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 25, 2014 
MACHC's 32nd Annual Meeting and Conference:
"Leveling the Playing Field Through the Power of One Voice''
When: September 18-19, 2014
Where: Dover Downs Conference Center

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.

For overnight accommodations, please contact Dover Downs VIP reservations at 1-866-473-7378 and refer to the MACHC Annual Conference for a discounted rate of $139.00 per night. The room block will close on August 25, 2014.



(1) Transformational Call 

August 26th CANCELLED

due to CHI (NACHC)Normal bi-weekly calls will resume starting September 9th.

(2) Outreach Team Call

September 5, 2014; 11 am -12 pm

Call in 1-866-740-1260 Access Code 4319483

To get on call listserv, email

Audience: MD and DE Outreach and Enrollment Staff including Navigators, Assistors and CACs.

Topic: Discuss State and FQHC O/E updates, trends, best practices, obstacles and issues. These are recorded and shared with HRSA bi-weekly.


(3) 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:

(4) 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
  • 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                                       

    (2) 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:


    Email from MACHC relative to the Ebola Virus sent last week: 

    As many of you may have read on the news, the Ebola Virus is a public health concern that has impacted 2 US citizens who are being treated here in the US.  We thought it might be helpful to arm you with some information regarding the virus and what is being done right now by the CDC to address the virus.   The following is a hyperlink to the CDC web-page on the Ebola Virus:


    Also attached please find a fact sheetand a info graphic that address the Ebola Virus produced by the CDC.


    2014 HPP-PHEP Fall Regional Preparedness Conferences

    DHMH has scheduled this year's round of Fall conferences. The dates and locations are:


    Regions I and II

    October 10, 2014 / Wisp Resort Conference Center (McHenry, MD)


    Region III

    October 3, 2014 / Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters (Hanover, MD)


    Region IV

    October 17, 2014 / Tidewater Inn (Easton, MD)


    Region V

    October 24, 2014 / Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center (Rockville, MD)   



    MSAT Satellite Phone Maintenance Check-up Visits Underway


    MSAT preventive maintenance visits to health departments and healthcare organizations are now underway. For detailed information to assist you in preparing for your facility's visit, see the attached handout: "MSAT Satellite Phone Preventive Maintenance Visits".


    We thank you in advance for your cooperation as we work to ensure that all of our state partners have functional redundant communications capabilities.



    HPP Facility Inventory Assessment Project Update


    The Facility Inventory Assessment sponsored by OP&R is now underway. Multiple vendors are assisting with this project. A goal has been set to complete the inventory assessment of all HPP-funded supplies and materials by December 31, 2014. HPP Regional Coordinators are contacting each facility to schedule inventory assessment visits.


    To ensure an efficient and effective inventory process, please notify all appropriate personnel at your facilities. It is essential that the vendor has safe access to all relevant HPP supplies and materials during the assessment visit.




    Preparedness News


    DHMH Response to Ebola Outbreak: Update


    DHMH continues to monitor the situation surrounding the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. There are currently no known cases of EVD in Maryland, and EVD poses little risk to the U.S. general population at this time. However, healthcare workers are advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of EVD in patients with compatible illness who have a recent (within 21 days) travel history to countries where the outbreak is occurring, and should consider isolation of those patients meeting these criteria, pending diagnostic testing. Maryland clinicians who suspect Ebola virus in a traveler should contact their local public health department immediately.


    See the attached letter from Lucy Wilson, MD, ScM, Chief of the Center for Surveillance, Infection Prevention and Outbreak Response at DHMH. It contains guidance on epidemiology and identification of potential Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases and web links for additional information. Additional guidance for clinicians can be found at the CDC's Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) website [ ].


    For specific information regarding infection control recommendations and other healthcare-related resources, go to [ ] and scroll down to the Additional Resources section.


    A folder has been created on the Maryland Health Alert Network (HAN) website where new and updated information will be posted. To access the folder, log in to HAN, click on the Documents tab, and select the folder "Ebola Virus". We recommend that you "watch" this folder in order to receive automatic notifications when new content has been added. (Simply select the folder and click the "Watch" link by the star icon in the panel on the right.)



    Governor's Cabinet-Level Tabletop Exercise Addresses Ebola Virus


    Governor O'Malley convened several state agencies, including the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) in partnership with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security, to participate in a Cabinet-level tabletop exercise (TTX). The goal of the exercise was to test Maryland's operational readiness for preparing and responding to a significant public health crisis impacting the broad community of emergency responders, stakeholders, partners and residents. A variety of capabilities were tested during this exercise, including information sharing across several governmental levels and disciplines, public messaging and notification protocols, law enforcement operations in support of public health interventions, and biosurveillance.


    TTX participants included DHMH; the Governor's Office of Homeland Security (GOHS); Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS); Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA); US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR); and the CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.


    For additional details, visit:



    Results Released: 2014 National Survey on Emergency Management


    In April 2014, Health Facilities Management (HFM), the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, the Association for the Healthcare Environment, and the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management conducted a targeted online survey to investigate recent trends in healthcare emergency management. A random sample of 911 hospital and health system executives were selected for participation. The results of this survey have now been released.


    To review the HFM article containing the survey results, visit: Hospital Disaster Planning: 2014 Emergency Management Survey



    Star-Spangled Spectacular Celebration: September 10-16, 2014


    The 200th anniversary of the National Anthem will be celebrated in Baltimore during September 10-16, 2014. A series of large public events have been planned for September 11-14, when the State Emergency Operations Center will be fully activated. See the attached flyer for further details regarding this event.


    Preparedness Training, Exercises and Events


    September is National Preparedness Month!


    September is 2014 National Preparedness Month! Throughout September, activities to promote emergency preparedness will be taking place across the country. National Preparedness Month is a time toprepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters, both large scale and smaller local events. For additional information and to find out how you can get involved, visit



    Integrated Public Health and Medical Preparedness Forum (IPHMPF)


    The next IPHMPF will be held on August 25, 2014 at 9:30am. Please watch your email for a reminder notice containing information on this month's featured presenter as well as the teleconference/webinar log-in instructions.




    Upcoming Training Opportunities  ------------- 


    Community Psychological First Aid.

    The MD Responds MRC is pleased to announce Psychological First Aid training opportunities to be held on multiple dates and locations throughout Maryland. Take this free, half-day training and learn about how to improve your mental health! In Coping in Today's World-Community Psychological First Aid, the Red Cross will provide information about mental health and emergencies, including about how to prepare, respond, and recover from trauma. Participants will also receive information on community resources for coping with stress.


    Intended Audience: this course is open to the general community (healthcare background not required). Bring your friends or neighbors!


    For additional information and registration details, see the attached flyer.



    Preparedness Resources


    Guidance for Infection Prevention and Respiratory Protection.

    1. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has released a guidance document containing CSC guidance for respirators. This document, titled "Infection Prevention for Ambulatory Care Centers During Disasters," has been posted to the ASPR Communities of Interest (COI) website. To download, visit scroll down to the "Tools" section.



    2. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Occupational Health Branch (OHB) has developed a useful guide and template for healthcare organizations to employ in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on protecting healthcare workers from aerosol transmissible diseases. The template is not copyright protected; rather, it is intended to be modified and tailored by the end user to suit their individual facility's needs. The CDPH guide and templateare included here.




    FEMA National Incident Management System (NIMS) Online Training Courses.

    FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers a variety of interactive, web-based NIMS training courses. For additional information and access to these free online courses, visit:





    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]

    Alison Robinson

    Allegany County Health Department

    12501 Willowbrook Road
    Cumberland, MD  21502
    301-759-5238 (Office)

    443-934-2232 (Mobile)

    301-777-2069 (Fax) 


    Region III  Health and Medical Task Force


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

    Edward Johnson

    Harford County Health Department

    120 S. Hays Street, Suite 230
    Bel Air, MD  21014 
    410-877-1031 (Office)

    443-388-6290 (Mobile)

    410-420-3448 (Fax)


    Region IV -

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

    Aniket Telang

    Kent County Health Department

    A.F. Whitsitt Center

    300 Scheeler Road

    P.O. Box 229
    Chestertown, MD  21620

    410-778-4861 (Office)

    443-690-3091 (Mobile)


    Region V  Emergency Preparedness Coalition

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

    Kamelah Jefferson

    Prince George's County Health Department

    9201 Basil Court, Suite 318

    Largo, MD  20774


    443-462-0230 (Mobile) 



    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!



    FORMAL UNVEILING at MACHC's Annual Conference!!!! 

    Registration is now open.


    Technical Assistance Request Form 
    ---to be submitted prior to receiving any TA from MACHC---
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News

    Study: Women Entering Pregnancy In Poor Health Less Likely To Breastfeed

    A recent University of Minnesota School of Public Health Study shows that women who are unhealthy entering pregnancy are less likely to breastfeed.  According to lead author, Dr. Katy Kozhimannil, "Simply counseling women to breastfeed is not enough.  Telling women that it's good for them and their babies is not enough, without adequate support as well. There might be special support that women with complex pregnancies need." 

    Despite rigorous campaigning and incentive programs, fewer health care providers have adopted electronic health records than hoped, but policy makers are still pleased with the progress made to date.  

    - The National Quality Forum developed the Guide for Community Action is Action Guide through an open and interactive process. The Guide's purpose is to support individuals and groups working together at all levels - local, state, and national - to successfully promote and improve population health over time. It contains brief summaries of useful elements to consider during efforts to work with others, along with actions to take and examples of practical resources, to build a coalition that can improve population health. 

    Parents urged to vaccinate children as school openings loom

    Hoping to reduce the spread of preventable illnesses, the DC public school system has tightened up vaccination requirements for its student population and is now urging parents to consider the HPV vaccination.    
    As health insurance becomes available to more Americans, many hospitals are revisiting how they determine who receives free care and paying more attention to who is unwilling versus who is actually unable to pay.   

    Have insurers found new ways to avoid the sick? 

    Ending insurance discrimination against the sick was a central goal of the nation's health care overhaul, but leading patient groups say that promise is being undermined by new barriers from insurers.

    The insurance industry responds that critics are confusing legitimate cost-control with bias. Some state regulators, however, say there's reason to be concerned about policies that shift costs to patients and narrow their choices of hospitals and doctors.

    Has Health Law Helped Young People Get Mental Health Treatment? Maybe

    Mental health issues like depression, anxiety and substance abuse often start in adolescence, then peak in young adulthood. But for young people who don't have steady jobs or stable paychecks, getting help can be tough.

    A popular provision of the Affordable Care Act that took effect in 2010 aimed to make it easier for young adults to get access to health care, by allowing them to stay on their parents' insurance until they turn 26.

    Looking to regain its competitive edge, retail giant Wal-Mart is getting more involved in the health care industry by opening clinics in various parts of the country.  However, many doctors groups caution against their use, because, "retail clinics may provide a limited scope of health-care services for patients" and "can ultimately lead to fragmentation of the patient's health care unless it is coordinated with the patient's primary care physician's office."

    Struggling to understand how the heck your business will or won't be impacted by the Affordable Care Act?

    Don't worry, business owners. You're far from alone.

    "They're befuddled. They're blindsided, even though brokers have been trying to tell them what to expect," said Will Donahoe, president of Cbiz-M.T. Donahoe & Associates in Columbia, Maryland.

    HMO, PPO, EPO: How's a consumer to know what health plan is best?

    With consumers across the country gearing up to purchase, renew or change insurance plans during this fall's open enrollment period, understanding the differences between the various plans is becoming increasingly more difficult.  

    The only food poor Americans can afford is making them unhealthy

    For many low-income Americans, limited food options makes maintaining or improving health nearly impossible.  According to a recent Feeding America study, 78.7% of survey participants accessing food assistance programs purchase less expensive, unhealthier foods in order to stretch resources.   

    Health care data breaches have hit 30M patients and counting 

    Since the implementation of more stringent reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has logged 944 major data breaches, affecting 30.1 million people across the country.  

    State News
    The First Delaware State Health Improvement Plan finalized
    Delaware has completed its first State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) to address the most important public health problems in Delaware. The plan is based on the results of a health assessment and developed through a collaborative process with 45 community partners.
    Two data-driven goals were selected:
    1. To assure an infrastructure necessary to increase the adoption of healthy eating and active living; and
    2. To improve access to mental health and substance abuse services and supports, including prevention, early intervention, and treatment for all Delawareans.
    Work groups are now being formed to put action plans together for each of these goals.
    "What makes this noteworthy is that this is the community's plan," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). "The many organizations that participated in this process and who care about the health of Delawareans collectively agree that these are the two most important health problems for us to address. It is now up to all of us to implement activities that will help us reach this goal."
    The SHIP can be accessed at the following website:

    Well visits, immunizations prepare children returning to school
    DPH reminds parents and guardians that children should have annual pediatric well visits. Pediatricians will screen the child's overall health -- including vision, hearing and oral health -- and administer immunizations to prevent chickenpox, measles, diphtheria, and other communicable diseases. For a list of required immunizations, visit the Delaware Immunization Program's website at or call 1-800-282-8672.
    DPH recommends regular dentist visits beginning at age one. Optometrists suggest annual eye exams. Dial 2-1-1 Help Me Grow Delaware for guidance on child development and services.

    Maryland prepping backup plans in case rebuilt health exchange falters

    Better safe than sorry. While expressing confidence that a re-do with the help of Connecticut will fix what ails Maryland's health exchange, officials are nonetheless drawing up a Plan B.

    Maryland Health Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein said Tuesday the state is going to be ready with a back-up plan - which could include processing applications by hand - if the site does not perform as expected, The Washington Post reported.

    Open enrollment for coverage in 2015 starts Nov. 15. Last month, Sharfstein and other health exchange leaders told a joint legislative oversight panel that the system was on track and that a glitch with Connecticut's exchange - the technology of which Maryland is using to revamp its own system - will not cause problems for Maryland users this fall.

    Finance & Business
    16% Of Large Employers Plan To Offer Low-Benefit 'Skinny' Plans Despite ACA: Survey

    Despite reassurances that low-coverage, "skinny" insurance plans would be a thing of the past with the implementation of health care reform, looking to cut costs, many large employers are still planning to offer plans that do not meet minimum coverage requirements under the ACA.  

    HHS Establishes October 1, 2015 ICD10 Launch Date

    In a final rule (PDF) issued last Thursday, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) formally set an October 1, 2015, compliance date for conversion to ICD-10 diagnostic and procedure codes.  The agency had the option to issue an interim final rule with comment period, but instead proceeded with a definitive date through issuance of the final rule. 

    Latest News on ACA


    Data Matching Resources for Health Centers 
    The federal Health Insurance Marketplace began sending notices last week to resolve immigration/citizenship data matching issues for consumers who have not responded to previous notices via mail, email, and phone. Consumers who have not yet responded must act now and submit supporting documents by Friday, September 5, 2014 or their Marketplace coverage will end on September 30, 2014.
    For consumers who have already submitted the requisite information, calls can be made to the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (or TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to see if their data matching issue has been resolved. 

    Assister Recertification

    News that many assisters had been waiting for was delivered last Friday. CMS announced new information about the 2015 assister recertification process and how assisters should proceed between now and open enrollment, including:

    • Navigators and Certified Application Counselors (CACs) assisting consumers in the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) will be able to begin 2015 certification training in early September and must complete the training before assisting consumers during the next open enrollment period, which begins November 15, 2014.
    • Regional grant project officers have notified grantees of decisions on 2013-2014 Navigator grant no-cost extension requests and provided those receiving no-cost extensions with provisional certificates for eligible Navigator staff to continue consumer assistance through November 14, 2014.
    • Navigators who work for an organization that did not apply for a no-cost extension of its 2013-2014 grant must stop Navigator activities immediately.

    This post and the full CMS guidance provide more details about the recertification process, 2015 training, no-cost extensions and provisional certificates.

    Warning Notices on Outstanding Immigration & Citizenship Inconsistencies

    Last week, the FFM began mailing warning notices to consumers with outstanding immigration and citizenship inconsistencies. These notices inform consumers that they have until September 5th to resolve their immigration and/or citizenship inconsistencies or their Marketplace coverage (including Advanced Premium Tax Credits and/or Cost-Sharing Reductions) will end on September 30th.

    You can help! CMS is grateful to assisters for helping thousands of consumers resolve data-matching issues and is asking for your help to get the word out to the remaining 310,000 consumers who risk losing their FFM coverage.


    Save the Date

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Beyond the Basics of Health Reform webinar series will begin again in October!  We will be presenting a four-part refresher course that will provide an overview of the Affordable Care Act, eligibility for coverage programs, policies and processes for enrolling into and renewing coverage, and plan design.  
    After the four-part series, we will continue the Beyond the Basics webinars through open enrollment, presenting on in-depth topics affecting  eligibility and enrollment.  We will be sending more details on the webinars and opening registration in September, but for now, please mark your calendars.  The tentative dates and times for the webinars are:
    Wednesday, October 8, 2014
    2:00 pm-3:30 pm (Eastern), 11:00 am-12:30 (Pacific)
    Wednesday, October 15, 2014
    2:00 pm-3:30 pm (Eastern), 11:00 am-12:30 (Pacific)
    Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    2:00 pm-3:30 pm (Eastern), 11:00 am-12:30 (Pacific)
    Wednesday, October 29, 2014
    2:00 pm-3:30 pm (Eastern), 11:00 am-12:30 (Pacific)
    This webinar series is intended for those working on the implementation of health reform including navigators, assisters, CACs and others assisting consumers apply for coverage in a Marketplace.  We hope you all can join us! 


    Reminder: Send Requested Documents by Sept. 5 to Keep Your Health Insurance Coverage

    If you receive a letter from the Health Insurance Marketplace asking you to verify information you submitted about citizenship or immigration status, it is legitimate. You must send the requested documents by Sept. 5, 2014, or your health insurance coverage will end Sept. 30, 2014.

    The letter will ask you to send your documents using your Marketplace account on or to:

    Health Insurance Marketplace
    Attn: Supporting Documentation
    465 Industrial Blvd.
    London, KY 40750

    If you want your coverage to continue, act now. Visit for more information.

    Have questions? Visit to connect with a Marketplace Guide near you or call the 24/7 helpline at 1-800-318-2596.


    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 Network Meeting


    The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) is now accepting applications for 

    Application Counselor Sponsoring Entity (ACSE) program.

    Since you are already Certified ACSE, what better way to introduce others to this program. If you know anyone interested, please forward this 


    Applications will be accepted until September 2, 2014.   


    From the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange 

    There are 92 days until the next open enrollment begins Nov. 15. Together we are making progress toward operation of the new MD HBX system. We are encouraged by the level of teamwork between our partner organizations.

    In the meantime, thank you for subscribing to the MD HBX newsletter. Our goal is to provide all MD HBX project participants with timely and relevant insight.

    To help us to achieve our goal, we would like to increase the number of readers of our newsletter and incorporate your feedback and questions. We invite you to send one list of email addresses of your staff who should receive the updates, as well as your feedback and questions, to
    MD HBX System Sneak-Peek

    Managing Consumer Accounts 

    After consumers create an account in the Consumer Portal to apply and enroll in health coverage, they can view, update, and manage these items using the Account Home page:

    • Password
    • Contact information
    • Language preferences
    • Security questions and answers for password reset
    • Email or postal mail notification preference
    • Authorized representative for accountholder decision-making 

    The consumer can link an application completed by a worker to his or her account, after the worker has completed and submitted the application (i.e., after eligibility has been determined).  


    We Are Making Progress

    Late July and Early August

    The MD HBX system implementation is advancing. These notes from the project team detail progress:

    Testing Real-Life Scenarios

    Before open enrollment, we are testing the system using mock consumers seeking health coverage, through a process called User Acceptance Testing (UAT). UAT allows the project team to test real-life situations such as adoptions, births, marriage, divorce, separation, elderly parents, and adult children in the household.

    Preparing the System

    • Updating the MD HBX Eligibility and Enrollment functionalities is nearly complete. Current work includes updating the system for Spanish speakers. We are also working to define how the system will handle Medicaid data errors.
    • We are continuing to work with insurance carriers to develop 834 transactions, which enroll consumers in the carrier health plans. 

    Preparing Our People

    • During the Change Agent Network meeting July 29, we conducted a live demonstration of the MD HBX system to leaders from our partner organizations. The audience watched the successful enrollment of a fictional bachelor named Henry in a qualified health plan in the Consumer Portal. Next, they saw the Worker Portal facilitate the successful enrollment of a fictional single mother named Kathy into Medicaid and her daughter into MCHP.
    • We have completed outlining training courses and curriculums. The next step is to create the training materials for instructors.  


    MD HBX Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: Is an address required for enrollment in the MD HBX system?

    Answer: An address is not needed to enroll in the MD HBX system. This allows Marylanders who are homeless and others without a permanent address to apply for coverage using the system. The system will automatically send notifications and verifications to the nearest Local Health Department (LHD).

    Question: Is a phone number required for enrollment in the MD HBX system?

    Answer: A phone number is required to enroll in the MD HBX system. This allows the primary applicant to be contacted if there is an issue. People who do not have telephone numbers will enter their local health department's telephone number.

    Question: Does an applicant need a Social Security Number (SSN) to enroll in health insurance using the MD HBX system?

    Answer: The MD HBX system allows users to proceed without a SSN if they attest that they are applying for a SSN number. The system will temporarily provide them an alternative ID. The consumer will then have 89 days to provide their SSN to the carrier or their coverage will be terminated.

    Question: Does everyone who lives in the house have to apply for insurance coverage through MD HBX?

    Answer: No. Generally, only individuals who are a part of the same taxable household should be on the application, although they do not all need to seek coverage. For example, an applicant's roommate with whom the applicant does not file taxes should not be on the same application.

    Question: If a spouse already has insurance through their employer, should they be included on the application?

    Answer: If the spouses file taxes together and are requesting a subsidy, they both must be included in the application. However, in the Current Health Insurance section of the application, the spouse with existing insurance coverage must answer "no" when asked if they are requesting coverage and mark that they already receive insurance through their employer. Married applicants must include their spouse and file taxes jointly to receive Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) and cost-sharing reductions.


    Grants & Funding Opportunities

    Program Funding FY 2014 Grant Base Adjustments 
    HRSA began issuing FY 2014 base adjustments last week for health center grantees in accordance with program statute and the FY 2014 budget as enacted by Congress. Health Center grantees should see new Notice of Awards in EHB in the near future. To compute base adjustments, HRSA is using a base amount for all grantees, and providing additional amounts based on each cCenter's total patient population, uninsured patient population and Patient Centered Medical Home recognition status.


    Reminder: Outreach and Enrollment (O/E) Ongoing Funding 

    Health centers that received O/E grant funds in July 2013 have already received the ongoing O/E funds in their base award to cover the months between July 1, 2014 through the end of their FY 2014 budget period. Health centers should be preparing for the upcoming open enrollment period that begins on November 15, 2014. Contact with any questions or concerns related to O/E.


    Reminder: Fiscal Year 2015 Affordable Care Act (ACA) New Access Point (NAP) Grants (HRSA-15-016) - Applications for funding opportunity HRSA-15-016 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.
    View more information and resources on the NAP opportunity


    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 
    New Tool to Support Policymakers Use of Research in Their Work
    State policymakers face tremendous pressure to make informed decisions using the most up-to-date evidence available, but finding and translating this research into policy can often be quite difficult. NASHP, with support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), has created a new tool to help state health policymakers find and implement CER and PCOR in their work: A Roadmap For State Policymakers To Use Comparative Effectiveness And Patient-Centered Outcomes Research To Inform Decision Making. The Roadmap offers a range of short-, medium- and long-term strategies to help policymakers through key steps in the process. These steps include finding research, using it to design evidence-based policies, and monitoring and incorporating new research as it becomes available.
    A companion brief entitled Programs Supporting The Use Of Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research  provides additional background and multiple examples of programs currently being used by state policymakers to incorporate this research into their work.
    Clinical Quality 
    Psychological First Aid (PFA) Kit  
    PFA is an evidence-based approach designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping to help individuals of all ages.   . Anyone can become trained on PFA through an online PFA training. There is also a PFA mobile app that provides a quick and thorough review for those who have previously received training to provide PFA.

    Medicare Now Covers Hepatitis C Screening in Primary Care Settings for Persons Born during 1945 to 1965 and Others at High Risk - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) screening will be covered by Medicare for adults when ordered by beneficiary's primary care provider. Beneficiaries must meet one of two conditions: 1) born during 1945 through 1965; 2) at high risk for Hepatitis C Virus infection. 
    CDC provides more information about HCV testing and counseling for people who test positive for HCV

    Health Observances This Week


    National Breastfeeding Month

    Breastfeeding in Six Words: A Social Media Campaign

    In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month (NBM) 2014, USBC will host a social media campaign inviting participants to share six word stories on what breastfeeding means to them. Participants will post a "selfie" photograph on Facebook and/or Twitter, holding a sign with their six word story using the hashtags #NBM14 and #SixWords. Following the initial launch weekend, the campaign will also focus on a specific sector/system of support each week, with Twitter chats and advocacy tools to inspire education and action to support breastfeeding families from the grassroots to the treetops. See the campaign schedule below, bookmark this webpage (, and watch your inbox for weekly updates on each topic! Sign up for USBC Action Alerts.

    The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) invites EVERYONE: our member/partner organizations, state and local breastfeeding coalitions, advocates, health care providers, employers/businesses, policymakers, mothers, families, the media, and YOU!

    Post a "selfie" photograph on Facebook and/or Twitter, holding a sign with a six word story answering the question: "What does breastfeeding mean to you and how can every one of us play a role in supporting breastfeeding?" Campaign posts should use the hashtags #NBM14 and #SixWords.

    Each week the campaign will focus on a specific sector/system of support with an aligned legislative goal:

    • August 1-3: Launch #SixWords campaign at USBC events in Washington, DC
    • August 4-10: Workplaces **TAKE ACTION NOW**
      • Save the date for the MomsRising #WellnessWed Twitter chat on August 6 from 2-3 p.m. ET
    • August 11-17: Hospitals / Health Care **TAKE ACTION NOW**
      • Save the date for the MomsRising #WellnessWed Twitter chat on August 13 from 2-3 p.m. ET
    • August 18-24: Communities **TAKE ACTION NOW**
      • Save the date for the MomsRising #WellnessWed Twitter chat on August 20 from 2-3 p.m. ET
    • August 25-31 (Black Breastfeeding Week): Families
      • Save the date for MomsRising #WellnessWed Twitter chat on August 27, from 2-3 p.m. ET

    Follow us on Twitter (@usbreastfeeding) and "like" us on Facebook (

    There are many ways to participate:

    • Follow the campaign hashtag #NBM14 on Facebook and Twitter and share or retweet campaign posts.
    • Share your six word story anytime during the month of August using hashtags #NBM14 and #SixWords. Make a small sign with your six word story about what breastfeeding means to you and include it in a "selfie" photograph. Post the photo to Facebook and/or Twitter anytime in August with the hashtags #NBM14 and #SixWords to raise awareness and inspire others to "help make breastfeeding easier." Amplify your impact by tagging your legislators in the post and asking for their story! 
    • Tweet key Congressional targets with our easy-to-use template messages: visit this page each week and click the "Take Action" link next to the week's topic (under "WHEN" section above).
    • Visit your legislators while they are home "in district" during the August Congressional recess: access the toolkit of briefing and handout materials from USBC's August Advocacy Day of Action & Action for the Summer Recess webinar, to find everything you'll need to prepare for a visit with your legislator.
    • Help spread the word! Share the campaign with friends and family by sending them this See additional templates for promotion below...
    Campaign Promotion Templates

    Facebook: The time is NOW to use our outside voices to support Thriving Families & Communities. This National #Breastfeeding Month share your #SixWords story about what #bfing means to you. #NBM14

    Twitter: The time is NOW to use our outside voices to support Thriving Families & Communities. Get involved at #NBM14

    Newsletter: The National Breastfeeding Month (NBM) 2014 "Six Words" campaign invites participants to share six word stories on what breastfeeding means to them. Participants will post a "selfie" photograph on Facebook and/or Twitter, holding a sign with their six word story using the hashtags #NBM14 and #SixWords. Following the initial launch weekend, the campaign will also focus on a specific sector/system of support each week, with Twitter chats and advocacy tools to inspire education and action to support breastfeeding families from the grassroots to the treetops.

    • August 4-10: Workplaces
    • August 11-17: Hospitals / Health Care
    • August 18-24: Communities
    • August 25-31: Families 

    There are many ways to participate! Learn more at

    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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