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
September 2, 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) 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.


(2) Transformational Call 

September 9th; 10 am - 11 am

To get on call listserv, email

Audience: MD MACHC Leadership

Topic: Discuss State and FQHC updates, trends, best practices, obstacles and issues. These are discussed and issues are brought to the respective official's attention. These topics are included in MACHC's advocacy efforts on behalf of FQHCs.




(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

  • (1) Healthy People 2020 Spotlight on Health Webinar - Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 1:00pm - 2:30pm, ET
    Join Healthy People 2020 and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research to learn about the role that prevention and population health can play in advancing interprofessional education. Learn how to access resources for developing curricula and collaborative learning experiences to improve prevention and population health education across various health professions.

    October 1, 2014 through September 2015
    NACHC is offering several one-day, intensive workshops to prepare health centers and look-alikes to implement the new Medicare PPS regulations. For questions, contact Jaime Hirschfeld at or (301) 347-0460.


    (3) 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.



    (4) Save the Date: 2014 N.C. Rural Assembly
    Empowering North Carolina's Rural Communities

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Raleigh - Brownstone - University1707 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27605
    Hosted by the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center. The Rural Center's signature event will return this October, with a new name, a new venue and a new strategic action plan for addressing the future of rural economic development. 

    (5) 2015 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum

    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

    March 18-22, 2015


    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



    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

    3 ways insurers can discourage sick from enrolling

    According to Jerry Flanagan, a Consumer Watchdog attorney, many insurance companies are finding new ways to prevent the sickest of consumers from enrolling in health insurance.  "It's the same insurance companies that are up to the same strategies: Take in as much premium as possible and pay out as little as possible." 

    While the verdict is still out on the safety of e-cigarettes, many health advocates are calling for a ban on their use indoors, with experts claiming they "pose a serious health threat to adolescents and fetuses and increase exposure of nonsmokers and bystanders to nicotine and a number of toxicants."

    For those who purchased insurance with the help of premium tax credits through federal or state-based exchanges, it's never too early to start thinking about tax season.  According to George Brandes, vice president for health care programs at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, "more than a third of tax credit recipients will owe some money back, and (that) can lead to some pretty hefty repayment liabilities."

    Looking to strike a balance between providing care options and respecting the wishes of religious groups, the HHS is working on new rules for contraceptives.  "Women across the country deserve access to recommended preventive services that are important to their health, no matter where they work," said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. "Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to providing women with access to coverage for contraception, while respecting religious considerations raised by non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit companies."

    US Treasury Awards Over $195M to CDFIs Nationwide

    The U.S. Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund recently announced grant awards to nearly 200 CDFIs, enabling these community-based financial institutions to increase lending and investments in low-income and economically distressed areas across the country, including to support Community Health Centers   and primary care.  Among the awards is a $2 million Financial Assistance award to the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) to support its Capital
    Investment initiatives. Since its founding in 1993, PCDC has been a key source of capital for the primary care sector, financing over 100 completed primary care projects valued at nearly $500 million. Through its financing, PCDC has helped to create capacity for 2.36 million medical visits annually, meeting the primary care needs of more than 750,000 underserved patients. This investment has also transformed one million square feet of space into fully functioning primary care practices and created or preserved over 5,000 jobs in low-income communities. PCDC has also trained and coached more than 900 primary care organizations to deliver high-quality patient-centered care, increase productivity, effectively implement electronic medical records, and prepare for emergencies.  

    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.

    2014 BPHC Annual Satisfaction Survey

    BPHC is conducting its annual survey to gather program member feedback on program operations and processes. We encourage all Health Centers, Look-Alikes, Health Center Controlled Networks and Cooperative Agreement partners to participate as we use the survey feedback to help fulfill our commitment to continuously improve our program operations. If you have not received the link to the anonymous survey in an email from CFI Group, please contact


    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization, and other domestic and international partners in an international response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.Use the  materials developed by the CDC for the latest outbreak information and to help identify and treat cases of the Ebola Virus Disease. 

    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.

    Federal auditors looking into Maryland's flawed health insurance exchange are subpoenaing documents as part of their probe and have sought information from the lead contractor hired by the state to build the site.

    North Dakota-based Noridian Healthcare Solutions, the former prime contractor with a multimillion-dollar deal to design Maryland's online insurance marketplace, received a request for documents related to the project from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on July 30, the company's president said Tuesday.


    MedStar and CVS Pharmacy announce partnership in Maryland, D.C. The ever-expanding reach of retail medicine through CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic has touched 

    MedStar Health.

    The Columbia-based health system announced Wednesday it would become the 41st health system to partner with CVS. Officials said the affiliation would connect the electronic medical records for MedStar patients seeking care at CVS locations.

    Finance & Business
    CMS announced the Open Payments system is once again available for physicians and teaching hospitals to register, review and, as needed, dispute financial payment information received from health care manufacturers. To account for time the system was taken down for a technical issue, CMS is extending the time for physicians and teaching hospitals to review their records to September 8, 2014.

    Armed with $11 million in new funding, Howard University Hospital is set to begin researching potential new therapies for Ebola, HIV and sickle cell diseases.  

    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


    CAC Organization Toolkit

    In preparation for the next open enrollment period, Enroll America is working to help new and existing Certified Application Counselor (CAC) organizations identify individual CACs. Enroll America can help organizations learn how to become a CAC organization, recruit volunteers to serve as individual CACs, and identify other community partners to work with.



    Excellent Outreach & Enrollment Presentation from NACHC's CHI 2014 Annual Conference


    Best Practices for Holding a Successful Outreach Event Webinar 
    The slides from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-hosted webinar featuring best practices and tips on how to hold a successful outreach event leading up to the next Open Enrollment Period, starting November 15, 2014 are now available.


    Navigating the Health Center Program: An Introduction for American Indian/Alaska Native Communities Webinar 

    Slides are now available for this BPHC hosted webinar for American Indian/Alaska Native communities about the advantages and responsibilities of being a Health Center Program grantee.


    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. 

    CMS Releases Guidance on Training for Assisters

    In preparation for the Open Enrollment Period beginning November 15, 2014 for the 2015 plan year in the individual market, CMS is updating the Navigator, non-Navigator assistance personnel, and certified application counselor (CAC) training curriculum for the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces, including State Partnership Marketplaces. The updated training will be available in early September.

    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

    Champions for Change Meeting

    August 25th, 2014

    Please find the latest Maryland Health Benefit Exchange updates/materials from the MHBE Champions for Change meeting below:

    a. Meeting Slides

    b. Questions/Answers

    c. MD HIX Entity Masterlist

    d. MD Monthly Communication

    e. MD Monthly Communication - August

    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.   

    Grants & Funding Opportunities

    USDA Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Grants

    Application Deadline:  November 12, 2014

    Awards to provide financial and technical assistance to subrecipients to develop and strengthen their capacity to carry out housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects. Rural communities may be interested in applying for these grants to fund health infrastructure. Recipients must be non-profit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes. Intermediary organizations are required to provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. More information about the program and how to apply is available on page 47427 of the August 13 Federal Register.

    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 
    Today, HHS Secretary Burwell announced $35.7 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 147 health centers in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to support patient-centered medical homes through new construction and facility renovations.

    Presentation from NACHC's Chi 2014

    An excellent presentation by PCDC. Please find slides upon clicking title above.
    Clinical Quality 
    CMS proposes increasing the total number of quality measures for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program from 33 to 37. New measures would include avoidable admissions for patients with multiple chronic conditions, heart failure and diabetes; depression remission; all-cause readmissions to a skilled nursing facility; and stewardship of patient resources. Under the proposed rules, ACOs that show improvement on quality measures year after year will be eligible for bonus payments, on top of shared savings.



    Journal of Ambulatory Care Management Call for Abstracts
    The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management is soliciting abstracts for a special issue for 2015 entitled Community Health Workers: Perils and Promise of Global and National Recognition. The Journal invites papers describing original research, including case studies of community health worker practice and policy, as well as context pieces, research articles, and "Community Health Worker Voices" composed of short invited pieces by community health workers from around the world.
    The deadline for potential authors to submit an abstract is Monday, September 15, 2014, 11:59 pm, ET.  

    Million Hearts is an initiative that brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.The Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge  recognizesclinicians, practices, and health systems that achieve blood pressure control for greater than 70% of their patients with hypertension.   Questions about the Challenge should be directed to with "Challenge" in the subject line.
    Health Observances This Week


    National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

    One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

    The good news? Childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and move more.

    Make a difference for kids: Spread the word about strategies for preventing childhood obesity and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

    How can National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month make a difference?

    We can all use this month to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and show people how they can take steps toward a solution.

    Here are just a few ideas:

    • Encourage families to make small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within reach or going on a family walk after dinner.
    • Motivate teachers and administrators to make schools healthier. Help them provide healthy food options and daily physical activities for students.
    • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by supporting programs to prevent childhood obesity.
    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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