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
December 1, 2014



(1) Transformational Call (*bi-weekly) 

December 3rd; 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) 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. 

    (2) 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


    (4) 2015 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum

    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

    March 18-22, 2015


    Emergency Preparedness Events: 


    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.  


    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. 


    BPHC All-Programs Webcast Recording and Ebola Presentation

    The All Programs webcast recording is now available for viewing. The webcast provided updates to all BPHC programs (Grantees, Look-Alikes, Cooperative Agreement Partners - NCAs, PCAs, and BPHC Staff) on current BPHC activities and future plans for Fiscal Year 2015. The Ebola Presentation featured speakers from other federal agencies who presented on current Ebola response activities.



    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!

    Exclusive Offer For NACHC VIP Members

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    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!


    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!


    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
    HRSA has posted a new version of the Health Center Program Site Visit Guide which includes a summary of updates and questions for assessing compliance with PIN 2014-02: Sliding Fee Discount and Related Billing Collections Program Requirements. 

    In Partisan Washington, Health Law Faces Grave Legal Technicalities
    Today the Affordable Care Act faces grave danger before the United States Supreme Court because ... legislative repair work, once routine, has grown impossible. The challenge in King v. Burwell, the case that the court recently accepted, rests on a part of the law creating taxpayer subsidies for the purchase of health insurance through marketplaces "established by the state." That phrase, the plaintiffs argue, prohibits subsidies for purchasers using marketplaces established by the federal government for the 37 states that do not have their own. The Obama administration and the law's sponsors in Congress counter that they never intended such a prohibition. ... A simple technical corrections bill, specifying that consumers using the federal marketplace would receive subsidies as well, would resolve the ambiguity. But his fellow Republicans, [Ron] Haskins says, will not "lift a finger" to fix a law they loathe. 
    Innovation Communities are groups of up to 35 organizations selected by the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions to share knowledge and apply learned skills to drive measurable change for a high-priority issue in health care integration.  If your organization is interested in joining an Innovation Community, apply by Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 5:00pm, ET. 

    House Republicans sue Obama over Affordable Care Act enactment

    After searching for months to find an attorney who would take their case, House Republicans made good on their threat to sue the Obama administration Friday, filing a lawsuit challenging the president's authority to enact key parts of the Affordable Care Act. The case has been considered a long shot by legal scholars, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly rebuffed members of Congress suing on constitutional grounds. But if successful, the lawsuit could jeopardize billions of dollars in aid to help low-income Americans get medical care. 
    Controversy over inflated Obamacare enrollment numbers has renewed demands for the administration to be far more open about sign-up data and other crucial aspects of the health care law. ... House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's committee revealed Thursday that nearly 400,000 dental plans were included in recent enrollment figures that made it appear - wrongly - that the administration had hit the 7 million target for Obamacare's first year. The panel has called CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and former Obamacare adviser Jonathan Gruber - the center of a separate flare-up over the law's passage - to testify next month about the "repeated transparency failures and outright deceptions." 

    Alzheimer's Risk Is Higher In African Americans, But Many Fear Clinical Studies

    On a radiant fall day, more than 100 people filed into a gloomy auditorium in Boston to see a play about an even gloomier subject: Alzheimer's disease and how the progressive, brain-killing condition shakes up an African American family. ... The play, "Forget Me Not," is part of a larger, D.C.-based project designed to reach a community at risk and encourage participation in research. Studies show that older African Americans are almost twice as likely as whites to develop Alzheimer's disease for genetic, biological and socioeconomic reasons. Diet and even the stress of experiencing racism can be factors. Yet relatively few African Americans want to talk about Alzheimer's  

    The Obama administration is seeking to clarify rules for the coverage of elective abortion in health insurance exchanges. That is the issue that almost scuttled the Affordable Care Act before it became law.

    A complicated compromise that got the final few anti-abortion Democrats to agree to vote for the measure in 2010 required every exchange to include health plans that do not cover abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the pregnant woman. Plans that do offer abortion other than in those cases are required to segregate funds and bill for that abortion coverage separately.

    The Obama administration took another step to close what many see as a health-law loophole that allows large employers to offer medical plans without hospital coverage and bars their workers from subsidies to buy their own insurance.

    "It has come to our attention that certain group health plan designs that provide no coverage of inpatient hospital services are being promoted," the Department of Health and Human Services said in proposed rules issued late Friday.

    So far, the open enrollment period on the federal and state marketplaces-which started Nov. 15 and continues until Feb. 15 for 2015 coverage-is proceeding much more smoothly than last year. But people remain confused about plans, premiums and provider networks. Here are answers to several readers' questions.

    Q. I understand the federal marketplace will renew my coverage automatically this year. That seems really simple. Is there any reason I shouldn't do it?

    A. There's every reason not to auto-renew, particularly if you're one of the many people who receive premium tax credits, experts say.

    If you do nothing, you'll generally be automatically re-enrolled in your current 2014 plan and receive the same premium tax credit amount that you qualified for in 2014. That's probably not in your best interest.

    Burwell Soliciting Ideas For 'Increased Transparency' At HHS
    Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell is looking for ways to make her department more transparent after the House GOP discovered that officials had overstated Obamacare enrollment. Burwell emailed senior HHS leadership Sunday night asking them to work toward a "culture of increased transparency, ownership, and accountability." ... When Burwell was nominated in April to be HHS secretary, she pledged to bring a greater openness and management structure to the agency. She's generally made a good impression among lawmakers in her first six months on the job, but the flap over the enrollment numbers has created a new round of criticism. 

    Andrea Borondy Kitt's husband Dan lived for a year and a half after his October 2011 lung cancer diagnosis. She's convinced, however, that he might have lived longer had Medicare paid for a low-dose CT scan of his lungs that could have caught his cancer in the early stages.

    Nine months before his diagnosis, Andrea read about this test, which had demonstrated encouraging rates of detecting early stage lung-cancers in long-time smokers. She wanted Dan to be screened. But her husband, a 40-year smoker who had quit eleven years earlier, wouldn't do it because Medicare didn't cover it.

    After strong pushback from ALS patients and lawmakers, the government has reversed a decision that could have blocked Medicare reimbursement for certain speech generation devices beginning Dec. 1.

    The decision announced Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services means Medicare will continue a longstanding policy to cover most of the cost of devices that can be upgraded by patients at their own expense.

    Smooth sailing. The administration promises and outside experts expect that this year's open enrollment period on the health insurance marketplaces will be markedly less glitchy and balky than last. Consumers will begin to find out if that's true tomorrow when the marketplaces open for 2015 coverage.

    But even if enrollment goes smoothly this year, consumers shouldn't be complacent about reviewing their options online to sign up for or renew their coverage, say experts. The three-month sign-up window that closes Feb. 15 is half as long as last year's, and if consumers want coverage to begin Jan. 1 they need to sign up much earlier than that, by Dec. 15. So if you're planning to shop, get cracking.

    State News

    Delaware launched the second open enrollment period of its Health Insurance Marketplace Nov. 15, ready to build on the success of season one in which 14,400 Delawareans signed up for private health coverage.

    U.S. Sen. Tom Carper joined Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart and others in marking the launch during a kickoff event Friday at Delaware Technical Community College's Stanton Campus.

    Open enrollment for health coverage in 2015 runs from Nov. 15 through Feb. 15 at Individuals must sign up by Dec. 15 for coverage to be effective Jan. 1. Policies for all current enrollees expire Dec. 31.

    MARYLAND is the premier, free website that connects victims of medical malpractice in the United States with medical malpractice lawyers in their assists visitors to its website by posting daily blogs that discuss timely and relevant topics, and has posted over 1,300 consecutive daily blogs to date.

    Today's blog post discusses the November 21, 2014 decision of the Court of Appeals of Maryland ("Court of Appeals"), Maryland's highest appellate court, that held that the Maryland General Assembly intended to provide immunity to health care providers when they evaluate patients but decide not to involuntarily admit them. 

    Finance & Business
    When Dr. Jeffery Ward, a cancer specialist, and his partners sold their private practice to the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, the hospital built them a new office suite 50 yards from the old place. The practice was bigger, but Dr. Ward saw the same patients and provided chemotherapy just like before. On the surface, nothing had changed but the setting. But there was one big difference. Treatments suddenly cost more, with higher co-payments for patients and higher bills for insurers. Because of quirks in the payment system, patients and their insurers pay hospitals and their doctors about twice what they pay independent oncologists for administering cancer treatments.

    A Quarter Of Uninsured Say They Can't Afford To Buy Coverage

    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.


    Hospitals And Pharmacies Grapple With Rising Drug Prices

    Fed up with the rising price of drugs, Ascension Health last month did something unusual. It publicly banned a drug company's sales reps.

    The reason: The company had reclassified three cancer drugs, causing prices to spike.

    In a memo to employees, Dr. Roy Guharoy and Michael Gray, two top executives with the Edmundson-based hospital chain, explained: "Already scarce resources will need to be stretched with potential serious impact on the range and breadth of health services we currently provide to our patients and our communities."

    Latest News on ACA

    Outreach and Enrollment Webinars: Reaching Veterans and Homeless Populations -BPHC has released on-demand webinars that discuss best practices for outreach and enrollment for veterans and homeless populations, as well as a webinar on Veterans Administration benefits and how they relate to the Affordable Care Act. 
    View these webinars under the Technical Assistance Calls heading



    New Get Covered Story - Carlos Mesa of Maryland
    • LINK to new video, here.
    • LINK to story in English, here.
    • LINK to story in Spanish, here.


    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, December 5 at 2:00 pm EST

    Marketplace Eligibility 201

    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) 
    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.


    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 
    Quality Improvement--Quality Improvement Planning Learning Series

    Tips for Implementing Your Quality Improvement Program

    Jan Wilkerson, Georgia Primary Care Association, provides practical advice on implementing a quality improvement plan, including avoiding common pitfalls and linking with other quality-related efforts. You will learn how to:

    Choose specific strategies for improvement.
    Evaluate whether the improvement intervention is effective.

    Make quality an organization-wide focus and spread the word about quality improvement.

    How to Leverage Resources to Design a Successful Health Center Quality Improvement Program

    Seiji Hayashi, chief medical officer of the HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care, outlines BPHC's strategy to guide and support health center quality improvement planning. Ed Zuroweste and Candace Kugel, clinical consultants with years of health center experience, provide strategies for the team-building, goal-setting, and gap analysis necessary to design your quality improvement plan. They will also advise health centers on how to leverage the available resources to create a successful quality improvement infrastructure at your health center.

    Maximizing the Effectiveness of Quality Improvement Plans

    The webinar provides an analysis of the quality improvement plans submitted with FTCA (Federal Tort Claims Act) deeming applications, background information on Section 330 core program requirements that relate to quality improvement, a summary of the seven elements of an effective quality improvement plan and ideas on how to link quality improvement planning with other quality-related activities.

    Additional Health Care Risk Management and Quality Improvement Resources
    Health Observances This Week

    December World AIDS Day

    World AIDS Day is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. World AIDS Day is December 1.

    Around the world, about 34 million people are living with HIV. In the United States, about 50,000 people get infected with HIV every year.

    It's important that everyone ages 15 to 65 gets tested for HIV at least once. Some people may need to get tested more often.

    How can World AIDS Day make a difference?

    We can use this day to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, encourage people to get tested, and take action to support people living with HIV.

    Here are just a few ideas:

    • Encourage people to get tested for HIV. Let them know that some health clinics offer free HIV testing.
    • Talk to parents about teaching their kids the basics of safe sex.
    • Wear a red ribbon, the symbol of HIV awareness and support. Tell people why you are wearing it.

    How can I help spread the word?

    We've made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

    Has your FQHC joined the National Branding Campaign?


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

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


    The FQHC Brand Components  

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

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