Weekly E-Blast:  
Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue

Enrollment Period ends
 February 15, 2015!!!
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
November 24, 2014



(1) Transformational Call (*bi-weekly) 

December 2nd; 10 am - 11 am
1-866-740-1260 Access Code: 4319483

To get on call listserv, email

Audience: MD and DE  Member FQHC Leadership

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


(2) Outreach and Enrollment Call (*bi-weekly) 


Dates changed to accommodate for holidays and attendance of the maximum number of participants on call.


(3) SAVE THE DATE: Kick off of Quality Workgroup 

December 2, 2014 1 pm

MACHC will be facilitating an EBOLA webinar.

 The purpose of this webinar is to share protocols on EBOLA and understanding resources that are available.  Time will be spent on highlighting health centers protocols, looking at the CDC's protocol and sharing helpful resources.  Additional discussion on future topics and frequency of meetings be covered.


(4) 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.

(5) Federal Tort Claims Act Training by Feldesman Tucker's Martin Bree
Monday, January 5, 2015

With FTCA Application deadline in March, 2015 just around the corner, MACHC brings you a comprehensive FTCA Training for member health centers and partners. During the TA, Marty Bree from Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, LLP, will respond to questions related to the FTCA Program including, but not limited to, what the program covers, deeming process, gap insurance, etc...

The participants will:       
*Understand the underlying legal foundation of the health center FTCA program
*Be able to identify the significant gaps in coverage and how to overcome them
*Learn the options available to respond to denial of coverage
Price: MACHC Members: FREE
MACHC Non-Members: $125
Owings Mills BECO Conference Center
10461 Mill Run Circle
Suite 110
Owings MillsMD 21117

  • 1 to 2:30 pm ET
    Join HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, and other rural health experts on National Rural Health Day, Thursday, November 20 

    (2) Collaborating with Public Housing - Outreach, Enrollment and 2014 UDS reporting - Thursday, December 4, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET.
    Community Health Partners for Sustainability is hosting a webinar to explore best practices for partnering with housing authorities to count patients living in public housing, and to identify new markets through the upcoming open enrollment season. 

    (3) Outreach Luncheon Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys on Monday, December 8 , 2014, from 10:00a - 2:00p.

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased requirements not only for community health centers (CHC) but for health departments.  These requirements have resulted in a need for a greater level of partnership as needs have converged.  As a result, many health departments are reaching out to CHCs to find ways to lessen the burden for all and to investigate the best way to meet the goals in partnership.

    For example, the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) will host decisions makers from the CHCs that serve the citizens of Baltimore City at its first planning meeting on Monday, December 8, at the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys.  Representatives from the CHCs will meet with counterparts from the BCHD to discuss how to partner with the BCHD to address considerations that affect:

    • Clinical services;
    • Clinical protocols;
    • Budget issues; and,
    • Reporting to agencies that fund and/or certify the clinic, as well as, required reports to the Health Department.

    As part of the team, the BCHD invited the Federal Training Center Consortium, Atlantic Region (FTCCAR) to describe programs that support medical management, prevention services and quality assurance; the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and, a representative from the Mid/Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers (MACHC). 

    This is a first step to developing a stronger partnership that will assist both the CHCs and the health departments as the ACA is more fully implemented.  If you are interested in learning more about this outreach, contact M. Terry Hogan



    Registration is now open!

    How to register:

    2. Fill out a  paper Registration Form

    Questions regarding registration?

    Please contact Monica Gordon at 301-347-0400


    (5) 2015 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum

    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

    March 18-22, 2015


    Emergency Preparedness Events: 


    Integrated Public Health and Medical Preparedness Forum

    Join Web Meeting:


    Meeting password: Not required
    Audio Conference
    Dial in from your phone:
    Meeting ID: 0030
    Dial in Number: 410-225-5300

    Health Dept. VOIP: 5300


    FDA updates on saline drug shortage

    0.9% sodium chloride injection (normal saline), B. Braun Medical Inc. of Bethlehem, Pa., will temporarily distribute normal saline in the United States from its manufacturing facility in Germany. FDA is temporarily exercising its discretion regarding the distribution of B. Braun's saline product from Germany, in addition to Baxter's saline product from Spain and Fresenius Kabi's saline product from Norway, to help address this critical shortage, which poses a serious threat to patients.

    FDA inspected B. Braun's facility in Melsungen, Germany where its normal saline product is made to ensure the facility currently meets FDA standards. FDA asks that health care professionals contact B. Braun directly to obtain the product. 

    In addition to this source of normal saline as well as B.Braun's normal saline that is manufactured in the U.S. , FDA will continue working with Baxter Healthcare Corp., Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC., and Hospira Inc. while they continue distributing their respective saline products and  seek to restore their supply of normal saline for U.S. hospitals and health clinics.

    While the shipments described above continue to help reduce current disruptions, they will not resolve the current shortage of 0.9% sodium chloride injection.  Preventing drug shortages

    is a top priority for the FDA, and we are doing everything within our authority to alleviate this and other drug shortages.


    Question: On the Public Health and Healthcare Systems Emergency Planners Ebola Update conference call, there was a discussion regarding reimbursement for expenses incurred for Ebola.  Reimbursement is for devoted time to Ebola.  Discussion was directed to hospitals and Departments of Health.  Is there is any reimbursement for FQHC's/health centers because a few of our health centers have devoted much time, money and effort towards ebola training? Should this reimbursement come from the State or does it have to come out of the HPP Funds provided to the PCA?


    Answer: The reimbursement is not a sure thing at this time. This will only happen if there is a federally declared emergency which will activate the Stafford Act. We are just encouraging our partners to track expenses in the event that there is a  federally declared emergency due to Ebola response.  Please refer to the link below to learn more about the Stafford Act. 




    Updated Health Care Resources for Suspected Cases of Ebola Virus Disease -HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HRSA, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) continue to work with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other domestic and international partners in an international response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. These will be updated as new information becomes available and distributed regularly. Please share with others as appropriate. 

    The following Ebola resources, among others, are also available for use:   Ambulatory Care Evaluation of Patients with Possible Ebola Virus Disease (pdf)
    Interim Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons who have had contact with Ebola Patients.

     Timeline of What's New

     Latest CDC Outbreak Information

    Guidance for Emergency Department Evaluation and Management for Patients who present with Possible Ebola Virus Disease and an accompanying algorithm

    Fillable Infographic for Healthcare Workers to use in Determining if a Patient may have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

    Preparing Your Healthcare System for Ebola Recording and Transcript.

    Audio Replays and Transcripts of Ebola past Calls and Webinars.

    Digital Briefing on Ebola: Dr. Anthony Fauci 

    View all CDC Ebola updates and resources.

    View all ASPR Ebola updates and resources.







    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. SAVE THE DATE: Assisting two FQHCs with Planning for Onsite Drill/Exercise in February 5th & 6th, 2015. The FQHC sites are Community Clinic Inc in Silver Spring, MD (2/5/15) and Family Health Centers of Baltimore in Baltimore, MD (2/6/15) from 8 am - 1 pm. 
    N95 Masks POD (training) are in the horizon after the drill and release of After Action Report.

    6. Quality Improvement and Ebola webinar coming up on December 2, 2014. Please check list of MACHC events above for further details.
    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!

    Midatlantic healthcare organizations are managing turnover and improving efficiencies. Do you need to fill positions quickly? 

    The need for highly qualified healthcare professionals and support staff is greater than ever

    How can you find the right people for your organization?

    Alignstaffing is the market leader in healthcare staffing.  With proven expertise in finding and placing clinical and ancillary staff, we consistently recruit the best talent and help you solve your unique staffing challenges.

    For more information on how to save money and time through a partnership between Alignstaffing and MACHC, contact Bernadette Johnson at today!



    Exclusive Offer For NACHC VIP Members

    Purchase a qualifying Green Series 777

    Integrated Wall System, and get the SureTemp

    Plus 690 Electronic Thermometer for FREE!

    Help increase your efficiency by standardizing on a system that was

    designed to help improve workflow

    To take advantage of this offer, contact CHV today!



    Access is the Answer Phase Two Continues

    Health Center Advocates should begin reaching out to newly elected Members of Congress and continue strengthening relationships with current Members in the months to come. Take these three simple action steps as part of phase two of Access is the Answer to demonstrate to your Members the outpouring of support for Health Centers and to help secure a fix to the Health Center Funding Cliff: 

    1) Collect Local Support Letters from state and local elected officials and community partners.

    2) Place an editorial in a local media outlet regarding the cliff and its impact in your community.

    3) Meet with Members of Congress and educate new Members about Health Centers and the cliff.

    If you missed the national TeleForum launching Phase Two of Access is the Answer, check out the transcript and recording of the call. You can find more information on the Campaign for America's Health Centers website


    Have you checked out the NEW MACHC website?

    ***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
    This year, more than 400 Health Centers nationwide have received HHS funding to add or expand access to mental health and substance abuse services

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., today announced $51.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support 210 health centers in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to establish or expand behavioral health services for nearly 440,000 people nationwide.  Earlier this year, HHS awarded $54.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding for 223 other health centers to expand behavioral health services. Health centers use these new funds to hire new mental health professionals, add mental health and substance use disorder health services, and employ integrated models of primary care.

    Applicability of Health Center Program Requirements Oversight to Look-Alikes Program Assistance Letter (PAL) -HRSA recently issued PAL 2014-11 to establish that organizations designated as Health Center Program look-alikes are subject to the Progressive Action process and associated enforcement actions described in PAL 2014-08: Health Center Program Requirements Oversight. Progressive Action was developed to support HRSA's review and oversight of key Health Center Program requirements and assist health centers in their efforts to achieve Health Center Program objectives. 

    The PAL is now effective; therefore, Health Center look-alikes are strongly encouraged to review both  PAL 2014-08 and PAL 2014-11.  HRSA will apply new and existing look-alike conditions using the Progressive Action process, beginning with the 90-day condition phase.  If you have questions about this PAL, please contact BPHC
    Scope Alignment Validation (SAV) Follow-up Actions
    - BPHC has completed its analysis of health center SAV submissions and will be taking a number of actions to correct Forms 5A and 5B, consistent with health center comments. 
    These actions and associated timelines are outlined in the Scope Alignment Validation Follow-up Actions document on the BPHC Scope of Project website

    Please note that some health centers will need to initiate further action to correct their Forms 5A and/or 5B consistent with BPHC scope of project policy.  Further information is provided in the document linked above. 

    New ICD-10 Resources Also Provide CME & CE

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released three new resources to help physician practices prepare for ICD-10. These resources also provide continuing medical education (CME) and continuing education (CE) credits to health care professionals who complete the learning modules, and anyone who takes them will earn a certificate of completion. You will need to create a free account to access these resources if this is your first time using Medscape.

    In the future many health insurance plans on the exchange may not cover visits to any hospital. Instead, individuals may be directed to a specific hospital, in order to reduce costs. Notably, the Maryland health exchange has recently introduced some new plans which work this way. However, DC Health Link mostly has plans with national coverage and broader hospital options.   
    The Association of American Medical Colleges claims the U.S. is facing a critical shortage of doctors by about 130,000 as soon as 2025. Currently, the shortage is estimated to come from the higher numbers of people on health insurance and the fact that the age of people over 65 who need special care is starting to double. However, some believe if more people begin to receive treatment, at least partially from providers who are not doctors, but instead get some treatment from non-physician primary care providers through a team-based care approach, there is no need for concern.   

    Blood serum has been collected from those who have survived Ebola in the United States and it is now being used to treat those who are sick in the U.S. Fairly sophisticated equipment and technology is required. A company called ClinicalRM has donated three bloodmobiles to be used in West Africa for blood collection and processing, with the hopes that the blood serum will help to fight the disease. 

    Just days before the health law's marketplaces reopened, nearly a quarter of uninsured said they expect to remain without coverage because they did not think it would be affordable, according to a poll released Friday. That was by far the most common reason given by people who expect to stay uninsured next year, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Forty-one percent of individuals without health insurance said they expected they would remain uninsured, while about half said they plan to get coverage in the coming months.

    Next year, House Republicans will try again to transform Medicare and Medicaid, repeal the Affordable Care Act, shrink domestic spending and substantially cut taxes for high earners through the budget process. Then they will leave it to the new Senate Republican majority to decide how far to press the party's small-government vision, senior House aides said this week

     Welcome to open enrollment season. That time of year when you get e-mail after e-mail from your employer reminding you of all the changes you need to make to your benefits. Of all the decisions that need to be made around now, one that often gets looked over is the chance to open a health savings account. 
    Mind the gap. When the 2015 open enrollment period begins on Nov. 15 for plans sold on the individual market, consumers should act promptly to avoid a gap in coverage. Failing to do so could not only leave you exposed to unexpected medical bills-hello, appendicitis!-but you could also be hit with the penalty for not having health insurance that kicks in if you're without coverage for three months or more during the year. The coverage requirement applies to most people in group and individual plans unless they qualify for a hardship or other type of exemption.

    HHS Withdraws 340B Rule

    Last Friday, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) withdrew a comprehensive 340B drug discount proposed rule from the Office of
    Management and Budget (OMB) where it had been under consideration since April. HRSA said it will issue guidance in 2015 on specific aspects of the 340B program and released the following statement: "In 2015, HRSA plans to issue a proposed guidance for notice and comment that will address key policy issues raised by various stakeholders committed to the integrity of the 340B program. HRSA is also planning to issue proposed rules pertaining to civil monetary penalties for manufacturers, calculation of the 340B ceiling price, and administrative dispute resolution." 

    Free NACHC 340B Toolkit Available for Download

    The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and Hudson Headwaters Health Network/Pharmacy Services have developed a 340B Program Toolkit.  This guide is intended to provide training and technical assistance to health centers participating in or considering the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program

    New Study: Community Health Centers  contribute to Lower Costs & Lower Mortality

    A new study shows that Community Health Centers  sharply curb mortality rates at a low cost in the communities they serve.  The study found a significant and large impact for older patients who already had health insurance through Medicare.  The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others, is the first to consider the longer term impacts of health centers on mortality rates and to examine effects by age group, race and population density.  

    State News

    Bayhealth Medical Center hopes to break ground on a new $250 million 

    health campus along Del. 1 in Milford by fall 2015, state and local officials announced Tuesday.

    The new 150-acre health campus, which is expected to open for patients in 2018, will house 163 single-patient rooms, increased physician and out-patient services as well as expanded diagnostic testing.

    More than 7,000 enroll in health care through Md. exchange website
    Maryland's health department says more than 7,300 health insurance enrollments have been completed since the second open enrollment period began.

    The department reported that 7,309 enrollments have been completed by 4:45 p.m. Thursday. About 18,615 applications have begun.

    The department says there have been 117,000 visitors to the website since enrollment began Saturday at a Glen Burnie sign up fair.

    Hoyer Releases Video to Constituents on Open Enrollment for the Maryland Health Connection

    Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) released a video message to constituents on the Maryland Health Connection online enrollment, which opened yesterday, a day earlier than anticipated, and continues through February 15, 2015. Marylanders who want to be covered on January 1 must sign up for health insurance coverage by December 18. (Click the title for the video and transcript)

    Finance & Business
    The amount of money Americans spend on drug treatments this year is expected to increase by 12 percent. A variety of new drugs are driving up the costs, including new Hepatitis C and cancer drugs.  It is believed that the costs of the drugs will decline over time as patents expire, and companies are able to develop cheaper generic versions of the drugs.
    Latest News on ACA


    Message from CMS: 

    NEW Thank You & Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Day One Recap

    We want to reiterate the appreciation that Marketplace CEO Kevin Counihan expressed on Friday's assister webinar and thank you for your hard work and your commitment to your communities.  Millions of Americans need and value your persistence, patience, and kindness in supporting them through the eligibility and enrollment process.  

    In just one year under the Affordable Care Act, 10.3 million uninsured Americans have gained access to quality, affordable health care. Saturday marked another milestone for the Health Insurance Marketplace as Open Enrollment begins for a second year, and we are off to a great start. In the first eight hours, more than 23,000 people submitted an application. Over the weekend, more than a million people visited and to learn about their options, shop for affordable plans or to get enrolled. Since it launched, 1.2 million people have shopped for coverage using our new window shopping tool. In addition, our Call Center took more than 200,000 calls this weekend. Over 20,000 of those calls were with our Spanish-speaking representatives.Even with the successful start of this Open Enrollment, we will continue to work to improve the consumer experience and apply lessons learned.

    The vast majority of users are having a smooth experience during the first days of Open Enrollment on as they fill out applications and browse and enroll in plans. We are also hearing encouraging reports from the field where enrollment events are occurring nationwide.  Numerous media outlets have reported on the ease of using, including The Washington Post, which said " opens without major problems for second enrollment period" and CNN which wrote "Obamacare 2.0 kicks off without a hitch." Several outlets, including the New York Times (NYT) and Reuters, also reported that "thousands of people turned up for hundreds of enrollment events around the country at public libraries, churches, shopping malls, community colleges, clinics, hospitals and other sites."(NYT)

    We may only have half the time compared to last year's Open Enrollment, and an added challenge of renewals, but we're confident that together with your help we can work twice as hard in reaching our goal of giving Americans access to the quality, affordable coverage they deserve. Thank you for the critical role you play, and we appreciate your hard work helping individuals enroll in coverage.  Keep up the energy and let's start off this year's Open Enrollment strong!   


    Assister Fall and Winter Webinar Schedule

    Below is a list of dates for upcoming assister webinars. There are two extended webinars this week:   Wednesday, November 19 from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST and Friday, November 21 from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST. Additionally, please note that there is no webinar scheduled for Friday, November 28, the day after Thanksgiving.

    Upcoming Webinar Schedule:

    • Friday, November 28 - NO WEBINAR SCHEDULED
    • Friday, December 5 at 2:00 pm EST

    NEW Reminder: Marketplace Call Center and SHOP Call Center Hours
    • Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center: For customer service support, to start or finish an application, compare plans, enroll or ask a question.
      1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).  Available 24/7. Closed Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
    • SHOP Call Center: For customer service support, including assisting employers and employees apply for and enroll in SHOP.
      1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 711).  Available M-F 9:00am-7:00pm ET.  From November 15, 2014 -December 31, 2014 open on weekends from 9:00am-5:00pm

    Open Enrollment Resources - Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began on November 15, 2014. All plans in the Marketplace cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, recommended preventive care and more. If a person has health coverage through the Marketplace, it's time for them to review their plan and decide if they need to make changes for 2015. A person can choose to stay in their current plan (as long as it's still offered) or make changes. If a person doesn't take action by December 15, 2014, they might miss out on better deals and cost savings. 
    There are many ways you can help with outreach and enrollment efforts:
    o   Spread the Word: (Spanish: is the destination for the Health Insurance Marketplace.
    o   Direct consumers to the call center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Assistance is available 24/7 to questions, prepare for open enrollment, and sign up for private health insurance. 
    o   Use materials at Marketplace.cms.govOrder printed copies of materials to share with your community: 
    Infographics and Videos that you can run on short-circuit TV networks in waiting rooms of offices and on agency YouTube channels. Urge partners to do the same. 
    Widgets and Badges to put on your e-newsletters, agency websites, email signature and consumer facing sites.
    Written materials like brochures, fact sheets, posters, postcards, and checklists, with members..
    o   Connect through social media: Join the discussion at | Follow on Twitter, @HealthCareGov (Spanish: @CuidadoDeSalud) 


    Veterans Choice Program - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Veterans Choice Program which provides Veterans with the choice to see a community (non VA) provider (with VA authorization) if the Veteran resides further than 40 miles from a VA site of care or the Veteran faces an appointment wait time of longer than 30 days.
    This past week, VA sent Vets Choice Program cards to approximately 320,000 Vets who reside 40+ miles from a VA site of care. Veterans have started to arrive at community providers with their Veterans Choice Program Card looking for care.  However, there are several steps that health centers need to undertake to be reimbursed for care under the Veterans choice Program.
    Please visit the Veterans Choice Program web site at  or call 866-606-8198 to learn more about the program.
    Transformational Team Talk & Outreach Upates

    Maryland--Call Center Note:

    Direct Line for Navigators and CAC to MHBE Call Center--Regarding the Call Center # 844-224-6762 It should be noted that: If you need customer assistance from the call center, CAC's should call this number.

    Are you ready now

    You can see 2015 plans and prices NOW at the all-new

    Then enroll online starting Nov. 19!

    Here are 3 things you can do right now to get ready:

    Enrollment Events

    More than 20 in-person enrollment events planned throughout Maryland! Find one near you



    REMINDERS for your consumers:

    Dates to Know

    Starting Nov. 9: Compare plans and prices at the all-new

    Starting Nov. 15: Get in-person help enrolling. Look for details soon.

    Starting Nov. 19: Enroll on your own online at

    Dec. 18:  Deadline to apply for financial help with your plan that starts Jan 1. Create a new account and application by Dec. 18 or any financial help you received in 2014 will end, and your coverage will continue at the new, full price. Learn more here.

    (Enrolled in Medicaid? You'll be contacted to renew.)

    Feb. 15: Open enrollment ends for 2015


    5 Steps to Stay Covered

    1) Review: Plans change, people change. Review your coverage and look for a letter from your plan about how your benefits and costs may change next year.

    2) Update: Starting Nov. 19, go to and create a new account and application (even if you had one in 2014). Make sure your household income and other information are up-to-date for next year.

    3) Compare: Compare your current plan with other plans that are available in your area.

    4) Choose: Select the health plan that best fits your budget and health needs.

    5) Enroll: Make sure to apply and choose your plan by Dec. 18 to have any financial help you qualify for start Jan. 1.

    Then be sure to pay your insurance company's bill by the first day of the month you have coverage.

    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.

    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.

    The next NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Application Cycle is expected to open in January 2015. To expedite the application review process, potential applicants and facility administrators are encouraged to have the eligibility of their current facility location reviewed for participation in the NURSE Corps LRP Eligible NURSE Corps sites or Critical Shortage Facilities (CSFs) are defined as a health care facility located in, designated as, or serving a mental health or primary medical care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

    Potential applicants and facility administrators may submit their facility information beginning November 6 through December 2, 2014. Notification of facility eligibility will be confirmed by December 31, 2014 via email.

    When submitting a health care facility to the NURSE Corps LRP for consideration, please provide the following information:

    1. Name of the facility and its specific location (i.e., satellite facility cannot use main facility address)
    2. Full mailing address of the facility  including street address, City, State, and Zip code 
      (Do not use P.O. Box)
    3. Facility profit status; Refer to pages 8-9 of the 2014 NURSE Corps LRP APG for a complete list of eligible facilities.

    If you have any questions about this process, you may contact our Customer Care Center at 1-800-221-9393 Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays), 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

    Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Corner 
    Supporting Patient Centered Medical Homes Through Data Feedback Reporting

     Webinar Series | Dec. 8-11 

    in collaboration with the Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN), Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA), Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA) and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health proudly presents a webinar series featuring health center organization efforts to plan, design and implement data feedback reports/ dashboards supportive of practice transformation in this current health care environment.


    Modeling the Way: Bridging Planning, Practice & Transformation
    Monday, Dec. 8 | 2-3 PM ET

    This webinar will equip executive leadership with tools and ideas on how to strategically plan, support the design and implementation of data feedback reports/dashboards to further support their organization's strategic areas of focus. The Maine Primary Care Association will discuss their efforts in modeling shared leadership between health centers, Health Center Controlled Networks and Primary Care Associations to implement data feedback reports/dashboards. Learn more here.

    *The content of this webinar is targeted for an executive leadership audience, though it is open to non-executive leadership to attend.

    Oregon's Approach to Care Transformation and Data Utilization

    Tuesday, Dec. 9 | 2-3 PM ET

    Oregon Primary Care Association will highlight two areas of focus in their State (the Data Transparency Project and the Alternative Payment and Care Model) bringing health centers together to achieve a common aim. This webinar will focus on the practice of collecting, sharing and utilizing data as part of an ongoing effort to transform care and improve outcomes. Learn more here.

    Wednesday, Dec. 10 | 2-3 PM ET

    Colorado Community Health Network's (CCHN) will share their efforts to utilize and understand data through a culture of transparency. This webinar will feature how CCHN engage staff, collaborate with other organizations, and drive quality improvement through data.  Learn more here.

    Thursday, Dec.11 | 2-3 PM ET

    Tying this series together, this webinar will engage State Primary Care Associations (Oregon PCA, Maine PCA and Colorado Community Health Network) in a panel discussion to share lessons learned from their efforts to support organizational strategies with data feedback reports; and, outline their priorities for measurement and feedback for the coming year. Learn more here.

    Questions or Comments? Please contact the NACHC Patient Centered Medical Home Institute at 
    Clinical Quality 

    A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is now available on Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records.  Determinants of health like physical activity levels and living conditions have traditionally been linked more towards public health than clinical practice.  However, linking this data into patient EHRs can provide crucial information about factors that influence health and effectiveness of treatment.  In the Phase 1 report, 17 domains were identified; this new Phase 2 report pinpoints 12 measures related to 11 of the initial domains and considers the implications of incorporating them into all EHRs.

    Many consumers who signed up for health coverage through online insurance exchanges discovered their doctors were not in their plans' networks. While narrow networks aren't new, they have emerged as one of insurers' major levers for keeping costs down under the Affordable Care Act. Consumers have been attracted by lower premiums, but are often distressed at the restrictions. Lawsuits in California allege that some insurers duped customers into thinking their networks were larger by posting inaccurate provider lists. But such plans can be designed right, says Gary Cohen, a former Obama administration official who helped oversee the launch of the federal health website. ... Cohen, who now runs his own consulting firm, was deputy administrator and director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services until March. 

    A new resource guide from AHRQ can help policymakers work with other stakeholders to improve health outcomes in their state. "Implementing a State-Level Quality Improvement Collaborative: A Resource Guide From the Medicaid Network for Evidence-based Treatment (MEDNET)" describes steps to follow to start and manage a state-level quality improvement collaborative. The guide grew out of a three-year partnership among academia and federal and state agencies. The multistate consortium, which included California, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington, sought to accelerate the process of research and knowledge uptake and the adoption of evidence-based, clinical and delivery system practices to improve health outcomes. While these states followed the eight steps to improve mental health outcomes, the guide can be used to drive change for any clinical issue.

    Journey to Quality: A Health Center's Experience Webinar

    ECRI Institute, on behalf of HRSA, will offer a free live webinar on December 9, 2014, 3:00 - 4:00 pm or December 11, 2014, Noon - 1:00 pm, on a health center's journey to quality.  Robust quality improvement programs are intended to advance patient care, ensure staff safety, increase patient and staff satisfaction, and improve the overall effectiveness of programs within an organization. Healthcare organizations benefit by making quality and safety everyone's responsibility and by focusing on continuous improvement.  Learn more by accessing the ECRI site. Register by clicking on the date and time preferred.

    Health Observances This Week

    Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

    No Stomach For Cancer is actively involved in raising awareness and providing information about stomach cancer.

    The second leading cause of cancer death worldwide, almost one million people are diagnosed each year, and of these, approximately 700,000 will lose their lives.

    In 2010 NSFC successfully championed and celebrated the first official Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in the US. Stomach cancer and other organizations and people worldwide have come to recognize November, a month known for the pleasure of eating, as the ideal month to raise awareness about this deadly disease. There is a great deal of focus on food, nourishment and family at this time of year, and that can be challenging for people dealing with stomach cancer, and for those living without a stomach.

    Additionally, the Surgeon General has committed to making Thanksgiving Day National Family History Day, emphasizing the importance of knowing one's hereditary risks for disease, clearly one of the risk factors for stomach cancer.

    November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month however raising awareness about stomach cancer is important all throughout the year!

    The purpose of promoting Stomach Cancer Awareness Month and stomach cancer awareness is:

    • To raise awareness and support efforts to educate people about stomach cancer, including risk factors, prevention and early detection
    • To recognize the need for additional funding and research into early diagnosis and treatment for stomach cancer
    • To raise funds for stomach cancer research
    • To encourage people and interested groups and organizations to observe and support Stomach Cancer Awareness Month through appropriate programs and activities to promote public awareness of, and potential treatments for, stomach cancer
    • To empower everyone by uniting the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer

    Supporters hope that greater awareness and knowledge will lead to earlier detection of stomach cancer, which is directly associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for stomach cancer research will result in better detection, treatments, improved survival rates, and ultimately a cure for this deadly disease.

    Each year, we encourage patients, caregivers, families, friends, businesses and organizations to participate in the month in a variety of ways; putting a face to the disease by sharing personal stories through local, national and international media, through awareness activities in their neighborhoods and local communities, through active engagement on our Facebook pages and Website forum and other social media, through third party events, and though participation in the annual No Stomach For Cancer Walk.

    As we open registration this June (2013) for the 2nd annual No Stomach For Cancer Walk to kick off the 4th Stomach Cancer Awareness Month we are expecting greater participation than ever!

    It has been very exciting to watch the momentum of this important awareness initiative building. We see growing interest and involvement by people who care about this cause, not only in the US but also in countries throughout the world. The word is getting out and the passion to help others and to make a difference is evident everywhere.

    What a difference between each excites us to think what Stomach Cancer Awareness Month will look like in two more years, three more, five more years...

    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.

    Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers | | |
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