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 15, 2014 
Tomorrow, September 16th is the LAST day to Register!!! REGISTER TODAY
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) 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

(2) Outreach Team Call - CANCELLED

*for MACHC's Annual Conference

September 19, 2014; 11 am -12 pm

Next calls in October will be replaced by series of O/E webinars (descriptions below). Please send O/E updates for your shop to Aneeqa Chowdhury at

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) Transformational Call -- CANCELLED *for MHBE meeting

September 23rd; 10 am - 11 am

Bi-weekly calls to resume as scheduled starting October 7th.

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.


(4) Step Out I Walk to Stop Diabetes

September 27, 9:30 am -1 pm 

Please join Family Health Centers of Baltimore for their walk to stop diabetes event. Full details on flyer attached.


(5) Women & Latinos are Critical to Your Outreach Efforts    

October 3, 2014

Please join us to hear from the national nonprofit, Enroll America, about strategies you can begin to develop now, in order to engage Women and Latinos in your community and connect them to coverage. You will have an opportunity to learn how to integrate lessons learned from the first open enrollment to maximize your work.  The hour long webinar will provide examples of data informed tactics and unique solutions to challenges in doing in-reach/outreach work.  You can find related resources on working with and reaching key populations in our toolkits.

Speakers: Ambar Calvillo, National Director of Stakeholder Engagement & Jose Plaza, National Director Latino Engagement 
registration link to be posted soon! 


(6) Engage Faith-Based Communities in your Outreach Efforts

October 17, 2014

Please join us to hear from the national nonprofit, Enroll America, about things you can do right now to effectively partner with faith based groups to get the word out about your program and connect people to coverage. With the start of Open Enrollment, faith institutions will again play a critical role in reaching the uninsured. Places of worship will be significant locations for enrollment events and points of reference for information. There are many lessons learned to be shared and tools and tips to apply when reaching multiple faith based groups, some of which have been captured in these toolkits. During this hour long webinar you will hear practical suggestions that you can run with now to amplify your reach in the community and leverage existing partnerships by including communities of faith.  

Speaker: Reverend Doctor Derrick Harkins Is the National Director for Faith Initiatives and African American Engagement for Enroll America. 

Registration link to be posted soon! 


(8) Family Health Centers of Baltimore brings you Breast Cancer Screening & Lunch Event
October 25, 8:30 am - 4pm 
Please join Family Health Center's for their October;s Breast Cancer Awareness Event in light of Breast Cancer Awareness month--the event will include breast cancer screening, lunch and entertainment. For more information, find the attached flyer.


(9) Creating an Earned Media Strategy: Simple Ways to Engage the Ethnic Media

October 31, 2014

Please join us to hear from the national nonprofit, Enroll America, about simple things you can do to engage the media in your efforts to get the word out about your program and connect people to coverage. This webinar will present the benefits of working with local radio, television, and print media outlets to get the word out. This will be an opportunity for you to hear about how this strategy can be effective in engaging non-English speaking individuals and minority groups in general, free of charge. You will learn about ways you can engage local media and use this powerful tool to educate and motivate consumers to take action. There are many lessons learned to be shared and tools and tips to apply when amplifying your reach, some of which have been captured in this outreach toolkit. During this hour long webinar you will hear practical suggestions that you can run with now to make the most of your time and outreach efforts.

Speaker: Dayanne Leal, Deputy Director of the Best Practices Institute at Enroll America

Registration link to be posted soon!  

    (1) 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.  


    (2) Access to Care for Hispanic/Latino Populations: HRSA's Affordable Care Act Efforts Webcast - Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 11:00am - 12:00pm, ET.

    In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15, 2014 through October 15, 2014) this webcast will highlight HRSA's activities in  support of the opportunities created under the Affordable Care Act's for millions of Hispanic/Latino Americans to get insured. Panelists will discuss HRSA funding opportunities for Hispanic/Latino communities and highlight available Spanish-language tools and resources to assist Hispanic/Latino populations.


    (3) Healthier Pregnancy: Tools and Techniques to Best Provide Affordable Care Act Covered Preventive Services Webcast - Tuesday, September, 23, 2014, 9:00am - 10:30am, ET
    -HHS is hosting this webcast to share best practices on how health care providers can incorporate pre-natal and perinatal preventive services successfully into their practice. 
    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.


    (5) 2014 Mid Atlantic Medical Neighborhood Forum -The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
    National Harbor, MD  October 3 -4, 2014

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

    Event details and registration here.


    (6) Mark your calendars for these flu clinics in Delaware

    DPH plans three large flu immunization clinics this fall. Two flu clinics will be held at the New Castle Farmers Market, 101 N. DuPont Hwy., New Castle, DE 19720:
     Oct.10, 2014, 3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.; and
     Oct. 24, 2014, 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    One flu clinic will be held at the Blades Fire Hall, 200 East 5th St., Blades, DE 19973:
     Oct. 23, 2014, 3:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Visit or call 800-282-8672 for the complete schedule.



    (7) 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. 

    (8) 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:


    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 to prepare 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

    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.

    HHS Announces $60 Million in Navigator Grant Awards: Health Centers are Among the Recipients

    The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that $60 million in Navigator grants were awarded to 90 organizations in states with a Federally-facilitated or State Partnership Marketplace.

    Community health centers and primary care associations were among the recipients of the Navigator awards, further solidifying the vital role that health centers play in enrolling the uninsured into health insurance coverage.
    In most cases, the primary care associations and health centers will work with either other Navigator grantees or partner organizations to provide Navigator and enrollment services throughout the state. Navigators provide in-person assistance with enrollment for consumers shopping for an enrolling in plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The funding will help many health centers expand and strengthen the capacity of current outreach and education programs.

    Madison County Community Health Centers in Indiana plans to provide outreach and education to consumers on a walk-in basis by utilizing a facility located in a heavy traffic location. In 2013, the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved (KAMU) - the primary care association in the state - served as the lead agency and Navigator grantee for the Kansas Marketplace Consortium. Through the Navigator grant awards, KAMU plans to help the Consortium - which is a coalition of 427 locations that provide health and social services to the underserved - to recruit volunteers throughout the state to complete the Navigator training and provide enrollment assistance.


    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.

    Nurses at another D.C. hospital claim unsafe 'understaffing' 

    Ahead of planned expansion projects, nurses at Providence Hospital are the latest to come forward with complaints about understaffing and the impact on patient safety.  According to Dwayne Collyer, a Providence emergency department nurse and National Nurses United member, "Providence just does not have enough nurses to provide safe care at the hospital, and the dangers to patients may get worse if the number of beds increases."

    CDC confirms respiratory illness in children in Missouri, Illinois, more testing underway
    According to the CDC, Enterovirus D68 has infected at least 19 children in Missouri and 11 in Chicago, with more cases suspected across the Midwest.  This respiratory infection, which typically results in cold-like symptoms, has proven especially problematic in the past few weeks and is generating serious concern amongst public health officials, health care providers and parents.  

    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.
    Developed with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), this fact sheet describes a number of examples of public and private initiatives at the state and local levels developed to provide care to the uninsured. 

    Premiums for job-based insurance rose modestly for the third consecutive year, reflecting slowed spending, even as key elements of the federal health care law went into effect. Family premiums rose 3 percent in 2014, one of the lowest increases tracked since the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust began surveying employers in 1999.  Nonetheless, the cost of the average family plan rose to $16,834 annually, according to the survey of more than 2,000 employers nationwide" 

    It was time. A colonoscopy is a common procedure. If Benesh's visit had been covered by private insurance or even Medicare or Medicaid, it would be unremarkable. Ho hum. But her medical insurance was made possible by the Affordable Care Act. The federal law, especially in this part of the country, is often called "Obamacare" with a derisive twang. Missouri's Republican-led legislature has tried repeatedly to stop the legislation from taking root, including pushing back against an effort by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to expand Medicaid. So Benesh's doctor's visit felt like an act imbued with political motive, a simple hospital trip transformed into a journey through the nation's caustic battle over health care. Floating above were big questions about the role of government and whether health care is a right 

    At least four Republicans running for the U.S. Senate have proposed over-the-counter pills in recent weeks, including Ed Gillespie in Virginia, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Thom Tillis in North Carolina and Mike McFadden in Minnesota. All four have advocated the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its requirement that most insurance plans cover all FDA-approved contraceptives for women. "I think over-the-counter, oral by contraception (sic), should be available without a prescription," Tillis said in a debate with Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., last week. "If you do those kinds of things, you will actually increase the access and reduce the barriers for having more options for women for contraception." Women's health groups, however, strongly disagree

    The Global Complacency On Ebola Must End 

    The Ebola epidemic now sweeping West Africa is a public health catastrophe, yet the world's response has been to treat it like a faraway monsoon or volcano, perhaps frightening but not something that much can be done about. This complacency is wrong-headed and dangerous. The catastrophe is worsening by the day because of the actions and inactions of people, those on the ground and those far away 
    New Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell tried to hit the reset button on perceptions of the health-care rollout in her first public speech since taking the job at the embattled department overseeing it. "What I've told my team at HHS is that we're not here to fight last year's battles, we're here to fight for affordability, access and quality," said Ms. Burwell to an audience of George Washington University students and faculty on Monday. "Let's move beyond the back and forth, let's move forward together" 

    State News
    Prevent heart attacks and stroke
    by not smoking - and quitting if you do
    Millions Hearts® is a national movement. September is Million Hearts Delaware® (MHD) month. This year, MHD is focusing on tobacco cessation to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes nationally by 2017. MHD's members include all major hospitals and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH).
    "Decreasing the incidence of smoking will have the largest impact on preventing heart attacks and strokes," said cardiologist and MHD founder Dr. Ed Goldenberg. Smokers are encouraged to work with their healthcare provider or call the Delaware Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or
    Key messages for the public focus on risk identification and reduction, the importance of connecting with care, and questions to ask your doctor. On the clinical prevention side of the initiative, MHD is working with providers to ensure best practices - a targeted focus on the "ABCS"- Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation.
    For MHD toolkits and other information, visit or contact Project Director Denise Taylor at
    Gift of Life reaches organ and tissue donation designation goal with DMV
    The Gift of Life Donor Program has reached the 50 percent organ donor designation mark with the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, but there is still work to be done. More than 600 Delawareans are currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants.
    DPH's Chief Toxicologist, Ming Lau, DPM, a heart transplant recipient, co-chairs the Governor's Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Board. Mary Sue Jones, of EMS, provides administrative support to the board.
    Gift of Life is hosting its first Delaware Donor Dash 5K on Sept. 17, 2014 in Wilmington's Rockford Park to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation. Visit for more event information. To become an organ and tissue donor, complete the online form at
    Children need 30 minutes of quality time every day
    A new DPH website,, provides fun activities to support a child's mental and physical development. QT30 stands for spending 30 minutes of quality time every day with children. Extensive research demonstrates that happy, healthy and productive lives start early. How children do in school, and how they behave and achieve in life takes shape in the earliest years.
    "At each stage in development, young children need a variety of experiences that stimulate their physical coordination, communication, social and emotional growth," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director.
    The website features an activity guide for parents, including hundreds of 30-minute play and creative activities for kids from birth to 8 years old. The website and activity guides are linked, in part, to the Early Learning Foundations for School Success developed by the Delaware Department of Education.

    Delaware Health and Social Services' 2014-15 Guide to Services for Older Delawareans and Persons with Disabilities is available in English and Spanish. Visit or e-mail for print versions.

    AirStrip partners with health systems in Maryland, California

    The largest health care system in Maryland and Washington, D.C. will use San Antonio-based AirStrip's mobile technology to monitor expectant mothers in labor.

    MedStar Health, a nonprofit system with 6,000 physicians and more than 150,000 inpatient admissions last year, will use AirStrip's equipment to improve its labor and delivery care. MedStar Health and AirStrip also are working together to integrate enhanced cardiac diagnostic visualizations into the AirStrip One technology.

    Come see Healthy Howard at your local library with any questions you might have on enrolling into a no or low cost health insurance
    Check out homepage for information for an upcoming event near you
    Finance & Business
    A Look at Using Payment Policies to Support Primary Care - Behavioral Health Integration in Medicaid 
    NASHP staff Shayla Regmi and Andrew Snyder focus on the ways states are pursuing behavioral health and primary care integration in a new blog.  From providing mental health and substance abuse screenings at primary care visits with prompt referrals to integrating behavioral health and primary care in one clinic, states are pursuing integration in a variety of ways.  The post focuses on two home health initiatives in Missouri and the several different payment strategies used to support providers in delivering integrated services.

    Capsules: Women's Groups Challenge GOP Candidates On OTC Birth Control; Open Payments Database: Despite Criticism, Still On Track To Let The Sunshine In
    Women's health groups are launching a counterattack against suggestions by several Republican Senate candidates that making birth control pills available without a prescription is the answer to the dispute over contraceptive coverage rules in the health law
    Despite technical glitches, the federal 'Open Payments' database - which tracks pharmaceutical company contributions to doctors and teaching hospitals - remains on track for its scheduled Sept. 30 launch, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed. It was mandated by a sunshine act included in the federal health law seeking to ease concerns that pharmaceutical interests could wield excessive influence over health providers. The database includes payments for research, gifts, meals or speaker fees. Consumer advocates have long called for the public display of such information, arguing that it is key to ensuring doctors don't prescribe certain drugs out of financial incentives or loyalty" (Luthra, 9/9). 

     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

    Healthier Pregnancy: Tools and Techniques to Best Provide Affordable Care Act Covered Preventive Services Webcast - Tuesday, September, 23, 2014, 9:00am - 10:30am, ET -HHS is hosting this webcast to share best practices on how health care providers can incorporate pre-natal and perinatal preventive services successfully into their practice. 
     Register for this webcast.

    Consumers To Hear Soon If Plans Are Canceled
    Consumers with health insurance plans that do not satisfy the minimum coverage requirements established by the Affordable Care Act should soon be hearing about whether or not those plans have changed or if they will be cancelled.  

    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.


    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.


    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


    Tentative scheduleof system training and new CAC training that will be occurring soon.  Please be aware that this schedule was based on prior communication to reserve training space to train your CACs. Those who responded were scheduled. As you can see from the schedule there are open spaces in various location that you can sign up for once the communication goes out. Stayed tuned for emails about signing up on The Hub, our new learning management system and scheduling your training there.

    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. 
    Clinical Quality 
    Study Describes How Partnership for Patients Initiative Will Measure Improved Patient Safety
    "An Overview of Measurement Activities in the Partnership for Patients," published online with an abstract August 12 in the Journal of Patient Safety, describes the Partnership for Patients initiative's measurement objectives. This national quality improvement initiative launched in 2011 is defined by two national goals: reducing the rate of preventable adverse events (e.g., healthcare-associated infections, pressure ulcers and adverse drug and obstetric events) by 40 percent and reducing the rate of 30-day hospital readmissions by 20 percent. AHRQ's William B. Munier, M.D., and Noel Eldridge, M.S., are among the article's authors, and the latest data are available on the AHRQ website. The Partnership for Patients is a collaborative effort across all agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including AHRQ, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration on Aging, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, other stakeholders-including providers, insurers, purchasers, employers and patients-are represented. 


    eGEMS Call for Papers: Improving User Interface To Improve Patient Outcomes
    AHRQ and the Electronic Data Methods Forum have issued a call for papers for a special issue of Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes (eGEMs) titled "Evidence into Action: Improving User Interface to Improve Patient Outcomes." Authors are encouraged to submit papers that examine conceptual models for development of user-friendly health information technology interfaces, innovative methods for usability testing and results of pilot or usability testing that demonstrate improved process outcomes. eGEMs is an open-access journal focused on using electronic clinical data to advance research and quality improvement, with the overall goal of improving patient and community outcomes. eGEMs facilitates the rapid dissemination of lessons learned from using electronic health data to advance research and quality improvement. eGEMs papers share important stories and strategies from the cutting edge of health information technology. The call for papers deadline is September 30.

    Webinars on the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)s research-enhancing databases, products and tools.  "Overview of the HCUP Products and Tools" on September 17 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET introduces health services and policy researchers to the HCUP products and tools, with a particular emphasis on HCUPnet, the free online data query system. Registration details are available on the HCUP Workshop page
    on the HCUP User Support website. Space is limited and capacity is often reached quickly. 
    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.
    Health Observances This Week


    The Power of Rehabilitation National Rehabilitation Awareness Week September 19th - 25th


    Every year, the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation designates a week in September to educate people about the benefits and impact of rehabilitation. Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists all work together to help individuals overcome obstacles and accomplish normal tasks of daily living.

    Physical Therapy
    Physical therapists are the experts in the examination and treatment of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems that affect peoples' abilities to move the way they want and function as well as they want in their daily lives.

    When do you need physical therapy?
    Low back pain
    Neck pain
    Knee, ankle or foot problems
    Sprains and muscle strains
    Cardiac Rehabilitation
    Rehabilitation after a serious injury
    Chronic respiratory problems
    Stroke rehabilitation
    Shoulder problems
    Problems with balance
    Hip fractures
    Occupational Therapy

    Occupational therapy uses goal-directed activity in the evaluation and treatment of persons whose ability to function is impaired by normal aging, illness, injury or developmental disability. Treatment goals in occupational therapy include the promotion of functional independence and prevention of disability.

    Who should receive occupational therapy?
    Individuals who have limitations in their abilities to carry out self-care activities
    Individuals whose strength and endurance are at risk
    Individuals whose ability to function in the community has been impaired
    Individuals whose physical, cognitive, or psychological problems prevent them from achieving tasks that are currently meaningful and important to them
    Limitations following a stroke or heart attack
    Arthritis, multiple sclerosis, other chronic conditions, mental health problems including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress

    Speech Therapy
    Speech language pathology, also known as Speech Therapy, is the study, diagnosis, and treatment of defects and disorders of the voice and of spoken and written communication. Speech therapy also evaluates and treats neurological and physical disorders and conditions caused by an injury or illness.

    Who should receive speech therapy?
    Individuals that have swallowing difficulties
    Individuals who have trouble with memory or have increased confusion
    Individuals who cannot follow simple commands or have trouble understanding
    Individuals who cannot formulate words and sentences correctly
    Individuals who have slurred speech, are very hoarse, or strain to talk
    Individuals who are having trouble reading and writing
    Individuals that have lip, mouth or tongue weakness, lack of coordination or decreased range of motion
    Learn how therapy can help you or your loved one by talking with your doctor.
    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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