ICS.

In coordination with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Active Learning and Exercise Branch invites you to participate in the ICS 400: Advanced ICS training course.


Dates: February 19-20, 2014

Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm

Location: Baltimore Public Safety Training Academy, Room 200 (3500 W. Northern Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21215)


Registration closes on February 12, 2014. For additional information and registration instructions, see the attached flyer.




MEMA Community Cybersecurity Courses

AWR 136: Essentials of Community Cybersecurity. This course provides individuals, community leaders, and first responders with information on how cyber attacks can impact, prevent, and/or stop operations and emergency responses in a community. The course also provides a cursory introduction to cybersecurity vulnerabilities, risks, threats, and countermeasures. It explains vulnerabilities of computer systems and networks and how these vulnerabilities can affect communities, organizations, and daily workplace operations.


Date: March 4, 2014

Time: 8:00am - 12:00pm

Location: James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville, MD 21104


To register:


MGT 384: The EOC's Role in Community Cybersecurity. This course provides an awareness of how cyber events can impact communities. Participants will learn (1) the roles and responsibilities needed to detect, prevent and respond to cybersecurity incidents; (2) how the EOC and community can plan for and manage information needed for a cyber event; and (3) how cyber attacks can be used to affect, disrupt and/or complicate emergency responses.

Dates: March 4-5, 2014

Times: 1:00pm - 5:00pm (March 4), 8:00am - 5:00pm (March 5)

Location: James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville, MD 21104


To register:




Active Shooter in a Healthcare Setting.

In coordination with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Active Learning and Exercise Branch invites you to participate in the Active Shooter in a Healthcare Setting training course.


Date: March 25, 2014

Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm

Location: Springfield Hospital Center, Central Conference Room, 6655 Sykesville Road, Sykesville, MD 21784


Overview: Active Shooter training for healthcare professionals which will give strategies for responding to a shooting situation. Guest speakers from Johns Hopkins will discuss a shooting incident that occurred at their facility. MEMA/MSP staff will provide training on developing plans within facilities.


Register: Registration closes on March 18, 2014, at 8:30am. To register, visit


For more information, see the attached flyer.




Free CDC Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) Training on March 27


Who: You!

What:CDC Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Training [sponsored by Fairfax County and the National Public Health Information Coalition]

Where: Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035

When: Thursday, March 27, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free!



About This Training: CERC training is a fast-paced, interactive course that gives participants essential knowledge and tools to navigate the harsh realities of communicating to the public, media, partners and stakeholders during an intense public health emergency. CERC sessions are presented across the U.S. and internationally to offer helpful guidance for communicating with people when the unthinkable happens to them, their family, their community or the nation. This rare in-person CERC training is the first to be conducted in the National Capital Region in several years. This session will be taught by Richard Sheehe, National Public Health Information Coalition CERC Project Manager and Senior Research Fellow at George Mason University's Center for Health and Risk Communication. More CERC information is available at:  and


Target Audience: Public information officers; federal, state, and local public health professionals; health care professionals; emergency medical services professionals; preparedness partners; and civic and community leaders 


Training Goals: Share communication strategies that will help to effectively prepare for and respond to public health emergencies; review and disseminate current crisis and emergency risk communication training curricula and tools; and train communicators in how to systematically plan, develop, implement, and evaluate crisis and emergency risk communication training activities.




Emergency Management of Radiation Accident Victims (REAC/TS) Training Course Rescheduled


The course has been successfully rescheduled for April 22-23, 2014.  For more information and to register, see the attached flyer




The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) are advertising the following training opportunities for 2014.

Medical Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties (MCBC) Course.  Dates: multiple dates in 2014

Field Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties (FCBC) Course.  Dates: multiple dates in 2014

CE, CME, CEH credits are available for these courses. See the attached flyers for additional details and registration information.

Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News
Earlier this week President Obama released his FY2015 Budget which includes significant investments to continue both the Health Center and National Health Service Corps programs. While Advocates should view the proposed budget as a step forward and evidence of the outstanding advocacy work that was done last fall, there are still many steps in the process, and we are still a long way from securing adequate funding for Health Centers to ensure the continued success of the program. For more information on the President's Budget, read NACHC President and CEO, Tom Van Coverdon's press release. Stay tuned for further updates and action alerts as NACHC continues working on a bipartisan basis with Congress and the Administration to ensure adequate funding for Health Centers.
Do you participate in the 340b program? Did you know the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA)requires all 340b-covered entities to recertify their information each year in order to continue participating in the 340b program? The recertification has begun for Health Centers and it is absolutely critical that Health Centers recertify before the March 14th, 2014 deadline in order to continue participating in the 340b program. Please contact the 340b Prime Vendor Program at with any questions on the recertification process.
As states have gained new opportunities to expand their Medicaid programs, more than 8.9 individuals were determined for Medicaid or CHIP through state agencies and state-based Marketplaces between October and January according to a CMS report released on February 28th. The report includes state-by-state data, and numbers do not include eligibility determinations made through the federally-facilitated Marketplaces. In some states the data includes renewals. Numbers will continue to increase as Medicaid enrollment continues past the March 31st Marketplace enrollment deadline and throughout the year.
NACHC and the Campaign for America's Health Centers are excited to announce the upcoming release of the CFAHC Advocacy App. With the new app, when events in Washington require Health Center Advocates to rally together, Advocates can easily TAKE ACTION on-the-go. Health Center Advocates will also be able to easily stay up-to-date on Health Center news and events and share their Health Center stories and photos with the click of a button. The app is expected to become available in mid-March right in time for the NACHC Policy & Issues Forum. Click here to learn more about the new CFAHC Advocacy App.

The latest issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features three profiles about community-based programs to improve senior health. One of the featured profiles, ElderSmile, describes the expansion of an oral health program for seniors to include diabetes and hypertension screening and education. Dental school faculty, staff and students at community centers throughout northern Manhattan measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure and hemoglobin A1c levels and, as appropriate, make referrals for treatment. The program has identified many seniors who have or are at risk but have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension and has facilitated care for those who have been previously diagnosed but still have uncontrolled conditions. The Health Care Innovations Exchange includes more than 50 profiles and tools related to community-based efforts to improve care for seniors. 

What Will Obamacare Really Cost? They Might Be First To Know
Now that medical insurers must accept all applicants no matter how sick, what will these new customers cost health plans? How will they affect coverage prices for 2015 and beyond? Few questions about the Affordable Care Act are more important. How it all plays out will affect consumer pocketbooks, insurance company profits and perhaps the political fortunes of those backing the health law.
State News
Check out the Delaware ACA Toolkit right here!
There are just 24 days left to #getcovered. Every person must have health insurance in 2014 or pay $95 per person penalty or 1% of household income, whichever is higher. Ready to get started? Visit #Delaware#NetDE




Enrollment in Maryland

 From October 1, 2013, through March 1, 2014, there have been more than a million unique visitors to the Maryland Health Connection website. 178,279 Marylanders have created identity-verified accounts.  Through March 1, 38,070 Marylanders have chosen to enroll in private health plans through Maryland Health Connection. 

Carriers are receiving first premium payments from new enrollees and notifying Maryland Health Connection on a rolling basis. Payment deadlines have not yet passed for many of those individuals who have chosen plans through Maryland Health Connection.  According to data received so far from carriers, 20,439 individuals who chose plans through Maryland Health Connection have paid the first premium for their policies. Based on information reported nationally, the rate of premium payment in Maryland appears to be similar to other areas.

95,889 Marylanders signed up through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) program were automatically enrolled in Medicaid coverage on January 1, 2014, and now have full Medicaid coverage.  As of February 25, 2014, an additional 71,449 individuals were newly enrolled in Medicaid effective January 1.  In total, more than 90,000 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. 
  • 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 the Prepare 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.


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 where information, updates, outreach and resources are available. The second phase of the Spanish language website expansion, which will include the application portal, will launch later this year.

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 continues throughout the state seven days per week to educate consumers about their health coverage options. Grassroots outreach events are scheduled and available on 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

Healthcare employment growth stalls

The nation's overall employment numbers beat economists' expectations in February, but the healthcare sector job growth seems to have stalled.

The United States added 175,000 jobs in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, beating expectations by about 25,000. The healthcare sector added about 9,500 jobs, making February the third consecutive month of little change in a sector that has historically seen job growth even when other sectors have not.

Money Pours Into Health-Care ETFs

Money is flooding into exchange-traded funds focused on health care at the fastest rate in at least six years, driven by booming biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors bringing new products to market.

In 2014, 51 percent of money flowing into U.S. sector-focused ETFs, or $4.06 billion through Feb. 28, was for health-care funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That's more than two-thirds of the total deposits the funds attracted in all of 2013, and a greater share of total ETF contributions than any time since at least 2008.

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


  1. QPR 3 Due Date:
    • Health center O/E QPRs will be due to HRSA on Thursday, April 10

Other resources to be aware of:

Resources from Enroll America for Outreach staff helping to enroll!!!


  1. Enroll America's Outreach Webinar on effective strategies of enrollment is finally online!! (see link below):
  2. REPORT on importance of consumers remaining in coverage. This report speaks to Medicaid and qualifying event enrollments, which are ongoing:
  3. Get Covered Guide for insurance terms, which is also available in Spanish, found on the outreach resources page:

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


* Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program National Training and Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreements -Establishing AIDS Service Organization Service Models and Engaging in Marketplace Insurance Plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (HRSA-14-102) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) - Under the HRSA-14-102 FOA HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau will fund two organizations to provide ACA implementation support to grantees, sub-grantees, and people living with HIV/AIDS served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

Applications are due to no later than Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11:59 pm, ET.
* Affordable Care Act - State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) (HRSA-14-033) FOA: HRSA's Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service has released the
HRSA-14-033 FOA to assist States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories in operating their own state educational loan repayment programs for primary care providers working in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).

Applications are due to no later than Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 11:59 pm, ET.
* Safe Infant Sleep Systems Integration Program (SISSI) (HRSA-14-095) FOA - HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau has released the HRSA-14-095 FOA to solicit proposals for the SISSI Program. This program aims to increase the adoption of safe infant sleep behaviors among infant caregivers through the integration of effective programs and policies within service delivery systems that intersect with families.

Applications are due to no later than Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 11:59 pm, ET.

Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Corner 
4 Reasons PCMH Principles Aren't Going Away A recent analysis finds lackluster results in both cost reduction and quality improvement from organizations that have achieved Patient-Centered Medical Home certification. Does that mean we need to go back to square one?

Have you heard the news? The patient-centered medical home model is a failure.

One takeaway from a recent analysis on the medical home is that for all its purported promise, the designation appears to be little more than window dressing for practices that achieve it.

The report, published in last week's JAMA, and covered well here by my colleague Cheryl Clark, compared quality, utilization, and costs of care delivered to about 120,000 patients in 32 Pennsylvania practices. About half of the patients were treated by physicians in PCMHs certified or recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance; the others were treated by physicians in traditional practices.

The conclusion? Physician practices designated as medical homes were no better at controlling costs than traditional practices and were better in only one of 11 quality measures evaluated.

But it would be wrong to dismiss the movement toward patient-centered care as ineffective based solely on the findings of the study.

The report found that compared with traditional practices, NCQA-certified PCMHs did no better at controlling costs than traditional practices. They also did not improve on traditional practices' performance on 10 of 11 quality measures evaluated, such as cholesterol testing and cervical cancer screening, or in avoiding emergency room visits of patients who could have been seen in an ambulatory setting. The only measure where some improvement was seen in the medical home groups was in nephropathy screening for kidney disease in patients with diabetes.

Clinical Quality 

 Early Treatment for Depression May Be Good for the Heart 

Treating depression in its early stages might help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, a new study suggests.  Researchers assessed 235 older people diagnosed with depression. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either antidepressants and psychotherapy or standard care determined by their doctor. 


 Few Americans Get Recommended Emergency Stroke Care 

Although most Americans live relatively close to a hospital that can give emergency stroke treatment, few actually receive the recommended therapies, a new study suggests.


Get Tips for Improving Blood Pressure Control

Health care professionals can get evidence-and practice-based advice on improving care delivery, medication adherence, and patient reminders from Hypertension Control: Actions Steps for Clinicians.  The newest Million Hearts® Action Guide includes easy-to-read tables plus links to online resources and a complete reference list.


Does your state require co-pays, cap the number of prescriptions per month, or use preferred drug lists to limit access to certain drugs? This fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes maps showing how practices differ across states and offers suggestions for improving access through techniques such as prior authorizations.


Updated Chronic Disease Cost Calculator version 2 

Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Medical spending has grown rapidly in recent years and is placing a significant burden on state budgets. To help states estimate the economic burden of chronic diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and RTI International developed the Chronic Disease Cost Calculator version 2. 




Naproxen -- the key pain reliever in Aleve -- seems safer for the heart than other popular anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), U.S. health officials say. 

Health Observances This Week

Remember......March is 
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month


Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and a leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older.

The good news? If everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to encourage people to get screened.

How can Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about colorectal cancer and take action toward prevention. Communities, organizations, families, and individuals can get involved and spread the word.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to get active together - exercise may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Talk to people in your community about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer starting at age 50.
  • Ask doctors and nurses to talk to patients age 50 and older about the importance of getting screened.
How can I help spread the word?

We've made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

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 | | |
4319 Forbes Blvd. Lanham, MD 20706    |    |    301.577.0097

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.