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 20, 2015


(2) Transformational Call (*bi-weekly) 

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.


(3) 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 & Board Meeting
February 19-20, 2015
***location TBA

    (1) 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.   

    (2) Who's Leading the Leading the Health Indicators Webinar: Access to Health Services - Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, ET.

    Regular and reliable use of health services can prevent disease and disability, detect and treat illnesses or other health conditions, and increase life expectancy. Join HHS for this Healthy People 2020 webinar to learn how one organization is improving access to health services in its community.  

    (3) Governance Enrichment Webinar: Understanding Board and CEO Roles and Responsibilities Webinar 

    Thursday, January 22, 2015, 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm, ET.  This webinar will discuss how health centers successfully implement and maintain appropriate roles and responsibilities.  Join the webinar the day of the session. Connect to audio using 1-888-972-6408; Participant Code: 6764226. 


    (4) Governance Enrichment Webinar Series: Understanding Board and CEO Roles and Responsibilities

    Webinar - Thursday, January 22, 2015, 1:30pm to 3:00pm, ET.

     HRSA is hosting this webinar to discuss how health centers successfully implement and maintain appropriate roles and responsibilities. 

  • Connect to the audio line using 1-888-972-6408; Participant Code: 6764226.
  • Register here.


    (5) Expanding Service Delivery through HRSA's National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Webcast - Tuesday, February 3, 2015; 1:30pm - 3:00pm. BPHC and the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) is hosting this webcast to provide an overview of how HRSA's NHSC programs

    are being utilized by health centers as a mechanism in finding qualified primary care providers to serve underserved communities. This webcast will also feature two Health Center grantees' perspectives on how the NHSC programs have helped recruitment and retention efforts of the primary care providers. 


    (6) BPHC All-Programs Webcast

    Thursday, February 5, 2015, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, ET. 
    This quarterly webcast will provide all Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) programs (grantees, Look-Alikes and cooperative agreement partners) with updates on current BPHC activities and future plans for fiscal year 2015. To join the webinar on the day of the session,

    (7) 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


    (8) Save the Date: BPHC All-Programs Webcast - Thursday, February 5, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET



    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. 


    (9) 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!

    Cutting health center funding will leave thousands without access to care

    The Affordable Care Act has fostered major enhancements in our health care system and improved the lives of millions of people who are newly insured and getting care.

    Community-based health centers - like the ones we direct - played a major role in that progress by expanding services and providing free or affordable care to many more people, thanks to increased federal funding. About one in 15 Americans use community health centers, thanks to a quiet but critical expansion that has helped many more people find a medical home, get treatment and lead healthier lives.


    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

    GOP Lawmakers Continue To Contemplate Best Strategy To Undo Health Law

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called Friday for President Obama to focus on "realistic" reforms in his State of the Union address that have a chance of passing the GOP-controlled House and Senate. ... "There's much we can get accomplished for the American people, if the president's willing to work with us," McConnell said. "We'll be looking for signs of that in the speech he delivers." ... But he acknowledged that Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on many issues, such as healthcare reform. "We've got some distance to cover," he said.  


    Head of federal agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid steps down

    Though one of the most senior officials involved in the botched rollout of the website in 2013, Tavenner never drew as much fire as her boss at the time, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who resigned last year. The agency has been widely credited this year with overseeing a far smoother enrollment period under the federal health law, as millions of Americans have been signing up for health coverage since November 

    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

    Welcome to the 114th Congress

    Last week the 114th Congress convened for the first time, with Republicans taking charge in the Senate and Senator Mitch McConnell taking the reins as Majority Leader on behalf of the 54-Republican Senate Majority. Senator Harry Reid will serve as Minority Leader for the 44 Democrats and 2 Independents that caucus with the Democrats. The new House, with an expanded Republican Majority, will once again be helmed by Speaker John Boehner, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi heading up the House Democrats. Following the swearing-in ceremonies, the House wasted no time in getting back to business. Clickhere to learn more about what this Congress has been working on so far.

    New Data-Driven Resources Showcasing the Latest Research on Health Centers

    If you missed last week's Advocacy 101 webinar in Spanish, check out a recording of the webinar on theCampaign for America's Health Centers website. Don't forget to sign-up for NACHC's weekly Spanish-language advocacy newsletter, El Defensor Semanal,here. Stay tuned for upcoming advocacy webinars in both English and Spanish.

    Whether you are preparing for your legislative visits at NACHC's Policy & Issues Forum on March 19 or meeting with local officials or community partners, please visit NACHC's new Sketch of America's Health Centers:  Chart Book December 2014 for information.  The document offers data and graphics on who health centers serve, health center growth, access to care, preventive services, quality of care and reduction of health disparities, cost effectiveness and economic impact, and more. 
    Some states that expanded Medicaid after January 1, 2014 are facing enrollment conflicts for consumers with income between 100 and 138 percent of FPL. Many of these consumers signed up for subsidized health plans through exchanges, but are now eligible for Medicaid, essentially eliminating their eligibility for subsidies. A recent issue brief from the Georgetown Center for Children and Families explores this issue by offering ideas to states about resolving this conflict, including sharing ideas from states, such as New Hampshire, that have already taken action to ameliorate problems for consumers.

    Who Purchased Dental Coverage on the Exchanges?

    An issue brief from the American Dental Association analyzes which consumers purchased stand alone dental plans in the 2014 federal exchange. Young adults from ages 26-34 were the most likely to buy dental plans, with nearly 27 percent of them purchasing plans. In contrast, less than 11 percent of seniors purchased dental plans on the exchange.

    Be sure to check out the dozens of oral health resources available in the State Refor(u)m library. You can also check out our chart on  individual marketplace pediatric dental benefits for 2014.

    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. 

    A contract dispute between health insurance provider Blue Shield of California and the Sutter Health network of doctors and hospitals is threatening to force nearly 280,000 consumers in Northern and Central California to find new doctors. Blue Shield notified more than 139,000 customers last week that they should be prepared to leave the Sutter Health network. 

    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%. 
    State News

    Public health officials say the number of flu-related deaths in Delaware has climbed to 14.

    Officials on Thursday reported three new deaths this week and 1,526 confirmed flu cases so far this flu season.

    All but one of the deaths involved people over the age of 65, with the other victim being 53. All 14 had underlying conditions, and five were in long-term care facilities.


    Evergreen Health Co-op aims to compete with the health care giants

    Dr. Peter Beilenson thought fighting the intractable rates of drug use and sexually transmitted diseases in Baltimore was tough. Then the former city health commissioner took on health insurance. "It's the hardest job I've had," said Beilenson, founder and CEO of Evergreen Health Cooperative, a nonprofit insurer created under the federal Affordable Care Act to offer "patient-centered" care and bring cost-curbing competition to the market. ... Fierce competition from big insurers is the biggest hurdle to the co-ops' success, executives and observers say .... But there are a host of other potential stumbling blocks, including name recognition and funding.  


    Health care law brings changes to IRS tax forms

    Along with new lines on existing forms, two new forms will need to be included with some tax returns.

    Form 8965 covers Health Coverage Exemptions. This form is necessary to report a market-place granted coverage exemption or claim an I-R-S granted exemption on the return.

    Form 8692 addresses premium tax credit. This form reconciles advance payments of the premium tax credit and to claim this credit on the tax return.

    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


    Health Centers in ACA Expansion States Seeing Positive Impact

    The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is reducing the number of uninsured patient visits to Community Health Centers , new research suggests. In the most recent issue of the Annals of Family Medicine, researchers report there was a 40 percent drop in uninsured visits to health centers in states where Medicaid was expanded during the first half of 2014, when compared to the prior year.  At the same time, Medicaid-covered visits to the health centers rose 36 percent.  In states that did not expand Medicaid, there was no change in the rate of health centers' Medicaid-covered visits and a smaller decline of just 16 percent in the rate of uninsured visits. For more, see Medline Plus article.


    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).


    Uninsured Rates Drop Four Percent and More

    A recent Gallup poll shows a drop by 4.2 percentage points of Americans without health insurance, to an average of 12.9 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2014. The poll found that the uninsured rate for blacks dropped by seven percentage points from the previous year and for uninsured Hispanics, by 6.3 percent thanks to the increased opportunities for coverage created by the Affordable Care Act.

    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 23 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, January 30 at 2:00 pm EST  
    Transformational Team Talk & Outreach Upates

    A Note from MHBE regarding CAC

    As you know Maryland Health Connection is a new system this year.

    The paper applications that were used last year to accommodate a less than desirable system, are obsolete and should be destroyed. 

    The new process for the new paper applications are reserved for the extreme cases and the steps are as follows; 

    • blank form is sent to the requester
    • consumer information is entered on the form
    • the form is returned to the vendor
    • the vendor enters this same information into a system 
    • the form is assigned a bar code
    • the form is processed 

    As you may think, this takes about two weeks. This is not recommended if at all possible.

    Therefore the most expedient way to assist the consumer is to enter the information on-line through the Maryland Health Connection. 

    We are still getting last year's paper applications, please get this information out as soon as possible.

    Contact: Jody Hartzell

    Application Counselor Sponsoring Entity, Program Manager



    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 

    AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Advancing Patient- and Family-Centered Care in Hospitals

    AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange is focusing on its new Patient- and Family-Centered Care Learning Community, featuring profiles related to advancing the practice of patient- and family-centered care in hospital settings. One profile describes a patient advisory program at Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta in which current and former patients and family members participate in a variety of patient advisory councils and on every clinic, department and hospital committee, providing their perspectives on potential improvements and their input into key operational and strategic decisions. The program has contributed to improvements in patient satisfaction and in key metrics of organization-wide performance and has received positive reviews from medical students. The Innovations Exchange is expanding efforts to scale up and spread innovations by sponsoring three learning communities to improve care delivery. The aim of the Patient- and Family-Centered Care Learning Community is to help participating hospitals implement strategies from the Innovations Exchange to advance the practice of patient- and family-centered care within their own organizational culture and context. 

    Clinical Quality 

    Health Center Staffing Patterns a Model?

    A study published in Health Affairs reveals how non-physician staff can contribute to productivity.  Researchers examined medical staffing patterns and how staff contribute to productivity at Community Health Centers across the United States. They identified four different staffing patterns: typical, high advanced-practice staff, high nursing staff, and high other medical staff. Overall, they found that in terms of productivity per staff everyone was at the same level. Productivity can affect a lot at a health care organization in terms of personnel costs and patient visits, and overall efficiency. But researchers concluded that while physicians make the greatest contributions to productivity, advanced-practice staff, nurses, and other medical staff also contribute. Interestingly, the study underscores the value of team based care.  


    Studies Find Primary Care Health Risk Assessment Tool Lacks Patients' Support and Increases Visit Times

    Two AHRQ-funded studies that examined the use of a health risk assessment tool in primary care found that the tool may be able to identify behavioral and psychological health risks and lead to improved counseling and behavioral change, and that assessments could be implemented in routine care. However, the studies also found that patients were generally unwilling to discuss their risk factors and that counseling by clinicians would require an additional 28 minutes per patient visit as well as additional staff time. The first study measured patients' readiness for behavior change to improve their health, desire to discuss their health risks and perceived importance of 13 health risk factors identified in the assessment, known as the My Own Health Report. The second study evaluated whether primary care practices could implement My Own Health Report, typically electronically, as part of providing routine care. The study and abstract titled Frequency and Prioritization of Patient Health Risks from a Structured Health Risk Assessment and the study and abstract titled "Adoption, Reach, Implementation and Maintenance of a Behavioral and Mental Health Assessment in Primary Care" appeared in the November/December 2014 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.


    Easy-to-Understand Medicine Instructions Available From AHRQ in Six Languages 

    New standardized instructions  that improve patients' understanding of when to take medications, and possibly reduce errors while improving adherence, are available from the AHRQ Pharmacy Health Literacy Center. The instructions for taking pills follow the Universal Medication Schedule, which simplifies complex medicine regimens by using standard time periods (morning, noon, evening and bedtime). They are available in English, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. The instructions were developed in response to research that has shown that more explicit prescription medicine instructions are better understood than instructions that are vague or require an individual to calculate when to take a medicine. The AHRQ Pharmacy Health Literacy Center provides pharmacists with tools and other resources, such as the Pharmacy Health Literacy Assessment Tool



    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.

    Health Observances This Week

    National Blood Donor Month
    This January, LifeServe Blood Center was honored to welcome Governor Terry Branstad to the Des Moines Donor Center to declare Blood Donor Month in Iowa. The proclamation serves as a reminder of the importance of the volunteer blood donor program and the impact blood donors have in their communities. National Blood Donor Month was named a Presidential Proclamation by President Richard Nixon in 1969. LifeServe Blood Center will continue the tradition by celebrating those donors who have made the commitment to help save lives in their community by donating blood, and welcome new, first time donors who wish to make an impact at a local level. We are grateful for all of our wonderful blood donors and celebrate you, our local heroes, this month and all year long!
    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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