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 17, 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 Emergency Preparedness Call-
March 12, 2015; 11am- 12pm
1-866-740-1260 Access Code: 4319483

MACHC conducted two emergency preparedness drills (topic: active shooter) at two of our health center member sites (Community Clinic & Family Health Centers of Baltimore). All were invited to participate and observe. 

We will discuss the drill in detail as well as disseminate important and pertinent resources. ALL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS POIs are strongly urged to join the call. 

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

The Finance/IT Conference will be held at Turf Valley with some of the finance topics to include G-Coding, Productivity and Volume of Business, Knowing Internal and External Reporting Requirements and Understand HRSA"s Financial Requirements, IT topics could include,  Patient Portal - making the best of it for patients and meaningful use, Standardization of documentation, IT best practices for: (Support, Maintenance, Helpdesk), balance of in house vs contracted services (immediately availability, high touch, low touch, expertise, economies of scale), Sharing data beyond UDS - how to share and what to share (and their effectiveness)  and ICD 10 Training.


(4) June 19-20, 2015

(5) 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

April 17, 2015
Face to face
11 am - 1pm

June 19, 2015
Face to face
11 am - 1pm

September 18-19, 2015
Board Retreat
Turf Valley


    (1)  Measles 2015: Situational Update, Clinical Guidance, and Vaccination Recommendations Webinar - Thursday, February 19, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET
    The CDC's Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) is hosting this webinar to discuss the current Measles outbreak, as well as vaccination recommendations. 

     View the webinar the day of the session.
    Connect to the audio line using 1-888-469-3090 (U.S. Callers), or 517-308-9287 (International Callers), Passcode 3769846.


    (2) 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



    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. 


    (4) 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.


    (5) Free Webinar on IRS Rules and Advocacy

    NACHC is hosting a helpful webinar on Wednesday, February 25 to discuss allowed advocacy activities for health centers under IRS rules.  The "Advocacy 101 & Legalese" webinar is scheduled for February 25 at 3:00 pm and covers advocacy, a checklist of what is and isn't legally permitted for advocacy and time will be reserved for questions.  To register for this webinar, click here


    (6) The Millions Hearts Initiative - Health Center Participation and Impact Webinar - Thursday, February 26, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET
    This webinar will provide highlights from national experts on clinical and community strategies for health centers and other stakeholders to participate in the Millions Hearts Initiative. The

    Millions Hearts Initiative aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by the year 2017.
    Connect to the audio line using 1-888-469-2151; Participant Code: 4463737



    (7) 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: 


    MACHC implemented an active shooter drill at two of our member locations (Community Clinic Inc & Family Health Centers of Baltimore) last week. The drill tested the facilities' ability to follow their emergency and communications plan. All the participants were able to learn from the exercise and we will share all the best practices and resources with all of you in March during MACHC's EP Call. 
    Look in the upcoming events section for details. 



    Measles Cases in the United States  
    From January 1 to February 6, 2015, 121 people from 17 states and Washington, DC, were reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California . As you continue to seek timely, accurate, and credible information for clinicians and other professionals in health care related to emergency preparedness and response and emerging public health threats, HRSA encourages you to participate in teleconferences and webinars coordinated through the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) .  COCA organizes presentations from leading experts on a variety of topics and often provides the opportunity for questions to be answered. The following Measles resources, among others, are available for use: 

     CDC's measles outbreak webpage  

    Resources for Healthcare Professionals  

     Information about Measles and the Vaccine to Prevent it Fact Sheet  

    Understanding MMR Vaccine Safety Fact Sheet


    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



    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]

    Region IV is currently looking for a new Regional Coordinator

    Kent County Health Department

    A.F. Whitsitt Center

    300 Scheeler Road

    P.O. Box 229
    Chestertown, MD  21620

    410-778-4861 (Office)


    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!


    West Cecil opens its second site in Harford County

    Harford County's first federally qualified health center set up to serve uninsured and under-insured patients, as well as those with full health coverage, has already seen 800 patients, even though it has only been open for about eight weeks. "This is an excellent opportunity to work with a community that is in need of health care," John Braxton, a physician's assistant at the Beacon Health Center in Havre de Grace, said Wednesday.

    The Beacon Health Center, which is an expansion of services provided by the West Cecil Health Center in Conowingo, opened Dec. 8 but also held a formal grand opening ceremony Wednesday, February 11. B

    Beacon Health is the result of a partnership between University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health - which operates Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace - and the West Cecil Health Center. 

    Have you checked out the NEW MACHC website?
    The MACHC website now features Communifier (please email Junaed Siddiqui for login info or details at which allows our membership to access all meeting, conference and any related documents directly on our 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.



    Making an Impassioned Case for the Funding Cliff

    by Amy Simmons Farber

    Once again, the importance of fixing the funding cliff has hit the presses.  First, in Washington State, we read the impassioned case that Teresita Batayola, CEO  of International Community Health Services, makes for preserving health center funding in her state.  She writes in last week's Bellevue Reporter:

    "The majority of our patients are our state's most marginalized: new immigrants, seniors, refugees, those with low incomes, limited-English speaking, the unemployed, and people who are uninsured and underinsured. We provide vital programs such as those targeting women with breast and cervical cancers; feeding and nutrition for infants and small children; community-based health education outreach; and language and interpretation programs that allow us to reach out to non- or limited-English speaking patients in their own language... Investing in community health centers and primary care has never been a partisan issue. President George W. Bush championed health center expansion. We remain hopeful that community health centers' traditionally bipartisan support in Congress will translate into a fix to this funding cliff and allow us to continue serving Washington's most vulnerable residents."


    Save the Date: NACHC TeleForum Launching the Next Phase of the Access is the Answer Advocacy Campaign, Thursday, February 19th at 2PM ET

    With each passing day we come closer to the end of the federal fiscal year and with it, the looming health center funding cliff.  Failure to address the cliff will mean cuts to health center federal funding of up to 70% for all Community Health Centers .  Don't let announcements of New Access Point and other funding convince you that this threat isn't real, because it is.  To avoid the threat becoming reality, we urge each and every health center leader, board member, staff and supporter to contact their member of congress to ask for their support of a fix.  For draft letters and other resources to support your efforts, visit the Save Our CHCs website. We also encourage you to participate in the NACHC teleforum . Click here to sign-up to receive the call on Thursday, February 19th at 2PM ET, or join directly by dialing 1-877-229-8493 and entering PIN: 15035.


    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

    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    Reminder: BPHC's 2014 Workforce Recruitment Survey 
    The BPHC 2014 Workforce Recruitment Survey deadline has been extended through Friday, February 20, 2015. Data collected from this brief survey regarding veterans in the health center workforce will enable BPHC to provide the training and technical assistance needed to support health centers in their hiring efforts.
    New Vital Signs Report on Secondhand Smoke  
    CDC released a new Vital Signs report, "Disparities in Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke-United States, 1999-2012." This report looks at the dangers of secondhand smoke-the millions of people affected by it, the many ways in which one can be exposed, and what actions can be taken to protect people from its harmful impact.  
    Organ Donation Resources 
    February 14, 2015 was National Organ Donation Day. Get involved by sharing the importance of organ donation with others. HRSA has materials and resources available that can help.

    The AHRQ-funded Multi-Center Medication Reconciliation Quality Improvement Study (MARQUIS) has produced an implementation manual to help hospitals improve medication reconciliation practices. These improvements can lead to reductions in negative outcomes such as inpatient adverse drug events and readmission rates, which have significant patient safety and financial implications for hospitals. Based on the experiences of five hospitals participating in a three-year project conducted by the Society of Hospital Medicine, MARQUIS identifies best practices for medication reconciliation processes throughout hospital admission, transfer and discharge. It also outlines a framework for assembling a team and developing an implementation strategy adaptable to any hospital system. The MARQUIS implementation manual explains how hospitals can implement a bundle of interventions to improve medication reconciliation using a quality improvement process. The manual includes a site assessment to help implementers understand where to start with the process. Site leaders or pharmacists can use this assessment to help gauge the patient-centeredness of the institution's medication reconciliation process and begin customization and implementation of the various bundle components. The manual also features accompanying online resources such as a return on investment calculator to help hospitals make the business case for medication reconciliation.

    USDA Mid-Atlantic Inviting Healthcare Partners

    The USDA Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) Mid-Atlantic Region is organizing a robust network of health care organizations with the goal of expanding partnerships and creating opportunities to improve child nutrition and health. FNS oversees the administration of a comprehensive nutrition assistance program portfolio including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps; WIC; school meals; and the Summer Food Service Program, just to name a few.  There will be a kick-off webinar February 26, 2015, at 2:00 pm EST
    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

    CMS Proposal Could Give More Health Centers ACO Entry

    Last week, NACHC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a proposed regulation involving Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) operating under Medicare.  Of particular interest to Community Health Centers , the regulation proposed to allow primary care visits provided by non-physician practitioners (NPP) to be counted earlier in the process of assigning beneficiaries to ACOs.  NACHC's comments acknowledge that this proposal will make it easier for FQHCs to reach the minimum requirement to form an ACO - having at least 5,000 "assigned" beneficiaries - but would not eliminate all barriers to counting patients who receive care from NPPs.  For more information, see NACHC's comment letter to CMS.

    Obama lauds U.S. troops, workers in fight against Ebola
    Following recent reports that new confirmed cases of the deadly Ebola virus have continued to drop, President Obama has marked the next phase of U.S. involvement--withdrawing U.S. troops deployed to Ebola affected areas and turning over responsibility to civilian workers. During its 10-month commitment to fight the disease, the government deployed 3,500 personnel to the affected region including troops; officers from the U.S. Public Health Service; and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

    With the open enrollment deadline fast approaching, Obamacare signups only increased by three percent as compared to the previous week. Nonetheless, officials are optimistic about reaching the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of 12 million enrollees this year. traffic increased by 58 percent, and calls to help centers increased by a third compared to the week before. The good news for consumers is, those who start an application, but do not complete it by Saturday will be offered a deadline extension.

    'Instagram for doctors' lets medics share photos to solve mystery cases

    Snap it, post it, diagnose it. Figure-1, a new app considered the Instagram of medicine, has arrived. Using this app, doctors can get a variety of opinions with one easy click of a picture. It is another example of how technology and social media continue to transform the medical field and U.S. medical students have already caught on to the trend. 

    President Obama is expected to sign the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act into law this week. The bill was named after a marine who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. This law will create a pilot program to help veterans transition out of active duty as well as a website to serve as a resource for other veterans who face similar struggles as Hunt. 

    State News

    The deadline to enroll inhealth insurance with the Health Insurance Marketplace is quickly approaching and U.S. Sen.  Tom Carper encourages Delawareans without health insurance to enroll by Feb. 15 to get covered and avoid a tax penalty. Those who miss this Sunday's deadline will likely have to wait to sign up for coverage until the next open enrollment season, with coverage starting in 2016, unless they have a qualifying event in 2015. 


    The Maryland Health Connection announced the extension Sunday, which was to have been the last day of open enrollment for coverage starting April 1. Those who have started the process now have until Feb. 28 to complete it.

    Executive Director Carolyn Quattrocki says that most people could access the exchange but many had questions. That led to a backlog of calls that couldn't be answered in time for everyone to enroll.

    The problem made for a rough end to what had been a smooth three months of open enrollment.

    Finance & Business
    CMS Updates Policy Manual to Reflect New FQHC PPS, Preventive Health Services
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual to include new and clarifying information on the Prospective Payment System (PPS) rate, adjustments, payment codes and qualifying visits, as well as preventive health services and other issues related to billing and services. The manual links to a list of qualifying visits under the PPS, includes relevant payment codes and details base rate adjustments based on geography, new patient, and Initial Prevention Physical Exam/Annual Wellness Visit. The manual also clarifies coding, payment and billing, coinsurance and copayment for preventive health services. Review the MLN Matters Article and the updated Policy Manual.  

    Veteran's Choice Program an Opportunity for Health Centers to Better Serve Community and Grow Patient Base

    On February 11, NACHC sponsored a webinar to explain the Veteran's Choice Program new federal legislation that permits eligible veterans to receive needed health care from non-VA providers.  This will give FQHCs/RHCs an opportunity to better meet the needs of their communities as well as grow their patient base.  Reimbursement under this program for FQHCs is at the Medicare PPS rate.  The program became operational in early November 2014.  Choice Cards have been mailed to all veterans.  However, eligibility to receive care from non-VA providers must be determined.  The care must be authorized by a third party administrator (TPA) and non-VA providers must enroll with the TPA.  
    Latest News on ACA

    Supplemental HHS Webinar: Federal Income Taxes and Health Coverage 101

    The 2015 tax season will be the first time consumers have to answer questions about their health coverage. To learn what consumers need to know when filing their taxes, the importance of Form 1095-A and the penalty for not having health insurance, please join this webinar:

    • When:  Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 2:00 pm EST
    • To join by webinar: click here 
    • To join by phone only: 1 (480) 297-0021, Access Code: 362-066-915, PIN Number is the # key

    Assister Webinar Schedule and Supplemental Webinars

    Assister Webinar Schedule

    • Friday, February 20 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, February 27 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, March 6 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, March 13 at 2:00 pm EST


    Supplemental CMS Webinars 

    A.    Federal Income Taxes and Health Coverage 101 

    • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | 2:00 pm EST
    • Join the webinar using this link | To Join By Phone Only: 1 (480) 297-0021, Access Code: 362-066-915, Pin Number is the # key

    The HHS Partnership Center and CMS Office of Communications Partner Relations Group is hosting a webinar on the 2015 tax season as it is the first time individuals and families will be asked for some basic information regarding their health coverage on their tax returns. Learn what consumers need to know when filing their taxes, the importance of Form 1095-A, and the penalty for not having health insurance. Questions will be answered at the end of the webinar. 


    B.     Using Dental Services and Benefits to Motivate Families to Enroll in Medicaid and CHIP - Connecting Kids to Coverage

    • Friday, February 27, 2015 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST
    • Register for the webinar using this link

    In honor of National Children's Dental Health Month in February, the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign invites you to a webinar on the role that Medicaid and CHIP play in providing access to oral health benefits and services. You will receive outreach tips and examples of enrollment in action through dental service events, and learn about CMS oral health resources you can use to educate families about the importance of oral health for their children.


    C.   Got Covered-Now What? Health Insurance Education and Outreach Webinar

    • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | 3:00 pm EST
    • Join the webinar using this link | To Join By Phone Only: 1 (877) 267-1577, Conference Meeting number: 393 394 096

    CMS and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) invite you to join us for a Marketplace webinar focused on health insurance education and outreach. CMS will provide an overview of From Coverage to Care (C2C), and a Marketplace update explaining how to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period outside of Marketplace open enrollment and what you need to know when filing your taxes this year. In addition, NAHN will illustrate how they are utilizing the C2C resources to conduct education and outreach work in 8 states across the U.S.  For questions please email CMS at


    D.   Got Coverage? Next Steps in Using Your Health Insurance

    • Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 2:00 pm EST
    • Register for the webinar using this link | To Join By Phone Only: 1 (415) 655-0051, Access Code: 910-370-456, Pin Number is the # key.

    Many people now have health insurance but may not know how to use it. This webinar will discuss how to read your insurance card, how to find a doctor, what you need to know in making an appointment and what to do in case you have a health emergency. Key terms will be discussed as well as recommended health screenings. We will highlight the From Coverage to Care materials on health insurance literacy during the webinar.


    E.   Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured

    • Thursday, March 12, 2015 | 1:00 pm EST
    • Register for the webinar using this link | To Join By Phone Only:1 (562) 247-8321, Access Code: 172-763-629, Pin Number is the # key.

    The health care law has created special enrollment periods for those who experience special circumstances such as graduating from college and losing health insurance, getting married and needing coverage for a spouse, losing employer insurance or turning 26 and losing coverage on a parent's health plan. Join this webinar to learn more about special enrollment periods and how to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For those who are uninsured and don't qualify for the special enrollment period, you can learn what resources are available and when to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. 


    HHS officials have released the following statement: 
    "The marketplace resolved the systems issues that prevented some consumers from submitting their applications. Consumers who were impacted should log in to their Marketplace account now and click on their 2015 application to finish it and complete their enrollment for health coverage. The marketplace will continue to monitor the systems and respond to any issues should they arise."
    HHS also released the following 
    additional guidance for assisters on how to help consumers who encountered issues enrolling.

    Starting tomorrow (February 15th), the marketplace will be reaching out to consumers who were unable to complete their application to let them know they should come back to or contact the Call Center to complete their enrollment.

    It is important to note that consumers who had already submitted their application and received an eligibility determination were not affected by this issue and were able to select a plan and enroll.

    If a consumer was unable to submit an application because their income could not be verified due to this or had any other technical issue that prevents enrollment before the deadline, the marketplace plans to provide them with a special enrollment period. Additional information will be provided to those consumers in the coming days.

    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

    A message from MHBE's Jody Hartzell

    Thank you all -- the hundreds of navigators and brokers, our consumer assistance organizations, the insurance companies, our sister state agencies, our vendors and the staff of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange -- who have helped make open enrollment a success. You have helped more than 200,000 Marylanders enroll in quality, affordable health coverage for themselves and for their families this season.

    We still have a big challenge to sign up the final wave of people who desire coverage before open enrollment for 2015 concludes. Let's keep going strong to the finish line.

    In this video are some fellow Marylanders who would also like to convey their appreciation for the great work you've done:


    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

    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.

     BUILD Health Challenge

    Application Deadline:  January 16 for round one; April 10 for round two

    A collaborative initiative of the Kresge Foundation, Advisory Board Company, de Beaumont Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offers two kinds of awards - planning and implementation - to strengthen partnerships among hospitals, nonprofits, local health departments, and other community organizations to improve the health of low-income neighborhoods within cities with populations greater than 150,000

    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.


    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research - Healthy Food Retail and Early Care and Education
    Letter of Intent (Required): January 7, 2015
    Application deadline: March 4, 2015
    Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.


    Migrant Health Scholarship
    Application deadline: March 20, 2015
    Offers scholarships to individuals pursuing or continuing their career in the migrant health field and employees at a Community/Migrant Health Center.

    Rural Outreach Benefits Counseling Program
    Application deadline: March 30, 2015
    Awards funding to pilot a new program, the Benefits Counseling Program, which will work to expand outreach, education, and enrollment efforts in rural communities. Programs will seek to assist eligible uninsured individuals and families, and newly insured individuals and families in rural communities with the navigation of public health insurance options and benefits offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace and/or private health insurance plans.


    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 

    Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Pipeline to Proposal Awards - Tier One

    Letter of Intent (Required): December 23, 2014
    Application deadline: February 16, 2015
    Offers seed funding to patients, advocacy groups, clinicians, and others who are not usual candidates for research funding. Funds should be used to build the community and capacity necessary to develop and apply for a patient-centered comparative effectiveness research project
    Clinical Quality 

    Anew study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that few newborns have early well-child visits within the recommended time frame. In Timing of Initial Well-Child Visit and Readmissions of Newborns, the study authors found that only 15% of newborns had a well-child visit within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital after birth. The purpose of these early visits is to detect conditions that may cause hospital readmission in the first weeks after birth. The authors found that of over 79,000 newborns studied, the readmission rate for those who had a visit within the recommended time frame was 15.7 per 1000 compared with 18.4 for those with a later visit. 


    Culturally Appropriate Disaster Response Tools

    The  National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communitiesoffers a curriculum that covers how to provide culturally competent disaster services and disaster recovery.  Given the diversity of our health center patients, this tool will help in the development of appropriate and effective plans. There are also resources to address cultural competency in disaster behavioral health preparedness, response, and recovery through Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response

    Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Transformation Webinar

    HRSA and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education are hosting a webinar on Practical Steps to Address Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Implementation (IPECP) on Thursday, February 26 at 11:00 am, ET.   The webinar will showcase how resources can be used to support IPECP transformation. The webinar will present the challenges and rewards of a HRSA-funded project to transform clinical practice into an interprofessional model at Loyola University Chicago.  Registration is required.

    Health Observances This Week


    Recreational Therapy/Therapeutic Recreation Month


    Along with improving quality of life, therapeutic recreation also has many other benefits:

    1. To promote and enhance quality of life
    2. To offer activities that are meaningful to each client

    3. To enhance or maintain cognitive abilities
    4. To enhance or maintain physical abilities
    5. To promote emotional and psychosocial well-being
    6. To provide opportunity for socialization
    7. To offer opportunity for creative expression
    8. To offer opportunity for decision making, choice, and responsibility
    9. To offer opportunity for spiritual expression
    10. To offer solace and relaxation
    11. To provide opportunity for fun, pleasure, and enjoyment
    12. To offer opportunity to share common interests, cultures, and experiences
    13. To promote independence and decreased learned helplessness
    14. To provide opportunity to learn new skills, adapt old skills, and enjoy new leisure experiences


    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 | | |