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 

February 2, 2015



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

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


(2) Transformational Call (*bi-weekly) 

February 10th, 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
Turf Valley



    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!


    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
    NACHC is currently collecting comments and asking individuals to comment on the CMS proposed rules to amend the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).  Community health centers that participate in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) will continue to receive their Medicare payments per encounter.  The proposed rules will also allow non-physician practitioners such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and clinical nurse specialists to be considered in the assignment process as well as change the system by which patients are assigned to FQHCs within ACO networks.  NACHC's comments on the proposed rule are available for review and all comments must be submitted by February 6.

    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.



    Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Updated for 2015

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted new FPL guidelines. These guidelines are used to determine eligibility for many federal programs that have income-based requirements. The new levels will be used for income-based Medicaid determinations this year, but the health insurance Marketplace will continue using the 2014 FPL to determine eligibility for financial help for 2015 coverage.

    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.

    NACHC's DRAFT comments on CMS' proposed rule on the Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACOs
    that makes a number of changes to the program.  We believe that several of these changes will be beneficial to FQHCs, namely allowing PAs and NPs to count for "beneficiary assignment" and revising the FQHC assignment process to more appropriately account for the care FQHCs provide to their patients.  I have also attached a brief summary of the rule that may be helpful as well.  Please review these comments and let us know by COB Monday February 2, 2015 if you have any comments/questions/concerns.    As always, we encourage you to submit your own comments as well and please feel free to use this version as a template for your own comments. We do recommend "personalizing" the comments though with local examples from your state or health center.  Comments are due February 6, 2015 and can be submitted via (search file code CMS-1461-P and select "comment now").  
    Open Enrollment Deadline Approaching 
    The deadline for Open Enrollment is February 15, 2015. Since Open Enrollment began on November 15, more than 7.1 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled through the platform. There are many resources available to help with enrollment efforts, including fact sheets, #GetCovered stories, and blog posts

    NACHC Releases New State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide the latest state-level data on Health Center patients, services provided, staff, and costs of care

    New Study Compares Rate of Uninsured Patients Visiting Health Centers Before and After Expanding Medicaid

    A new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine discovered that Health Centers in states that expanded Medicaid in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act saw a 40% decrease in uninsured visits and a 36% increase in Medicaid-covered visits post-expansion. These findings suggest that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has successfully decreased the number of uninsured safety net patients

    Annual 340B Recertification Starts Soon

    Are you ready? The annual 340B recertification process for 340B grantees begins January 28th, 2015. The Health Center's authorizing official should have received information and instructions on how to complete the process. It is critical that Health Centers complete the recertification in a timely manner to ensure continued participation in the 340B Drug Discount Program. Should you have any questions, you can view the 
    Office of Pharmacy Affairs User Guide and contact HRSA's recertification inbox at    

    50th Anniversary of Community Health Centers-Become a Sponsor Today!

    This year America's Community Health Centers will celebrate 50 years of success in expanding access to quality and affordable healthcare to millions nationwide. The 50th Anniversary celebration will engage thousands of Health Center staff, Board members, and countless other supporters. Throughout the year, sponsors of the celebration will have the opportunity to attend NACHC's major conferences and participate in other major events, including National Health Center Week. Now is the chance for your organization to be part of the celebration! Please take a moment to review the special sponsorship opportunities here. We could not have progressed as far as we have over these 50 years without each of you - and we are just getting started on the impact Health Centers will make over the next 50 years! To make a commitment or for more information, contact Jason Patnosh at 

    Message from NACHC President & CEO Tom Van Coverden to all Health Center Advocates

    "As we begin 2015, we begin the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Health Center Program. From their beginnings as part of the War on Poverty 50 years ago until today, Health Centers have played a unique role in America's healthcare system by providing access to quality healthcare to everyone in the communities they serve, regardless of patients' ability to pay. Yet now, as we celebrate that legacy of success, we are also faced with the biggest threat to the Health Center Program since its creation 50 years ago . . . I am sending you this message today because as a Health Center Advocate YOU have the power to preserve the Health Center Program and ensure a healthy future for Health Centers and the patients they serve." 
    State News

    Needed: Adults with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities to participate in an emergency training exercise

    Emergency training exercises provide an opportunity to test emergency plans and for emergency professionals and service providers to practice the skills and training that will be used during a real emergency. It is important that people with disabilities participate in training exercises to test whether the plans allow everyone to effectively access emergency services.
    The Delaware Division of Public Health's Office of Preparedness will conduct an emergency training exercise on Thursday, March 19, 2015. The exercise will test the ability of emergency professionals to provide emergency medication to the public quickly and effectively. The exercise requires an adult participant to go to the location of the exercise (in either Newark or Dover) between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, fill out a form, and pick up a simulated medication.
    If you are an adult with a disability or the parent of a child with a disability and would like to participate in this upcoming emergency training exercise, please register here: Emergency Training Exercise Volunteer
    Those who indicate that they are interested in participating in the March exercise will be contacted and provided with more detailed information. If you have questions, you may also contact Phyllis Guinivan (, 302-831-7464) at UD's Center for Disabilities Studies

    TO: Maryland Health Care For All! Supporters

    FROM: Vinny DeMarco


                We are thrilled that today we are launching a new radio ad featuring Orioles Superstar Adam Jones to help people enroll in affordable health care through the Affordable Care Act. You can check out the ad at .  The ad urges people to call 211 or go to to find out about their eligibility for health care coverage.  We will be announcing the ad at a press conference today with Adam Jones, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Attorney General Brian Frosh, Health Benefit Exchange Director Carolyn Quattrocki, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, and HealthCare Access Maryland Director Kathleen Westcoat.  We thank HCAM for hosting the event.


    Please help us spread the word! Feel free to send out the radio ad through your networks and please do all you can to urge people to call 211 or go to to find out about their eligibility for health care coverage.


                Together we will make sure that as many Marylanders as possible enroll in ACA health care prior to the February 15 open enrollment deadline.          

    ***MACHC has been a proud and constant sponsor of the 211 Campaign including this new Adam Jones ad.
    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

    NEW ANNOUCEMENT: HHS to work with non-profit organizations and tax preparers to help consumers understand the intersection of taxes and health care  

    On January 28, 2015, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced that HHS is collaborating with a wide range of non-profit organizations and some of the nation's largest tax preparers to ensure that the public understands how health care and their taxes intersect. These groups provide resources, advice, and assistance to tax filers across the country. Some are offering on-the-ground, in person support, while others are providing online tools and software to help guide people through the tax filing process. Last year, 91 percent of taxpayers relied on software to do their taxes. This year many tax preparers and organizations updated their online tools to reflect the new Affordable Care Act requirements with the goal of helping consumers easily complete a timely and accurate tax return. Consumers can learn more about free tax assistance and filing options - including assistance in their community - by visiting  or


    Nationwide, 9.5 million consumers selected or were automatically reenrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace through the second month of 2015 Open Enrollment, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  As the Feb. 15 deadline approaches, HHS encourages all eligible consumers to sign up for Marketplace coverage. Most will be eligible for financial assistance to lower the cost of monthly premiums.  

    The report is live here:

    Assister Winter Webinar Schedule and Supplemental Webinars      
    Assister Webinar Schedule for January and February

                    Friday, February 6 at 2:00 pm EST

                    Friday, February 13 at 2:00 pm EST

                    Friday, February 20 at 2:00 pm EST

                    Friday, February 27 at 2:00 pm EST


    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).


    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.   

    Transformational Team Talk & Outreach Upates

    Documents from last week's ACSE Webinar:

    Upcoming PII request

    Connector Meeting talks about some upcoming enhancements to the HBX system 

    Plan Management talks of statistical information related to enrollment


    Some additional information that was shared in yesterday's Connector Entity meeting concerning Medicaid Renewals:

    Re-determinations for individuals who enrolled in Medicaid through the Maryland Health Connection during 2014 have begun.  Individuals who started on Medicaid Dec 2013 - March 2014, will be covered until March 31 2015.  If these individuals do not renew through Maryland Health Connection by March 31, 2015, their Medicaid coverage will be terminated.

    The FAQs are now live on both the DHMH and MHC sites.  There are also links in the photo carousels on the main landing pages for both sites that should be easy for consumers to find.  I've also attached the FAQs and renewals fact sheet, which are posted on both sites.  






    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 

    A new AHRQ study published in Health Affairs estimated that low income, uninsured adults could have saved, on average, more than $1,000 per year in family out-of-pocket health care costs if they were able to enroll in Medicaid, according to the analysis by AHRQ researcher Steven Hill, Ph.D. The study measured family out-of-pocket health care spending in 2005-2010 among uninsured, low-income adults who gained eligibility for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage because they lived in states that had not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It then compared those data with the following simulated scenarios for these adults: coverage in a Marketplace silver plan with financial assistance and enrolling in expanded Medicaid. Findings revealed under a Marketplace silver plan, average out-of-pocket health care spending would have been $1,948 per year, while under Medicaid, out-of-pocket health care spending would have been $938 a year. Thus, enrolling in Medicaid would have saved these adults' families approximately $1,000 per year, on average, compared with a Marketplace silver plan. The study "Medicaid Expansion in Opt-Out States Would Produce Consumer Savings and Less Financial Burden Than Exchange Coverage" was featured January 28 in Health Affairs. 


    On-Demand Continuing Education Webinars Available for Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Educators

    AHRQ offers Web-based continuing education for nurses, nurse practitioners, case managers, staff educators and nurse practitioner faculty. Eligible professionals can view recorded webinars that highlight resources such as the National Guidelines Clearinghouse, the Electronic Preventive Services Selector and the Improving Patient Safety in Long-Term Care Facilities training modules. The webinars offer practical insights on how these resources can be integrated into education and practice. Registration is open.

    Health Observances This Week

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

    The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

    Make a difference in your community: Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.

    How can American Heart Month make a difference?

    We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it - both at home and in the community.

    Here are just a few ideas:

    • Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
    • Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
    • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
    How can I help spread the word?

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

    Has your FQHC joined the National Branding Campaign?


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

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


    The FQHC Brand Components  

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

    Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers | | |