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
June 9, 2014 
MACHC Website Under Construction..... 

New Updates coming this SUMMER 

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


Access is the Answer May Support Letter Push Concludes with Success 


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) 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.


Outreach Team Confe

rence Call

When: Friday, June 13, 2014

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

1-866-740-1260 Access Code: 4319483

Target Audience: Outreach staff members

Discuss latest Outreach and Enrollment resources, best practices, trends and issues. These issues are presented on HRSA reports and other platforms to find resolutionsIn this presentation, you will review the newest guidelines in diabetes management.

(3) CFO Workgroup
When: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
(4) Transformational Call

When: Thursday, June 19, 2014

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.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.

PolicyPLUS Webinar
June 25th, 2014 12:30 PM   through   
1:30 PM
HRSA has announced they plan to schedule over 700 Operational Site Visits this year.
That, combined with the ramped up scrutiny from other accrediting and recognition agencies, is why having an online policy, credentialing, and quality management solution like PolicyPLUS has never been more important.  PolicyPLUS has partnered with MACHC to provide you with an powerfully effective, secure, simple to use, and affordable solution.  Several of your fellow  MACHC members are already enjoying the benefits of PolicyPLUS.  Join us on the webinar to see if you could benefit too.
PolicyPLUS™ your convenient online database that Stores, Manages, & Archives your Policies, Procedures, Credentials & QA/QI
PolicyPLUS™ helps you...
  •  Increase patient safety: employees can access your policies 24/7
  •  Ensure employee compliance: PolicyPLUS' training and testing feature insures you staff will know your policies
  •  Improved standard of care: obsolete and duplicate policies are removed from circulation
  •  Build consistency: Easily distribute new documents across multiple locations
  •  Automated employee training alerts: Automatic Email notifications sent to your employees alerting them of any outstanding    assignments due
  • Automated document alerts: Automatic Email notification & reminders sent alerting of upcoming document expiration dates
  •  Maintain records easily: Track & archive policy changes
  •  Manage credentialing confidently: Track provider credentials with automatic email alerts sent for  credential expirations and next redentialing cycles
  •  Reduce risk and liability exposure: Rest easy   knowing all your bases are covered
  •  Save time: Track organizational KPIs, provider KPIs, work plans
  •  Save Money: IT staff not needed to support 
  •  PolicyPLUS™.
  •  Know you're covered:  Evaluation and gap analysis of your existing policies is available.
(6) MA
CHC Board Retreat


When: July 10 - 11th, 2014
Where: TBA
Look out for more details here in the coming weeks.
(7) SAVE
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)


    (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.



    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 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 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) STD/HIV Prevention Training Center at Johns Hopkins
    Increase your knowledge regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections
    Take our STD Intensive Course!
    Course dates: (Baltimore); July 21-25, 2014 (Baltimore);
    Cost of the class is $250.00 for the entire week. CE is provided
     One week course
     Emphasis on reportable and selected prevalent STIs and associated syndromes
     3 days of Lecture, one day in the lab, one day in the clinic and some case studies
     50% of class time clinical and laboratory experience
     Registration is limited to 10 full-time participants
    For more information and registration details, CLICK HERE


    (9) SAVE - THE - DATE 


    AUGUST 23-27, 2014


    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 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


    *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

    Triage Webinar Now Available on Clinical Risk Management Website

    Did you miss the webinar, Building and Maintaining an Effective Triage System, presented by ECRI Institute on behalf of HRSA on May 13 and 14, 2014? A recording of the 60-minute webinar, handouts, and postconference speaker questions and answers are now available in the Webinar and Audio Conference Archive on the  Clinical Risk Management Program website.


    The webinar addressed the differences between on-site and telephone triage and provided risk management strategies related to each approach. The webinar also covered necessary education and qualifications for individuals conducting triage, considerations for triage systems and policies, the use of standardized protocols and algorithms, and documentation tips. Sample tools and resources were provided.    Please log in to the website with your username and password in order to access the recording. All resources are provided for FREE by ECRI Institute on behalf of HRSA. Don't have access or want to attend a free, live demonstration of the website? E-Mail or call (610) 825-6000 ext. 5200.

    New Medicare PPS for Federally Qualified Health Centers 

    Registration has just opened for our next call on the FQHC PPS - New Medicare PPS for Federally Qualified Health Centers: Operational Requirements - scheduled for June 25, 2014.  Additional details about the call are below -  register today!


    Also, as promised on the May 21st call, the FQHC resource box is now available to accept outstanding questions that you may have; please email your questions to


    New Medicare PPS for Federally Qualified Health Centers: Operational Requirements

    Wednesday, June 25; 1:30-3pm ET

    To Register: Visit MLN Connects Upcoming Calls. Space may be limited, register early.


    As required by Section 10501 of the Affordable Care Act, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) will transition to a Prospective Payment System (PPS) beginning on October 1, 2014. This MLN Connects™ National Provider Call will provide information on operational requirements of the new payment system.



    • Review of the new Medicare PPS methodology
    • Billing and claims processing, including:
      • Specific payment codes (FQHC visit "G codes")
      • Detailed HCPCS billing
      • Revenue codes
    • Cost Reporting
    • Question & Answer

    Target Audience: FQHCs and other interested stakeholders.


    Continuing education credit may be awarded for participation in certain MLN Connects Calls. Visit the Continuing Education Credit Informationweb page to learn more.

    New Back-To School Vaccine Requirements

    Parents will be soon be coming to your health center to get ready for school year 2014-2015.  There are new school immunization requirements  The new requirements are contained in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Every Kindergarten and 7th grade student will need to  have received the vaccinations to be admitted to school this fall.  Schools already have begun notifying parents of the new requirements. 


    Kindergarten Students 

    -Varicella - Two (2) doses of Varicella vaccine are required for Kindergarten 


    7th Grade Students 

    -Tdap - A single dose of Tdap vaccine is required for all students entering 7th grade 

    -Meningococcal (MCV4) - A single dose of MCV4 vaccine is required for all students entering 

    7th grade

    New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Awards were announced last week. This is great news for health centers, given that many NMTC allocatees (Community Development Entities or "CDEs," in NMTC parlance) are interested in providing financing to community health centers!  If you missed the announcement, here is a
    link to it. 


    Capital Link works with virtually every CDE that has allocation and is interested in working with health centers. To date, Capital Link has structured 36 NMTC transactions totaling $485 million for health center projects totaling $610 million-with several others in the pipeline currently. If your health center is interested in NMTC, you should contact Capital Link who will help your center get connected to an appropriate CDE. 


    Allocation is a scarce commodity and obtaining a commitment of allocation for a specific project is highly competitive, given that CDEs are incentivized to pick projects that are "ready to go" and that deliver specific community benefits to meet their allocation agreement requirements. Finding the right match is extremely important; we are aware of several health centers that have been very badly burned by CDEs that left them with a mountain of legal fees and no NMTC financing to show for their efforts. This is not the outcome we want!


    The financing programs offered by each CDE can be quite different in terms of fees and other benefits to borrowers-with some much better than others.  In addition, the NMTC financing process is complex and not for the faint of heart!  Most health centers can benefit from a knowledgeable partner to help them through the process. CapLink would be happy to work with you to structure NMTC or other financings.  
    Mark Lurtz at or 636-244-3082 
    As part of the upcoming annual Health Datapalooza conference in D.C., the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other agencies are releasing new data sets and tools designed to increase transparency regarding health care spending across the country 
    New Obama Administration plans to cut carbon pollution by targeting coal plant emissions could result in improved health for thousands of individuals.   According to the American Lung Association, the plan has the potential to prevent as many as 4,000 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks during the first year of implementation.
    According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, the number of documented cases of the measles is growing at an alarming rate, with 288 cases reported so far this year.

    Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee Schedules Markup of FY2015 Spending Bill

    The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) announced their plans to mark up their Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 LHHS bill Tuesday, June 10th. Consideration by the full committee is expected shortly thereafter, as soon as Thursday, June 12th. It is unclear at this time when the FY2015 LHHS bill may be moved through the full Senate. Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has indicated that in the interest of time, she would like to see FY2015 spending bills bundled together for floor consideration. 

    Health Centers Key to Conversations about Improving Veterans' Access to Care

    The recent news coverage of problems within the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system, and the resignation last week of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, have highlighted the need for strategies to improve access to care for America's veterans. A number of draft legislative proposals are in the works on Capitol Hill, including proposals incorporating Health Centers into potential access solutions. NACHC is monitoring these developments and coordinating with Congressional offices, but in the meantime, we want to hear from Health Centers engaged in local partnerships with the VA along with any particular success stories or challenges that you face in caring for veterans. Please share any information you think would be helpful to informing this ongoing legislative dialogue by emailing Jennifer Taylor at

    National Health Center Week 2014 Materials and Resources Available

    National Health Center Week 2014 - America's Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities ­­- will be here before you know it (August 10th -16th). Health Centers can find helpful resources at the National Health Center Week website including, social media tools, updated fact sheets, a media toolkit with letter templates for letters to the editor and op-eds, and the online store with a variety of NHCW merchandise for your NHCW events. Also, be sure to reach out NOW and schedule in-person visits with your Members of Congress at your Health Center during National Health Center Week when Congress will be on recess - invite them to attend your NHCW events! Finally, don't forget to post your events on the National Health Center Week website (the password is "healthy").
    There were 65 million people in Medicaid by the end of April, six million more than there had been on the eve of the launch of the health law, the Obama administration said Wednesday. The success of the Affordable Care Act in growing Medicaid - a key aim of the 2010 law - is a main point of political debate. But figuring out how many actually signed up for the program for low-income Americans because of the law is complicated 
    Risking A Health Insurance Strategy The I.R.S. May Not Approve
    When it came time to renew his company's health plan last fall, Jerry Eledge found himself in a bind that many small-business owners know all too well. On one hand, "it's kind of a moral obligation" to offer insurance, said Mr. Eledge, who runs Community Quick Care, a growing chain of primary health care clinics in the Nashville area. And yet, premiums for his existing plan were going up 20 percent, while other group plans promised as much as a 50 percent increase, even as deductibles and co-pays were becoming less generous. "We found no really good alternatives for 2014 at all," he said. "Before Gary came along, we weren't sure what we were going to do"

    With over 100,000 health-related apps now available to consumers, health care providers, policy makers, researchers and others are growing increasingly concerned with the FDA's inability to keep up with the regulation and monitoring of their development.
    State News
    Covered in Delaware:
    A paramedic was passing through the café area at St. Francis Hospital a few weeks ago where a marketplace guide currently has an information table and where guides assisted Delawareans during open enrollment. As he was 
    waiting for the elevator, the paramedic said, "Best thing I ever did was signing up right here for health insurance. If you weren't here, I probably wouldn't have." The paramedic hadn't had health insurance in 5 years. Learn more at

    Maryland hospital regulators are in the throes of figuring out a new way to pay doctors, and doctors hope to have a new plan by the end of the year.

    Maryland, which has long controlled hospital rates, launched a new approach in January to regulating hospital finances. Beginning this year, instead of paying hospitals per service, hospitals get a set amount of money and must treat all their patients within that budget.

    The new system will push hospitals to reduce re-admissions and unnecessary treatment. But the new rules apply only to hospitals. Doctors are still paid per service, which means they get paid more for ordering more tests and visits. This will work against hospitals' effort to reduce costs and hospital visits 

    Finance & Business

    U.S. Treasury Awards PCDC $43 million in New Markets Tax Credits

    Innovative Financing will Help Spur Primary Care Expansion in Low-Income Communities


    The U.S. Treasury's CDFI Fund today awarded the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) $43 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation.  The award will help PCDC jump start investment in primary care in underserved communities throughout the U.S.  PCDC is one of 87 Community Development Entities to share in $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit Allocation. 


    "Lack of affordable capital is a major barrier that prevents the development of quality primary care in low-income communities," said Ronda Kotelchuck, PCDC's CEO.   "We are delighted that the CDFI Fund is investing New Markets Tax Credits in PCDC, helping us meet the critical need for capital from community health centers and other safety net health care providers.  We look forward to working with our partners to spur sustainable primary care development throughout the U.S."   


    The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming and expanding primary care in underserved communities to improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and disparities.  PCDC provides affordable financing to build and modernize facilities, coaching and training to strengthen care delivery, and advocacy to support policy initiatives that invest in primary care. 


    A U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), PCDC has financed over 100 primary care projects valued at nearly $500 million, creating primary care access for 725,000 patients. This investment has improved 940,000 square feet of space and created or preserved more than 4,900 jobs in low-income communities.   PCDC has a AAA+2 CARS rating (CDFI Assessment and Ratings System).  Read more about PCDC's Capital Investment program.



    Dan Lowenstein -  212-437-3942,


    UnitedHealth Group Raises Dividend By 34%
    UnitedHealth raised the quarterly payout to shareholders to 37.5 cents, an increase of 9.5 cents from the 28-cent dividend the company has paid since the second quarter of 2013. ... UnitedHealth in April said its first-quarter earnings fell 7.8%, hurt by government cuts to Medicare Advantage programs and new taxes. The period was the first to reflect the Affordable Care Act. Planned reductions in government funding for Medicare Advantage and other provisions of the health law are expected to affect the managed-care provider's performance this year 

    Doctors may get paid for end-of-life planning
    Medicare providers who counsel patients on "advanced care planning" may be able to receive reimbursements for those services under a provision included in the Affordable Care Act. 


    As e-cigarettes continue to increase in popularity, public health researchers are growing increasingly concerned with manufacturers' marketing strategies, which are designed to target American youth. 
    Latest News on ACA



    A Reader Asks: Can I Cancel My Marketplace Plan If My Boss Decides To Offer Coverage?

    For those who bought insurance through their local marketplace, you can choose to drop your marketplace coverage if your employer begins to offer coverage, but be sure to carefully evaluate your options before making any quick decisions.  


    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



    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 attend 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.  


    Please note:  This is the last 3-day webinar.  Training will reconvene once the training transition period is complete.


    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  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


    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 (June 17th, 18th, and 19th) at .  THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR THE LISTED COURSE IS 5 PM ON JUNE 16, 2014.


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



    Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Webinar


    June 17-19, 2014


    From 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM EST each day


    If you have not already done so, please be sure to complete the Certified Application Counselor (CAC) web-based training on , 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.


    After you have enrolled and registered for the appropriate webinar, you will be notified via 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


    If you still need to complete a System Webinar training, we are in the process of transitioning our training and are now offering a CAC 1 - Day Recorded System Webinar.  Although it is not ideal, the recorded webinars will allow those staff who weren't able to attend the final live webinar training the opportunity to complete the training and satisfy one of the requirements to become a Certified Application Counselor.  IF YOU HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED THIS REQUIREMENT, PLEASE DISREGARD.



    Please note:  This is the last 1-day System Webinar.  Training will reconvene once the training transition period is complete.


    The System Webinar is one of your training requirement to become a Certified Application Counselor.  We have scheduled additional dates and times listed below.  The CAC-MHC System Webinar is a one day, three hour webinar that will teach CACs how to assist consumers using the Maryland Health Connection Consumer Portal.  Topics include:  creating an account; completing an application; and shopping for Qualified Health Plans.  We have attached the participant guide below for your reference during the webinar.


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


    MHC System Webinar (0023)

    Course Name

    ID Number

    MHC System Webinar


    Select here to - VIEW OFFERINGS



    To complete enrollment you must click the "Enroll" link located next to the course you have selected to attend.  



    CAC-MHC Recorded System Webinar Session #11 - 6/23/14 3 hrs


    Jun 22, 2014







    To complete enrollment you must click the "Enroll" link located next to the course you have selected to attend.  To complete the 1-Day System Webinar registration process, participants must register at  




    The CAC 1- Day Recorded System webinar date and time are:



    Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Webinar


    June 23, 2014


    From 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM EST 



    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

    ***Fiscal Year 2014 ACA Health Center Expanded Services (HRSA-14-148)*** - HRSA has released the FY 2014 Health Center Expanded Services (ES) supplemental funding opportunity (HRSA-14-148) for current Health Center Program grantees.  ES funding will support increased access to comprehensive primary health care services, including oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, and/or vision services, at existing health center sites.  To qualify for ES funding, applicants must propose to expand existing primary care medical capacity by adding new medical providers, increasing the availability of medical services, and/or expanding hours of operations.  HRSA will award approximately $300 million through formula-based supplements.


    ES funding is open to all current Health Center Program grantees who have at least one service site verified as open and operational within their scope of project.  All eligible grantees should have received an email communication with an access code for this EHB-only application.  Applications are due in HRSA's Electronic Handbook (EHB)no later than Tuesday, July 1, at 5:00pm, ET. 


    HRSA will hold a technical assistance (TA) call Friday, June 6, 1:00pm - 2:30pm, ET to provide an overview of this funding opportunity.

    To participate in the session, click the following webinar link: FY14 Expanded Services Webinar  and connect to the audio (888-989-7687 Participant Code HRSA).



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


    Rural Utilities Service



    Funding Availabilities ,

    29399-29405 [2014-11700]


    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:  

    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 
    Report: PCMH model leads to reduced cost of care, improved population health 

    patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model resulted in reduced costs of care, unnecessary emergency room (ER) and hospital visits, and improved population health, according to a research report by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative.

    The Collaborative partnered with Milbank Memorial Fund to produce the report, "The Patient-Centered Medical Home's Impact on Cost & Quality: An Annual Update of the Evidence, 2012-2013," to examine cost and utilization, population health and prevention, access to care, and patient or clinician satisfaction under PCMH.

    The report focused on studies released between August 2012 and December 2013 and revealed common metrics, including:

    • Decreases in the cost of care: 61 percent of peer-reviewed studies and 57 percent of industry reports noted drops in per member, per month costs, return on investment and total cost of care.

    • Reductions in the use of unnecessary or avoidable services: 61 percent of peer-reviewed studies and 57 percent of industry-generated reports showed drops in ER or urgent care visits, while 31 percent of peer-reviewed studies and 57 percent of industry-generated reports saw declines in inpatient admissions, with hospital readmissions falling in 13 percent of peer-reviewed studies and 29 percent of industry-generated ones.

    • Improvements in population-health indicators and preventive services: 31 percent of peer-reviewed studies and 29 percent of industry-generated studies saw better controlled HbA1c, blood pressure and LDL levels, as well as an increase in screening and immunization rates.

    • Improvements in access to care: 31 percent of peer-reviewed studies and 29 percent of industry-generated studies noted better overall access to primary care doctors, as well as non-face-to-face visits.Improvements in patient satisfaction: 23 percent of peer-reviewed and 14 percent of industry-generated studies saw a rise in overall satisfaction, the number of patients who recommended the practice to family and friends, and increased satisfaction with provider communications.

    The report also found PCMHs play a role in strengthening the larger healthcare systems, especially accountable care organizations. "Many of the nation's highest-performing ACOs embrace their strong PCMH component, and for this reason, PCMHs are well-positioned to lead and drive change across ACOs," the report states.

    The PCMH model is also being incorporated into significant payment reforms, including Congressional reforms to the Medicare sustainable growth rate, which would aid in moving the U.S. healthcare system away from fee-for-service toward alternative payment methods, including ones build around the PCMH model, according to the report.

    A study from the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Southern California in 2013 showed success of PCMHs even in an urban, safety-net setting, FierceHealthcare previously reported. The Galaxy Health program, which debuted at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) in 2012, proved that intuitive and inexpensive interventions improve patient care and physician and staff morale.


    States, Insurers Increase Reliance on PCMH/ACO Models

    In Arkansas, Medicaid officials have worked to design a payment structure that rewards efficiency and supports primary care doctors in the implementation of team-based strategies, coordinated chronic care delivery and achievement of better patient outcomes, according to a  Health Affairs blog post. The state didn't want to penalize efficient practices, so it rewards providers that hit a targeted, risk-adjusted per-member per-year spending level that doesn't rely on actually spending less and offers smaller rewards for less efficient practices that reduce their spending. Elsewhere, insurers like Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Aetna have announced their intention to boost member enrollment over the new few years in a PCMH or accountable care organization
    Clinical Quality 
    CMS Posts 2014 Clinical Quality Measures, Electronic Specifications and Resources

    Beginning in 2014, the reporting of clinical quality measures will change for all providers. Electronic Health Record technology that has been certified to the 2014 standards and capabilities will contain new CQM criteria, and eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals will report using the new 2014 criteria regardless of whether they are participating in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

    The final 2014 CQMs for eligible professionals and eligible hospitalsare now available, as well as the specifications for electronic reporting and access to the related value sets. These files can be accessed from the 2014 CMS Clinical Quality Measures webpage.

    Reporting Electronically in 2014

    Beginning in 2014, all Medicare EPs and eligible hospitals beyond their first year of demonstrating meaningful use must electronically report their CQM data to CMS. Medicaid EPs and eligible hospitals that are eligible only for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will report their CQM data to their state.


    The value sets of the electronic specifications code the CQMs in your EHR, allowing you to export the measure results and report them in attestation. EPs and eligible hospitals can view the value sets on the National Library of Medicine Value Set Authority Center webpage.Resources for 2014 CQMs

    To help providers navigate the new CQMs, CMS has developed and posted new resources, including:

    Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?

    Make sure to visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

    Health Observances This Week


    National Men's Health Week  
    The purpose of national Men's Health Week (now celebrated around the globe as international Men's Health Week) is to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and promote early detection and treatment of disease among men and 
    boys. This is an opportunity for healthcare providers, public policymakers, the media, and individuals to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early
    treatment for disease and injury.

    contact: Men's Health Network |  
    202.543.6461, ext. 101 | |
    Has your FQHC joined the National Branding Campaign?


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

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


    The FQHC Brand Components  

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

    Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers | | |
    4319 Forbes Blvd. Lanham, MD 20706    |    |    301.577.0097

    Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.