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


 10 DAYS!!!
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
    
March 21, 2014 
Community Health Center Spotlight

The importance of signing up - Raven's Player, Lardarius Webb is signed up for healthcare via the Maryland Marketplace, are you?!

Since Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act has provided full health care coverage to over 230,000 Marylanders who previously had either no health insurance or low quality or unaffordable coverage. This is a tremendous public health success for our state. Yes, Maryland's health exchange website has had serious problems, some of which still need to be fixed, but we need to hear the success stories as well.

And every Marylander who can benefit from the ACA needs to know how to do so. That is why we at the Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition are partnering with Ravens star Lardarius Webb and United Way to air radio ads running right now letting people know that they can call 211 to find out how they, too, can benefit from the Affordable Care Act by signing up for a plan before the current open enrollment period ends on March 31.

 

For more, click here.

Senator Carper Meets with Newly-Insured Delawareans under Affordable Care Act
Highlights Mar. 31 Deadline

On Tuesday, Senator Tom Carper visited the newly-expanded La Red Health Center where he highlighted the upcoming Mar. 31 deadline for health insurance open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. Senator Carper toured La Red's renovated 8,900 square foot facility in Seaford. La Red was one of three Delaware health centers to receive federal grants.

MACHC Website Under Construction..... 

 

New Website COMING SOON!!!!

 


Technical Assistance Request Form 
(to be submitted prior to receiving any TA from MACHC)
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Take Action: Health Center Dear ColleagueSupport Letters Now Circulating - Contact Your Members of Congress TODAY!  

 

The Health Centers Dear Colleague letters supporting Health Center funding in Fiscal Year (FY) 15 are now circulating! Senators Stabenow and Wicker have once again stepped up to lead the Health Centers letter in the Senate and Representatives Bilirakis and Pallone are leading the Health Centers letter in the House. Take action today! Contact your Members of Congress and request that they sign onto the Stabenow-Wicker Health Center support letters in the Senate and Bilirakis-Pallone Health Centers letter in the House. You can find the Health Center support letters here. Signing on to the support letters is a simple and effective way for your Members of Congress to show their support for Health Centers. Please take action today:
1.    Email your Senators and Representative and ask them to sign on to the bipartisan Health Centers Dear Colleague letters.
2.    Call your Senators and Representative by dialing 1-866-456-3949 and ask them to sign on to the Stabenow-Wicker Health Centers letter in the Senate and the Bilirakis-Pallone Health Centers letter in the House.
A strong showing of support for the Health Centers program through a large number of Congressmen signing on to the letters will help Health Centers to be successful in FY2015 funding efforts. Please, contact your members of Congress today!
MACHC Happenings

(1) 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  
 
Monday, March 24, 2014, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, ET
T
he HHS Family Planning National Training Centers is hosting a webinar to provide strategies to overcome common barriers to network participation by safety net providers. It will also feature Marketplace experts from HHS available to answer questions.

  

(3) MACHC's Transformational Call

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 10 AM

Bi-weekly call held with CHC leader to discuss Exchange and State updates as well as challenges that need to be addressed.

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

If you are not a part of the listserv/group but would like to be added, please send Aneeqa Chowdhury at MACHC an email at aneeqa@machc.com

 

(4) 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.

  

  

(5) Examining the Value Proposition of Emerging Therapies and Treatment Models for Obesity and Weight Management

Examining the Value Proposition of Emerging Therapies and Treatment Models for Obesity and Weight Management

Join NCQA Senior Health Care Analyst Dana T. Rey, MPH, and other experts as they examine emerging therapies and treatment models for obesity. This one-hour webinar will explore the burden of obesity on a patient's health, health risks associated with obesity, costs, safety and effectiveness of emerging treatments and implementation of HEDIS measures.

DateTime
Friday, March 21, 20141:00pm to 2:00pm ETRegister
Tuesday, March 25, 20142:00pm to 3:00pm ETRegister
Wednesday, March 26, 201412:00pm to 1:00pm ETRegister

  

(6) MACHC's Outreach Team Call

Friday, March 28, 2014

Calls held at the beginning and end of the month with Outreach staff working in the field enrolling consumers daily as well as doing outreach for CHCs. This call is to discuss best practices, trends, obstacles and update on State regs and training. These calls facilitate transparency between O/E efforts among MD health centers and allow space to share innovative O/E ideas. 

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

If you are not a part of the listserv/group but would like to be added, please send Aneeqa Chowdhury at MACHC an email at aneeqa@machc.com  

 

(7) National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Webinar Series - 

Friday, March 28, 2014, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, ET. 

The Texas/Oklahoma AIDS Education & Training Center is hosting a one day webinar series for health care professionals to learn more about the impact of HIV on Native Americans. Continuing Education (CE) credits are available. 

  

  
March 31st, 2014 12:30 PM   through   1:30 PM
Patients want to be assured that blood pressure (BP) treatment will reduce their disease burden

Hypertension is the most common condition seen in primary care and leads to myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, stroke, renal failure, and death if not detected early and treated appropriately.  Patients want to be assured that blood pressure (BP) treatment will reduce their disease burden, while clinicians want guidance on hypertension management using the best scientific evidence.  

This presentation done by Kathleen Coleman, BSN, RN, MPH is the Cardiac Outreach Coordinator for Adventist HealthCare. 
In this webinar Ms Coleman will discuss the proper way to take a blood pressure and sharing the current standards for managing blood pressure.

 
(9) Realizing Rural Care Coordination: Considerations and Action Steps for State Policymakers
April 2, 2:00-3:15 pm EST
 
(10) Health Center O/E: What Happens After Open Enrollment? Call - 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm, ET.
BPHC is hosting a call to discuss expectations for O/E grantees after the conclusion of open enrollment on March 31, 2014. This call will also cover the requirements for Quarter 3 health center O/E reporting due in EHB on 
Thursday, April 10, 2014. 
Access the call the day of the session using the following dial-in information, 1-800-779-0641 passcode: 4657950.
 

"Healthcare Reform: The Impact on Behavioral Health"   

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 ~ Baltimore Convention Center  

This year's highlights:

PLENARY: What's New and Why? The New ASAM Criteria for the Treatment of Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions

David Mee-Lee, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist, and is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Dr. Mee-Lee has led the development of the ASAM Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders since the late 1980's.

The ASAM Criteria are the most widely used guidelines for assessment, service planning, placement, continued stay and discharge of patients with addictive disorders. A new edition was released in October 2013. This presentation will update participants on what is new since the last edition ASAM PPC-2R, 2001. It will highlight compatibility with DSM-5 and new sections on older adults, criminal justice clients,

PLENARY: Addiction and the Gift of Adversity 

Norman Rosenthal, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University School of Medicine 

The presenter will expand on Nietzsche's famous quote, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Adversity undoubtedly can be extremely destructive -- and this applies in the case of addictions as much as or more than in many other spheres of life. However, if a person is able to deal effectively with adversity, then there is the chance that such a person can emerge stronger, wiser and more resilient. The purpose of this session is to understand the adversity of addiction in particular, how to help the addicted client find the gifts in the adversity and to use this knowledge to build self-esteem and promote gratitude.

PLENARY: How to Make it Work? Leveraging the Affordable Care Act and Parity to Achieve Recovery from Mental and Substance Use Disorders

Carol McDaid, BA Principal & Co-founder of Capitol Decisions,

a Washington, DC-based government relations firm that represents business and non-profit interests in the health industry including addiction treatment providers, alcohol and other drug advocacy organizations, hospitals and other health care providers. This session will arm participants with the tools to better advocate for those with mental and substance use disorders by informing attendees of new rights and benefits under MHPAEA and ACA. Participants will learn when and how to appeal denied claims, tools for filing state and federal complaints and other tactics to help individuals and families receive benefits entitled under these laws. 

 
(12) SAVE THE DATE
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.

 

  

(13)
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! 

 

  

(14)
---
SAVE THE DATE---
MACHC's Annual Conference
When: Thursday, September 18th - Friday, September 19th, 2014 
Where: Dover Downs Hotel, Dover, DE 

  

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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: 
---
SAVE THE DATE---
LOOK OUT FOR: 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.

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

for

information about

scheduled

 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 athttp://bit.ly/1dSWZon. Comments on the proposed rule are due by 2/25/2014.

IV. Preparedness Trainings, Exercises and Events

 

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 https://memamaryland.csod.com.

 

For more information, see the attached flyer.

 

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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!

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CDC-CERC-Fairfax

 

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: http://emergency.cdc.gov/cerc/  and  http://www.nphic.org/training/cerc

 

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.

  

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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

  

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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
This week, the HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) released Policy Information Notice (PIN) 2013-01, Health Center Budgeting and Accounting Requirements, which provides information regarding Health Center Program budgeting and accounting requirements. Health centers are required to establish a budget that reflects the costs of operations, expenses, and revenues necessary to accomplish the service delivery plan. The PIN is intended to clarify budgeting and accounting requirements for the Health Center Program's approved scope of project funds and their applicability to section 330 Federal grant funds versus non-grant funds. The final PIN incorporates a number of changes BPHC made after review and consideration of comments on a draft section and other sections of the PIN. 

 

FTCA Deeming Deadline May

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has released Program Assistance Letter 2014-03, Calendar Year (CY) 2015 Requirements for Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Medical Malpractice Coverage for Health Centers. PAL 2014-03 describes the process for Health Center Program grantees to submit Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) deeming applications for CY 2015. HRSA is also offering a webcast series to support health centers in completing the applications. Applications are due by Friday, May 23, 2014, 11:59 pm, ET.

HRSA--Program Reminders
  • REMINDER:  There are several critical actions you must take to ensure competitive Health Center Program applications can be submitted successfully.  First, your organization must have an active SAM.gov registration at the time of application submission.  Second, you must have an active AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) in Grants.gov that is approved to submit an application.  As a matter of HHS grants policy, without a current SAM.gov registration and a registered AOR, your application will be rejected in Grants.gov without further consideration.   
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  apexusanswers@340bpvp.com with any questions on the recertification process.
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Malpractice Coverage for Health Centers
Calendar Year (CY) 2015 Requirements for Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Medical Malpractice Coverage for Health Centers Program Assistance Letter (PAL) 2014-03 -HRSA has issued PAL 2014-03 to describe the process for Health Center Program grantees to submit FTCA deeming applications for CY 2015.

Applications are due by Friday, May 23, 2014, 11:59 pm, ET.
The White House advised NACHC last week that Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Policy & Issues Forum this coming Friday to address those gathered for the Forum. The Vice President, a long-time champion of health centers since his years in the U.S. Senate, applauds NACHC's work in adding almost four million new patients during the recession with funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and recognizes the important role of health centers in the support and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In the last quarter, centers report that they have trained approximately 11,000 Certified Application Counselors who have provided important coverage information and enrollment assistance to over two million Americans.  
NACHC ICD-10 READINESS SURVEY 
NACHC and CMS want to know how we can help you be ready for the ICD-10 transition by October 1, 2014. NACHC distributed a survey all health center CEOs on Monday, March 10th. CEOs should look for this survey in their inbox, complete it or delegate to his/her designee/ICD-10 project lead. Please complete this survey as soon as possible so CMS and NACHC can better understand where you are in the process and where to channel additional training and technical assistance to assist with the transition. For more information, please contact Shane Hickey, Director IT Support, NACHC at shickey@nachc.com.  
President Obama's health care law gets a return engagement at the Supreme Court next week in a case full of hot-button issues: religious freedom, corporate rights, federal regulation, abortion and contraception. Put another way, it's a case about God, money, power, sex - and Obamacare

Republicans Challenge Administration's Authority
Republicans are pointing to statements by a top Treasury Department official as evidence that the Obama administration overstepped its authority in delaying the health-care law's requirement that employers offer coverage or pay a penalty. Mark Mazur, assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, said in a January interview with staff from the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he wasn't aware of any examination of the legal basis for the administration's authority to delay the employer mandate
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HIV Reports to Help Racial/Ethnic Groups 
CDC recently released reports including the HIV Among Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in the United States and Dependent Areas and  HIV/AIDS Among American Indians and Alaska Natives to highlight HIV prevention challenges for various racial/ethnic groups and  some of the ongoing projects with the CDC and its partners to address them.  
Russian troops were rolling through Crimea when Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff and a foreign policy expert, was deployed on a mission to do media outreach. But the focus of Mr. McDonough's calls to local talk radio stations was not geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe, it was health care. Mr. McDonough chatted with Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps, hosts of a popular sports talk radio program on WKRK-FM (92.3) in Cleveland, about the coming N.F.L. draft, basketball at the White House and his days playing college football in Minnesota. Mr. McDonough then pitched a new website featuring games, videos and superstar athletes explaining the benefits of health insurance: a sports-themed portal to HealthCare.gov 
State News
DELAWARE
Check out the Delaware ACA Toolkit right here!
10 days left to enroll in Delaware's health insurance marketplace. One of Saturday's biggest enrollment events - from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. - will be at Rose Hill Community Center, 19 Lambson Lane, New Castle. #GetCovered

Delaware's marketplace will also have an information table from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Penn Cinema in Wilmington.

To find enrollment opportunities near you:
http://www.choosehealthde.com/Health-Insurance/Calendar#recurring-events

 

 

MARYLAND

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.

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, 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:

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

Help with Contracting a Webinar Away 

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Family Planning National Training Centers is hosting a webinar to provide strategies to overcome common barriers to network participation by safety net providers:

Answers About Health Plan Contracting Webinar

Monday, March 24, 2014, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, ET 
 

NY Audit Faults Referrals For Veterans Benefits  

New York auditors say poor coordination of health benefits for military veterans by local social services departments and the state health department has resulted in many veterans placed in the state's Medicaid program rather than federal programs 

 

The chairman of a key Maryland Senate Committee said Wednesday that he does not plan to act on a bill to raise the minimum wage until a related issue is resolved involving the way the state reimburses workers who care for the developmentally disabled. Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles) made his comment during the latest in a series of work sessions his committee has held as it attempts to craft its version of a minimum wage bill, which Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has said is his top legislative priority this year 
The Latest News on ACA

 

 

HHS Releases March Marketplace Enrollment Report

On March 11, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released the fifth in a serious of issue briefs highlighting national and state-level enrollment-related information for the Marketplace. 

The full report includes both state and national data. To access state-level tables highlighting enrollment-related information,  click here.
  • Health Center Outreach and Enrollment (O/E) Quarterly Reporting (QPR) - O/E grantees have from Tuesday, April 1, 2014 until Thursday, April 10, 2014 to complete and submit the Quarter 3 QPR in EHB. Join the April "Health Center O/E: What Happens After Enrollment?" Call for information about Quarter 3 QPR (See Upcoming TA).  
  • New Affordable Care Act (ACA) O/E Resources -  View new ACA resources to assist outreach and enrollment efforts before the March 31 open enrollment deadline ends. The resources include a video message from HRSA Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield .  
  • National Cooperative Agreement (NCA) Partner Resources: BPHC's NCA partners have compiled ACA O/E resources on the revised BPHC Partner Outreach web page.View these resources and more information on NCAs.

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

Transformational Team Talk
Exchange Updates for ACSE (CACs):

Please get the following information out to your application counselors:

The recent training email for CAC-MHC Systems Webinar is for the system training portion of complete training.

There are three components of complete training.

11 Modules

Webinar Training 3 day 3 hour

System Webinar 3 hour

 

For those application counselors that could not complete the previously scheduled Webinars, they will need to get in touch with mhc.trainingsupport@maryland.gov to unenroll in order to be notified of future Webinar training.

 

 

Other News:

The Exchange has sent ACSE's an email around monthly calls with all to discuss the CAC Program and Maryland's Marketplace progress. The calls would take place every 4th Monday of the month and this will allow CHCs a platform to discuss success, obstacles and make suggestions for improvement. 

Grants & Funding Opportunities

  •  HRSA Healthy Start Program- Application Deadline:  March 31, 2014
    Three funding opportunities under HRSA's Healthy Start Program have been reopened. Pending available funds, grants will be for an initial period of nine months - from September 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015, with the possibility of annual continuations thereafter for up to four years. HRSA is seeking applications from organizations that:  serve eligible communities in need of Healthy Start services based on perinatal indicators and demonstrate a track record and capacity for successfully performing Healthy Start activities.    
  •  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.  

Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Corner 

Did you know that according to the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care, 44% of the nation's Community Health Centers   have achieved Patient Centered Medical Home recognition.  

 

Team-based Education Helps Fulfill PCMH Promise 

What's the best way to bring a good idea to fruition? Make sure people know about it. That's exactly what the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) did last year when it launched an interactive database(www.pcpcc.org)

 that features academic and training institutions that have embraced interprofessional training that brings together medical students, residents, clinicians and other health care professionals. 
"We are delighted to have laid the foundation for a valuable resource that will help health professionals, academics and students understand and evaluate training programs around the country and their focus on patient-centered, collaborative team-based care," said Bill Warning, M.D., co-chair of the PCPCC's education and training task force, in the Dec. 13 press release announcing the launch.

Clinical Quality 

New Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Toolkit Launched

The Rural Assistance Center(RAC), the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis have released a new mental health and substance abuse toolkit that is designed to help rural communities and organizations develop and implement effective programs based on proven approaches and strategies. The toolkit includes an overview on mental health issues in rural areas, eight educational modules, program model examples, guidance on implementation, evaluation methods and more. Get your

free toolkit today! 
Health Observances This Week

Remember......March is 

National MS Education & Awareness Month

 

What is National MS Education and Awareness Month?

National MS Education and Awareness Month is an effort by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) and affiliated groups to raise the public's awareness of multiple sclerosis. The vital goals of this campaign are to promote an understanding of the scope of this disease, and to assist those with MS in making educated decisions about their healthcare.

The first official campaign was held in March 2003, and was recognized through official proclamations issued by the Mayor of the city of Ft. Lauderdale (home to the national headquarters of the MSF), and by Florida Governor Jeb Bush. March will serve annually as National MS Education and Awareness Month.

Efforts to raise awareness of MS take place throughout the country. Awareness Kits and instructions are available from the MSF for those who wish to become involved in the effort.

Anyone affected by or interested in learning more about MS is invited to participate in activities and to broaden their understanding of MS throughout the month. Other MS organizations are encouraged to participate as well.

Learn how you can GET INVOLVED or REQUEST KITS.

 
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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