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
October 14, 2014

Please note that MACHC is providing Outreach & Enrollment funds (for MD & DE Health Centers only) towards the new Enrollment Period through a Clear Channel Ad Initiative. Each Health Center may participate in the Campaign or opt out and use the allocated funds towards their own O&E efforts. The Call took place last Thursday, October 8th (based on the Doodle poll) and we ask that you respond back with a yes or no (to the campaign) no later than noon on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 (strict deadline) .The contact is Aneeqa Chowdhury at



(1National TeleForum Introducing Phase Two of the Access is the Answer Campaign to Take Place Tuesday, October 14th 

Health Center Advocates are invited to this important call on Tuesday, October 14th at 2PM ET regarding second phase of the Access is the Answer campaign. Join the call on the 14th to get the latest updates on Access is the Answer and learn what steps you can take this fall to ensure the continued success of the Health Centers Program. Click here to sign-up to receive the call on Tuesday, October 14th at 2PM ET, or join directly by dialing 1-877-229-8493 and entering PIN: 15035.


 (2) Transformational Call (*bi-weekly)

October 21st; 10 am - 11 am

To get on call listserv, email

Audience: MD MACHC Leadership

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


(3) Outreach Team: 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. 

To register:


(4) 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.


(5) Outreach Team: 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

To register: 

(6) Delaware Outreach & Enrollment (O&E) Event

Monday November 3, 2014  ;  1:00-4:00pm

Location: Currently have Edgehill Training Center in Dover reserved. (Look under this section for updates)

Email should you have any questions.


(7) 2014 Uniform Data System (UDS) Training

December 17th, 2014 8:00 AM -  4:30 PM

The Uniform Data System (UDS) in-person training is a full day program covering the preparation of the 2014 UDS Report.  The training addresses each of the report's tables, including a discussion of the changes that have been made and the definitions necessary to complete the Report. The UDS training is aimed at those who are responsible for gathering and reporting the data elements included in the UDS Report, as well as management and clinical staff who need to understand the definitions and concepts used.


    (1) The Affordable Care Act and You: Planning for the Next Open Enrollment Period Webcast - Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET

    HRSA is hosting a webcast on this year's open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace, re-enrollment, best practices from the first open enrollment period and special enrollment periods.


    (2) Don't Miss the Launch of Phase Two

    Access is the Answer Campaign!
    NACHC TeleForum: Tuesday, October 14th at 2PM ET 

    On Tuesday, October 14th at 2PM ET

    Health Center Advocates are invited to take part in an important teleforum covering the second phase of the Access is the Answer campaign.

    With the November election just around the corner and a potentially critical opportunity for action during the lame duck session of Congress, now is the time for Health Center Advocates to refocus and recommit to taking action to move Congress to act to fix the Funding Cliff. Don't miss this important call to hear from Health Center Leaders and NACHC advocacy staff about the next phase of the Access is the Answer Campaign. Learn what steps YOU can take to help ensure Congress takes action to fix the Heath Center Funding Cliff

    The call is FREE, in fact we'll call you! Click here to sign-up to receive the call on Tuesday, October 14th at 2PM ET, or join directly by dialing 1-877-229-8493 and entering PIN: 15035

    Measuring the Impact: Evaluating Interprofessional Education and Care in Community Clinical Settings Webinar - Thursday, October, 16, 2014, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, ET -

    HRSA and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education are hosting this webinar to discuss lessons learned while studying interprofessional education and collaborative practice. 
    Register HERE 


    (3) Improving Health & Quality of Life of Individuals with Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC) Webinar - Thursday, October 16, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET

    HHS is hosting a webinar focused on optimum health and quality of life for individuals with MCC and approaches in managing the challenges of MCC. 
  • To participate in this session, use the following link: MCC webinar. Connect to the audio line using 1-800-857-0455; Participant Code: 8423024.

  • (4) Navigating the Outreach and Enrollment Landscape Webinar Series

    Session #3: Income Determination and Taxes: What Health Centers Need to Know
    Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    1:00 - 2:00 PM ET

     This webinar is the third in the NACHC series "Sign Me Up!" Navigating the Outreach and Enrollment Landscape.

    This webinar is the third in the NACHC series "Sign Me Up!" Navigating the Outreach and Enrollment Landscape. 

    Enrollment assisters at health centers face increasingly complex questions related to household composition and income rules when helping to enroll consumers in Medicaid or the insurance exchange. The questions get tougher in states that didn't expand Medicaid and where consumers can fall into coverage gaps. How consumers answers these questions during enrollment will have a significant impact next year when they file their taxes.
    This webinar, tailored specifically for a health center audience, will feature a health policy expert from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to discuss household and income determinations, PTC eligibility, exemptions, paying the fine, and other time sensitive issues. The webinar will also highlight effective partnerships and strategies implemented at the health center level to respond to tax issues both during tax filing season and beyond.


    (5) Save the Date: BPHC All-Programs Webcast - Thursday, October 23, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET

    BPHC is hosting this quarterly webcast to provide all BPHC programs (Grantees, Look-Alikes, Cooperatives Agreement Partners - NCAs, PCAs, and BPHC Staff) with updates on current BPHC activities and future plans for Fiscal Year 2015. Look for more details in the next edition of the Digest.


    (6) 2015 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum

    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

    March 18-22, 2015


    Emergency Preparedness Events: 


    At the forefront of many of our minds is the current situation regarding Ebola. The National Healthcare Coalition Resource Center and subject matter experts from coalitions across the country invite you to join us on Tuesday, October 14 at 4:00 PM ET for "The Role of Coalitions in Ebola Preparedness and Response" via conference call. 


    Call In: 800.990.8059

    Code: 9603184118

    You can also follow the conversation on Twitter. Follow @HCCoalitions #NHCRCPrep during this time. 


    Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing 



    The National Healthcare Coalition Resource Center


    DHMH Response to Ebola Outbreak: Update:

    DHMH has shared a myriad of important Ebola related documents under the Infectious Disease folder. Please be sure to check.
    Here are some of the important documents:

    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.)

     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



    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



    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!


    New health care clinic opens in Howard Park

    A clinic aimed at providing health care to an underserved population - one of the hallmarks of the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" - was opened yesterday inside the ShopRite supermarket on Liberty Heights Avenue in Howard Park.

    The Park West QCare Health Clinic will be open seven days a week to provide primary and preventative care to persons of all ages regardless of their ability to pay.

    The clinic is one of the first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) convenient care clinics in Maryland.


    NEW MACHC Websiteis LIVE
    Technical Assistance Request Form 
    ---to be submitted prior to receiving any TA from MACHC--- 

    ***If there are any job openings at any of MD or DE health centers, please email them to us at to be posted on our website.
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    Frieden did not detail precisely how the extensive, government-issued safety protocols in place at many facilities might need to change or in what ways hospitals need to ramp up training for front-line doctors or nurses. But his message was clear: With Ebola, there is no margin for error. The Dallas case made that certain. Federal, state and local health officials on Monday raced to investigate how Nina Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, became infected with Ebola. A 2010 graduate of Texas Christian University's nursing program, she was part of the team that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who succumbed to the virus Wednesday after more than a week at the hospital.
    The 340B Drug Pricing Program requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations/covered entities at significantly reduced prices.To participate in the 340B Program, eligible organizations/covered entities must register and be enrolled with the 340B program and comply with all 340B Program requirements.
    340B registration is now taking place for Health Center Program grantees and look-alikes. Note that any sites must have an 'active' status in the health center's scope of project (Form 5B: Service Sites) in order to complete the site's registration for the 340B Program.
    The deadline for registration is Wednesday, October 15, 2014. HRSA encourages organizations to register early and not wait until the deadline, as early registrations enable time to work through any issues that may arise. 

    Ebola News and Resources 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States in a person who traveled from West Africa. CDC is working with other U.S. government agencies and has activated its Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. 
    Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), has written an  Open Letter to All U.S. Healthcare Professionals regarding the current Ebola situation.  

    National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program 

    The approach of flu season provides a reminder of the benefits of immunization in preventing disease and promoting health. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines.
    To learn more, visit the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website or call 1-800-338-2382.
    HRSA will release the next FY 2015 SAC funding opportunity announcement (FOA) HRSA-15-014 on October 8, 2014 covering service areas with an April 30, 2015 project period end date. The FOA for June 1, 2015 starts will follow within the coming weeks. 
    Technical assistance materials for SAC applicants, including transcripts, recording and slides available on the SAC TA Webpage. Questions should be directed to the Office of Policy and Program Development at
    As health insurance companies work to offer only Affordable Care Act compliant plans, many consumers are set to lose existing coverage as non-compliant plans are canceled.  "We all knew this day was coming that insurance companies would transfer to plans that were fully compliant with ACA," said Carmen Balber of Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based advocacy group. "That's a good thing. We supported the delay a year ago because consumers didn't have the time or ability to appropriately shop for plans ... But it's time."

    Study Finds Savings Low For Employers Capping Their Payments For Treatments; Burwell Meets The Press: Managing Expectations On Ebola,, ACA Year 2

    Julie Appleby reports on a study about capping payments: "In an effort to slow health care spending, more employers are looking at capping what they pay for certain procedures - like joint replacements - and requiring insured workers who choose hospitals or medical facilities that exceed the cap to pay the difference themselves. But a study out Thursday finds employers might be disappointed with the overall savings. While the idea, known as "reference pricing," does highlight the huge variation in what hospitals and other medical providers charge for the same services, the report says, it does little to lower overall health care spending" 
    Also on the blog, Mary Agnes Carey opens up her notebook and reports on comments from Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell: "We're working on it. No matter what the topic - from improving consumers' experience with, the health law's Medicaid expansion, narrow networks and even Ebola - Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell told reporters Thursday her agency is on it. During a breakfast with reporters sponsored by Kaiser Health News and the health policy journal Health Affairs, Burwell tried to manage expectations about the health law's next open enrollment season and declined to make a prediction about how many people would enroll this time around. She also cautioned that we are likely to see the number of Ebola cases rise before the crisis subsides"

    The Agenda Project Action Fund, a progressive group organized as a 501(c)(4) under the tax code, posted a new ad Sunday that places sound bites of Republican senators, such as Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts and Rand Paul, calling for budget cuts, and juxtaposes them with health officials saying cuts have hurt the U.S.'s ability to fight infectious disease. The ad also includes graphic images of sick patients 

    Poor interoperability is a significant hurdle for accountable care organizations (ACOs), according to a survey from Premier and the eHealth Initiative. All 62 ACOs responding reported access to data from external sources was a challenge for their organization and interoperability of disparate systems was reported as a significant challenge for 95 percent. 

    Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) wants to use retrained physicians returning to the work force to ameliorate the nation's primary care physician shortage. He has introduced the Primary Care Physician Reentry Act, which would provide training and financial assistance to these returning doctors.  In return for this assistance, the physicians would serve at Community Health Centers , VA medical centers or school-based health centers to help fill the shortage of primary care doctors. The legislation would establish a grant program for medical schools, hospitals and non-profit organizations to create or expand their physician reentry programs that give physicians a streamlined process for credentialing and continuing medical education to return to medical practice after an absence. Rep. Sarbanes in an online interview said he will reintroduce the bill in the new 2015-16 Congress and that he expects bipartisan support. .

    Fiscal Year 2015 Affordable Care Act New Access Point (NAP) Grants (HRSA-15-016)

    NAP applications are due in HRSA's Electronic Handbook (EHB) by Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 8:00pm, ET. New FAQs and technical assistance resources have been posted on the NAP TA Webpage.
    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, announced $1.4 million to support rural health organizations in their efforts to inform Americans living in rural areas about benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act and to help them sign up for health insurance coverage. Non-profit and public entities, including hospitals, health departments, community health centers, and rural health centers in 57 rural communities, will receive up to $25,000 each from the Office of Rural Health Policy, housed within HRSA 

    State News
    Find out what the latest on Dealware's State Health Care Innovation Plan
    Anthony Brown, Larry Hogan Trade Attacks In 2nd Maryland Gubernatorial Debate
    Democrat Anthony G. Brown and Republican Larry Hogan on Monday sharply questioned each other's credibility on economic issues and managing state spending, part of a gubernatorial debate that also included attacks on gun laws, funding for pre-kindergarten and Maryland's troubled health insurance exchange. ... The candidates also sparred over Brown's role in Maryland's botched rollout of its online health insurance exchange. The issue was not mentioned when the men debated in Baltimore last week, prompting Hogan to complain about the moderators 


    Nearly 458,000 Marylanders have enrolled in quality and affordable coverage under the Affordable Care Act in 2014. Of these, more than 80,000 have enrolled in private coverage through Maryland Health Connection. 

    As of Sept. 20, 81,091 individuals have enrolled in qualified health plans.

    As of Sept. 29, 376,850 individuals have gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and remain active in Medicaid. This includes the 95,889 PAC enrollees who were automatically converted on January 1, 2014, to full Medicaid coverage. Compared to August, the September figure represents an increase of 21,569 people enrolled in Medicaid and 2,425 individuals enrolled in qualified health plans in Maryland.

    The net increase in Medicaid enrollment as of Sept. 29, 2014, is 262,979, compared to Dec. 31, 2013. This figure takes into account that some individuals who were enrolled in Medicaid later became ineligible due to changes in household, age and income, as well as redeterminations.

    Open enrollment for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 2015 begins next month. Starting Nov. 9, Marylanders can browse plans at to see new plans and costs for the coming calendar year. Starting Nov. 15, consumers can get help enrolling in-person, and starting Nov. 19, Marylanders can go online and sign up from home using a new, easier-to-use website at

    The open enrollment period for private health coverage in 2015 runs through Feb. 15. Medicaid enrollment continues year-round.

    All Marylanders interested in financial help with a plan in 2015 who would like coverage starting Jan. 1, 2015, should visit by Dec. 18. Those who received a health plan through Maryland Health Connection in 2014 should visit the website to retain financial assistance, and to shop and compare new plans and costs.


    Finance & Business
    Fall is enrollment season for many people who get insurance through their workplace. Premium increases for 2015 plans are expected to be modest on average, but the shift toward higher out-of-pocket costs overall for consumers will continue as employers try to keep a lid on their costs and incorporate health law changes.

    UDS for New Submitters, October 15, 2014, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, ET. 
    Objectives: Review purpose, importance, UDS review process, deadlines and definitions.  
    To participate in this session, use the following link: UDSOctober15. Connect to the audio line using 1-800-857-5012; Participant Code: 9413383.  

    Introduction to UDS Clinical Measures, October 20, 2014, 2:00pm - 4:30pm, ET. 
    Objectives: Review Table 6B and 7 clinical measures (including prenatal) and discuss strategies for evaluating reported data.  
    To participate in this session, use the following link: UDSOctober20. Connect to the audio line using 1-800-857-5012; Participant Code: 9413383.  

    Introduction to UDS for Look-Alikes, October 22, 2014, 1:30pm - 3:00pm, ET.
    Objectives: Review reporting requirements and overview of review process.  
    To participate in this session, use the following link: UDSOctober22. Connect to the audio line using 1-800-857-5012; Participant Code: 9413383.  

    UDS Sampling Methods, including, November 6, 2014, 1:30pm - 3:00pm, ET. 
    Objectives: Review purpose of random sample and correct methods for generating random sample and chart substitutions.  
    To participate in this session, use the following link: UDSNovember6. Connect to the audio line using 1-800-857-5012; Participant Code: 9413383.
    Latest News on ACA

    CMS October Webinar Schedule:

    • Friday, October 17 at 2:00 pm EDT
    • Friday, October 24 at 2:00 pm EDT
    • Friday, October 31at 2:00 pm EDT

    NOTE: The webinar schedule is subject to change in order to deliver late-breaking information

    Five Things We Need To Know Before Obamacare Enrollment Starts Again

    The Obama administration seems pretty confident that can avoid punch-line status again when Obamacare enrollment reopens next month. Administration officials this week showed off improvements to the enrollment Web site that are supposed to be much more consumer-friendly - things like new smartphone capabilities, a shorter application process and the ability to actually use the "back" button while filling out the online application. As new Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell talked with reporters Thursday about plans and expectations for Obamacare's second year, there are still some big question marks about the landscape for the health-care law when enrollment opens again Nov. 15



    Last week, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell released a new blog post on gains in health care affordability and access through the Affordable Care Act. The Secretary discussed increased selection for consumers with the 25% increase in the total number of issuers selling health insurance plans in the Marketplace.  She also discussed decreases in provider costs with $5.7 billion in projected savings for hospitals this year due to decreases in uncompensated care costs made possible by increased health insurance coverage. To read more of this blog post and to view other outreach materials provided by HHS and CMS, please see the links below.

    New Blog from the Secretary: The ACA is Working

    New Video: Real Stories, Real Coverage Mash Up

    Get Covered Stories

    Every day Americans share their #GetCovered stories. Check out these stories & get ready to #GetCovered:


    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
    Questions this week that may help you:
    Q:  Can MACHC help with the state's current decision to not allow our CACs to directly enroll patients in Medicaid? The CACs receive the same training as the Navigators, but are required to refer folks to the health department or DSS offices for enrollment.  This seems incredibly inefficient and clearly creates barriers.
    A:  .  MACHC has advocated for this position all of last year.  You may recall that it is the legislature that gave approval for the Navigators and Assistors and we had to petition the legislature last year to even get the CACs qualified in the manner that they are presently.  We have continued to push the issue, however, the law would have to be changed to allow for such a change to occur.   We will continue to appeal for this but it may be next to impossible to change the current state for this upcoming enrollment period.  

    Time Sensitive message from MHBE ( For Maryland FQHCs only):
    Here are the instructions to access the web based training (WBT) and the registration for the instructor led training (ILT) for the new MHC MD HBX system (Please note: this training is for Certified, Permitted or Authorized staff only).  The web based training will serve as a prerequisite to the instructor led training (ILT) sessions that will be held from Oct. 6, 2014 - December 15, 2014. The WBT must be completed in its entirety before you can register for an ILT session.  To access the WBT, please reference the instructions entitled "Non-State WBT". The length of the instructor led training will vary depending on your role (Please make sure you select the correct role during the registration process).   After completion of the WBT, please reference the instructions entitled "Non-State ILT Registration" for instructions on how to register for the ILT.  Also, attached are the listing of sessions that are currently scheduled in Excel for you to cross reference.   If there are any questions regarding registration, please contact

    Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Update:

    REMINDER: Complete Training!

    Remember to take MD HBX online tutorials located on the LMS ("The HUB") . The training helps users gain familiarity with the system. You can also register for classroom training through the LMS.

    If you are having any difficulty accessing the training or have questions, please email Producers may use


    Final Exams

    We are currently testing the HBX system's performance communicating with insurance carriers and other state databases, as well as testing true-to-life scenarios to prepare for when the system is available to the public.


    Preparing Our People

    We have held meetings with leaders from across the user community to answer questions, provide updates, and describe how the system will affect existing business operations. We also held a meeting exclusively for Producers to show them how they will be using the HBX to work with consumers.


    System Sneak-Peek

    The HBX system facilitates two-way communication between consumers and workers through notices that are generated automatically and sent to consumers. Notices are sent to collect missing information or verifications.

    Consumers can choose to receive notices by postal mail or electronically through their Maryland Health Connection account. Consumers may send needed information or upload verifications to their account.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: What credentials are required of a primary applicant?

    Answer: A primary applicant must meet the following criteria to apply for health coverage through Maryland Health Connection:

    1. 1.     Resident of State of Maryland
    2. 2.     18 years or older*
    3. 3.     U.S. citizen, naturalized or eligible immigration status**
    4. 4.     Not deceased (Yes, this does occur.)

    *The primary applicant must be 18 or older to file an application. An emancipated minor who is 16 to 18 may be processed through the Worker Portal. Children younger than 16 must have a Responsible Adult listed on the application to receive an eligibility determination through the system. That Responsible Adult must meet the Primary Applicant criteria listed above.

    **An undocumented immigrant can be the primary applicant on the MD HBX system. Because the primary applicant must be age 18 or older, an undocumented immigrant can include themselves as the primary applicant so that they can apply for their children's health coverage. However, they are ineligible to receive coverage themselves. In order to proceed with their application on behalf of their household, they should indicate that they are not seeking coverage.


    We Want to Hear From You!

    Please send a list of email addresses of your staff who should receive the MHBE updates/ newsletter, as well as your feedback and questions, to

    Grants & Funding Opportunities

    FY 2015 SAC Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA)  

    HRSA has released the next two rounds of FY 2015 SAC FOAs (HRSA-15-012 and HRSA-15-013), covering service areas with March 2015 and April 2015 project period start dates. 
    Contact for questions.


    Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program

    Application Deadline:  October 14, 2014

    Grants to support community-based child health projects that improve the health status of mothers, infants, children, and adolescents by increasing their access to health services.


    HIV Early Intervention Services Program Existing Geographic Areas

    Application Deadline:  October 15, 2014

    This competition is open to existing and new organizations proposing to provide Part C funded services in the service areas described in Appendix B of the program guidance. New organizations that seek to replace current grantees must demonstrate that they will serve the existing patients, target populations, scope of services, and service areas currently served by the grantee they intend to replace. Community Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics are eligible entities.

    A 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. 


    USDA Funding to Promote Healthy Eating Choices

    Application Deadline:  December 15, 2014

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), is making up to $31.5 million in funding available to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more easily afford healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, a new Farm Bill program, brings together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system and fosters understanding of how they might improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households. Under FINI, applicants may propose relatively small pilot projects, multi-year community-based projects, or larger-scale multi-year projects. Funded projects will test community based strategies that could contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants through incentives at the point of purchase, supported by effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies, that would inform future efforts. 

    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.


    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.


    BJ's Charitable Foundation

    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 

    The rapid proliferation of patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) has placed tremendous pressure on hospitals to adapt to the payment and delivery system reforms brought about by these initiatives. Although there has not always been a clear role for hospitals in a PCMH, their absence as a partner can be detrimental to an initiative's success given their place within the medical neighborhood. This briefing, The Role of Hospitals in Medical Home Initiatives and Strategies to Secure their Support and Participation, is made possible through support from The Commonwealth Fund and makes the business case for hospital participation, clarifies roles for hospitals in a PCMH, and offers strategies to successfully secure hospitals' support and participation.

    Patient-centered Medical Home: A Model of Care at Summit Health
    Summit Health has adopted the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model to provide patients with a comprehensive, coordinated and accessible approach to primary care.

    Rather than a place, the PCMH is an approach to providing primary care that is patient-centered, team-based, and focused on quality and safety. It establishes the patient's primary care physician as the fundamental coordinator of the patient's care.

    As part of the PCMH model, the patient is at the center of care. His or her primary care physician communicates with other providers - such as specialists and subspecialists, pharmacists, and social workers - to integrate and coordinate care. It is a model of achieving primary care excellence by helping patients get the care they need when they need it.

    The PCMH model has five main functions:

    • Provide comprehensive care.
    • Be patient-centered.
    • Help coordinate care.
    • Provide accessible services.
    • Commit to improving quality and safety.

    The goal is to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of all care team members so that healthcare decisions are patient-centered and respect the patient's preferences, thus fostering a relationship of trust and encouraging the patient to be actively engaged.

    The primary care physician directs patients to be proactive in their care. The patient collaborates with the physician to establish goals and plans that best meet their healthcare needs and preferences, discusses all of their medications and medical conditions, and more.

    Goals can range from something as simple as exercising twice a week to improve fitness to seeing a specialist for management of a medically complex disease.

    Additionally, the PCMH model brings in the patient's family members as needed to help patients accomplish their goals, such as helping patients remember to take medication as prescribed.

    The objective is to keep all team members - including patients - informed and to develop a treatment plan that meets all of their goals.

    Clinical Quality 

    Which states are showing the most improvement in the quality of health care they deliver to patients and access to services they provide? AHRQ's [[State Snapshots]] answer that question with easy-to-read charts on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement in each state and the District of Columbia. State Snapshots data can be analyzed by type of care, treatment setting, clinical condition, insurance status, race and income. State Snapshots data are drawn from the 2013 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report, which comprise the most complete source of data on the use of health care and health insurance coverage in the nation. Trend data for most measures span from 2000-2002 to 2010-2011.


    New SAMHSA Strategic Plan Released

    The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released its new strategic plan, Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015-2018. The plan was developed by SAMHSA's Executive Leadership Team and staff, in partnership with a diverse group of stakeholders and with input from the public.  The plan outlines how SAMHSA through six strategic initiatives will continue to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, expand prevention efforts, promote emotional health and wellness, increase access to effective treatment, and support recovery 

    A study of electronic medical record use in Florida hospitals reveals that adopting all five core meaningful use (MU) medication management elements correlated with large reductions in adverse drug events (ADEs). The study, co-authored by AHRQ's William E. Encinosa, examined 2010 data from hospitals considered early adopters of Stage 1 MU requirements. ADE rates were reduced by MU across the board, even among hospitals challenged with cost barriers, low quality or MU implementation issues. However, the researchers also found that physician buy-in is critical to the success of MU. "Without physician buy-in at the hospital, MU will have no impact on adverse drug events," the study stated

    DEA Releases Final Rule on Disposal of Controlled Substances

    On September 9, 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final rule governing the disposal of controlled substances.  Several key provisions provide three additional voluntary options for disposal of controlled substances:

    • Take-back events
    • Mail-back programs
    • Collection receptacles

    The final rule implements the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 and goes into effect October 9, 2014.  For more, see Duane Morris Alert on the rule.

    Health Observances This Week


    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Week

    Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.

    The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it's found and treated early. A mammogram - the screening test for breast cancer - can help find breast cancer early when it's easier to treat.

    National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

    How can National Breast Cancer Awareness Month make a difference?

    We can use this opportunity to spread the word about steps women can take to detect breast cancer early.

    Here are just a few ideas:

    • Ask doctors and nurses to speak to women about the importance of getting screened for breast cancer.
    • Encourage women ages 40 to 49 to talk with their doctors about when to start getting mammograms.
    • Organize an event to talk with women ages 50 to 74 in your community about getting mammograms every 2 years.
    How can I help spread the word?

    We've made it easier for you to raise awareness about breast cancer. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

    Has your FQHC joined the National Branding Campaign?


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

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


    The FQHC Brand Components  

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

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