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
January 12, 2015




(1) Common Pitfalls in the HRSA Operational Site Visits - PolicyPLUS Webinar

As a member of your PCA, QFMS and PolicyPLUS are excited to invite you to participate in the next of our ongoing series of free webinars designed to keep your organization and employees abreast of news that may affect you.

Please join us for a discussion of the "To Do's" and "Not To Do's" when preparing for your HRSA Operational Site Visit. Your presenter is an expert HRSA contracted consultant who has performed over 80 OSVs for HRSA over the last 10 years, and has extensive experience in preparing health centers for upcoming OSVs.
Setting the stage for an efficient and effective site visit requires preparation across the entire health center. Health Center preparation activities will be discussed that will facilitate the kind of site visit you desire and decrease unanticipated outcomes.
Site visit objectives and expectations will be addressed as well as best in class strategies for successfully presenting your health center throughout the site visit.
Our speaker is Candace J. Chitty, BSN, MBA, CPHQ, PCMH-CCE an expert in HRSA OSV preparation, and the NCQA patient centered medical home model and recognition process.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


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

(3) Transformational Call (*bi-weekly) 

January 13th, 2015; 
January 27th, 2015;
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.


(4) MACHC's Emergency Preparedness Drills at TWO locations:

  • February 5, 2015
    Community Clinic, Inc from 8 am -1 pm
    8630 Fenton Street #1204
    Silver Spring, MD 
  • February 6, 2015
    Family Health Centers of Baltimore from 8 am -1 pm
    631 Cherry Hill Rd
    Baltimore, MD
MACHC Board Retreat
February 20-21 

    (1) Upcoming Webinar | Health Plan Approaches to Locating New Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees and Building Trusting Relationships  
    Tuesday, January 13, 2015; 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
        This 90-minute webinar from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) will share health plan strategies for contacting hard-to-locate Medicare-Medicaid enrollees, building relationships, and creating person-centered care plans that incorporate social service and housing needs. Speakers include representatives from two plans participating in PRIDE (Promoting Integrated Care for Dual Eligibles)
    , a project to advance health plan strategies for providing high-quality and cost-effective care for high-need populations.

    (2) Training: Medicare PPS Implementation Training - Atlanta
    January 14, 2015
    Day 1: 01-14-2015 8:30AM - 5:00PM   
    Double Tree by Hilton Atlanta Airport 
    3400 Norman Berry Drive 
    Atlanta, GA 30344 
    Phone: 1-404-763-1600
    Maximum Attendance: 100 
    Speaker: Various 
    Topic: Medicare PPS Implementation 
    Contact: Elizabeth Zepko  


    (3) Helping Maryland Consumers Compare and Select Plans
    Wednesday, January 21, 2015  2:00 to 3:30 pm 

    A part of the Health Reform:Beyond the Basics initiative, this webinar deals specifically with Maryland and the Maryland Health Connection and explores strategies for helping consumers compare and select qualified health plans in the Maryland Marketplace. The webinar discusses key factors that consumers should consider, including:

    • Balancing monthly premium costs and deductible amounts
    • Understanding cost-sharing differences
    • Identifying if current providers are in-network
    • Identifying if specific medications are covered
    • Predicting consumers' total out-of-pocket expenses for the year based on different plan structures
    The intended audience includes enrollment workers and other staff who help consumers gain knowledge and understanding of basic ACA concpets and terms such as premium, deductible, do-pay, and co-insurance.   

    (4) Formerly Finance and Operations Management, Level I (FOM I)

    February 4-6, 2015 

    Healthcare Reform has brought significant changes to the industry, and there are still more to come. Health centers are expected to be prepared for these changes.  In response, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) have developed the Practical Art of Health Center Finance (PAHCF) seminars to provide health centers (especially new starts and new grantees) with the training needed to provide CFOs and COOs with an orientation to financial management, accounting principles and terminology unique to health centers. 

    Register here



    February 10-11, 2015 Register here

    2014 brought significant changes to the fiscal administration of the Health Center program with OMB's release of the "Supercircular" and HRSA's release of PINs 2013-01: Budgeting and Accounting for Health Centers and 2014-02: Sliding Fee Discount and Related Billing and Collections Program Requirements.  These new policies require health centers to make conforming changes to their policies and procedures in order to remain in compliance with all Federal requirements.

    In this live, hands-on training, Ted Waters and Marcie Zakheim will address the framework of these new policies and the steps health centers need to take to ensure that their policies and procedures remain in compliance with all Federal requirements. 



    (6) 2015 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum

    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

    March 18-22, 2015

    March 18-22, 2015
    Day 1: 03-18-2015 8:00AM - 5:00PM   
    Day 2: 03-19-2015 8:00AM - 5:00PM   
    Day 3: 03-20-2015 8:00AM - 5:00PM   
    Day 4: 03-21-2015 8:00AM - 5:00PM    

    Emergency Preparedness Events: 


    Influenza has been making steady rounds around the country. Are you ready? 

    Please find flu fact sheets to disperse within your health centers below.

    Flu Factsheets in english

    Flu Factsheets in spanish


    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. The following Ebola resources, among others, are also available for use: 


  • Timeline of What's New 
  • Latest CDC Outbreak Information
  • Determining Risk of Ebola Transmission in Healthcare and Community Settings
  • Video & Slides: What you REALLY needs to Know about Ebola
  • Factsheet: Why Ebola is Not Likely to Become Airborne (pdf)
  • Top 10 Things You Really Need to Know about Ebola (pdf)
  • Audio Replays and Transcripts of Ebola past Calls and Webinars.
  • 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 was Dec 2nd. How did you feel about it? Please send comments/suggestions to Judy Litchy-Hess.
    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!

    The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) granted Community Clinic, Inc Level 2 Recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) at their Takoma Park Health Center.  Please join us in congratulating CCI on this wonderful achievement.


    Congratulations ---Community Clinic, Inc on being featured on the latest NACHC blog as being one of the two health centers on the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to fostering a workforce that is trained and responsive in meeting the needs of the diverse communities they serve. CCI's efforts are highlighted in two new briefs on how health centers are pioneering new ways to redesign their workforce to produce effective results as Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH).

    --Community Clinic, Inc. (click here to read CCI Issue Brief) in Silver Spring, MD (a suburb of Washington, DC) provides primary medical care services, oral health services, family planning and behavioral health to more than 50,000 people.  There is a lot of diversity--more than 73 percent of the patient population are ethnic minorities.  Yet, most of CCI's staff, which has grown from 84 in 2008 to over 250 people, are bilingual speaking (90 percent), with 22 languages. 



    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
    Program Assistance Letter (PAL) 2015-01
    Proposed Uniform Data System Changes for Calendar Year (CY) 2015 -BPHC released PAL 2015-01 which outlines proposed changes for the CY 2015 Uniform Data System (UDS) to be reported by Health Center Program Grantees and look-alikes in early 2016

    CMS Seeking Public Comments 

    For the Marketplace's 2016 benefit year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is releasing a draft updated list of Essential Community Providers (ECPs) to assist issuers in complying with the requirements in 45 CFR 156.235. This draft list of ECPs and a description of the draft list are available at under the section titled "Other QHP Application Resources."  
    CMS is publishing this draft HHS list of ECPs to provide entities on the list an opportunity to notify CMS of any necessary corrections.  CMS is soliciting public comments until 5 p.m. EST on January 9, 2015 to improve the accuracy of the list.  
    ECPs should end corrections or additions to the ECP electronic mailbox at:

    Medicaid "super-utilizers" accounted for half of all 30-day hospital readmissions for the Medicaid population in 2012, with a readmission rate nearly six times as high as that for other Medicaid patients, a new statistical brief from AHRQ concludes. Super-utilizers, or patients who had four or more hospital admissions annually, are a relatively small group of patients who account for a disproportionately large share of hospital services and costs. The authors examined data from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and found that the 30-day all-cause readmission rate among super-utilizers was 52.4 percent compared with 8.8 percent for other Medicaid patients. Medicaid super-utilizers' hospital stays also were longer and more expensive. The two most common reasons for hospitalization among these patients were mood disorders, and schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.  Medicaid is the largest public health insurance program in the United States, with more than 67 million beneficiaries. The statistical brief is titled, "Characteristics of Hospital Stays for Nonelderly Medicaid Super-Utilizers, 2012.

     Are you taking a cholesterol drug? More and more people are doing so. 

    The percentage of people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs has risen considerably over the last decade, with 28 percent of adults 40 and older using the drug in 2012.  National treatment guidelines recommending the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, along with greater availability of generic versions of statins have contributed to the increased use of the drugs.  

    The Homeland Security Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will remove Mali from its list of Ebola-affected nations today, and travelers coming into the U.S. from the country will no longer be required to receive enhanced screening for the disease.  It has now been 42 days since the last Ebola patient in Mali was exposed to anyone not wearing protective equipment, and there is confidence that the country has eliminated the disease. 

    Hennepin Health, a safety-net accountable care organization in Minnesota, has begun to integrate primary care into the Hennepin County Mental Health Center through the use of a behavioral health nurse care coordinator. The behavioral health nurse care coordinator works with patients to ensure their care is comprehensive and coordinated by doing complete assessments of patients' medical health, behavioral health, and social needs, as well as providing basic on-site medical triaging and patient education. In addition to highlighting state policy implications, this brief also showcases how Amber Morgan, the behavioral health nurse care coordinator, is able to drive improvements in care for her patients. Since hiring Amber, early data has shown that inpatient hospitalizations and the use of the emergency department among behavioral health patients have decreased.

    This brief is the third in a six-part series, supported by the AARP Public Policy Institute, which explores the evolving role of nurses in new delivery system models

    Getting mental health services can be hard, despite law requiring parity

    Despite increased health coverage and a 2008 mental health parity law, challenges persist around accessing mental health services. Many plans are not in compliance with what is required, and treatment caps and other limitations often exist. Chuck Ingoglia, senior vice president of public policy at the National Council for Behavioral Health, said "the law is based on a sound policy premise - that addiction and mental health treatment decisions and management should be comparable to physical health conditions, but this also creates a tremendous barrier to proving violations, as it requires a consumer to obtain access to plan documents for both types of care, which is frequently handled by different plans

    How The GOP Could Unintentionally Drive Up Obamacare Enrollment 

    The new Republican majority in Congress kicks off its first week by taking aim at Obamacare's employer mandate, apparently making good on the party's promise to chip away at pieces of President Obama's health-care program. But their strategy appears to run counter to GOP goals. The fight is tied to the Affordable Care Act requirement that companies with at least 50 full-time employees provide comprehensive and affordable health insurance to 95 percent of their full-time workers or face penalties. The so-called employer mandate defines full-time employees as those working at least 30 hours or more per week. 

    According to a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general, over half of providers advertised for Medicaid patients were unavailable for appointments. In cases where providers were available, the median wait time was two weeks. "[The investigation] suggests that the actual size of provider networks may be considerably smaller than what is presented by Medicaid managed plans," the IG report said.

    Health-Care Stocks Avoid Market Malaise

    For investors, health-care stocks are a panacea in good and bad times. After helping to lead the market higher in 2014, shares of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have started off the new year avoiding much of the malaise afflicting other sectors. The broader market has stumbled in the early days of the New Year, with the S&P 500 down 2.7%. 

    Improving Your Financial & Operational Performance

    Capital Link is a national, non-profit organization that has worked with hundreds of health centers and Primary Care Associations over the past 15 years to plan capital projects, finance growth and identify ways to improve performance.

    On January 13, 2015, Capital Link is hosting a FREE webinar will review the results of a recent study that delved into the reasons why some health centers struggle more than others. Participants will learn about the key financial and operational factors that led to severe financial distress at a subset of health centers over the last twelve years and suggest metrics and trends that every health center should monitor to identify problems before they become unsolvable. 


    Market Assessment & Payer Mix Modeling in an Era of Health Reform

    On January 21, 2015, Capital Link will be hosting a FREE webinar focusing on projecting patient revenue from existing health center users in light of the evolution of payer mix, patient care models, and patient utilization rates. The webinar will look at the potential implications of a transition from fee for service to a managed care system that rewards efficiency, integration of services, and quality of care. The program also seeks to inform health centers' management on market assessment methodology (needs analysis) for targeted outreach and planning for growth. Click HERE for registration details.

    State News
    Delaware officials encouraged by health overhaul progress

    Almost 9,000 people have selected coverage plans in Delaware's health insurance exchange as the second year of enrollment under the Affordable Care Act continues, state officials said Thursday.

    Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf told the Delaware Health Care Commission on Thursday that the 8,956 who have selected insurance plans are among more than 13,600 who have completed applications for coverage under Delaware's exchange.

    As of Dec. 28, a total of 146,529 Marylanders have enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage for calendar year 2015
    since the 90-day open enrollment period began Nov. 15. That includes 83,735 individuals enrolled in private Qualified Health Plans
    (QHP) and 62,794 individuals enrolled in Medicaid.
    Marylanders can enroll by Jan. 18, 2015 for coverage effective Feb. 1 and, if eligible, for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit
    (APTC) to immediately lower their monthly insurance bills. Marylanders who bought qualified health plans in 2014 should
    re-enroll by Jan. 18 for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit that begins Feb. 1. They will receive any tax credit owed for January 2015
    when they file their federal income tax return in 2016
    Finance & Business
    The push to repeal the medical device tax already has bipartisan support, and it is expected to be one of the first issues taken up by Congress this year. The repeal of the 2.3 percent excise tax, imposed under the Affordable Care Act, is one of the priorities of the Republican-led Congress as lawmakers aim to chip away at parts of the health-care law. We don't intend to single out Thune. He is among a chorus of lawmakers - Democrat and Republican - who want to repeal the tax, and among many who are using the job-loss claim as one of the reasons to get rid of it ... We don't intend to single out Thune. He is among a chorus of lawmakers - Democrat and Republican - who want to repeal the tax, and among many who are using the job-loss claim as one of the reasons to get rid of it. 

    Other changes were more partisan. One new rule allows the House to overturn recommendations of an independent panel created by the Affordable Care Act to trim Medicare costs. Another makes it more difficult to shift Social Security money between the program's different trust funds, increasing the likelihood that deep cuts to disabled workers and their families will be made as the Disability Insurance Trust Fund nears depletion in 2016. That quickly drew condemnation from AARP, the powerful lobby for retired people. 
    Latest News on ACA


    Reminder: Health Center Outreach and Enrollment (O/E) Quarterly Progress Reporting (QPR) Due - Fiscal Year 2015 Quarter 1, October 1 - December 31, 2014 (Q1), O/E QPRs are due in EHB on January 12, 2015. Health center QPRs provide essential information to track the progress of health center O/E efforts.
    For Q1 O/E QPRs, health centers should report the total number of assisters successfully trained for the 2015 plan year, regardless of whether that training occurred in the previous reporting quarter (e.g., even if the individual was trained prior to October 1, 2014).
    Please note that health centers that do not submit the O/E QPR will have the entire Health Center Program grant placed on drawdown restriction.
     For additional assistance, please visit BPHC's Outreach and Enrollment webpage or email BPHC also has updated QPR Frequently Asked Questions (pdf) and the FY 2015 QPR presentation for assistance.  


    BPHC Helpline Update - The BPHC Helpline supports grantees and project officers with technical assistance about BPHC specific issues in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB). In an effort to enhance the effectiveness of the BPHC Helpline, the email address is being replaced with the BPHC web-form. You can still reach the BPHC Helpline at 1-877-974-BPHC (2742).


    HHS Releases December Marketplace Enrollment Report

    Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report
     which provides the first detailed analysis of enrollment in the Marketplaces for the first month of the 2015 open enrollment period.  About 87 percent of people who selected health insurance plans through for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2015 were determined eligible for financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums, compared to 80 percent of enrollees who selected plans over a similar period last year. In addition, more than 4 million people in both the state and federal Marketplaces signed up for the first time or reenrolled in coverage for 2015 during the first month of open enrollment. That includes more than 3.4 million people who selected a plan in the 37 states that are using the platform for 2015, and more than 600,000 consumers who selected plans in the 14 states that are operating their own Marketplace platform for 2015. 

    Today's report includes data through December 15 for the 37 states using the platform, and through December 13 for 12 states and the District of Columbia that are using their own Marketplace platforms. Data for California are through December 14.  Data for automatic re-enrollments are not yet available in the vast majority of states, so today's report does not fully capture the number of people who selected plans leading up to the deadline for Jan. 1, 2015 coverage. In particular, the automatic re-enrollment process for the 37 states using the platform began on December 16 and was completed for the vast majority of consumers on December 18.

    HHS also released a Weekly Enrollment Snapshot that captures more recent enrollment activity in the 37 states using the platform. The Weekly Snapshot shows that from November 15 to December 26, nearly 6.5 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically reenrolled.  


    Plan Compare Walk-through: Comparing and Selecting Plans

    The December 12, 2014 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) assister webinar included an application spotlight on plan compare. The presentation highlighted how to select a specific advanced payment of the premium tax credits (APTCs) amount, enrolling family members in different plans, and completing plan selection. A summary of the questions and answers covered can be found in the December 23 issue of the CMS Weekly Assister Newsletter

    Guidance Offered on Removing 2014 Dependents from 2015 Applications

    Enrollment assisters have reported that consumers with dependents on their 2014 applications that will not be dependents in 2015 are unable to remove the dependents when updating their information for their 2015 application. If consumers experience this issue, and want to remove non-applicant tax dependents from their 2015 application, they should call the Marketplace Call Center for assistance. CMS is working on a more long-term fix for this issue.


    Assister Winter Webinar Schedule

    Below is a list of dates for upcoming assister webinars.  Additionally, please note that there are no webinars scheduled for Friday, December 26, 2014 (the day after Christmas) and for Friday, January 2, 2015 (the day after New Year's Day).

    Upcoming Webinar Schedule:

    • Friday, January 16 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, January 23 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, January 30 at 2:00 pm EST  
    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

    Hypertension Disparities Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) 
    NIH has released two FOAs for trials aimed at reducing disparities in hypertension, trials that would likely be of interest to health centers. The FOA for the 2 trials, and the research coordinating unit FOA, were published in the NIH Guide: 

    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.

    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.

    SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Integration

    Application Deadline:  February 27, 2015

    Awards of up to $400,000 to establish projects for the provision of coordinated and integrated services through the co-location of primary and specialty care medical services in community-based behavioral health settings.  The goal is to improve the physical health status of adults with serious mental illnesses and those with co-occurring substance use disorders who have or are at risk for co-morbid primary care conditions and chronic diseases.

    Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement Expansion Grant Program
    Application Deadline: February 27, 2015

    This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for the Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement (PIOHQI) Expansion Grant Program, the second phase of the Perinatal and Infant Oral Health National Initiative. The goal of this grant program, as with this multi-phase initiative, is to reduce the prevalence of oral disease in both pregnant women and infants through improved access to quality oral health care. By targeting pregnant women and infants most at risk for disease, during times of increased health care access, the expected result is improved oral health and oral health care utilization of the mother and her child throughout their lifespan.

    Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Corner 

    The VA Releases New Resources

    The Department of Veterans Affairs has been busy working on the implementation of the Veteran's Choice Act, passed into law earlier this summer. It recently released two fact sheets on key programs aimed at providing increased access to primary care: the Veterans Choice Programand thePatient Centered Community Care Program (PC3)


    Report Offers Advice on Behavioral Health Integration in PCMHs

    The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) recently released Advancing Behavioral Health Integration Within NCQA Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Homes to support safety-net providers across the country in gaining recognition under the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Program. The report details the specific elements of behavioral health required in PCMH recognition.

    Clinical Quality 

    Register Now: January 28 AHRQ Webinar on Meeting Stage 3 Meaningful Use Objectives

    AHRQ is hosting a webinar January 28 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on meeting Stage 3 Meaningful Use Objectives. This presentation will outline findings from research on Meaningful Use of clinical decision support, care coordination and electronic health records in pediatric primary care settings. Determination of continuing medical education credit with the American Academy of Family Physicians is pending. Registration is open.


    Obesity Prevention and Control Recommendations 

    The Community Preventive Services Task Force released recommendations for behavioral interventions to reduce recreational sedentary screen time among children aged 13 years and younger. 

    Research Review Looks at Effectiveness of Decision Aids for Treating Early Cancer

    AHRQ examined the effectiveness of decision aids used by people facing treatment or screening decisions for early cancer in a new research review that found considerable diversity in both format and available evidence among the aids. The review, "Decision Aids for Cancer Screening and Treatment," is useful for creators of patient decision aids and those considering whether to use decision aids. It found strong evidence that cancer-related decision aids increase knowledge about available treatments and next steps without negatively impacting decision-making ability or causing additional anxiety. The review also found evidence that decision aids can help users make informed decisions and choices that best agree with their values, and provide accurate understanding about the risks of treatment.

    Organizations can now use an updated National Quality Strategy (NQS) Stakeholder Toolkit to show alignment with and support of the NQS. The updated toolkit includes new graphics, Web content and social media content that can help organizations advance the mission of the NQS. The National Quality Strategy helps align public- and private-sector stakeholders across the country to achieve better health and health care for all Americans. It is led by AHRQ on behalf of HHS.  

    Tobacco Control Program Recommendations 
    The Community Preventive Services Task Force released evidence based recommendations on reducing tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure.
    Health Observances This Week

    Cervical Cancer Month

    Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later.

    When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus. The cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the upper part of the uterus. The uterus (or womb) is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.

    Cervical cancer is highly preventable in most Western countries becausescreening tests and a vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are available. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.

    What is Cervical Health Awareness Month?

    The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. During January, NCCC and itsmany local chapters across the country highlight issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection. While NCCC chapters host events throughout the year, January is a month with a special focus as chapters celebrate Cervical Health Awareness Month and work to spread the word in the communities. 

    What Can You Do?

    As someone who is interested in educating and advocating for increased knowledge of cervical cancer and HPV disease, you can do a lot. Motivation is the key, that, and the willingness to make contacts with local media. As part of a nationwide education effort surrounding Cervical Health Awareness Month we are asking that state and local supporters of the NCCC mobilize to get the word out about cervical cancer and HPV.

    Some of the issues you may wish to highlight are personal stories of women and family members/caregivers battling issues related to their persistent HPV/precancer and/or cervical cancer. You may wish to highlight recent advances and research in the prevention, detection and treatment of cervical cancer or HPV. You can highlight the success of your local/regional early detection cervical cancer screening and treatment programs and human-interest stories on the importance of early detection, education and the emotional issues related to battling cervical cancer and HPV.

    Here are ways you can get involved:

    • Contact your local media to encourage coverage of Cervical Health Awareness Month. This guide gives tips on how to approach local media contacts. You can distribute the ASHA/NCCC press release as well.
    • This easy-to-follow guide on how to work with the media at the state and local level to spread the message of Cervical Health Awareness Month and the importance of early detection offers helpful tips;
    • Enlist radio stations to announce public service announcements (PSA) on cervical cancer and HPV; and
    • Seek placement of the NCCC's public service announcements in local newspapers and magazines.
    • Radio public service announcements are available on the Community Awareness Toolkit page. Imagine the amount of education that could be accomplished if each state had a story and/or PSA placed in each of the three major media venues & radio, television and print.
    • Send this proclamation to your mayor, or local legislative office to publicly recognize Cervical Health Awareness Month
    • Reach out and spread the message through social media. Use the sample Tweets and Facebook posts belowto let your networks know what we're doing for Cervical Health Awareness Month and how they can get involved!Hashtag is #CervicalHealthMonth.
    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 | | |
    4319 Forbes Blvd. Lanham, MD 20706    |    |    301.577.0097

    Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.