MACHC
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 aneeqa@machc.com. 

Let's Stay Connected
    
June 2, 2014 
MACHC SPOTLIGHT
MACHC Website Under Construction..... 

New Updates coming this SUMMER 

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

As a young doctor, my first job was serving in one of the poorest and most rural parishes in Louisiana. I had a three-year commitment to serve with the National Health Service Corps, which, in return, paid for my medical education. Thirty-two years later, I'm still there, leading the same Community Health Center where I started. I chose to stay because access to care-a key issue in the ongoing national discussion-is a struggle for people in my community.

Yet, progress made so far to improve access to care in the nation's fragile and rural communities is now threatened.

Some 62 million Americans lack access to primary care because of a variety of factors that include geography, income and a shortage of available doctors, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers. People from all walks of life are affected. Nearly half (42%) are low-income and 28% live in rural areas. Surprisingly, the vast majority do have health insurance.

People need both insurance and access to care. In my corner of Louisiana, we are open six days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. because our patients, who are low-income and often chronically ill, need care before and after working hours. By making access more convenient, we not only improve our residents' well-being, but reduce unnecessary visits to hospital ERs by more than 40%.

The Affordable Care Act provided resources to double the size of Community Health Centers like mine. This critical funding is scheduled to expire after 2015. Without a fix from Congress, the centers face a 70% reduction in grant funding. The impact would be disastrous. Our clinic alone would be forced to shelve plans to open two needed clinic sites, close some sites and lay off staff. Over 3,000 patients would have to find care elsewhere, much farther away. Programs focused on growing the supply of primary-care providers also would be hurt.

Let's not reverse course. Community Health Centers have delivered high returns on the investment for the past 50 years-improved access, cost savings and more jobs. This is a resource our nation cannot afford to squander.



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
MACHC EVENTS & WEBINARS
OTHER EVENTS & WEBINARS
(1) Transformational Call

When: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

1-866-740-1260 Access Code: 4319483

Target Audience: FQHC Leadership

Discuss latest State news, barriers, trends and issues. These issues are presented on HRSA reports and other platforms to find resolutions.

(2) ACA Informational Booth at Maxima Latino Summer Fest

When: Sunday, June 8, 12 PM - 9 PM

Three Lower Counties will have an informational/health booth for this year's Maxima Latino Summer Fest. The festival will be on Sunday June 8th from noon to 9:00PM. Set-up of our booth must be completed by 11:00am. It will be located in downtown Salisbury on West Main Street and South Division Street near the government building. This year they will have music from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and much more. They will have special performances by an international from Mexico "DIANA REYES" from Dominican Republic "MAFFIO, HENRY SANTOS and J MARTIN and much more. Traditional dances, Caribbean and Latin-American foods, crafts, and informational booths from agencies along the shore. They are expecting over 5000 in attendance!

 


(3) Emergency Preparedness Table Top Event
When: June 12, 2014, 9:15 am - 2 pm
Where: Maritime Conference Center, MD
Target Audience: At least 2-3 Emergency Preparedness per health center are required to attend as well as DHMH Chairs and Coordinators.
This TTX is an interactive, discussion-based activity focused on a plausible scenario. The TTX will focus on health centers ability to make high-level decisions and use emergency management concepts in response to an event which will result in staffing/supply impacts and difficulty sustaining operational status.  The progressive scenario and corresponding prompts will aid and facilitate the exploration of the health centers understanding of emergency management fundamentals including the National Incident Management Incident (NIMS) and the relationship with their Incident Command System (ICS), the emergency planning process, the role of mutual aid agreements, and emergency public information. Ultimately, the TTX will highlight the need for a networked approach to preparedness and response.

(4) MACHC Board Retreat
When: July 10 - 11th, 2014
Where: TBA
Look out for more details here in the coming weeks.
 
 
(5) SAVE THE DATE
MACHC's Annual Conference
When: Thursday, September 18th - Friday, September 19th, 2014 
Where: Dover Downs Conference Center, Dover, DE
  • (1) 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:

    • 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)

     

    (2) Professional Advice Offered on Time and  Effort Reporting

    When: Tuesday, June 3, from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

    NACHC is sponsoring a webinar on time and effort reporting for health centers. Developing appropriate and comprehensive personnel activity reporting systems is critical to grants management and compliance and remains a hot button issue for the HHS Office of Inspector General. Health centers have numerous rules to follow when it comes to the strings that attach to their federal grants. Getting these wrong can have serious - and costly - consequences. One of the biggest areas of risk is time and effort reporting. Developing appropriate and comprehensive personnel activity reporting systems is critical to grants management and compliance and remains a hot button issue for the HHS Office of Inspector General. 

    To register, click here

     

    (3) National Center for Health and the Aging Symposium
    - Monday, June 9, 2014, 8:00am - 4:15pm, ET:
    The National Center for Health and Aging (NCHATA) is hosting this symposium as an opportunity to exchanges ideas and information on topics related to improving the health of millions of American seniors. 
     
    (4) Scope Alignment Updates Webinar - Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:30pm, ET:
    BPHC is conducting this webinarto review the updates to Scope of Project Forms 5A and 5B announced in
    PAL 2014-06 and to provide further details on the upcoming scope alignment validation (SAV) opportunity for health centers. 
    View more information on the webinar

    When: June 10 -12

    Community Health Partners for Sustainability and the National Center for Health in Public Housing will present "Engaging Residents of Underserved Communities: From Outreach to Quality Care,"  at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, VA. This national symposium brings together health centers, public housing primary care grantees and other safety-net providers to discuss the importance of outreach, quality care and community engagement in improving the health of residents in underserved communities

     

    (6) 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.

      

    (7) ANNUAL 340B COALITION CONFERENCE

    When: July 14 - 16

    Now is the time to register for the 18th Annual 340B Coalition Conference, which takes place in Washington, D.C.The federal government will be publishing new regulations that will significantly impact all program stakeholders. 340B's rapidly evolving nature makes it important for all stakeholders to stay on top of program changes. Whether you work for a health care provider, contract pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturer, 340B-oriented business, or government agency, there is no better way to stay informed and have a voice in shaping the program's future than to attend.

     

    Register now at www.340Bcoalition.org to take advantage of the early bird rates which expire June 1st. If you have questions, please contact Sam Wilhelm-Ross at (202) 536-2280 or sam.wilhelm-ross@snhpa.org. Special discounts are available for members of the 340B Coalition Organizations and Drug Discount Monitorsubscribers. Click here to watch our video about the conference. 

     

    (8) SAVE - THE - DATE 

    2014 COMMUNITY HEALTH INSTITUTE (CHI) & EXPO at MANCHESTER GRAND HYATT

    AUGUST 23-27, 2014

    REGISTRATION IS NOT YET OPEN!

    Community Health Institute (CHI) & EXPO is THE largest and most important annual gathering of 2000 community health center  managers, clinicians, employees, board members and leaders. Every aspect of the community health center movement is represented and  fully-vested at CHI, making it an excellent networking opportunity. CHI provides essential up-to-date information, training and technical  assistance on the latest community health center challenges, providing professionals in the industry with cutting-edge strategies for community health center success                                       

    Emergency Preparedness Events:

    During the month of June, OP&R and MEMA are co-sponsoring two ICS position-specific awareness trainings, to be held at DHMH Headquarters in Baltimore. Please see below for detailed information and registration links.

    June 3: Incident Command and Operations Section Chief

    DHMH Training and Exercise Project

    ICS Position Specific Awareness Training - Incident Commander and Operations Section Chief

    Course Announcement

    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 Position Specific Awareness Training - Incident Commander and Operations Section Chief training course.

    Date: June 3, 2014

    Time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

    Location: Lobby Conference Room L-3, 201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

     Overview: This awareness-level course will provide local- and State-level emergency responders with an introductory understanding of the duties, responsibilities, and the capabilities of an effective Incident Commander (IC) and an effective Operations Section Chief (OSC).

    The IC is responsible for the overall management of the response. The IC directs and/or controls resources by virtue of explicit legal, agency, or delegated authority. The IC is responsible for all aspects of the response and therefore sets priorities and defines the ICS organization for the particular response.

    The OSC activates and supervises organization elements in accordance with the Incident Action Plan (IAP) and directs its execution. The OSC also directs the preparation of Unit operational plans, requests or releases resources makes expedient changes to the IAP, as necessary; and reports such to the IC.  

    Prerequisites: IS-100.b; IS-200.b; IS-700.a; and IS-800.b; (or equivalent)
    Recommended: ICS-300; and ICS-400

    Logistics: Lunch will not be provided.  Attire is business casual or daily uniform.

    Register: Registration closes on June2, 2014.  To register, please click here

    Before registering for the class, students must create an account on the MEMA Learning Management System (LMS) website and obtain a FEMA Student Identification Number (SID). Links to the FEMA SID registration site and the MEMA LMS account registration website are found at the above link.

    For additional assistance, contact Reed Correll at reed.correll@maryland.gov



    June 30: Incident Command and Planning Section Chief

    DHMH Training and Exercise Project

    ICS Position Specific Awareness Training - Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief

    Course Announcement

    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 Position Specific Awareness Training - Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief training course. This course is awareness-level only.

    Date: June 30, 2014

    Time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

    Location: Lobby Conference Room L-3, 201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

    Overview: This awareness-level course will provide local- and State-level emergency responders with an introductory understanding of the duties, responsibilities, and the capabilities of an effective Incident Commander (IC) and an effective Planning Section Chief (PSC). 

    The IC is responsible for the overall management of the response. The IC directs and/or controls resources by virtue of explicit legal, agency, or delegated authority. The IC is responsible for all aspects of the response and therefore sets priorities and defines the ICS organization for the particular response.  

    The PSC is responsible for the collection, evaluation, dissemination and use of information about the development of the incident and the status of resources. 

    Prerequisites: IS-100.b; IS-200.b; IS-700.a; and IS-800.b; (or equivalent)
    Recommended: ICS-300; and ICS-400

    Logistics: Lunch will not be provided.  Attire is business casual or daily uniform.

    Register: Registration closes on June29, 2014.  To register, please click here.

    Before registering for the class, students must create an account on the MEMA Learning Management System (LMS) website and obtain a FEMA Student Identification Number (SID). Links to the FEMA SID registration site and the MEMA LMS account registration website are found at the above link.

    For additional assistance, contact Reed Correll at reed.correll@maryland.gov



    *These are excellent training opportunities for those who may need to brush up on their skills or gain fresh knowledge and insight into the Incident Command System.
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News

    National Health Center Week 2014 webinar recording now available

    National Health Center Week, Celebrating America's Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities, is August 10th-16th and will be here before we know it! In case you missed the kick-off webinar on May 22nd, you can now watch the recording and access the slides on the NHCW website. As you confirm your plans for August, don't forget to submit your event to our interactive map to let everyone know the "who, what, where, and when" for your Health Center's NHCW celebration (the password is healthy)! For more information and resources, be sure to check out the NHCW website at www.healthcenterweek.com

    The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has issued PAL 2014-06 to describe updates made to Forms 5A and 5B used to document the services and sites in a health center's federally approved scope of project and to introduce supporting resources. In order to ensure all Community Health Centers   are using these updated forms to record an accurate scope of project, HRSA will initiate a scope alignment validation (SAV) process for all health centers (grantees and Look-Alikes) in late June.  The Bureau of Primary Health Care will migrate information from the "old" Forms 5A and 5B to the new formats in the Electronic Handbook. FQHCs will then be required to validate, make changes, or complete these new forms by mid-July. Additional guidance and technical assistance will be released soon. 

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a regulatory flexibility rule that includes a provision that will impact some health centers.  The Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction Final Rule is designed to save the health care system nearly $660 million annually. A key provision for health centers eliminates the requirement that a physician be on-site at least once every two weeks.

    HRSA Study Finds Increase in NPs Working in Primary Care

    A new report, Highlights from the 2012 National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners, by HRSA's National Center for Health Workforce Analysis finds that "almost half of recently licensed U.S. nurse practitioners (NPs) are joining the ranks of the nation's primary care workforce."  This  new survey shows that 47 percent of the very newest NPs - those graduating since 2008 - have entered primary care compared to 42 percent of NPs in primary care between 2003 and 2007.  Other study results showed 76 percent of the NP workforce maintained certification in a primary care specialty (family, adult, pediatric, or gerontology), with nearly half having a family NP certification; and more than half of the NP workforce in ambulatory care settings, with nearly a third practicing in hospitals.
    Community Health Centers    have adopted health IT at rates higher than office-based physicians, including large practices and large integrated healthcare systems, according to a Commonwealth Fund issue brief.  It found that use of electronic health records increased 133 percent between 2009 and 2013. As of last year, 85 percent of FQHCs reported that they had achieved advanced health IT capabilities, compared with just 30 percent in
    2009. That means they could perform at least nine of 13 key functions, such as electronically prescribing medications. Additionally, the survey found that more than three-fourths of the largest centers can share lab results (83 percent), imaging reports (76 percent), medication lists (80 percent) and visit summaries (77 percent) electronically within their organization. However, those percentages dropped off dramatically when it came to data-sharing with other organizations.
    Having received approval from the Obama administration in early May, new "reference pricing" models are set to slow health care spending, but advocates fear that health care consumers will be left with bigger bills as a result.
    Should doctors work for hospitals?  As hospital systems across the country continue to acquire small practices and employ more primary care providers, many physicians are starting to wonder what effects these trends will have on the practice of medicine.

    Burwell Confirmation as HHS Secretary Expected Next Week

    Sources report that the Senate will likely vote on Sylvia Mathews Burwell's confirmation as the next Secretary of HHS next week. With broad support from Democrats and many Republicans, Burwell's nomination was easily approved by the Senate Finance Committee on a 21-3 vote May 21st, and she is expected to be quickly confirmed by the full Senate.

    Capsules: Most Americans Say The Health Law Has Not Affected Their Families: Poll
    Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Mary Agnes Carey reports: "More than four years after enactment of the health law, six in 10 Americans say neither they nor their families have been affected by the sweeping measure, according to a poll released Friday. Among those who say the law has impacted them, Republicans are much more likely to say their families have been hurt by the law (37 percent) than helped (5 percent), while Democrats are more likely to say their families have been helped (26 percent) than hurt (8 percent), according to The Kaiser Family Foundation's monthly tracking poll (Carey, 5/30). 
    Doctor Shortage Is Cited In Delays At V.A. Hospitals
    Appalled by what she saw, Dr. Hollenbeck filed a whistle-blower complaint and changed jobs. A subsequent investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs concluded last fall that indeed the Jackson hospital did not have enough primary care doctors, resulting in nurse practitioners' handling far too many complex cases and in numerous complaints from veterans about delayed care. "It was unethical to put us in that position," Dr. Hollenbeck said of the overstressed primary care unit in Jackson. "Your heart gets broken" 

    State News
    DELAWARE
    Need help understanding your heath insurance plan?HealthCare.gov created a roadmap to health to help you understand and use your new health coverage. Learn more by visiting ➔ http://1.usa.gov/1k8ST4z

    The Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center is one of at least 42 VA facilities being investigated by the agency's inspector general over schedule manipulations meant to hide how long patients have to wait for appointments, the News Journal has learned. A staff physician and a staff nurse, who requested anonymity due to a fear of retribution, said investigators had been at the medical center near Elsmere recently, a visit the Wilmington VA acknowledges took place May 20-21.
    MARYLAND

     

    In her quest to help doctors more efficiently and effectively care for patients, one woman has turned a college class assignment into a successful business.

    In 2007, Ting Shih, then a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was given a project prompt by a professor to create a business plan for a social enterprise that would impact more than one billion people.

    "We thought, everyone has a mobile phone. Why not use a mobile phone to deliver health care?" she said.

    That's when the idea for ClickMedix was born.

    Based in Gaithersburg, ClickMedix is a telemedicine application system that expands the reach of doctors and health organizations by allowing them to serve four to 10 times more patients, said Shih, who founded the business in November 2010 and also serves as its CEO. It gives doctors the ability to diagnose patients remotely, and includes tools such as patient record tracking, streamlined workflow, diagnosis protocols and medical equipment integration.

    Finance & Business
    According to a recently released study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, the cost of emergency room visits for people with dental problems totaled nearly $3 billion between 2008 and 2010.  The study investigated national trends in U.S. hospital-based emergency department (ED) visits involving dental conditions and examined patient-related characteristics associated with ED charges. During the study period, over 4 million (about 1 percent) of all ED visits involved diagnosed dental conditions.  Uninsured patients made about 40.5 percent of all dental condition-related ED visits.  This study builds on an earlier report from Pew's children's dental campaign, A Costly Dental Destination: Hospital Care Means States Pay Dearly, which estimated that preventable dental conditions were the primary reason for more than 830,000 ER visits in 2009.

     

    Federal regulators are weighing whether health insurers who participate in Affordable Care Act exchanges can levy a tobacco surcharge on e-cigarette users, the latest point of debate over the products' health risks. The 2010 health law allows insurers in individual and small group markets to charge tobacco users as much as 50% more in premiums. But it doesn't specify whether that includes users of electronic cigarettes, battery-powered devices that turn nicotine liquid into vapor.
     
    Medicare spent $6.7 billion too much for office visits and other patient evaluations in 2010, according to a report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. But in its reply to the findings, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Medicare, said it doesn't plan to review the billings of doctors who almost always charge for the most expensive visits because it isn't cost-effective to do so.
    The
    Latest News on ACA
     
    OUR WORK IS NOT OVER

      

    A recent survey by PerryUdem for Enroll America gives insight into a lot of interests facts on consumer behavior during open enrollment. One that really caught our eye was the idea that the majority of Americans who didn't enroll during open enrollment simply assumed they couldn't affordcoverage. Make sure to spread the word on cost assistance subsidies. 6 in 10 Americans can get covered for $100 or month a less and many will qualify for free coverage

      

    How Health Insurance Works: "ObamaCare" and Doctors

    An article from Forbes focuses on the results of a new survey from Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) on how doctors have been affected by the newly insured under the Affordable Care Act. The bottom line seems to be that while not much has changed in the volume of patients docs are seeing, docs are noticing a issue of the newly insured not understanding their insurance.

    The issue illustrated in the study is that it's common that the newly insured choose plans based on cost without understanding the benefits offered by the plan. While one of the struggles of the new law has always been the inherent complexity in healthcare and health insurance, it doesn't mean there aren't any solutions to this issue. We all have the option to change our plan during annual openenrollment periods, so even those who didn't choose an ideal network or deductible there still have a few solid months to take a crash course in  how health insurance works and ensure you switch to the right plan during open enrollment.

     

    Burritos, Netflix and Health Insurance

    How many movie tickets can you buy if you're not paying out of pocket to see a doctor for your headache? How many burritos can you buy for the same amount it costs you to treat your sprained ankle?

    Health insurance is an important protection against unanticipated medical costs. To make that case to the "young invincibles," Kansas navigator Caitlin Zibers developed  six cost conversion fact sheets with thoughtful feedback from her co-navigators Rachel Rimmerman and Ericka Delara at Health Partnership Clinic in Johnson County, Kansas.

    Each fact sheet incorporates humor to emphasize the importance of getting covered as a young adult. Using a likely real-world scenario that could result in the need for medical services, the materials calculate the cost of seeing a doctor for individuals with no insurance into something more tangible for young adults, like 156 chicken burritos from Chipotle or 119 months of Netflix.

    The fact sheets can be used as templates to target audience of your community! So use them efficiently and effectively!!

      

    CMS Clarifies Medicaid Account Transfer Special Enrollment Periods

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently clarified

    that, in federally facilitated marketplaces (FFM), consumers who needed to have their file transferred from a Medicaid agency to the federal marketplace because: a) they were initially assessed to be eligible for Medicaid but were ultimately determined not to be eligible for Medicaid; or b) they applied for coverage at a Medicaid agency, must have submitted their applications on or before March 31 in order to receive a special enrollment period to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) through the FFM. Note that there are other "complex case" special enrollment periods that may help consumers in this circumstance enroll in a QHP through the Marketplace, such as:

    • They were initially determined to be eligible for Medicaid because of a system error related to immigration status;
    • Their application was referred to casework, and the enrollment issue was not resolved before March 31; or
    The consumer filed an appeal

    The final regulation issued by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Friday, May 16 provides standards for marketplaces, including standards for enrollment assisters in both state and federal marketplaces. Some of the key provisions in the final regulation include:

    • Specifies several types of state requirements that would conflict with federal requirements for assisters
    • Allows health care providers to become assisters, regardless of their relationship to health insurance issuers
    • Clarifies that it is within assisters' scope of duties to provide comprehensive information to consumers about the substantive benefits and features of health plans
    • Clarifies that assisters can make unsolicited contact with consumers to conduct outreach, but not to provide enrollment assistance unless they have a prior relationship with the consumer
    • Clarifies that assisters cannot provide applicants with gifts unless they are of nominal value, nor can they offer promotional items from third parties to incentivize enrollment. Note: assisters can provide reimbursement for limited consumer expenses, such as travel costs or postage
    • Permits the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to impose civil money penalties on assisters or require corrective action plans for a) violations of federal obligations (for assisters in the federal marketplace) and b) improper use of personally identifiable information, or providing false or fraudulent information to a marketplace (for assisters in both state and federal marketplaces). No penalty will be imposed if CMS concludes that an assister acted in good faith.
    Several provisions in the final regulation will help protect enrollment assisters. However, the final regulation still allows flexibility for states to establish requirements that may be burdensome for enrollment assisters.
     

    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

    MACHC's ACA- Moving Forward Webinar


    A Message From MARYLAND HEALTH EXCHANGE:

    We are in the process of transitioning our training and are now offering a CAC 3 - Day Recorded Webinar.  Although it is not ideal, the recorded webinars will allow those staff who weren't able to get in the final live webinar training the opportunity to complete the training and satisfy one of the requirements to become eligible to take the CAC Final Exam.

     

     

    The CAC 3 - Day Recorded Webinar is one of your training requirements to become a Certified Application Counselor.  We have scheduled additional dates and times listed below.  The CAC 3 - DAY RECORDED WEBINAR is three hours EACH DAY.  During this recorded webinar, participants will review what you learned in the Certified Application Counselor (CAC) web-based training course, which is a prerequisite for the webinar.

     

    Your next step in preparing for your work will be to enroll in the 3 - Day Recorded CAC Webinar.  You will need to register for the webinar using the learning management system at http://marylandhealthconnectiontraining.com.  To view the dates and times for the webinars, you must click the "In Person Training" button and "View Course Offerings" link.  

     

     

    Application Counselor Webinar (ACW001)

    Course Name

    ID Number

    CAC Webinar

    cacWebinar

    Select here to - VIEW OFFERINGS

     

     

    To complete enrollment you must click the "Enroll" link located next to the course you have selected to attend.  To complete the 3-day webinar registration process, participants must register for each day of the webinar at https://marylandhbe.webex.com/marylandhbe/onstage/g.php?PRID=d551bafe652ec76110985d0172393c9c .  THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR THE LISTED COURSE IS 5 PM ON JUNE 2, 2014.

     

    If you have not already done so, please be sure to complete the Certified Application Counselor (CAC) web-based training on http://marylandhealthconnectiontraining.com , which is a prerequisite for the webinar.  Webinars are limited to 75 students per session and is one of the three training requirements that must be satisfied to become certified.

     

    The CAC 3 - Day Recorded webinar dates and times are:

     

    Title

    Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Webinar

    Date

    June 4-6, 2014

    Time

    From 1:00-4:00 PM EST each day

     

    ***** Additional CAC 3- Day Recorded Webinar dates will be scheduled.  Applicants will be notified via email once registration becomes available.

     

    After you have enrolled and registered for the appropriate webinar, we will notify you by email with the details for the course the morning a day before and the morning of your scheduled webinar.  This notification will contain instructions on how to access the CAC Webinar.  The course access information can be found on the learning management system once enrolled in the course.

     

    Participants must satisfy these minimum requirements in order to receive credit for the webinar training:

     

    ∑         Attend a webinar session in its entirety. Participants who miss more than 15 minutes of the webinar, as captured by entry and exit times throughout the session, will not receive completion status for the training. For this reason, we encourage all participants to test their access prior to the session and remain logged into the online event during scheduled breaks and Q&A sessions.

    ∑         Log into the session on an individual computer with a complete and accurate last name, first name, and email address. Participants who share a computer to attend the webinar will not receive completion status for the training because their names and email addresses will not be captured in the webinar attendance report. When joining the session, please enter the same name and email address you used when registering for the webinar on http://marylandhealthconnectiontraining.com.

     

    If you have any questions, please email us at mhc.trainingsupport@maryland.gov

     

    The MHBE Call Center Hours of Operation & Holiday Closings for the period of May 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014 will be as follows:

     

    Hours of Operation

    Mon - Fri - 8am-6pm

    Sat - 8am - 2pm

    Sun - CLOSED

     

    Holiday Closings

    Memorial Day - May 26

    Independence Day - July 4

    Labor Day - September 1

     

    Grants & Funding Opportunities

    SAMHSA Minority AIDS Initiative Continuum of Care Pilot

    Application Deadline:  June 4, 2014

    SAMHSA invites applications for a new program that seeks to integrate care (behavioral health treatment, prevention, and HIV medical care services) for racial/ethnic minority populations at high risk for behavioral health disorders and at high risk for or living with HIV.  The grant will fund programs that provide coordinated and integrated services through the co-location of behavioral health treatment and HIV medical care. This opportunity is primarily intended for substance abuse treatment and community mental health programs with the ability to co-locate and fully integrate HIV prevention and medical care services.  SAMHSA funds must be used for behavioral health screening; primary substance abuse and HIV prevention; substance abuse, mental health, and co-occurring treatment; creation of infrastructure to provide integrated care; HIV and hepatitis screening and testing, and hepatitis vaccination.  SAMHSA will fund approximately 33 grants, not to exceed a project budget over $500,000.   

    USDA Announces Funding for Advanced Communications Technology in Rural Areas | USDA Newsroom

    DLT NOFA:

    Rural Utilities Service

     

    NOTICES

    Funding Availabilities ,

    29399-29405 [2014-11700]

    [PDF]

    DLT Resources, including the 2014 Grant Application Guide, Grant Toolkit, FAQs and much more:

     

    USDA Rural Development- DLT Resources

    Please direct any questions to: The Loan Origination and Approval staff is available to answer questions about the application process and program requirements. If you have questions, the time to contact us with those questions is before you submit the application. Contact us at:  

    Phone: 202-690-4493  Email: dltinfo@wdc.usda.gov  

     
    HRSA:
    Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health:Improving Maternal Health and Safety (HRSA-14-134)

    Apply By: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 

    Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program States/Territories Part B Supplemental Grant Program (HRSA-14-048)
    Apply By: Wed, 28 May 2014 
     
    Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
    Funding for hunger prevention, self-sufficiency, healthcare, and education to those who are underserved. Pennsylvania is one of the eligible states.
     
    Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
    Provides seed funding to emerging nonprofits, or to new projects of established organizations in the areas of education; environment; health and human services; and hunger and nutrition. Pennsylvania is one of 13 eligible states.
     
    Application Deadline:  Applications Accepted on an Ongoing Basis
    The Community Response Fund supports organizations, activities, and events that address access to needed oral health care and community resources that improve oral health. Programs that address an immediate response to an urgent issue that impacts access to clinical care, provide short-term access to needed care for the underserved, or sustain organizations experiencing short-term challenges are the focus. A limited number of program concepts that provide longer term solutions or essential services for particularly underserved populations will also be considered. The program will also support Missions of Mercy clinics.
    Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Corner 
    Within multi-payer medical home initiatives, it is critical to develop and implement attribution and/or enrollment methodologies that assign participating patients to the practice most responsible for managing their care. This brief, supported by The Commonwealth Fund, presents key considerations for states when developing assignment models: determining the degree of alignment across payers; establishing a means to collect and distribute patient assignment data; assessing the accuracy of the model; and ensuring sustainability. Key considerations presented in this brief are gleaned from challenges and lessons learned from multi-payer initiatives in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island.
     
    NASHP Meeting: Using Research to Inform Policy Decisions: A Roadmap for State Policymakers - Apply Here 
    With the support of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), NASHP is convening a one-day meeting on August 5, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois to launch our "Roadmap for State Policymakers: A Guide in Using Research to Inform Decision Making". The purpose of the meeting is to help guide state policymakers in the use of the Roadmap and to strategize about how to build support for more engagement on the use of evidence to support policy decision making back in your state. State policymakers who currently use research to inform their work or who would like to incorporate more evidence-based approaches in their work, particularly Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR), are invited to submit an application to participate in this meeting by June 3, 2014.
     
     

    AHRQ has released a new video series featuring three profiles of health care professionals sharing stories about how they are working in partnership with patients and families to improve the quality of health care services delivered at their facilities. The series, "Frontline Innovators on Providing Patient- and Family-Centered Care," was developed as part of the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange, an online repository of information where health professionals and researchers can share and learn about evidence-based practices and tools that can be adopted for use within an array of health care settings and populations. Stories highlighted in the videos explain how current and former patients and families advise a hospital on care improvement; how a day-treatment program partners with parents to support and stabilize children with dual psychiatric and chronic disease diagnoses; and how a hospital brings together the expertise of families and geriatric-trained staff to improve outcomes in a separate, seniors-only emergency department setting. 

    Clinical Quality 

    USPSTF Draft on Behavioral Counseling for CAD Prevention Open for Comment

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has posted a draft Recommendation Statement and  draft Evidence Review Report on behavioral counseling to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in persons with known risk factors.  Both are available for review and public comment from May 13 through June 9, 2014.

    Campaign for Dental Health Website on Water Fluoridation

    The Campaign for Dental Health, a network of more than 60 organizations working to protect and expand access to community water fluoridation, has launched a redesigned website called ILikeMYTeeth.org to assist individuals who are interested in water fluoridation by providing high quality, evidence-based information on this preventive health practice.  You will find videos, scientific research, infographics, social media posts, and other resources.  It also provides information for questions about fluoride's safety and effectiveness. 

    From asking specific questions to bringing a friend or family member with you to appointments, there are a number of things that you can do to help prevent misdiagnosis at the doctor's office.
    Health Observances This Week

     

    What? 

    Community Health Improvement Week is a national recognition event to raise awareness, increase understanding of community health improvement activities and celebrate the people who lead the initiatives. 
    Established by ACHI, the week is an opportunity for community health professionals, organizations and coalitions to celebrate successes both within organizations and the community.

    WHY?
    ACHI has scanned the Internet to find statistics to use in marketing campaigns (please be sure to attribute these to the correct owners).

    • Just $1.00 has a return on investment of $5.60 
    • Half of all adults in the United States have a chronic disease 
    • 7 out of 10 Americans die each year from chronic diseases 
    • Medicare spending growth is mostly attributable to diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and kidney disease that in most cases could have been prevented with public health investment
    • Routine childhood immunizations save $9.9 million in health care costs, save 33,000 lives and prevent 14 million cases of disease 

    Celebrate within your organization by:

    • Creating a tabletop display
    • Create fact sheets and place around the organization
    • Hold an ice cream social
    • Hold a "jeans day" and give the donations to community health improvement initiatives
    • Plan a lunch and learn (educate employees while providing free lunch)
    • Invite communities leader to address your employees during meeting
    • Place a notice in company-wide emails and/or newsletters
    • Organize a volunteer service day for employees to serve a community project that improves health

    Celebrate with your community by:

    • Issue a press release to inform local press (download a sample template)
    • Write an editorial piece of your organization's achieivements in the local paper
    • Run an add in your church bulletin and other community groups' communications pieces
    • Contact community partners and get some time in their regular meetings
    • Have your mayor issue an official proclamation (download sample proclamation)
    • Hold a free health screening or other such service in the community

    Celebrate nationwide by:

    Has your FQHC joined the National Branding Campaign?

     

    With more than 43 billion people  eligible to enroll in private insurance starting this October 1, FQHCs strive to create an identifiable unifying identity for themselves. This is where the National Branding Campaign for Our Health Centers comes into place. 

    The campaign is a national branding effort to strengthen recognition of our Health Centers as a unified and nationwide network of quality community-based primary care providers.  Initially created at the state level by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) and its membership, the National Association of Community Health Centers has expanded the campaign nationwide.

     

    The FQHC Brand Components  

    MACHC recently hosted a Branding Webinar for MD and DE Health Centers with CEO of PACHC, Cheri Reinhart and Event and Communications Coordinator, Kirsten Keyes, as guest speakers. If you missed the webinar and would like access, please click here.

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

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