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 8, 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 

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.


(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

  • (1) 

    HRSA Office of Pharmacy Affairs 340B Registration Process Webinar - Monday, September 8, 2014, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, ET -

    HRSA's Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) is hosting this webinar to provide an update on eligibility requirements,  the registration process for 340B and how to differentiate between the registration and re-certification process.To participate in this session, use the following link: OPA webinar. Connect to the audio line using 1-888-950-6750; Participant Code: 8501607. 


    (2) Healthy People 2020 Spotlight on Health Webinar - Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    1:00pm - 2:30pm

    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.

    (3) Health Center Outreach and Enrollment (O/E) Webinar - Getting Ready for Open Enrollment: Structuring and Maintaining an Effective O/E Program - Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 3:00pm - 4:00pm, ET -HRSA is hosting this webinar to provide updates on nationwide O/E activities.  Panelists will discuss structuring and maintaining an effective O/E program with lessons learned and resources from the Michigan Primary Care Association and Families USA.
    To participate in this session, use the following link: O/E webinar . Connect to the audio line using 1-800-857-1858; Participant Code: 4657950 



    (4) Behavioral Health Integration Grantee Training Webinar - Thursday, September 11, 2014, 2:30pm - 4:30pm, ET

    . The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions is hosting this webinarto focus on specific strategies and resources available to health centers to create fully integrated behavioral health care practices. Panelists will discuss best practices including screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT); incorporating behavioral health into existing clinical pathways and operations; workforce training; quality improvement; and financing for sustainability.
     Register for this webinar.    

    (5) Champion for Coverage Webinar:

    Marketplace Outreach in Rural Communities - Wednesday, September 17
    CMS welcomes you to join us for a Champion webinar on Wednesday, September 17th on Marketplace outreach and enrollment in rural communities with guest speaker Bette Grey of the Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, Inc. We also encourage you to submit questions in advance regarding this topic to
    When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. ET
    How: Webinar link:
    Participant Number: 1-800-837-1935
    Conference ID: 79418424
    **Due to high expected call volumes, please dial in and log on at least 10
    minutes before the call to avoid delays in joining the webinar.

    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.


    (7) 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.



    (8) 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. 

    (9) 2015 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum

    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

    March 18-22, 2015


    Emergency Preparedness Events:

    Pediatric Disaster Preparedness and Planning Program (TEEX)

    Mon, 01/12/2015 - 8:00am - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 5:00pm
    Thu, 01/15/2015 - 8:00am - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 5:00pm

    Enrollment is through the Commonwealth of Virginia Knowledge Center (KC). There are two options for enrollment (please see below).

    * For students who are comfortable using the Knowledge Center: If you have an existing account with any state agency, click here  for enrollment procedures. For students who do not already have an existing KC account, click here  for enrollment procedures.

    * For those who do not feel comfortable using the Knowledge Center, you may access an online enrollment form at this link. Our Help Desk will use the form to verify/create your account and enroll you in the course.

    This course, taught by the Texas Engineering and Extension Service, is a two day performance level course that addresses pediatric emergency planning and medical response considerations. The course addresses the need for emergency responders, first receivers, and emergency management personnel to increase their effectiveness in responding to pediatric patients and their unique needs/considerations. This course provides participants with skills and knowledge necessary to make pediatric considerations/accommodations while planning and preparing for community all-hazards events. Those who should attend include hospital staff and planners, public health, school administrators, American Red Cross, fire service, law enforcement, emergency management, military personnel and others that deal with children on a daily basis.

    Individuals who need an accommodation of a functional or access need to attend the training should contact the LMS Help Desk via telephone at 804-897-9995 or via email at

    . at least two weeks prior to the course start date.


    DatesTimesLocationEnrollment Deadline
    Jan 12-13, 20158:00-5:00FairfaxDec 30, 2014
    Jan 15-16, 20158:00-5:00RoanokeDec 30, 2014


    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

    The federal insurance site was hacked this summer, and intruders installed malicious software but didn't access consumers' personal data, the Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday. 


    Clarification of HRSA's Role in Financial Monitoring 

    Consistent with current program management practices (see  Program Assistance Letter (PAL) 2014-08: Health Center Program Requirements Oversight), HRSA conducts reviews of health center policies and operations to ensure that they meet the Health Center Program requirements, including those for financial management, internal control systems and governing board oversight (see Policy Information Notice (PIN) 2013-01: Health Center Budgeting and Accounting Requirements and  PIN 2014-01: Health Center Program Governance for further information).
    Specifically, health centers must maintain accounting and internal control systems appropriate to the size and complexity of the organization reflecting Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and separate functions appropriate to organizational size to safeguard assets and maintain financial stability. Health centers must assure that an annual independent financial audit is performed in accordance with Federal audit requirements, including submission of a corrective action plan addressing all findings, questioned costs, reportable conditions, and material weaknesses cited in the Audit Report. (Section 330(k)(3)(D), Section 330(q) of the PHS Act and 45 CFR Parts 74.14, 74.21 and 74.26). Further, the governing board of each health center remains responsible for ensuring that the organization's key management staff maintains the health center's financial stability so that it is able to continue to pursue its mission and carry out the approved grant program within the approved budget.
    Consistent with these program requirements, HRSA will continue to assess health center compliance with financial management requirements, including the required submission of an annual audit, but HRSA will no longer require the submission of Financial Recovery Plans, as the formal monitoring of financial performance and the maintaining of financial viability is an individual health center responsibility. To assist with financial planning and best practices, health centers may contact their  HRSA supported State/Regional Primary Care Association and/or National Cooperative Agreement organizations for additional assistance in these areas.

    Pennsylvania Will Be the 27th State to Expand Medicaid

    Last week, CMS approved the Pennsylvania Medicaid 1115. The waiver allows the Commonwealth to enroll an estimated 600,000 individuals below 133% of the federal poverty level starting January 1st, 2015. The plan creates the "Healthy PA Private Coverage Option" which will streamline benefit packages into "low and high risk" and utilize managed care. Beginning in 2016, it allows the state to require patients to pay premiums up to 2% of household income. Despite the state's original request for a work requirement, eligibility cannot be tied to work, but rather there are incentives around looking for work, job training, and healthy behaviors. More states are exploring the Medicaid expansion: Indiana currently has a waiver pending at CMS, and expansion discussions are also underway in Utah and Tennessee.   

    Last week HRSA issued Program Assistance Letter #2014-10: Updated Process for Change in Scope Submission, Review and Approval Timelines. The PAL expands on clarifications in PAL 2013-03, issued last year, and applies to both grantees and FQHC look-alike entities. Specifically, the PAL clarifies timelines for Health Center submission and HRSA approval of Change in Scope (CIS) requests. 

    ACTION NEEDED: House and Senate Bipartisan Cliff Letters Circulating Until Friday September 12th - Ask Your Senators and Representative to Co-Sign Today!

     The  bipartisan Senate cliff letter led by Senators Stabenow (MI), Blunt (MO), Carper (DE), and Boozman (AR) as well as the  bipartisan House cliff letter led by Representatives Granger (TX), Green (TX), Lance (NJ), and Price (NC) are still circulating. Please reach out to your Senators and Representatives TODAY to request that they co-sign these letters to House and Senate leadership. Their signatures are a public showing of their support for the Health Centers Program and a responsible, bipartisan solution to the looming Health Center Funding Cliff. Both cliff letters close for signatures on Friday, September 12th,  email your members AND call them using the Advocacy Hotline at 866-456-3949 TODAY. The letters and talking points along with the current list of signers are available on the Funding Cliff section of the NACHC website.

    Clarification Regarding Reaching Projected Service Area Patient Levels 

    Health centers are expected to maintain or increase their patient levels, including projected increases from recent expansion grant awards.  Beginning with the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Service Area Competition (SAC) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), applicants that propose to serve less than the projected total patients may receive a reduced grant award.  Further, if the proposed FY 2015 SAC application patient projections are not reached by December 31, 2016, funding for the service area may be proportionally reduced for the next service area funding competition.
    As reductions in patient levels will be addressed through the SAC funding process, HRSA will no longer issue conditions of awards related to patient levels. For general technical assistance (TA) and best practices related to established realistic patient projections, health centers many contact their  State/Regional Primary Care Association and/or National Cooperative Agreement organizations.



    Beyond milk and eggs: A summer of retail-hospital partnerships in Washington region

    As retail health clinics continue to grow in popularity, it's no wonder that Washington area health systems are increasingly more inclined to partner with them to provide various services.  According to Steve Clarke, AAMC's vice president of physician services, these partnerships are akin to "having a nurse practitioner in the office" and are a great way to help improve population health. 

    Here's what's going on with 2015 health insurance premiums and what you need to know.

    • Increases are in the single digits, a not-terrible showing
    • Some states are using regulatory mojo to roll back outrageous requests
    • Premium subsidies protect most from big rate hikes-but with a catch

    Howard University's accidental Ebola researcher sees interest, funding on rise as crisis flares in Africa

    Now armed with additional funding and support, Howard University's Dr. Sergei Nekhai is looking to develop a drug to treat and/or prevent Ebola in humans.

    A Shave, a Haircut, and a Blood Pressure Test

    The barbershop has always been more than a place to get a trim and a shave for African American men. It's a place to talk sports, debate politics, and swap stories. Now it may also be a site for early medical intervention for high blood pressure.

    Dr. Ronald Victor, the director of Cedars-Sinai Center for Hypertension in Los Angeles, recently received an $8.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to test if early barbershop intervention can produce significantly better blood pressure control in African American men.

    High blood pressure disproportionately affects African Americans, who develop it at younger ages than other groups in the U.S. and are more likely to develop related complications such as stroke and heart disease. African American men, in particular, suffer from a low rate of preventative care, and have a death rate from hypertension more than two times higher than that of their white counterparts.

    The program will train barbers in traditionally African American communities to take their customers' blood pressure and refer customers with elevated readings to doctors. "We have to leave the hallowed halls of medicine," Victor explains. "Barbershops are the hub of a community."

    While the economy may be making a comeback, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many U.S. families are still struggling to get enough to eat.  "These startling numbers prove there has been no true economic recovery for tens of millions of struggling U.S. families," Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, said in a statement. "It is clearer than ever that we need a massive new government jobs program, a significant increase in the minimum wage and a robust increase in the federal nutrition safety net program.

    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
    Medical professionals and mental health advocates testified Wednesday afternoon before the Democratic Policy Committee asking to bring reform to mental health coverage in the state.
    Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, hosted the hearing in the council chambers of the Upper Darby Municipal Building, joined by policy committee Chair Mike Sturla, D-96, of Lancaster, and other state leaders to discuss better access and treatment for those with a mental health diagnosis.
    "We have to fix this system," said Davison, "there has to be parity so people have access to deal with their brain disease and brain illness."
    Maryland's health exchange reported Friday a decline in the number of people who were covered by private plans through the online insurance portal created by the Affordable Care Act. But the total number of people obtaining coverage through the exchange still grew to 433,947 because of people signing up for Medicai


    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

    United Healthcare plans to offer federally subsidized health insurance in the Triangle as part of its corporate strategy to sell the policies in most of the state's 100 counties.

    That means residents of the Triangle and other parts of the state will have three options in 2015 for subsidized coverage under the Affordable Care Act, all from major national carriers.

    United, the nation's largest health insurer, filed its plans under seal with the N.C. Department of Insurance two months ago. The state agency plans to complete its review and issue approvals next week, but prices and other details won't be public until the proposed insurance plans are approved federal regulators in time for open enrollment, which starts Nov. 15.


    HRSA Eliminates Financial Recovery Plans, Emphasizes Board Responsibility

    The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has clarified its role in health center financial monitoring.  HRSA will continue to assess health center compliance with financial management requirements, including the required submission of an annual audit, but will no longer require the submission of Financial Recovery Plans, as the formal monitoring of financial performance and the maintaining of financial viability is an individual health center responsibility. Specifically, health centers must:

    • Maintain accounting and internal control systems appropriate to the size and complexity of the organization reflecting Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and separate functions appropriate to organizational size to safeguard assets and maintain financial stability
    • Assure that an annual independent financial audit is performed in accordance with federal audit requirements, including submission of a corrective action plan addressing all findings, questioned costs, reportable conditions, and material weaknesses cited in the audit report
    • Assure governing board responsibility for ensuring that the organization's key management staff maintains the health center's financial stability
     is your best opportunity to learn about implementing organizational change, overseeing corporate compliance, and administering information technology at your community health center.

    FOM/IT is the only NACHC conference specifically designed to target the financial, operations and IT challenges Community Health Centers face, by exploring solutions through educational sessions, targeted exhibition and networking opportunities.

    Learn how to develop effective systems to monitor productivity and accountability. Attend FOM/IT and participate in these featured educational sessions:

    • From EMR Implementation to Effectve Population Health Management 
    • How to Increase Provider Productivity Post Electronic Health Record 
    • Successful Integration of Electronic Systems Including Dental and Behavioral Health 
    • Using "Big Data" and Analytics in the Work of CHCs 
    • Innovations to Improve the Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People Using EHRs 

    Before the conference, connect with peers at additional trainings on Monday, Oct. 27. Events include the Medicare PPS Implementation TrainingElectronic Health Record (EHR) User Groups and the exclusive CFO Institute. Registrations are separate from FOM/IT.

    Register now for FOM/IT to receive the early-bird deadline until Sept. 29. Stay with us at Planet Hollywood Hotel and utilize the special hotel reservation group rate, honored until Sept. 26. For more hotel information visit FOM/IT housing.
    Latest News on ACA

    2015 Marketplace Assister Training Now Available
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has updated 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 is now available at the Medicare Learning Network® (MLN) Health Insurance Marketplace Learning Management System. CMS will be sharing additional details about the training, including how to access and complete the training on the MLN on today's assister conference call. Information shared during this call will also be posted to the Assister webpage soon. Please refer to the CMS Enrollment Assister Bulletin: 2014-01 released August 15, 2014 for additional guidance regarding training, certification, and recertification for Navigator grantees, Certified Application Counselors, and Non-Navigator assistance personnel in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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

    Navigator Update meeting held by MHBE - Information for Application Counselor Sponsoring Entities 


    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 

    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.


    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 
    Patient Centered Medical Home - Facility Improvement (PCMH-FI) Grant, Post-Award Technical Assistance Webinar - Monday, September 15, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:30pm, ET
    BPHC is hosting a post-award webinar for grantees to provide an overview of the award, project management, and program compliance requirements. Grantees are encouraged to submit questions in advance to Additional resources can be found on the PCHM-FI webpage.
    To participate in this session, use the following link: PCMH-FI webinar. Connect to the audio line using 1-888-469-2151; Participant Code: 4463737.

    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.

    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.

    Best Practices on Caring for High Need, High Cost Patients Shared

    Care management programs that focus on patients with complex health and social needs are increasingly considered essential to lowering overall costs of care. The following Commonwealth Fund issue brief explores the approaches of 18 successful programs to identify best practices for providers, payers and policymakers. 


    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


    Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

    A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Among them, choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? Let's begin by defining what a healthy eating plan is.

    According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, a healthy eating plan:

    • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
    • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
    • Stays within your daily calorie needs
    Eat Healthfully and Enjoy It!

    A healthy eating plan that helps you manage your weight includes a variety of foods you may not have considered. If "healthy eating" makes you think about the foods you can't have, try refocusing on all the new foods you can eat:

    • Fresh fruits--don't think just apples or bananas. All fresh fruits are great choices. Be sure to try some "exotic" fruits, too. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi fruit! When your favorite fresh fruits aren't in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety of a fresh fruit you enjoy. One caution about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars or syrups. Be sure and choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in their own juice.
    • Fresh vegetables -- try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven't tried like rosemary. You can sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish - just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.
    • Calcium-rich foods -- you may automatically think of a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk when someone says "eat more dairy products." But what about low-fat and fat-free yogurts without added sugars? These come in a wide variety of flavors and can be a great dessert substitute for those with a sweet tooth.

    • A new twist on an old favorite -- if your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try healthier variations using baking or grilling. Maybe even try a recipe that uses dry beans in place of higher-fat meats. Ask around or search the internet and magazines for recipes with fewer calories-- you might be surprised to find you have a new favorite dish!

    Do I have to give up my favorite comfort food?

    No! Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while, and balancing them out with healthier foods and more physical activity.
    Some general tips for comfort foods:

    • Eat them less often. If you normally eat these foods every day, cut back to once a week or once a month. You'll be cutting your calories because you're not having the food as often.
    • Eat smaller amounts. If your favorite higher-calorie food is a chocolate bar, have a smaller size or only half a bar.
    • Try a lower-calorie version. Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare food differently. For example, if your macaroni and cheese recipe uses whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try remaking it with non-fat milk, less butter, light cream cheese, fresh spinach and tomatoes. Just remember to not increase your portion size. For more ideas on how to cut back on calories
    The point is, you can figure out how to include almost any food in your healthy eating plan in a way that still helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.


    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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