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
July 28, 2014 



(1) Transformational

 Conference Call

Tuesday, July 29th from 10 am - 11 am EST

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

Discuss State updates, issues and best practices.


(2) Building Relationships to Bring Your Effort to Scale

Wednesday, July 30th from 6-7pm EST

Learn how to use your public narrative skills to develop intentional relationships, grounded in shared values, interests and commitments. This webinar will also introduce "Actor Mapping" and one-on-ones, and community meetings as a way to grow your effort. Lastly, this will review practical applications for these tools as well as examples of how to do a one-on-one.




(3) Creating Strong Team Structure to Sustain your Community Health Initiatives

Wednesday, August 6th from 6-7pmEST

 Learn about the usual pitfalls in working within a new team and evidence-based methods for improving the effectiveness of your team. This webinar will also include practical tools, agendas and frameworks for enabling you and your team to work more strategically. Lastly, there will be a case study on how this might be applied in a community health worker setting.



(4) CLAS Standards Training Project

 September 10, 2014 I  12:30 - 1:30 PM

Learn about the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS Standards) are increasingly important and useful as guidelines for health care practices to better serve their diverse patient populations and address persistent health disparities.  In addition, CLAS Standards implementation is strategic at this time because it is directly linked to major statewide initiatives currently underway in Maryland, and provides a blueprint of strategies to help address the "triple aim" in health care-improving patient experience of care and health care quality, improving population health, and reducing costs. Such issues are the focus of an increasing body of evidence about the positive impact of CLAS-related approaches to health care delivery. 

Registration Link:

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

    (1)  Session #1: Connecting Kids and Teens with Free and Low-cost Coverage

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014  I   1:00 - 2:00 PM ET

    Register NOW
    NACHC offers health centers and their partner organizations this new, free webinar series focusing on lessons learned, best practices, and strategies to assist with outreach and enrollment. The first session - Connecting Kids and Teens with Free and Low-cost Coverage - features presenters from both the Colorado PCA, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Connecting Kids to Coverage Campaign, and Public Citizens for Children and Youth. 


    (3) Strategies to Support Expanded Roles for Non-Clinicians on Primary Care Teams: Two State Case Studies
    Tuesday, August 12, 2014: 2:30-4:00pm EDT  
    Register Here
    There is strong evidence that team-based primary care has significant benefits for patients and providers. Some care teams now include non-clinicians, such as medical assistants, health coaches, care coordinators, or community health workers. This requires both a financing source to support non-clincians' services and training to integrate them with clinical care teams. This webinar will provide context on the evidence supporting expanded roles for non-clinicians as members of care teams, and highlight case studies from two states, Maine and South Carolina, that have successfully leveraged Medicaid financing for non-clinician services and harnessed training opportunities to support expanded roles within redesigned primary care teams.

    (4) The Road to Evidence-Based Decision Making: Steps for Using Research to Inform State Policy
    Thursday, August 14, 2:00-3:30pm Eastern 
    Join NASHP for a webinar introducing a new tool for state policymakers: A Roadmap for State Policymakers to Use Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research to Inform Decision Making (coming August 5, 2014). With support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), NASHP created this guide to assist states in making evidence-based policy decisions. This webinar will provide an overview of the Roadmap and discuss how policymakers can-and are-using research to inform their work.

    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                                       

    (6) 2014 Mid Atlantic Medical Neighborhood Forum -The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
    National Harbor, MD  October 3 -4, 2014

     The Mid Atlantic Medical Neighborhood Forum is the second event in a series of local and regional forums to advance collaboration among all community healthcare stakeholders.  Dr Paul Grundy, Founder and President of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), is confirmed as the keynote for the first day of the two-day event.  On the second day, we will host the Inaugural Mid Atlantic Medical Neighborhood Golf Tournament and Awards Luncheon at the Andrews AFB.  

    Event details and registration here.

    Emergency Preparedness Events:


    ATTENTION MD FQHCS - Thank you for joining the MACHC Emergency Preparedness & Management Call on Wednesday, July 23rd at 10 AM. 


    1. MACHC's Table Top Exercise (see slides attached) After Action Report Improvement Plan (AARIP). Please find AARIP attached here. Additionally, the Situational Manual discussed during the discussion is attached here


    2. DHMH Satellite Phone Recall FQHCs that still have the satellite phones distributed by DHMH 4 years ago, please send them back to: 
    L. Kay Webster, MPH

    Office of Preparedness & Response

    Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

    300 W. Preston Street, Ste. 202

    Baltimore, MD  21201 

    3. Please get in touch with your Regional Coordinators if you have not already done so and be more active in your Regional Coalition. You should already have their contacts in emails I have sent within this year numerous times. Please find them below: 


    Regions I and II Health Care Coalition 

    [Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington Counties]

    HPP Coordinator: Alison Robinson 

    301-759-5238 (Office)

    Coalition Chair: Phillip Giuilano

    240-566-3207 (Office)


    Region III  Health and Medical Task Force


    [Baltimore City; Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties]

    HPP Coordinator: Kay Webster

    410-767-8105 (Office)

    Coalition Chair: Christina  Hughes

    443-777-7380 (Office)


    Region IV -

    [Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties]

    HPP Coordinator:  Aniket Telang

    410-778-4861 (Office)

    Beth Copp: Emergency Preparedness Manager 3 University of MD Shore Health Hospitals (Dorchester, Easton, Chestertown)

    410-810-5673 (o)

    Co-chair: Danny Drew



    Region V  Emergency Preparedness Coalition

    [Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties]

    HPP Coordinator: Kamelah Jefferson


    Coalition Chair: Donna Sasenick



    4. Find ATTACHED (Please click here) the guide was developed to provide hospitals in California with a useful tool for developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on protecting health care workers from aerosol transmissible diseases. It was prepared by the Occupational Health Branch (OHB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) with funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOS H) National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL).  It sure looks like something that we can perhaps modify for Maryland.  
    Also attached, you will find the template for setting up a respiratory protection program in hospitals.  

    5. Upcoming: Assisting two FQHCs with Planning for Onsite Drill/Exercise in October 2014. The FQHC sites will be announced in the coming weeks. MACHC INVITES ALL FQHCS to participate during both or at least one of the drills as observers to take notes back to your own shop.
    N95 Masks POD (training) are in the horizon after the drill and release of After Action Report.
    Please look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    KUDOS Healthcare for the Homeless on the Awesome New Mobile Clinic 

    Almost 30 years ago, Health Care for the Homeless was founded in Baltimore to help people "falling through the cracks" of the health care system; now the organization has created a program to ensure that people don't fall through the cracks of its own system.

    "We needed to make sure we were getting beyond these four walls," said the organization's CEO Kevin Lindamood, as he sat in the organization's clinic at 421 Fallsway. "To serve those that are so vulnerable they're not able to make it here."

    The new program is a mobile clinic that provides health care to homeless people at five locations: the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Housing Resource Center, My Sister's Place, Sarah's Hope at Hannah More, Safe Haven and Safe House of Hope.

    Working out of a custom-made, 35-foot-long van equipped with two exam rooms and a waiting room, employees set up at the different shelters - potentially adding up to 600 patients. Health Care for the Homeless headquarters helps about 7,000 people each year.


    You've asked and we answered!

    As a part of MACHC's newly formed Shared Services offerings, we are pleased to welcome Lee Ann Eckert of Mid-Atlantic Recruiters recruitment services to our members. You will now have the benefit of a local recruitment firm to assist you with clinical and non-clinical provider placement at a substantially reduced rate! Bernadette Johnson will be reaching out to you for the contact information of your Human Resources designee to help facilitate communications with Mid-Atlantic Recruiters.  Lee Ann's contact information is and her number is 410-833-2060 x9741.

    MACHC Website Under Construction..... 

    New Updates coming this SUMMER 

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


    National Health Center Week 2014   

    Celebrating America's Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities is August 10-16. Now is the time to  start planning and POSTING your events for this year's celebration. Access tools and resources on the NHCW website include best practices to recruit local event sponsors, event ideas, fact sheets, and  media tools and templates. 
    Check out the  NHCW Store to order event items and giveaways for your celebrations.

    Need NHCW Supplies? Take Advantage of the SALE!

    If you're planning to purchase a National Health Center Week Event Package (25 each of some of the most popular items!) from the NHCW Store, now's the time to do so! Through Sunday, July 27, the NHCW Event Package is on sale! Speaking of NHCW, if you haven't done so already, be sure to post your events to the NHCW website as soon as possible using the event posting password: healthy, and don't forget to check out all of the resources available to you on the site!

    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News

    D.C. Appeals Court Overturns Subsidies For Federal Exchange  

    In what could be a major blow to the Affordable Care Act, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled today that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. The decision overturned a lower court ruling.
    Improving Medicaid Services for Children: Spotlight on Maryland  
    Maryland's Healthy Kids Program uses nurse consultants to train primary care providers on EPSDT benefit standards. The nurses also assist with program billing and reporting issues, in addition to educating providers about referral processes for children. "Our nurses develop relationships through visits, trainings, and evaluations," said Michelle Lehner, Deputy Director of Acute Care. "They get to know the staff and are the program liaisons between the Department and our providers." In partnership with local health departments, Maryland Medicaid also assists families in accessing follow-up services resulting from a Healthy Kids preventative screen. Local health department-sponsored entities, including school-based health centers, are enhancing both care coordination and access to care across Maryland. Learn more about Maryland's efforts to improve Medicaid for children and adolescents on NASHP's new "Resources to Improve Medicaid for Children and Adolescents" map.
    Coverage of Pregnancy Services in CHIP 
    In some states, pregnant women who are not eligible for Medicaid may be covered for pregnancy services by CHIP. State Refor(u)m's new map explores state CHIP programs that cover pregnancy services. The map includes information about CHIP coverage authorities, eligibility levels, number of women enrolled in the program, cost-sharing and more in the states that offer this coverage.

    HIV rate drops in U.S. for most groups; percentage for young gay, bisexual men up

    While the nation's HIV rate has fallen by 33% over the last decade, according to the CDC, rates among young gay or bisexual men jumped by an alarming 133%.
    Is a value-based system really the key to fixing the U.S. health care system?   While some experts argue that it is, critics warn that this kind of system may end up costing more than initially expected. It seems that everywhere you look "value-based purchasing" (or value-based care) is hailed as the savior of U.S. health care. With it, comes the promise of a system that pays for quality rather than volume. Following the money tells the same story - cloud-based EHR giant Athena Health, for instance, just beat Q2 revenue estimates by about $3 million, and saw revenue up nearly 27 percent from the same period last year. More broadly, hospitals appear to be investing heavily in tracking the value of the care they deliver: a Leap Frog Group survey notes that the number of hospitals using computerized physician order entry has increased from 10 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2013.
    As part of ongoing efforts to improve patient satisfaction, some hospitals are implementing online portals for ER patient check-in. While this strategy may reduce wait room stays, critics argue they are of little value because they do not reduce overall cost of care. 

     Massive Expansion of Health Centers Cause for Caution and Compassion  

    A July 11 Non Profit Quarterly article looks at the recent rapid expansion of Community Health Centers    and the risk involved when a system goes through rapid growth. The article concludes that in the end, health centers will be increasingly valuable, but that on their expansion journeys, inadequate leadership, governance and/or overall capacity may pose challenges for some. The author urges lending a hand rather than blame.


    According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American youth are becoming increasingly more sedentary, regardless of socio-economic status.  "Really, this is not good news," said Janet Fulton, a lead epidemiologist with the C.D.C.'s Physical Activity and Health Branch, who oversaw the new study. "We're talking about a better than 1 percent per year drop in cardiorespiratory fitness" among a group for whom, she said, "physical activity should come naturally."

    New White House Study Details the Impact of Not Expanding Medicaid

    A new study released by The White House Council on Economic Advisers estimates that states not expanding Medicaid will fail to increase insurance coverage to a total of 5.7 million individuals. Access the study, entitled "Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions to Not Expand Medicaid", here, or read NACHC's press release on the study here.
    Reminder: Scope Alignment Validation (SAV) - SAV is open until Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 5:00pm, ET
    SAV is a one-time opportunity for health centers to view their scope of project in the updated Form 5A: Services and Form 5B Services Sites and to make limited allowable updates in HRSA's Electronic Handbook (EHB)

    2013 Uniform Data System (UDS) Data Available in EHB

    The 2013 Health Center Program Grantee and Look Alike National and State UDS data are currently available in EHB for grantees, Look Alikes, and Primary Care Associations. The 2013 UDS data will be available to the general public online later this summer. 

    A new study released by The White House Council on Economic Advisers estimates that states not expanding Medicaid will fail to increase insurance coverage to a total of 5.7 million individuals. 

    State News
    DPH Community Health seeks opportunities for launching community-driven strategic plans
    Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) staff is now trained in the interactive Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) facilitation process through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
    The specially-trained staff is seeking opportunities to facilitate community health strategic planning with organized communities. The MAPP process improves the efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately the performance of local public health systems. Call Cassandra Codes-Johnson, MPA, DPH Director of Community Health, at 302-744-4741; or visit

    Substance abuse treatment services available by county
    Delawareans addicted to illegal and prescription drugs, alcohol, and gambling can access many treatment avenues.
    "Please don't be ashamed or embarrassed to seek treatment," said DHSS' Director of Community Mental Health and Addiction Services Steve Dettwyler, PhD. "Addiction is a disease. It can be treated, and people do recover."
    DHSS' Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) provides public drug and alcohol treatment services for adults in every county. Services include counseling, opioid treatment, continuous treatment team programs for people with long-term, disabling alcohol and drug dependence disorders; detoxification, and residential services.
    For treatment help, Delawareans suffering from substance abuse can call 800-652-2929 in New Castle County and 800-345-6785 in Kent and Sussex counties. Those with gambling problems should call the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems, Inc. at 888-850-8888. Visit:

    Maryland residents will be getting more than $17 million in insurance refunds from insurers that did not put enough of their 2013 premium payments toward health services.

    A total of 206,102 Marylanders will share $17.2 million in refunds from their 2013 premiums, averaging $140 per family, according to a report released Thursday by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, insurers must pay back $330 million in refunds, down from $504 million last year.

    The federal Affordable Care Act requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of the money they collect from premiums on health care services and pay back refunds if they fall short. The rule is intended to make insurance companies more efficient by forcing them to cut back on the amount they spend on overhead.

    Finance & Business

    Sustaining Momentum in Multi-Payer Payment Reform: Transitioning from Design to Implementation
    Tuesday, July 29th 1:00-2:15PM EDT 

    This webinar will explore the leap from health system transformation planning to practice by showcasing four leading states, CT, CO, MD, and PA, that are designing and implementing multi-payer payment reforms. Through a facilitated discussion, state officials will discuss policy levers to shift payment systems away from fee-for-service, offer strategies for sustaining stakeholder momentum and commitment, and share perspectives on promising practices for and operational challenges of turning a plan for multi-payer payment reform into reality.

    CMS Coding Educational Tool Now Available

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the "ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, CPT, and HCPCS Code Sets" Educational Tool (ICN 900943) and it is now available in downloadable format. This tool is designed to provide education on ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code sets. It includes a definition and payment information for each code set. Visit the CMS ICD-10 website for the latest news and resources to help you prepare and sign up for CMS ICD-10 Industry Email Updates.


    Hospitals achieve solid results in ACO

    Hospitals participating in Independence Blue Cross' accountable care contracts are reducing costs, improving care and earning incentives, according to the Philadelphia-based insurer.


    Guidance Offered on Budget Period Progress Report

    On July 15, HRSA presented a technical assistance call on the completion of a 2015 Budget Period Progress Report. The presentation was recorded and should be available in approximately one week; the  slides are available now. Some key elements of the presentation include:

    1. This application builds upon the 2014 format. Most information is inserted directly into the Electronic Handbook (EHB). Total length should not exceed the equivalent of 40 pages.
    2. Approximately 6 weeks before the due date, FQHCs will receive a notice that the EHB has been opened for submission. 
    3. For those sections that are completed within the EHB, approximately 1 page is given to provide relevant data.
    4. The only upload required is the Budget Narrative.
    5. Some forms have been enhanced to provide the applicant relevant historical, trend, or measure data to be utilized in explaining the project's progress.  This link offers national and statewide data for many of these performance elements for health center comparison.
    6. Some forms are pre-populated. If data given is incorrect, please provide and explain the more accurate data through the relevant comment box. 
    7. Look carefully at the pre-populated data for Forms 5A and 5B. You will be able to "refresh" these pages to correct some inaccuracies. We recommend that you discuss this with your project officer. 
    8. As always, be certain that your DUNS and SAM information are up to date. 
    Latest News on ACA






    Today, the U.S. Healthand Human Services Secretary  Sylvia M. Burwell announced that consumers have saved a total of  $9 billion on their health insurance premiums since 2011 because of the Affordable Care Act. In Connecticut, 69,186 consumers will benefit from $3,019,862 in refunds from insurance companies this summer, averaging $72 per family, because of the Affordable Care Act.Created through the law, the 80/20 rule, also known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule, requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement activities. If insurers spend an excessive amount on profits and red tape, they owe a refund back to consumers.


    FFM and Partnership States 

    Navigator and Certified Application Counselor Recertification Required

    The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are jointly in the process of updating last year's course, training curriculum and exam. All Navigators and certified application counselors (CACs) will be required to complete the recertification training prior to the next open enrollment period. The updated curriculum training for recertification will be made available late July to early August. Look for additional information on the process for training completion and recertification in July 


    Enroll America Conference Draws Over 900 Attendees

    The 2014 State of Enrollment: Getting America Covered conference held June 16-18, in Washington D.C., was an enormous success!  Attendees from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam participated in two days of workshops and plenary sessions to improve outreach and enrollment in health coverage around the country.  Several workshops of note focused on: Effective O/E Strategies in an Open Enrollment Period; Telling Your Stories with Data; and Health Insurance Literacy: Helping Consumers Understand their Coverage Options. For those enrollment assisters not able to attend the conference, the  workshop presentations and plenaries have been posted on the Enroll America website. The  full conference brochure is online as well. The site also includes a compilation of lessons learned during the initial open enrollment period and best practices to replicate as organizations continue to connect Medicaid and CHIP eligible populations to coverage and plan for future marketplace open enrollment periods, as well as a full set of issue briefs and fact sheets from the Best Practices Institute.


    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

    Invitation: ACSE Monthly Status Meeting @ Monthly 

    from 10am to 11:30am on the fourth Monday, July 28th

    Conference Call 877-431-1883 code 370 252 4147 

    Change Agent Newtwork Meeting


    Changed: Meeting details:

    Date: July 29, 2014
    Time:1:00 - 3:30 pm
    Location: UMBC Tech Center, Large Seminar Room, 1450 South Rolling Rd, Halethorpe, MD 21227

    Web-Ex Details:

    Webinar Link for Change Champions:

    MHBE Standing Advisory Committee Meeting
    August 15, 2014 1:30 - 3:30 pm
    4160 Patterson Avenue,Baltimore, MD21215,United States

    Message from the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange

    MD HBX System Sneak-Peek

    Consumer Account Management

    The MD HBX Consumer Portal offers users the ability to apply and enroll in health insurance when they arrive on the landing page.

    When users visit, they can create an account right away or engage in "anonymous browsing" to shop for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) without having to enter personal information. Anonymous browsing is a new feature for Maryland. This helps consumers identify if they may qualify for a MAGI Medicaid program or a QHP. The feature also reduces incomplete enrollments.


    We Are Making Progress

    The MD HBX system implementation project continues to move forward. Below are a few brief system updates from the team:

    • Templates containing insurance plan information from the health insurance carriers have been received. Our team has uploaded these plans into the system for display to consumers. We are also working with exchange insurance carriers to make sure that the system's internal logic is correct.
    • The team is working to understand how carriers need to see the data sets created during enrollment that are sent nightly on 834s.
    • Plan management was the first functionality to undergo testing to make sure we are ready for Open Enrollment. MD HBX eligibility and enrollment features are being tested now.
    • Nineteen notices have been edited to fit State requirements and completed for delivery via email or postal mail that can alert consumers to important messages regarding their account.
    • Language changes have been received and sent to the developers and translators to adapt the system to Spanish language.
    • In the meantime, MHBE has a plan to ensure that all people using the system are ready to use the system on Nov. 15 through comprehensive training. To date, 33 real-world training scenarios and related training material are being developed.
    • In addition, key communication messages are being delivered to help promote awareness of the project and commitment to its approach.
    • MHBE is looking at all the impacts of using the new MD HBX system as it was originally designed. This means that all of the people that will be using the system will need to understand how their work may change to support a successful open enrollment. To facilitate this effort, 12 chalkboard-sized process maps have been developed.


    Know Your Role


    Caseworkers and their supervisors work for the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). They help consumers complete each interaction with a consumer from end to end.

    Within the MD HBX system, they can:

    • Create new applications
    • Report changes on existing applications
    • Submit redetermination applications
    • Complete verification checklist items. (As indicated by information from the consumer or other databases.)

    Each caseworker will have access to the MD HBX worker portal. This means supervisors will still be able to assist case workers within the MD HBX system when applications are ambiguous or unusually complex. Caseworkers will also be assigned to roles that enable them to process paper applications that have been received and converted into work items. This is critical to the success in maintaining regulatory compliance.

    Call Center Representatives 

    Consumer support center representatives play several roles in assisting consumers with their enrollment needs. They answer questions to enable the consumer to continue with their online application in the MD HBX system. They provide end-to-end application assistance in MD HBX.

    They also can:

    • Create a new application
    • Continue an in-progress application
    • Report changes on an existing application
    • Submit redetermination applications

    Call center workers and their supervisors each have access to the system, allowing supervisors to assist in complex consumer situations. The call center workers will also provide password resets and help consumers resolve issues that are preventing them from completing an application.


    Producers use the Consumer Portal to complete applications on behalf of their clients for Qualified Health Plans. They will play a vital role in retaining last year's enrollees through their established connections with consumers and carriers. Producers are the only Consumer Assisters who provide direct advice to consumers about which plan will work best for them. Producers provide ongoing support to their clients throughout the year with life events and special enrollments.

    Connector Entities

    Connector Entities employ Navigators and Assisters. Navigators are certified to enroll Marylanders in health insurance using the MD HBX Worker Portal and are located in DHR and DHMH offices. They are unable to recommend specific health plans to users but can provide information that enables the consumer to pick their own plan.

    In-Person Assisters are non-certified personnel who are trained to provide information and enrollment help primarily for Medicaid. Assisters work for community organizations. They provide side-by-side help for consumers through the Consumer Portal. They also do not recommend specific health plans.

    Certified Application Counselors

    Certified Application Counselors help consumers use the MD HBX system and select health insurance coverage. Their role is typically a professional in a medical role at a care provider location. They will not have accounts in the MD HBX consumer or worker portals. They often enroll consumers who are uninsured and seeking medical treatment. This provides the consumer access to immediate treatment, without transfer to another facility.


    MHBE staff will have roles that allow them to administer the system and provide a view into how the system is operating. They will be responsible for maintaining global settings that affect all stakeholder roles. The plan management team works with carriers to ensure that the data provided are accurate and correct. This provides consumers a better shopping experience when they are able to compare plan data and make a more informed plan enrollment. They will begin using the system Sept. 1.


    Xerox will have a few system roles necessary to provide support for the system architecture, provide a solid technology environment and keep the system performing at a high level even during peak demand.


    You Will Be Prepared

    MD HBX system training will be provided for staff that who need immediate access and will be regular system users. Training will be provided in two releases.

    The training needed for the Release 1 Plan Management will be delivered directly to the plan management group in late August. This will prepare them for the Sept. 1 system usage to enter carrier plan data.

    Release 2 training involves more steps. In the initial training, Deloitte will train MHBE-selected trainers. This training begins in early September. Next, the selected trainers will begin training system users. This is scheduled to begin in early October and end in mid-November. DHR and DHMH will train their own staff. MHBE will train all other audiences, such as Navigators, Assisters, Producers, and Certified Application Counselors.


    In preparation for open enrollment, starting November 15, 2014, Maryland Health Connection's Training Department is in the process of developing a training schedule for the MD HBX.  MD HBX is the new system that will be utilized by consumer assistance workers, to include Certified Application Counselors (CAC), to assist consumers with the application process for enrollment into healthcare coverage through Maryland Health Connection.  We are extending the opportunity for Application Counselor Sponsoring Entities to reserve training space to train the CACs in their organization. Training is scheduled to begin October 6, 2014 - November 11, 2014.  Training will consists of a required online training, through the learning management system, which will serve as a prerequisite to the classroom hands on training. The online training will include topics such as: application entry; enrollment and intake/eligibility; functionality of the MD HBX system; and an overview of the MD HBX Consumer and worker portal. The one day, hands on classroom training will simulate real life family situations which are often complex.  Organizations and participants should plan for a seven hour day to complete the classroom training which will consist of 6 hours of training with a one hour break. As stated earlier, the MD HBX classroom training is hands on and will require each participant to access a computer either through a computer lab with internet access or a meeting room with wifi access for each CAC to connect to using a laptop provided by their organization. Classes should not exceed 16 participants per training session. The priority is to train individuals who have met all the requirements to become a CAC. We are in the process of transitioning the required CAC 3-day webinar into an online training format in which it will be accessible on the new learning management system for new applicants who are seeking to become certified and sit for the CAC final exam.   Please note, if organizations do not provide space to train their CACs, the CACs will be subject to travel to training locations during the dates and times scheduled by MHC. As of now, we do not have a training schedule for the CACs. Trainers will be assigned on a first come, first served basis, so we would like to have organizational availability to no later than COB July 31, 2014. If you would like to schedule a CAC MD MBX hands on training session at your organization, please send the following information to the name and address of your organization; the number of training participants; if training will be held in a computer lab with individual workstations or a meeting space with laptops; and the start and end time of the training room reservation. Please feel free to contact if you have any questions regarding this email.  


    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

    Federal Surplus Personal Property Program

    Application Deadline: None  

    Eligible state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations, including health centers, can obtain property that the federal government no longer needs through the Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program.


    Update: Fiscal Year 2015 New Access Point (NAP) Funding Opportunity (HRSA-15-016) - Webinar recordings are now available from the NAP Applicant Technical Assistance Session and the Cooperative Agreement Partners Briefing which provided an overview of the $100 million announcement to support an estimated 150 NAP grant awards in FY 2015. 
    As a reminder, applications are due in by Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:59pm, ET and in HRSA's Electronic Handbook (EHB) by Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8:00pm, ET.


    Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Access to Care Grants 

    Application Deadline: August 18, 2014

    Matching grants to support community-based initiatives in the U.S. providing dental care to underserved/limited access children. Special consideration will be given to programs that have demonstrated success and/or have potential for replication in other communities.

    Funds may be used to cover:

    • Child oral health care
    • Costs of clinic supplies and instruments
    • Patient/parent education materials
    • Take-home supplies (toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.)
    • Education and/or outreach to recruit dentist participation in program activities
    • Other activity with clear, direct impact on pediatric oral health care  
    Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
    Funding for hunger prevention, self-sufficiency, healthcare, and education to those who are underserved. 
    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 
    PCMH Advisory Services Helps Integrate Behavioral and Palliative Care in Primary Care Settings

    HANYS Solutions' Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Advisory Services has expanded its services to include the integration of behavioral health and palliative care into primary care settings.

    New York State, through its Prevention Agenda, Hospital-Medical Home (H-MH) demonstration, State Health Innovation Plan, and Medicaid 1115 waiver, has identified integrating behavioral health and palliative care services within primary care as essential to successfully achieving health system transformation.  Improving the coordination of care for these medically complex patients within primary care settings is key to lowering costs and improving outcomes.

    HANYS Solutions PCMH Advisory Services has been an integral partner in transforming primary care practices throughout the state-most recently working with H-MH demonstration awardees to successfully achieve practice transformation and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Recognition.

    PCMH Advisory Services works collaboratively with clients to assess their needs and create a fully customized plan to achieve real practice transformation.

    To learn more, contact Nicole Harmon, Director, PCMH Advisory Services, at or at (716) 201-1170.  Contact:Terry August

    Clinical Quality 
    AHRQ has consolidated two of its existing centers - the Center for Primary Care, Prevention and Clinical Partnerships and the Center for Outcomes and Evidence - to form a new center, the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement.  The new center will focus on accelerating practice improvement across the health care system and will engage stakeholders to promote the implementation of evidence into practice.  The new center will also include a National Center for Excellence in Primary Care Research, a home for AHRQ's evidence and tools about improving primary health care. 

     Assisted living and nursing home staff at all levels can help prevent healthcare-associated infections by using a 50-minute e-learning tool based on high reliability principles. The online module teaches long-term care facilities to apply these principles, which can help them achieve safety, quality and efficiency goals, to prevent infections and achieve high safety performance over extended periods. The Joint Commission developed the e-learning module with partial funding from AHRQ. It features quizzes and a searchable database of practical resources. The free CDs and online format are available to all facilities, not only Joint Commission customers. 


    User's Guide on Developing Patient Registries

    "Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User's Guide, 3rd Edition," an AHRQ Effective Health Care Program publication, is now available in e-book format. This user's guide provides information on the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and evaluation of registries for patient outcomes. The guide was first published in 2007 as a reference for establishing, maintaining and evaluating the success of registries created to collect data about patient outcomes. The second edition, published in 2010, provided updates to the existing topics and addressed four new topics. In the third edition, information on new methodological and technological advances has been incorporated into the existing chapters, and 11 chapters addressing emerging topics in registry science have been added. Download the user's guide for free or access the guide in e-book file formats, also free, for use with e-book readers (e.g., Nook, Kindle, iPad) from the Effective Health Care Program website.


    Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Physician Performance-Based Incentive Programs

    Health Care Innovations Exchange features three programs that offered financial incentives to physicians based on their performance in meeting clinical care improvement goals and on various metrics of efficiency and quality. One of the featured profiles describes a Partnership for Quality program at HealthSpring, a Medicare managed care organization in Nashville, Tennessee, that awards bonuses equal to as much as 20 percent of health plan payments if physicians meet clinical care improvement goals. At nine participating practices, the program led to significant improvements in a broad range of clinical quality indicators, along with decreases in members' emergency department visits, hospitalizations and total medical expenses. Featured quality tools include an interactive tool that helps practitioners determine their payment adjustments and reimbursements for Medicare incentive programs. The Innovations Exchange includes a variety of innovation profiles related to physician performance and financial incentives


    Health Observances This Week



    Hepatitis Day


    Every year on July 28th, World Hepatitis Day aims to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis as a major global health threat. All types of viral hepatitis can cause inflammation of the liver; however, hepatitis B and C infection can result in a lifelong, chronic infection.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 400 million people have chronic viral hepatitis worldwide and most of them do not know they are infected. More than 1 million people die each year from causes related to viral hepatitis, commonly cirrhosis and liver cancer.

    The date of July 28th was chosen for World Hepatitis Day in honor of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus.


    Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus that can cause mild to severe illness but does not lead to chronic infection.
    • Globally, there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A every year.
    • The hepatitis A virus is spread by ingestion of contaminated food and water, or through direct contact with an infectious person.

    Hepatitis A is a virus that is usually spread through food or water contaminated with fecal matter-even in microscopic amounts. This occurs most often in countries where Hepatitis A is common, especially where there is a lack of safe water and poor sanitation.

    Although rare, foodborne outbreaks of Hepatitis A still occur in the United States. Contamination of food can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.  The best way to prevent getting infected with Hepatitis A is to get a safe, effective vaccine.  In the United States, the Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children at age 1 and adults at risk of infection.


    Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease.
    • Globally, there are an estimated 240 million people living with chronic Hepatitis B.
    • The hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.

    The best way to prevent getting infected with Hepatitis B is to get vaccinated.  In the United States, the Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all babies at birth and adults at risk of infection. 

    Hepatitis B is common in many areas across the world, especially Asian and African countries. Left untreated, up to 25 percent of people with hepatitis B develop serious liver problems such as cirrhosis and even liver cancer.  The good news is that treatments are available that can help slow down or prevent liver damage.

    CDC launched Know Hepatitis B,a national, multilingual campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in 2013. An estimated 1 in 12 AAPI is living with hepatitis B, but most don't know they are infected. The campaign delivers culturally relevant messages in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The Know Hepatitis B campaign was created in partnership with Hep B United, a coalition of Asian community groups from around the country. Visit for more information.


    Hepatitis C
    • Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus that can cause both acute and chronic disease.
    • Globally, there are an estimated 130-150 million people living with chronic Hepatitis C.
    • The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus.  
    • There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.

    Unlike Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, there is no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, such as sharing needles or other equipment to prepare and inject cosmetic substances, drugs, or steroids.

    In addition to recommending testing for anyone at risk for infection, CDC also recommends that everyone born from 1945-1965 get a blood test for hepatitis C. People born during these years are five times more likely to be infected and account for more than three out of every four Americans living with hepatitis C. CDC's national Know More Hepatitis campaign educates people born from 1945-1965 about the importance of getting tested.

    People with Hepatitis C often have no symptoms and can live with the disease for decades without feeling sick. Even without symptoms, liver damage may be silently occurring. Fortunately, new treatments are available that can cure Hepatitis C.

    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.