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

Next Enrollment Period starts
 November 15, 2014!!!
Have news to share with us? Want to be featured on our next E-Digest? Want to read about something in particular? Please email us at 

Let's Stay Connected
April 11, 2014 
IMPORTANT: Be mindful of the 2015 FTCA Guidelines that have to be submitted this year and the Super Circular 2014.
MACHC Website Under Construction..... 


New Website & Updates COMING SOON!!!!


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

Health Center Advocates Kick-Off Access is the Answer Campaign with Over 87,000 Petition Signatures!

Many thanks to the 87,000+ Advocates who signed the petition and especially to those who organized petition drives and collected signatures in their Health Centers and communities.

Join the Access is the Answer Campaign and advocate for CHC Funding!

Health Centers are facing an unprecedented threat and a unique opportunity in 2014. Like every year, Health Centers will have to fight to secure annual funding from Washington. But unlike any year in Health Center history, this year we face a looming Health Center funding cliff - a potential 70% reduction in Health Center program funding scheduled to take effect in 2016. As Health Center Advocates we will also have to make sure that programs, like Medicaid, that are essential to our survival remain intact and strong in the face of efforts to save money.

These are threats to Health Centers AND to the more than 22 million patients Health Centers currently serve and the millions more that Health Centers will need to grow to serve in our communities. Your advocacy through the Access is the Answer campaign is essential if we are to ensure that Health Centers will be there for everyone who needs access to health care.

What can YOU do?

To make the Access is the Answer campaign a success, commit to taking 3 easy action steps:

Number 1: Sign the Access is the Answer petition. 

Number 2: Work with your Health Center leadership to collect Access is the Answer support letters from local elected officials

Number 3:  Work with your Health Center leadership to collect community support letters. 

The value of advocacy:

All politics is local. Congress and the President do really pay attention to the voices of those back home in the community. That means the most effective advocacy has to come from YOU back home.

The Access is the Answer Campaign will be asking Advocates to weigh in on many issues as the campaign goes forward, but if YOU and tens of thousands of Advocates take the 3 steps, we will be laying the foundation for success in a fight neither Health Centers nor our patients can afford to lose. Thanks for joining the Access is the Answer campaign and building the power of Health Center Advocacy.  

MACHC Happenings
(1)  Outreach Team Conference Call
When: Friday, April 18, 2014

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

1-866-740-1260 Access Code: 4319483

Target Audience: FQHC staff and stakeholders in the field doing O/E.

Discuss outreach and enrollment State trends, issues, best practices and lingering questions with FQHC Outreach Staff. To get on the listserv to receive the agenda and invites, email Aneeqa Chowdhury at


(2)  Transformational Conference Call
When: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

1-866-740-1260 Access Code: 4319483

Target Audience: FQHC leadership

Discuss State news including trends, issues, best practices. The call also addresses concerns and issues of the leadership to help ease. To get on the listserv to receive the agenda and invites, email Aneeqa Chowdhury at

(3) Grants Management Training

When: Tuesday, April 23, 2014

Time: 9:00am- 4:30pm EST

Location: The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute

692 Maritime Boulevard

Linthicum Heights, MD 21090 

Please join the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers (MACHC) as we welcome Edward (Ted) Waters of Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, LLP for an important session on the Supercircular/Omnicircular and what grantees need to know. 

Grantees and sub-grantees should begin to understand the ins and outs of the new "common rules" for grants administration, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements so that you can come into compliance quickly.

Click here to register


(4) ACA Moving Forward - Webinar
Friday, May 2, 2014   I   10 AM- 11 AM

Guest Speaker: Matthew Molloy, Maryland State Director - Doctors for America 

The first open enrollment period for qualified health plans has come to a close.  How did Maryland do?  What's next? This webinar will review the successes and challenges of the first open enrollment period in Maryland and provide the numbers covered to date through the Maryland Health Connection and Medicaid expansion.  It will also take a look forward into the rest of 2014 and beyond to discuss the ways that the ACA will continue to impact patients, including the continued closing of the Medicare donut hole, the individual mandate, and how patients can qualify to enroll in qualified health plans before the next enrollment period in November.  The webinar will also discuss challenges, including issues of network adequacy and educating patients on how to use their health coverage.

* Check this column next week for registration link.



(5) Cultural Competency 

Where: Dover Downs Conference Center, 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 

Register HERE  




Recent Hypertension Guidelines
May 7th   I   12:30 - 1:30

Target Audience:  Physicians, Nurse Practitioners & Nurses

This webinar will provide an overview of new guidelines including the 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: Report from the Panel Members Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8).  Featuring Dr. Lawrence Fine, Eighth Joint National Committee Panel Member, the webinar will also offer considerations for health care providers and public health practitioners when selecting and supporting implementation of hypertension guidelines.
Presenter: Lawrence J. Fine, MD, DrPH, FAHA, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Member of Panel Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee 

Register HERE



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

(1) Maryland Rural Health Association

Call for Proposals The Call for Proposals is now open. The conference will gather rural health leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to discuss the major issues facing rural Maryland. Past conference attendees have pointed toward the value of illustrating best public health and community level practices as most useful to participants. Additionally, the conference planning committee is hoping to illustrate how recent statewide programs and policies have been implemented or are impacting rural Maryland both in terms of health and the economy. Examples include, but are not limited to the following: behavioral health, CMS Waiver implementation, Community Transformation Grant, the Affordable Care Act, oral health. Every proposal will be given consideration by the Rural Health Conference Planning Committee and presenters will be notified by June 13, 2014. 

Please submit proposals online at Call For Proposals Due Date May 23, 2014.

Outline of Information Asked on Online Submittal: Link



(2) NACHC's Webinar on Medicaid Expansion Waivers

Join NACHC on April 15th from 2pm-3pm ET for "Waivers Move States Forward on Medicaid Expansion" webinar. Several states that were previously opposed to Medicaid expansion have successfully moved forward using Medicaid Section 1115 waivers. During this webinar details of these recent waivers will be reviewed and the potential impacts on Health Centers will be discussed. To register,  click here.



(3) Office of Women's Health Quick Health Data Online

The Office of Women's Health has announced the availability of telephone trainings on their new online information system - Quick Health Data Online.  The system contains data on demographics, mortality, reproductive and maternal health, disease incidence, and access to care at the county level for all states and territories.  It also includes data on prevention, violence, and mental health at the state level.  Where possible the data provided includes race, ethnicity and gender and, if able, age.  It incorporates graphing and mapping features so that the data of interest can be used directly as tables, graphs/chart and maps.  There will be two one-hour trainings per month: a basic training of an overview of the system and mapping and a second training that will provide emphasis on mapping techniques.  To access the calls, use the toll-free number:  1-877-925-6129; passcode, 410171 and go to the Quick Health Data Online website.


Quick Health Data Online 101 Trainings:

  • Tuesday, April 15, 4-5 pm, ET (Basic)
  • Thursday, April 17, 1-2 pm, ET (Focus on Mapping)
  • Monday, May 19, 2-3 pm, ET (Basic)
  • Wednesday, May 21, 11-12 pm, ET (Focus on Mapping)
  • Tuesday, June 17, 3-4 pm, ET (Basic)
  • Thursday, June 19, 1-2 pm, ET (Focus on Mapping)


(4) Community Guide for Community Health Centers Webinar

The Public Health Foundation, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) are offering a webinar on May 12 at 1:00 pm highlighting The Guide to Community Preventive Services, or "The Community Guide."  Hear from a health center that used the Community Guide to improve their patient's cancer screening rates.  The web-based resource was developed to complement evidence-based recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force.  It can be used by health centers to develop evidence-based systems of population management, support care planning and coordination, and build partnerships with public health agencies and community resources.  Registration is required.



(5) Enroll America's State of Enrollment Conference

When: June 16th-18th

Enroll America will be convening their first national conference in Washington DC . This conference will offer trainings, workshops, keynotes, and events to learn and exchange best practices and prepare for the next open enrollment period. Early-bird registration rates expire on Friday, April 11th. Click here for more information.



Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
National News
Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius's resignation this week, and on Friday morning, he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said. 

Certain Immigrant Children and Pregnant Women Can Qualify for Coverage

A change in federal policy around a year ago allows certain immigrant children and pregnant women "lawfully residing" in the US to qualify for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Under federal Medicaid rules, individuals must be US citizens or be in a qualified immigrant status (includes legal permanent residents, refugees and asylees) living in the US for at least five years to qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.  However, the five-year rule does not apply to pregnant women or to children under the age of 21 as long as they have qualified immigrant status. The change in law extended the definition of qualified immigrant status to add:  those granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal; Cuban and Haitian entrants; others paroled into the US; those with Temporary Protected Status; those with Deferred Enforcement Departure; those under Deferred Action except for DACA; Domestic Violence Survivors and Victims of Trafficking; U Visa Holders; non-immigrant visa holders; citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau; and longtime residents. Medicaid eligibility for immigrants who are not pregnant women or children has not changed.
2014 General Assembly Session in Review
The Maryland Chamber took positions on 156 of the 2,672 pieces of legislation introduced.  Below you will find a review of the State Budget and Heath Care issues considered during this session.

State Budget 
The House and Senate agreed upon the $38.7 billion FY 2015 operating budget the weekend before the end of session.  The budget included additional investments in business development projects.  Specifically, there are increased investments in both the biotechnology tax credit ($12 million) and the research and development tax credit ($10 million), and the extension of the film tax credit for $15 million in FY 2015.  The operating budget required no additional revenues to be balanced and also provides a surplus of over $80 million.

Health Care

The Health Care Exchange implementation and subsequent failure of the initial launch were the issues which dominated health care this session.  While there was very little legislation which dealt with the issue, there were multiple hearings, an audit of the contracting process, and calls for more in depth examinations of what went wrong with the Exchange implementation.  There are a number of ongoing commissions looking into this situation. The Health Care Benefits Exchange Board opted to abandon its current system and adopt a software program which was used by Connecticut.

The legislature did pass emergency legislation (SB 134) to allow those who had not been able to sign-up for health care coverage before the deadline for enrollment because of the exchange website problems to join the Maryland Health Insurance Program. That bill was signed by the Governor during session.

The Affordable Care Act is designed to ensure that health plans cover both high-risk and low-risk people, but there still may be incentives for plans to dissuade individuals with certain medical conditions from enrolling, according to a new study using AHRQ databases. The study finds the possibility of incentives for adverse selection - the disproportionately high enrollment of high-risk, high-cost people in a health plan - especially for those with costly conditions such as mental health/substance abuse and cancer. The study's authors used AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data and predictive modeling to assess incentives of health plans in the new health insurance marketplaces mandated in the Affordable Care Act. The study abstract, "Assessing Incentives for Service-Level Selection in Private Health Insurance Exchanges," was published online February 17 in Journal of Health Economics. 

Health Centers FY2015 Dear Colleague Support Letters Close

Last week, the bipartisan Stabenow-Wicker and Bilirakis-Pallone Dear Colleague letters closed with majorities in each chamber signing on to support FY2015 Health Center funding. The Senate letter garnered 53 signatures and the House letter closed with 225 signatures - the highest level of House signatories since FY2008. We commend the work of Health Center Advocates around the country on an excellent outcome to this critical piece of the FY2015 Health Center funding process. Please visit NACHC's Federal Affairs page [click on title] to view the letters and lists of signers.


Under Mr. Ryan's plan, the average annual growth in federal spending would slow to 3.5% from its current path of 5.2%. To eliminate the annual federal budget deficit, the budget would reduce spending by $5.1 trillion over 10 years and overhaul social safety-net programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. The Ryan plan also would repeal the Affordable Care Act, but it incorporates some $700 billion in Medicare savings and $1 trillion in revenues generated under the 2010 health law. 
MedStar faces tensions with community clinics over primary-care expansion in District For a quarter-century, Mary's Center, a community health center in Adams Morgan, has served patients too poor to be
treated elsewhere. Like many other safety-net providers which are required by the government to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay, the center has struggled constantly for money. So officials were looking forward to the opening of the new health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act: More patients with coverage would bolster the bottom line. To attract more young professionals and families, they decided to offer walk-in services for problems such as strep throat and sprained ankles. But in November, regional hospital giant MedStar Health opened a pair of clinics two blocks away offering just those services - and wide-screen TVs to boot .... The tension is an unintended consequence of the health-care law, which has set off an intense competition for a growing number of privately insured patients, who tend to be the best-paying customers
Early Drug Claims Suggest Exchange Plan Enrollees Are Sicker Than Average 
Offering a first glimpse of the health care needs of Americans who bought coverage through federal and state marketplaces, an analysis of the first two months of claims data shows the new enrollees are more likely to use expensive specialty drugs to treat conditions like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C than those with job-based insurance.
The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), today announced the recipients of nearly 70 grants awarded to free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers (SBHCs) and community health centers as part of a $5 million commitment to increase access to health care in communities nationwide through partnerships with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC), the School-Based Health Alliance and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). The grant recipients will help increase access to health care and coordinated care to improve health outcomes for people of all ages across the country.

Comments Sought on the Need for Risk Adjustment for Socio-Demographic Factors: Due April 16th!

The National Quality Forum (NQF) is now accepting public comments on whether risk adjustment for social determinants should be used in performance measures. Because NQF measures are increasingly being used in pay-for-performance and public reporting, Health Center Advocates should tell NQF why risk adjustment for social determinants is necessary given Health Centers' unique and highly complex patient population. For example, tell NQF about your Health Center's experiences with any adverse impacts of not adjusting for these factors, including lost revenue and the impact that has on your ability to invest in needed interventions.  
Comments are due April 16th at 6pm ET. To read NQF's draft report and to comment, click on title to submit comments.  


State News

Delaware Public Health's New Policy 

I am pleased to forward you DPH's new policy on incorporating healthy eating into our work functions: DPH Policy #59 - Healthier Food and Snacks for Meetings Guide (Large file: Please email to have the Guideline emailed to you). A brochure is also attached with tips, information, and sample menus with low-fat, low-sugar and low-calorie food and beverage options. Go to


DPH has identified promoting healthy lifestyles as a strategic priority.  Healthy eating is a key factor in preventing obesity and diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers and tooth decay.  DPH staff are working in a variety of ways to prevent these specific diseases and empower our communities to eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight with 5-2-1 Almost None as a guide.


The "5-2-1 Almost None" campaign encourages all Delawareans to:


Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day

Have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming)

Get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day

Drink almost no sugary beverages


Please join me in setting an example for our communities in how to embrace good nutrition in the workplace and with our partners. Thank you for your participation.




Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler has launched television and radio ads critical of the state's online health insurance exchange, saying in one that he "wouldn't put up with this mess."

Gansler, the state's attorney general, has sought for months to gain leverage in the race by criticizing the glitch-plagued exchange and the role that his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, has played in overseeing health-care reform in Maryland. 

Finance & Business
The foundation that owns the Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children in Delaware and various pediatric physician practices in the region is suing United Healthcare entities in three states for unpaid bills. Lawyers for the Nemours Foundation filed lawsuits in federal court in Delaware on Wednesday against United Healthcare of Pennsylvania, United Healthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, and United Healthcare Community Plan of New Jersey.
A tiny fraction of the 880,000 doctors and other health care providers who take Medicare accounted for nearly a quarter of the roughly $77 billion paid out to them under the federal program, receiving millions of dollars each in some cases in a single year, according to the most detailed data ever released in Medicare's nearly 50-year history 
Latest News on ACA




Post March 31st Enrollment period, all in-person assisters, including Navigators and Certified Application Counselors (CACs) will continue many of their existing functions. 

1. Post enrollment responsibilities of Outreach staff, please click here.

2. Connect the Newly Insured to the Healthcare System, click here.

3. HRSA QPR reports will continue to be collected. Supplemental Grantees will be reporting their QPR 4 from April 1 - June 30. For additional information on the QPR, see HRSA slides on QPR 4.

4. Outreach & Enrollment Assistance, check out the HRSA - Bureau of Primary Healthcare (BPHC) FAQs here.

Any questions on O/E QPR not answered on the FAQ page can be emailed to





  1. How to Assist Consumers Who Are Still "In Line" to Enroll or May Be Eligible for a Limited Circumstances Special Enrollment Period After March 31;  Medicaid/CHIP Inbound and Outbound Account Transfer SEPs. Click here for a list of useful and informative resources. 
  2. Coverage to Care Webinar Recording by CMS & HRSA (from Monday, April 7, 2014)

    For organizations that have been working to get uninsured Americans - including millions of racial and ethnic minorities - into affordable health coverage, the challenge has now shifted to helping patients connect the dots between coverage and care - from learning to use insurance to selecting a primary care physician to using preventive services and screenings.

    This webinar will offer providers a look at successful efforts to connect the newly insured to the health care system, including CMS' Coverage to Care initiative, and resources to help strengthen coordination of care, including HRSA's Patient-Centered Medical/Health Home Initiative.

    *This webinar cannot be uploaded on here but please use the following Conference Number and Passcode to log in and access the full webinar recording:         

    Conference number: RW2029726
    Audience passcode: 5780103

  3. TO HELP THE NEWLY INSURED:Coverage to care
    If you're a provider, staff, or someone helping people who are new to insurance, use the resources on this page to connect and help them better understand a variety of topics like: 
  • What it means to have health insurance
  • How to find a provider
  • When and where to seek health services
  • Why prevention is important  

4. Guidance Offered for Those Still Uninsured

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new flyer posted on the Health Insurance Marketplace targeting consumers who fall into the "donut hole" in non-expansion states - too much income for Medicaid, not enough for a tax credit.  The one-page document directs individuals to information on seeking an exemption to avoid a fine for failing to secure coverage and to Community Health Centers for care.

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 & Outreach Upates

Health Center Outreach and Enrollment (O/E) Quarterly Reporting (QPR):

O/E grantees have from Tuesday, April 1, 2014 untilThursday, April 10, 2014 to complete and submit the Quarter 3 QPR in EHB. 

Post Open Enrollment, QPR 4 reporting period is April 1 - June 30, 2014. (see ACA section above for more)


Exchange Updates:

[I].  CAC Certifications are currently being mailed out. Look out for them in a day or two if you have not received them yet.

[II.]  More CAC ceritification dates and times will be released in the coming weeks. Check back on the CAC website for details.

[III.]  CAC Consent Forms RELEASED

[IV.]  ALL CACs need to have this form completed anytime they are assisting a consumer in creating an account on Maryland Health Connection. This form is to be retained by you, the Entity for documentation purposes.

[V.]  Exchange Standing Committee 

The Exchange Board selected the members of the Committee; however, no representative for FQHCs were picked. Duane Taylor, MACHC's CEO, is reaching out to the leadership to ensure FQHC representation on the board. Once there is a resolution, you will find the information here.

[VI.]  CACs cannot assist Medicaid/CHIP eligible consumers select an MCO. They are supposed to hand those consumers off to Navigators, Call-Centers, Department of Health or Social Services.

[VII.]  Medicaid re-verification barrier

During the last Exchange ACSE phone call held on Monday, March 24th, attendees posed the clear barrier of consumers having to seek assistance from Case Managers for re-verification of documents after already working with a in-person assister, CAC or Navigator. The Exchange has this topic on the table for discussion.



Exchange Updates for ACSE (CACs):

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


Exchange Call with ACSE:

The Exchange has sent ACSE's an email around monthly webinar/calls with all to discuss the CAC Program and Maryland's Marketplace progress. The webinar.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. The first of these webinars/calls took place on March 24 at 10 am - 11:30 am. Slides from the webinar can be found here. 

The NEXT call will take place on Monday, April 28th. 

Grants & Funding Opportunities

Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program for Paraprofessionals

In support of the White House Now is the Time initiative, the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program for Paraprofessionals is supported by HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  This program places special emphasis on treating children and adolescents aged 16 to 25 years old who are at risk for mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide, and among the least likely to seek continuous help.

HRSA-14-126 (BHWET  for Paraprofessionals): 

Eligible applicants will expand the behavioral health workforce by supporting education and training for behavioral health-related paraprofessional certification at community and technical colleges, including tribal colleges and universities, focusing on the behavioral health needs of at-risk youth and families. Paraprofessional certificate programs may include community health worker, outreach worker, social services aide, mental health worker, substance abuse/addictions worker, youth worker, promotora, and peer paraprofessional.  Certificate programs for peer paraprofessionals may also be offered by organizations recognized by their state government to offer peer paraprofessional training programs, and these programs must offer a state licensure.  The estimated award amount is up to $300,00 per year over a 3-year project period.  Successful applicants must provide students tuition, fees, and supplies to complete a certificate program in a behavioral health-related paraprofessional field, recruit students interested in pursuing work in the behavioral health field, and evaluate and disseminate program findings.  


Technical assistance calls are scheduled for applicants:
2) Wednesday, April 23 at 3:00 pm (ET)
Call-in Number: 1-888-628-9526
Participant Code: 2193070
Adobe Connect Link: 
For replay information (The recording will be available until 11:59 pm (ET) June 24, 2014): 866-415-2343; Passcode: 6314

For more information and to submit an application, go to  To learn more about HRSA and SAMHSA programs, visit and

Deadline for final application submission is June 3, 2014.  

HRSA-14-077 (BHWET for Professionals):  

Eligible applicants to train professionals are accredited master's-level schools and programs of social work, psychology, marriage and family therapy, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners and professional counseling, as well as doctoral-level psychology internships and schools and programs.    Between 60 and 130 awards are expected to be made, training more than 1,800 professionals. The estimated award amount is up to $480,000 for year 1 over a 3-year project period.  Successful applicants must provide stipend support to students for 12-month internships or field placements, recruit students interested in pursuing behavioral health practice, and evaluate and disseminate program findings:   

Technical assistance calls are scheduled for applicants:

1) Wednesday, April 9 at 3:00 pm (ET)
Call-in Number: 1-888-972-6714
Participant Code: 3548921
Adobe Connect Link: 

For replay information (The recording will be available until 11:59 pm (ET) June 24, 2014): 800-695-2487; Passcode: 6914

2) Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm (ET)
Call-in Number: 1-888-972-6714
Participant Code: 3548921
Adobe Connect Link: 

For replay information (The recording will be available until 11:59 pm (ET) June 24, 2014): 866-566-0619; Passcode: 6414

For more information and to submit an application, go to  To learn more about HRSA and SAMHSA programs, visit and

Deadline for final application submission is June 3, 2014.


Maternal & Child Health Funding

Newborn Screening Data Repository and Technical Assistance Center (HRSA-14-089)

04/03/2014 12:00 AM EDT

 Apply By: Mon, 5 May 2014


Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (HRSA-14-089)

04/03/2014 12:00 AM EDT

 Apply By: Mon, 5 May 2014 

Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Corner 
Health IT, the PCMH, and AHRQ

In the decades since the PCMH was initially proposed, much about the U.S. health care system has changed.  Yet the PCMH is more necessary now than ever because of these changes, which include skyrocketing medical costs, an aging and growing population, advancements in the science of diagnostic and treatment procedures, and the rapid expansion of chronic care needs. 

The development of health IT, such as electronic health records (EHRs), was unforeseen when the PCMH was proposed. While a PCMH could be established without health IT, health IT will facilitate their development and implementation. Capabilities include IT's ability to:

  • Collect, store, manage, and exchange relevant personal health information, including patient-generated data.
  • Enhance or facilitate communication among providers, patients, and the patients' care teams for care delivery and care management.
  • Collect, store, measure, and report on the processes and outcomes of individual and population performance and quality of care.
  • Support providers' decisionmaking on tests and treatments.
  • Inform patients about their health and medical conditions and facilitate their self-management with input from providers.8,9

AHRQ research is supporting the effort to apply the best features of health IT to create a PCMH that will improve health care for all Americans.

To support AHRQ's efforts for the PCMH, a new Web site,, was developed for health care decisionmakers and researchers. The site provides searchable access to a rich database of publications and other resources on the medical home, including access to AHRQ-funded white papers on critical medical home issues. The Agency has awarded grants that will study primary care practices' experiences in transforming into medical homes; commissioned retrospective evaluations of long-standing efforts to re-engineer primary care; and cosponsored a conference to define a shared policy-relevant research agenda for the PCMH. (The results of the latter meeting and commissioned background pieces were recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.)

AHRQ also has invested more than $300 million in contracts and grants to more than 200 communities, hospitals, providers, and health care systems in 48 States to expand our understanding of how health IT can improve health care quality. In a related project, AHRQ has established the National Resource Center for Health IT (NRC) to collect, analyze, and disseminate best practices and lessons learned from our portfolio of health IT projects.10 Please visit the NRC's Web site,, for more information.

AHRQ's work on the PCMH and on health IT likely will overlap and, in some instances, even merge as we strive to make health IT an "agent of change" for the PCMH.  AHRQ is eager to support research to align EHRs with PCMH implementation and operations. We anticipate a strong role for health IT to help operationalize and implement the key features of the PCMH, including supporting quality improvement, patient education, and enhanced communication.

We should not harbor illusions that health IT alone will automatically create fully functional PCMHs. EHR adoption, while increasing, still is relatively low-only 24.9 percent of physicians responding to a 2010 Federal survey reported having a basic system, and just 10.1 percent of physicians had a "fully functional" system. 11 And medical homes are not explicitly mentioned in the requirements for "meaningful use" of health IT in the EHR Incentive Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009-although guidelines for qualification for the incentive program implicitly encourage the PCMH by targeting key domains such as coordinating care, engaging patients and families, and improving population management.8; Existing Federal legislation has laid important groundwork and is necessary, but not sufficient, to support the PCMH model; technical assistance to primary care practices to adopt IT is needed to ensure that the opportunity to support the transformation of these practices is not missed.12

Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that widespread adoption and use of EHR systems and other patient-centric health IT tools will support PCMHs in reaching their full potential.  Thus, a PCMH "information model"-a map of the various interactions a patient has within the medical home, so that technology-enabled information flows properly through the various segments of the health care system and back to the patient-is being developed.13 This project seeks to define the medical home and the interactions among its stakeholders, both in narrative and technical terms, in order to understand where gaps exist and where development or harmonization of standards is needed to support the PCMH.

The widespread adoption of health IT to transform our Nation's health system is being accomplished in tandem with the extension of accessible, affordable health care to more Americans. The PCMH offers a tantalizing opportunity to accomplish both goals at once, to the ultimate benefit of American patients. These symbiotic efforts require a great deal of energy, focus, collaboration, resources, and commitment. When this effort succeeds, the quality of care for all Americans will be vastly improved.

Clinical Quality 
EDM Forum Seeks Input on Framework to Assess Data Quality

The Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum - designed to advance the dialogue on the use of electronic clinical data for comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research, quality improvement and support of clinical care - is seeking input to develop a framework for assessing the quality of data in electronic databases. The project is aimed at developing a framework to help clinical investigators, patients and policy makers understand the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of observational data used to generate new clinical knowledge. Participants may access the framework and submit feedback through the EDM Forum Wiki page. Stakeholders are also invited to participate in a brief survey  on data quality assessment needs.




Health Observances This Week


In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States recognizes April as a special opportunity to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community.


Join the Autism Society in getting involved with the autism community this April. April 2014 is National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM) 2014. 


How is it celebrated?

What can I do?

Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon - as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture - and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Ribbon, click here. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.

Make a difference. Contact your representatives at the state and federal levels and ask them to "Vote 4 Autism." For more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit

Connect with your neighborhood. Many Autism Society local affiliates hold special events in their communities throughout the month of April. But if you can't find an event that suits you just right, create your own

Watch a movie. Did you know that something that seems as simple as going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism? The Autism Society is working with AMC Theatres to bring special-needs families Sensory Friendly Films every month. 

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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