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
August 4, 2014 



(1) 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.



(2) FQHC Outreach Team 

Conference Call

Friday, August 8th from 11 am - 12 pm EST

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

Audience: FQHC Outreach and Enrollment staff

Discuss FQHC Outreach and Enrollment trends, updates on MHBE and State news and happenings, discuss and address issues/obstacles of enrollment and share best practices. Help and advocacy relative to issues is provided following call.


(3) Transformational Conference Call

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10 am - 11 am EST

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

Audience: FQHC Leadership

Discuss State news and happenings, share MHBE updates, present and address issues/obstacles and share best practices. MACHC provides advocacy and assistance with addressing issues/obstacles of MD/DE FQHCs.


(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 32nd Annual Meeting and Conference: "Leveling the Playing Field Through the Power of One Voice''
When: Thursday, September 18th - Friday, September 19th, 2014 
Where: Dover Downs Conference Center
1131 North Dupont Highway,Dover, DE 19901
Never has there been a more important time for health centers to lead and shape the health care delivery system of the Mid Atlantic and never has it been a more critical time to speak with one voice
Maryland and Delaware community health centers have played - and continue to play - a pivotal role in reforming their state's health care system. Decisions and efforts affecting the future of the health center network and our patients are well underway. Reform initiatives requiring us to change the way we organize care, diagnose illness, bill for reimbursement and measure improvements in health care have challenged us from every angle. All of these demands are time-consuming and come with significant cost - and financial risk. 
Our conference theme "Leveling the Playing Field Through the Power of One Voice'' signifies this need. From the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, to the new Hospital Waiver in Maryland, we are key players in the face of health care reform in our state.
If you are interested in learning more about such topics as ICD-10 implementation, population health management, managed care contracting in an Affordable Care era, diversifying your FQHC portfolio, best practices in Behavioral Health and Primary Care integration, you should attend this conference.
We invite you to attend our 32nd Annual Meeting and Conference on September 18-19th in Dover, Delaware at the Dover Downs Conference Center where we will engage you in the important questions before us.   
Discounted upgraded rooms are available for $142.31 per night (plus applicable taxes and fees).This fee is for one traditional single/double or deluxe room.  For upgrades, additional fees will be incurred.  
NOTE: Each reservation will include an eventbrite fee per person. To reserve a room, please go to our registration page. If you have any questions, please contact Deitra Bell at 301-577-0097, ext 123 or Monique Alexander at ext 124 
Vendor registration now open:

    (2) 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.

    (3) 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                                       

    (5) 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!
    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

    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. 
    Last Tuesday, two U.S. courts of appeals issued conflicting rulings on whether the health insurance subsidies are available to ONLY people in states that have created their own exchanges or to residents of all states. The cases center on a brief description in the ACA that says subsidies will be available "through an exchange established by the State." 

    Community Health Vote Webinar Recording Now Available

    In case you missed the recent "Best Practices for Voter Registration and GOTV at Health Centers" webinar you can watch the presentation on YouTube and download the PowerPoint presentation or the audio of the webinar. Also, check out the latest Community Health Vote blog post "Avoiding Mission Shrink at Health Centers".
    Insuring Your Health: Medicare Experiment Could Signal Sea Change For Hospice
    Diane Meier is the director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a national organization that aims to increase the number of palliative care programs in hospitals and elsewhere for patients with serious illnesses. Meier is also a professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. We spoke about a recently launched pilot program under the health law that allows hospice patients participating in the pilot to continue to receive life-prolonging treatment. This is an edited version of that conversation
    The slowdown in Medicare spending over the past few years-mirroring slower growth in health costs reported by private insurers-has stumped economists, lawmakers and hospital administrators. Many believe it stems from the recent economic downturn, but the lower spending growth has persisted throughout the recovery. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said Medicare's rapid improvement since the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act suggests a direct link to the health law. Her agency cited provisions of the law that give hospitals incentives to avoid readmitting patients, saying that led to 150,000 fewer readmissions in 2012 and 2013 
    Lawmakers Unveil $17 Billion Fix For Veterans Affairs
    The agreement still needs the green light from a committee of House and Senate lawmakers, after which it will need to be approved by both chambers before being sent to the White House for the president's signature. About $12 billion of the total is considered emergency funding, which doesn't need to be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget-a decision that could still bring objections from more conservative Republicans. Mr. Miller said he was optimistic Congress would act this week to pass the bill
    HealthSouth Corp.'s second-quarter profit was cut nearly in half, but results beat expectations as the provider of rehabilitative and surgical health care benefited from an expanded ownership stake in UMass Memorial Health Care and a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service. ... HealthSouth, like other health-care companies, is expected to benefit from an improving economy and a wave of newly insured patients who have begun to seek treatment. ... Under the Affordable Care Act, up to 26 million people are expected to gain coverage over the next few years through expanded state-run Medicaid programs and through the new, online marketplaces that allow consumers to buy coverage. Many who were previously uninsured already received hospital care, but sometimes racked up bills that were never paid 
    NC Mayor Walks To DC To Protest Hospital Closure
    A North Carolina mayor fighting for the hospital that closed in his rural North Carolina town finished his two-week protest march to the nation's capital, where he told a crowd that his community's problems are part of a larger health care struggle. "The story of Belhaven is bigger than the trials of a single small town," Mayor Adam O'Neal said at a news conference Monday in Washington, D.C. The 45-year-old registered Republican started his two-week march of more than 200 miles to protest the closing of Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven on July 1 
    That shift might seem surprising in this political season, when there has been a renewed focus on reproductive issues like access to abortion and birth control. Yet advocates say that the term pro-choice, which has for so long been closely identified with abortion, does not reflect the range of women's health and economic issues now being debated 
    Pharmalot: Docs Complain To CMS About Sunshine Data Disclosures
    A group of medical societies and pharmaceutical industry trade groups is pushing the government to flesh out data that will be published next month showing how much drug makers pay doctors. They sent a letter today to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ask the agency to explain what context will be provided to help the public understand the justification for payments, such as speaking fees and grants used to bankroll clinical research 

    The Obama administration signaled Thursday it's not backing down from the controversial health law employer mandate that has been delayed twice and is the centerpiece of the House's lawsuit against the president. The IRS posted drafts of the forms that employers will have to fill out to comply with the Obamacare requirement that employers provide health insurance to workers
    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:
    Dr. Joshua Sharfstein is stepping down as Maryland's top health official to take a position with Johns Hopkins University.
    His departure at the start of next year will coincide with the end of Gov. Martin O'Malley's second term in office. Sharfstein has served as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2011. 
    Sharfstein, a pediatrician, brought a strong public health emphasis to the post, including efforts to reduce substance abuse and lower infant deaths. In January, Maryland became the first state in the country to accept caps on hospital payments by Medicare and Medicaid.

    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

    Good News For Boomers: Medicare's Hospital Trust Fund Appears Flush Until 2030

    Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which finances about half the health program for seniors and the disabled, won't run out of money until 2030, the program's trustees said Monday. That's four years later than projected last year and 13 years later than projected the year before the passage of the Affordable Care Act"  

    Medicare Finances Improve Partly Due To ACA, Hospital Expenses, Trustee Report Says
    The annual report, issued Monday by trustees overseeing the government's two largest entitlement programs, found little change overall in the finances of Social Security. The trustees warned, however, that the part of Social Security that pays monthly benefits to people with disabilities is especially fragile and, without changes, will start to run short of money for benefit checks in 2016.


    Medicare Finances Improve As Healthcare Inflation Slows, Trustees Say

    Medicare Part B premiums are expected to remain the same through 2015 because of that improvement, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told reporters as the report was released. Medicare is "considerably stronger than it was just four years ago," she said. 

    Latest News on ACA


    Do you know someone who's turning 26 and losing their parent's insurance soon? Here are 26 life skills every person #BornIn88 should know by now, including getting affordable health insurance.


    Resources from Our Latest Webinar, Enrollment 1.0: State Reflections on ACA's First Year and What's Next

    Whether you logged on for last week's webinar or had to miss it, you'll surely be able to use these resources related to the topic.

    Webinar slides: Use these to page through the panel's presentations.

    Webinar recording: Watch the slides along with the conversation, and listen to the Q and A.

    Webinar questions: Read the questions from the webinar, and answer them if you can.

    Resources from the webinar:


    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, August 25th

    Conference Call 877-431-1883 code 370 252 4147 

    Change Agent Newtwork Meeting

    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.  


    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 
    AHRQ seeks to award cooperative agreements for development of up to three Centers of Excellence on Comparative Health System Performance as part of the agency's patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) dissemination work. The "Comparative Health System Performance in Accelerating PCOR Dissemination (U19)" funding opportunity announcement requests applications for work to increase the use of PCOR findings by health care organizations and their clinicians. The work also would involve comparing the performance of these systems with each other and with the performance of more traditional delivery systems. The deadline for applications is October 17, 2014. The goal of the announcement is to provide a better understanding of health care delivery systems in order to better target PCOR dissemination so that systems can more quickly adopt high-performance practices and improve patient outcomes.  


    Clinical Quality 
    AHRQ has published a new implementation guide to help state officials and other program administrators engage and partner with stakeholders in initiatives to improve the quality of child health care. It is the first implementation guide from the national evaluation of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstration Grant Program. "Engaging Stakeholders to Improve the Quality of Children's Health Care" is an online guide that builds on the early strategies, lessons learned and challenges from Georgia, Idaho and Massachusetts to help other states plan and implement structures to support meaningful stakeholder engagement in child health care quality improvement initiatives. It includes a five-step approach to engaging stakeholders, breaking down each step into smaller tasks and providing key points and resources to consider throughout the process. The CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant Program aims to identify effective, replicable strategies for enhancing the quality of health care for children. AHRQ is leading the national evaluation of these demonstrations. The national evaluation is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    August 12 Webinar Will Focus on Preventing Falls in Long-Term Care Settings

    AHRQ is hosting the fourth in a series of four webinars August 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET on the use of "Improving Patient Safety in Long-Term Care Facilities Training Modules." The webinar, developed for nurses and staff educators in long-term care facilities, will focus on falls prevention and management. Continuing education credits will be available to participants at no cost. Registration is free, but space is limited. The first three webinars provided an overview of the series, tools to train staff on how to detect change in a resident's condition and tools on how best to communicate change in a resident's condition. Registration is open.
    Health Observances This Week


    Immunization helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and tuberculosis, adults need to get their shots - just like kids do.

    National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.

    How can National Immunization Awareness Month make a difference?

    We can all use this month to raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates with our community.

    Here are just a few ideas:

    • Talk to friends and family members about how vaccines aren't just for kids. People of all ages can get shots to protect them from serious diseases.
    • Encourage people in your community to get the flu shot every year.
    • Invite a doctor or nurse to speak to parents about why it's important for all kids to get vaccinated.
    How can I help spread the word?

    We've made it easier for you to make a difference! This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:



    Has your FQHC joined the National Branding Campaign?


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

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


    The FQHC Brand Components  

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

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