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 

January 26, 2015



(1) 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
***By the request of MACHC's Board, MACHC's Annual Conference has been broken down into mini conference series. Please SAVE THE DATES below:

(4) March 26-27, 2015
Turf Valley Conf. Ctr.

(5) June 19-20, 2015

(6) September 18, 2015 
Operations Leadership
Turf Valley Conf. Ctr.


Board of Directors Meetings:
(Third Friday @ 11:00 a.m.)

February 26-27, 2015
Board Retreat
Tidewater Inn

March 20, 2015
Face to face
11 am - 1pm

May 15, 2015
Face to face
11 am - 1pm

September 18-19, 2015
Board Retreat
Tidewater Inn



    NCQA, in collaboration with Partnership for Prevention and the National Chlamydia Coalition, has developed this three-part webinar series designed to provide participants with a guide to improve the quality of care and services using the chlamydia screening HEDIS measure. Experts will provide information on the specifics of the HEDIS measure and also share practical information to include resources and tools to address common barriers experienced using this measure. Each session will feature case studies presented by colleagues in the field. 

    I. Choose one or all of the following sessions: 

    Session 1- What's New with Chlamydia Screening?: Measure, Specifications and Performance
    February 19, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST | 

    Register for Webinar

    At the conclusion of session 1, you will learn: 

    • Provide an overview of current epidemiology of chlamydia screening and treatment recommendations
    • Describe chlamydia screening HEDIS specifications and national performance
    • Identify programs that include chlamydia screening as a core requirement, including accreditation and incentive programs

    II. Session 2- Quality Improvement: The Path to Improving Chlamydia Screening HEDIS Rates
    February 26, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST | 

    Register for Webinar

    At the conclusion of session 2, you will learn: 

    • Distinguish between quality assurance and quality improvement
    • Review the quality improvement cycle
    • Use quality improvement methods to identify common barriers to chlamydia screening at the plan, practice and patient level: provide incentives and motivators for addressing these barriers
    • Identify best practices that have successfully addressed barriers

    III. Session 3- Tools to Address Preserving Confidentiality, Providing Services to Adolescents and Talking with Parents
    March 4, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST | 

    Register for Webinar

    At the conclusion of session 3, you will be able to: 

    • Review laws and policies governing confidentiality of sensitive services
    • Discuss options for maintaining confidentiality with explanation of benefits and billing
    • Discuss specific tools for clinics and providers to become adolescent friendly
    • Provide examples of tools and tips for talking with parent
    • Identify educational materials and resources that health plans may use for patients, parents, and providers Faculty

    (2) 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. 


    (3) 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,

    (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


    (5) 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. 


    (7) Medicare PPS ONE-DAY Implementation Trainings
    February 24, 2015

    February 25, 2015 - Baltimore, MD

    Early Bird Registration: $250 Early Bird Rate (on/before 2/10/15)
    Regular and On-site: $300 After 2/10/15 and On-Site
    Registration Cutoff (last day to register online): February 17, 2015

    Click here for the brochure.


    (8) 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: 


    Emergency Medical Equipment Request Form

    The 2014- 2015 flu season has been especially severe and some facilities have reported difficulty accessing antiviral supplies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with antiviral manufacturers and assures states that there are no national supply shortages, but rather distribution delays in obtaining the drugs.

     If a healthcare facility (including pharmacies, long term care facilities, and community health centers) is experiencing problems getting antiviral orders filled, attempts should first be made to try to obtain stock from associated institutions, members of a health care coalition, or other mutual aid avenues. If after these attempts, the facility is still unable to obtain stock and is in danger of exhausting its supply, it should contact the Local Health Department to obtain assistance. The process to do so is outlined below:

    1. Complete the DHMH Emergency Medical Countermeasure Request Form (attached), completing all fields starting with line 1. Remember to indicate the quantity of the antiviral you are

    requesting. If the needed formulation is not listed on the form, you can enter the needed item

    beginning at line 173.

    2. Contact your Local Health Department to alert them of the problem and send them the Request


    3. The Local Health Department will contact OP&R to convey the request.

    4. OP&R will work with federal partners to coordinate with supply chain partners to rapidly

    redirect supply to the identified healthcare facility.

    5. DHMH will communicate back to the facility and local health department what is being done to

    ensure antiviral supplies are quickly accessible to the requestor.

    Any Maryland healthcare facility may make a request, but must first have placed an order through their regularly established channels or the CDC will not be able to expedite that order. Making a request is not a guarantee that a facility will receive supplies more rapidly. It is an avenue to allow CDC to work with vendors to prioritize existing orders.


    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
    HRSA's Sliding Fee Discount Program FAQs
    HRSA has issued FAQs  to clarify aspects of PIN 2014-02: Sliding Fee Discount and Related Billing and Collections Program Requirements. This document contains important information regarding the extent of board approval, eligibility assessment, definitions of income and family size, and discounts on service-related supplies/materials. For an overview of the FAQs developed by NACHC, click here

    HRSA's 340b Drug Pricing Program Recertification 

    HRSA requires all 340b covered entities to annually recertify their program information in order to continue participation in the 340b Program.  Recertification begins on January 28 and continues through March 11, 2015.

    It is critical that health centers recertify before the March 11, 2015 deadline in order to continue participating in the 340b Program.
    Recertify your health center's 340b information
    View 340b Program resources.
    Contact the 340b Prime Vendor Program with any questions on the recertification process.

    Electronic Handbooks (EHB) Compatibility for Mac 

    If you are a Mac user, please use the Firefox browser to access the full range of EHB capabilities. Some EHB capabilities do not function as expected and produce unexpected user experience when using the Safari browser.

    Web-Based Mapping Platform Can Identify Areas for Health Insurance Outreach

    Web-based mapping tools to visualize and identify geographic areas where patients have low rates of health insurance can enable more effective outreach that can lead to uninsured patients obtaining coverage, a new AHRQ study concludes. It used electronic health records from 52 Oregon health clinics, segmented by ZIP code. Differences in coverage were observed within smaller geographic areas using Web-based mapping tools than would be possible using publicly available data. The visualizations were particularly helpful in identifying areas where the need for outreach might be unexpected. For example, more than 34 percent of patients in one ZIP code were uninsured, despite living in an area with incomes near the national average. The authors concluded that the technology shows potential for broader use in identifying areas of uninsured patients, as well as identifying other health care practice and community needs. "Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Identify Communities in Need of Health Insurance Outreach: An OCHIN Practice-based Research Network (PBRN) Report" and the abstract were published in the November-December issue of The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

    HRSA grantees funded to provide O/E assistance  in FFM and SPM states have been included  in this pilot program.

    The pilot Resource Center currently serves as a dedicated, complementary service to the Marketplace Call Center and provides support to a subset of assisters-Navigators and Enrollment Assistance Program (EAP) assisters in the Federally Facilitated Marketplaces-with complex issues related to applications, eligibility determinations and redeterminations, and re-enrollment. 

    As HRSA O/E grantees in  FFM/SPM states you will be able to access the Resource Center beginning Friday, January 16, 2015.  To ensure the success of the program, please keep in mind the following:

    • You should continue to use your training, guidance issued by CMS, and the Marketplace Call Center as your first sources of support.
    • In the event that you are unable to resolve an issue through the tools provided during your training, guidance issued by CMS, or the Marketplace Call Center, you may contact the Resource Center for assistance. 
    • Please note that the AHRC is not able access consumer accounts. Although AHRC can provide some steps to help them resolve certain issues, they are not able to reset consumer passwords, unlock accounts and or assist with proof of identity. 

    You must identify yourself as a HRSA grantee in order to receive assistance from the Resource Center. You may leave a voicemail during times when the Resource Center is closed and an agent will respond to your call within one business day.

    Resource Center/AHRC Phone Number:               855-811-7299

    Resource Center/AHRC Hours of Operation:      Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 9:00 pm EST; Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST

    Through your inquiries, CMS will have timely awareness of complex issues that consumers encountered in the enrollment process which will provide them the opportunity to share the issues and the remedies to those issues with all assisters-including the Federal Marketplace Call Center agents, Certified Application Counselors, Agents and Brokers, and States-Based Marketplaces-through guidance, trainings, and established communications such as assister list serves, newsletters, and webinars.

    CMS is very excited to have you participate in this pilot project and looks forward to being able to address your inquiries.   

    Whistleblower Policy

    Some have asked if a health center indicates on its IRS Form 990 that it does not have an established whistleblower policy, whether it will be audited by the IRS or risk losing its federal tax exemption.  Having a written whistleblower policy is not a specific requirement for federal income tax exemption.  However, the IRS believes that having such policy and following the policy demonstrates that an organization takes governance responsibility seriously and that it is more likely to comply with income tax laws. Apart from tax reporting, an established whistleblower policy is an essential element of an effective healthcare corporate compliance program as it promotes early detection and correction of problems that could create serious legal and/or financial problems for the organization.  Every health center should have an established whistleblower policy that is communicated to and understood by all employees and agents of the health center. For additional information, please contact Michael Glomb at <>, partner at the law firm of Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP.

    Medicare is giving bonuses to a majority of hospitals that it graded on quality, but many of those rewards will be wiped out by penalties the government has issued for other shortcomings, federal data show. As required by the 2010 health law, the government is taking performance into account when paying hospitals, one of the biggest changes in Medicare's 50-year-history. This year 1,700 hospitals - 55 percent of those graded - earned higher payments for providing comparatively good care in the federal government's most comprehensive review of quality. The government measured criteria such as patient satisfaction, lower death rates and how much patients cost Medicare. This incentive program, known as value-based purchasing, led to penalties for 1,360 hospitals."  

    The push to offer health insurance to all Californians regardless of immigration status is the latest in a series of immigrant-friendly state policies over the past few years. Already, immigrants here illegally can obtain licenses to practice medicine, law or other professions, and as of this month, they can apply for driver's licenses. There is no guarantee that other states will follow California's lead, but the size and demographic makeup of the state ensure it a prominent role in the national debate over coverage of people living in the country illegally
    The Associated Press: Government Closer To Goal Of 9.1M Enrolled Under Health Law  
    The Obama administration is moving closer to its goal of 9.1 million people signed up for private coverage under the president's health care law. The Health and Human Services Department says at least 400,000 people signed up last week. That brought total enrollment in the 37 states served by to more than 7.1 million. 

    House Republican leaders pulled a 20-week abortion ban that had been expected to come up for a vote Thursday after female GOP lawmakers and centrists voiced concerns over its treatment of rape victims, according to House GOP aides. Instead, the House is expected to vote Thursday on a less contentious bill prohibiting federal funding from being used on abortions or health insurance plans that cover abortion. 

    Millions Of Children Could Soon Lose Their Health Insurance If Congress Doesn't Act 

    For all the handwringing about what the new Republican-controlled Congress could to do Obamacare, another health insurance program could be dropped entirely if lawmakers don't take action this year: the Children's Health Insurance Program. The program covers an estimated 8 million children in low- and middle-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Funding is set to expire in September, and it's not clear yet if the new Congress will extend CHIP or scale it back. Those who get dropped will probably have to go on to the new health insurance exchanges for coverage, but one estimate found as many as 2.7 million children could still lose health insurance if CHIP goes away this year. 
    UDS Reports Due February 15
    All Community Health Centers   are required to submit a Uniform Data System (UDS) report to HRSA by February 15, 2015. The data help HRSA to identify trends to establish or expand targeted programs. MACHC also uses UDS data to advocate for and promote health centers and their work.
    State News
    Flu cases rise, officials urge vaccinations
    As of Jan. 20, Delaware had more than 1,500 lab-confirmed cases of the flu, with 16 fatalities. Nearly all of the fatalities were among those older than 70. All of the deceased had underlying conditions.
    The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) urges all Delawareans, especially seniors, their caretakers, and other vulnerable populations, to get a flu vaccination. Long-term care residents and those receiving in-home care should ask if caregivers are vaccinated against the flu. Unvaccinated caregivers should wear masks.
    For helpful flu prevention tips, visit

    Keep New Year's resolutions with"31 Days to a Healthier You" tips
    This winter, follow the "31 Days to a Healthier You" social media campaign from Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Public Health (DPH). Use the Twitter hashtag #healthDE to access recipes and fitness and wellness tips in videos, photos, and links.
    "Use this campaign to jump start your health resolutions," advises DPH Director Dr. Karyl T. Rattay, MD, MS. "Taking small but important steps can drastically improve your life."
    For instance, people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease's onset by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. Weight loss can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce joint pain. By maintaining blood pressure that is less than 120/80, and by achieving recommended waist sizes, people can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. (Recommended waist sizes are less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men; and for Asians, it is 32 inches for women and 35 inches for men.)
    DPH reminds Delawareans to follow the '5-2-1 Almost None' lifestyle:
    . Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day. 5They are full of natural energy and help fight disease
    Limit recreational screen time to 2 hours each 2day. (This includes TV, computer, and gaming).
    Get 1 or more hours of physical activity each 1day. Take a walk, do yard work, play with your kids, or dance. Be active throughout your day.
    Avoid sugar-sweetened Almost Nonebeverages, which lead to weight gain and put you at risk for diabetes and other chronic conditions. Drinking sugarless beverages can lead to a

    Maryland health exchange hires project manager who rebuilt the site as IT chief 

    Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has hired the Deloitte Consulting project manager assigned to overhaul the exchange's website as its chief information officer.

    Subramanian Muniasamy began work Jan. 7 as the exchange's top IT official. As chief information officer, Muniasamy will oversee ongoing maintenance and operations of the website he played an integral role in building.

    Finance & Business

    The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) have developed the Practical Art of Health Center Finance (PAHCF) seminars to provide new health center financial and operational leaders with an orientation to financial management, accounting principles and terminology unique to health centers. Attendees at this two-day comprehensive seminar will be able to develop their knowledge of how to:

    • Understand the key elements of an efficiently operating health center
    • Understand cost-based reimbursement
    • Improve operations to maximize revenue
    • Utilize technology to manage information
    Latest News on ACA


    Moving Consumers from Exchanges to Medicaid

    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 the chart on individual marketplace pediatric dental benefits for 2014.

    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).


    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 30 at 2:00 pm EST  
    Transformational Team Talk & Outreach Upates

    Outreach and Enrollment (O/E) Resource of the Week: Successful Practices in Rural O/E 

  • There are unique needs and strategies associated with outreach and enrollment in rural communities.  The resources below highlight successful practices, lessons learned, and important considerations when providing outreach and enrollment in rural America.  

  • ORHP Best Practices Guide in Rural Outreach and Enrollment

  • Successful Health Insurance Outreach, Education, and Enrollment Strategies for Rural Hospitals

  • Best Practices for Health Insurance Marketplace Outreach and Enrollment in Rural Areas

  • The Affordable Care Act: What it means for Rural America


    HRSA releases new  Outreach guide for Rural areas 

    Rural areas have unique needs for ensuring that consumers can enroll in health insurance. A new guide from HRSA outlines some best practices for assisters to use while working with rural populations. 


    Updated Medicaid Expansion Map 

    We've recently added some new information to our Medicaid Expansion Decisions map. As 2015 legislative sessions ramp up, we'll be tracking activity related to Medicaid expansion in the states. The map also reflects changes in governors' stances on expansion and any related new information about Medicaid expansion. 


    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

     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.

    Postdoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry
    Application deadline: February 4, 2015
    Provides funds to plan, develop, operate, or participate in, postdoctoral training programs in the fields of general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and dental public health. Programs should prepare postdoctoral trained dentists to practice in and lead new and innovative models of oral health care delivery to underserved and vulnerable groups.


    NIH Hypertensive Disparities Funding Opportunity Announcement

    Application Deadline:  letter of intent, January 13; full application, February 13, 2015
    Awards of up to $650,000 direct costs for a one-year period. The second phase is limited to $1,800,000 direct costs for each subsequent year (2 to 5). The purpose of the FOA is to compare alternative, evidence-based approaches to reduce inadequate control of hypertension among high risk populations, including racial/ethnic minority groups, patients with low socioeconomic status (SES), and individuals residing in rural geographical areas with an above average lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

    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.

    NHSC Loan Repayment 

    Apply to the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program by March 30  Primary care medical, dental and mental/behavioral health clinicians can get $50,000 to repay their health profession student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment to work at an approved NHSC site in a high-need, underserved area. 

    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 

    New Study Examines Early Elective Newborn Deliveries in 22 State Medicaid Programs 

    New Study Examines Early Elective Newborn Deliveries in 22 State Medicaid Programs Early elective deliveries can lead to poor health outcomes for both women and their newborns, while generating additional costs for patients and insurance providers, according to results of a new AHRQ-funded study that examined the incidence of early elective deliveries in 22 State Medicaid programs. Medicaid pays for up to 48 percent of all births in the United States each year. Early elective deliveries are non-medically indicated labor inductions or cesarean deliveries of infants with a confirmed gestational age of less than 39 weeks. The 22 states that participated in the project provided data on elective deliveries in the period 2010-2012. After finding that approximately 9 percent of Medicaid single births were early elective deliveries, researchers estimated that 160,000 early elective Medicaid deliveries nationwide occur each year. The study offers additional evidence and tools to further reduce the number of such deliveries.  


    January 29 Webinar on How Practice Facilitators Can Support Patient Engagement in Primary Care

    AHRQ is hosting a webinar January 29 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET about how practice facilitators can support patient engagement. Practice facilitators can help practices improve how they engage patients by helping them gather feedback and ideas from their patients and use the information to redesign visits and services to support better patient engagement and improved patient experience. The webinar will feature the experiences of a practice facilitator who worked successfully with practice leaders and patients to transform diabetes care visits in primary care. Patient engagement is a central element of the patient-centered medical home as well as a patient's own experience of their care. 

    Health Observances This Week

    National Birth Defects Prevention Month
    The NBDPN Education and Outreach Committee has developed materials and resources to assist state program staff and others interested in promoting birth defects prevention during 'January is Birth Defects Prevention Month'.


    The theme for 2015 is "Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects - Make a PACT for Prevention."  NBDPN's goal for 2015 is to continue to increase awareness that birth defects are "Common, Costly and Critical" and to offer actionable steps that can be taken by professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent birth defects. 
    Prior Birth Defects Prevention Month Materials


    Each year, the committee selects a theme to highlight a specific risk factor or defect. Previously used brochures and fact sheets are available to non-members for the preceding three years. These resources can be used at any time.  All additional prior years are available to members as part of the file archive:

    2014: Birth Defects are Common, Costly, and Critical
    2013: Birth Defects are Common, Costly, and Critical
    2012: And the Beat Goes On...Looking to the Future for Healthy Hearts

    Additional Birth Defects Prevention Materials

    • 10 things you should know about birth defects (EnglishSpanish )
    • 5 things you should know about congenital heart defects (English/Spanish )
    • Birth Defects Prevention Pamphlet (English )
    • Birth Defects Prevention Pamphlet (Spanish )
    • Birth Defects Prevention Month Poster: January is BDPM (English/Spanish )
    • Birth Defects Prevention Month Poster: Now is the time (English/Spanish )
    Advertise on your materials this month!
    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 | | |