Weekly E-Blast:  
Voicing the latest news on Communities in Need
In This Issue

How did this Enrollment Period go? Discuss during O/E calls.
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 23, 2015



(1) Transformational Call (*bi-weekly) 

February 24th, 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.


(2) 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.


(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)  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. 

    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

    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) 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.


    (3) 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


    (4) 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



    (5) 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!

    DRVS Implementation Team Finds Enthusiastic Data Validators at then Health Care for the Homeless

    Proper data validation is essential to successful implementation and rollout of healthcare reporting and analytics platforms. While the task of collecting and maintaining quality data can consume time and resources, the payoff is worth the investment. Poor data quality often results in missed care opportunities, confusion and frustration and even diminished care quality.Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), a Baltimore-based "safety net" care provider, gets excited about data. Center staff - both non-clinical and clinical - went to extra lengths to ensure its Azara DRVS implementation included more than the usual amount of data validation, an examination of its data collection processes, a spirit of collaboration among a diverse staff and a willingness to accept an overarching truth: the effort to validate data properly will expose mistakes within the data, process deficiencies and other unforeseen challenges. But the reward for tackling these issues head-on is a health center with powerful, truly actionable data.

    Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), a Baltimore-based "safety net" care provider, gets excited about data. Center staff - both non-clinical and clinical - went to extra lengths to ensure its Azara DRVS implementation included more than the usual amount of data validation, an examination of its data collection processes, a spirit of collaboration among a diverse staff and a willingness to accept an overarching truth: the effort to validate data properly will expose mistakes within the data, process deficiencies and other unforeseen challenges. But the reward for tackling these issues head-on is a health center with powerful, truly actionable data.


    Azara DRVS Boosts Data Credibility at Baltimore Medical System

     The credibility of data from a reporting tool, when presented to healthcare providers, is the foundation for successful quality improvement in any organization. Leadership at a practice should expect to be challenged on it, and be able to defend it. Providers are apt to blame a tool before taking the time to examine the various factors that lead to performance scores that are lower than expected. Many quality improvement programs fall apart at this early stage because management is not prepared to back up those scores with well-understood data and a firm, but supportive process to address providers' concerns. Only those organizations willing to explore and understand the reasons behind performance (good or bad) - and support staff process change - can succeed and sustain improved scores.

    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.


    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

    Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced $386 million in grant awards to states, territories, and nonprofit organizations to support the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Home Visiting Program). These funds will allow states to continue to expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children. 

    Annual 340B Recertification - Have You Completed It Yet?  

    Have you completed your annual 340B Drug Discount Program recertification yet? The annual 340B recertification process for 340b grantees began January 28, 2015 and ends March 11, 2015. The Health Center's authorizing official should have received detailed information and instructions on how to complete the process. It is critical that every health center participating in the 340B Drug Discount Program complete the recertification in before March 11, 2015 in order to ensure continued participation in the Program. Should you have any questions, you can view the Office of Pharmacy Affairs User Guide and contact HRSA's recertification inbox at
    Colorado was one of five states last year to begin offering routine dental coverage to millions of low-income adults in Medicaid - an unprecedented expansion. But like Poliakov, many have had trouble finding dentists willing to treat them because of Medicaid's low reimbursements, according to providers, advocates and patients.

    About 11.4 Million Enrolled Under Health Law

    The Obama administration signed up about 11.4 million people for health coverage during Obamacare's second enrollment period, exceeding its modest enrollment goal with a final-day rush. The White House trumpeted the figures Tuesday evening via a video posted on social media. In it, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell gives President Barack Obama the preliminary estimates of who "signed up or re-enrolled" from the start of enrollment Nov. 15 to its conclusion Sunday. 
    The "back end" of the Obamacare website still isn't properly wired to the health insurance companies. It's slow going for health plans to make sure the 11.4 million people who have signed up end up in the right plan. Subsidy payments aren't automated, so the insurers get payments based on estimates. And adding information like a marriage or the birth of a child is a convoluted, multi-step process. ... Instead of a swift process, health plans use clunky workarounds and manual spreadsheets. It takes time and it costs money.

    The Obama administration often touts the health benefits women have gained under the Affordable Care Act, including the option to sign up for coverage outside of open enrollment periods if they're "having a baby." But advocates complain the special insurance enrollment period begins only after a birth. As a result, uninsured women who learn they are pregnant outside of the regular three-month open enrollment period, which this year ended Sunday, can get stuck paying thousands of dollars for prenatal care and a delivery - or worse, going without care.  

    340B Recertification Deadline March 11

    Have you completed your annual 340B Drug Discount Program recertification yet? The annual recertification process for 340B grantees ends March 11, 2015. It is critical that every health center participating in the 340B Drug Discount Program complete the recertification by the deadline in order to ensure continued participation in the program. Your health center's authorizing official should have received detailed information and instructions on how to complete the process. Should you have any questions, you can view the Office of Pharmacy Affairs User Guide and contact HRSA's recertification inbox at

    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. 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 new cases of measles have been confirmed this week in the United States. While this is a 16 percent increase from the previous week, the disease has not spread beyond the original infected 17 states and Washington, DC. The majority of cases still stem from Disneyland in California. 

    Six federal class action lawsuits against GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target have re-ignited the debate about the safety and effectiveness of the supplements as well as whether or not they should require government regulation. Nearly one in five adults uses supplements-in addition to vitamins and minerals-to complement their health. However, when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman tested hundreds of samples of store-brand supplements, 79 percent did not even include the right active ingredient. 

    The Congressional Research Service finds that of the 78 proposed changes by Republicans to modify or completely remove parts of the Affordable Care Act, more have been signed into law than blocked by Democrats. President Obama has approved a total 44 changes but none of which were significant, and the essential elements remain the same. While Democrats have no benefit in advertising minor alterations, Republicans have stayed quiet out of fear that publicity on improving the Affordable Care Act will garner it greater public support.

    State News
    Making the Connection

    There's one serious disease related to smoking and tobacco use that you hear less about - even though it is very hard to hide and impossible to ignore:  gum disease.
    Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the tissue and bones that support your teeth. In severe cases, the bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place can break down, leading people to lose many or all of their teeth. The
    National Institutes of Health calls smoking "one of the most significant risk factors" for gum disease in the United States. This summer, new TV ads by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are raising awareness about smoking's link to poor oral health.
    Gum disease starts when bacteria on your teeth get under your gums.  The
    warning signs and symptoms of gum disease are red, swollen or bleeding gums. 

    Smoking raises the risk of gum disease and can reduce a person's odds for successfully treating this problem.  In fact, smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have gum disease.  Using tobacco in any form - cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, and smokeless (spit) tobacco - raises your risk for gum disease.  The longer you smoke or chew any tobacco product, the greater your risk for gum disease.

    If you use tobacco, it's never too late to quit.  The Delaware Division of Public Health offers the Delaware Quitline, a toll-free number that can connect tobacco users with free help to improve their odds of quitting. If you know someone who smokes cigarettes or uses other forms of tobacco, encourage them to call 1-866-409-1858.



    What a Smile Can't Hide
    Felicita doesn't smile much anymore.  Not because she isn't happy, but because this 54-year-old mom says, "I don't like the way people look at me.  I feel ashamed of myself, really.  I feel like I destroyed my health and my appearance with cigarettes."  Felicita developed gum disease from smoking, and she is featured in a new TV ad that was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the tissue and bones that support your teeth.  In severe cases, the bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place can break down, leading people to lose many or all of their teeth. That's what happened to Felicita.  She lost all her teeth by the time she was 50.  She had to relearn how to eat, drink, and talk.

    Four years after getting dentures, she still struggles.  Her dentures are uncomfortable, and she only eats soft foods.  Felicita doesn't like to eat at restaurants because people stare at her when she slurps her food.  She also fears that her dentures may fall out of her mouth.

    Felicita is not alone. Smokers, including those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, and pipes, and those who use smokeless tobacco such as snuff, snus, and chewing tobacco, are much more likely than non-tobacco users to have gum disease. The more  you use tobacco and the longer you use it, the greater your risk for gum disease.

    Giving up tobacco isn't easy, but neither is giving up the foods you love because you can't chew them.  Felicita can no longer enjoy the traditional pork dishes served at her Puerto Rican family's gatherings.  She did, however, finally quit smoking.

    It's never too late to quit. The Delaware Division of Public Health offers the Delaware Quitline, a toll-free number that can connect tobacco users with free help to improve their odds of quitting. If you know someone who smokes cigarettes or uses other forms of tobacco, encourage them to call 1-866-409-1858.

    The Baltimore Sun: Twice As Many Get Private Insurance Through Md. Health Exchange
    The number of people who bought private health plans on the Maryland exchange set up under health reform doubled from last year. Private plans were bought by 119,096 people during the three-month open enrollment that ended Sunday, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange said Tuesday. Last year, about 63,000 bought private plans during open enrollment. 

    Developmentally disabled to push for more Maryland funding

    Advocates for the developmentally disabled are urging lawmakers to restore funding that was cut from the Maryland state budget. Their goals include securing nine million dollars to restore previously cut wages for the support staff that are instrumental in helping developmentally disabled people live independently. Additionally, advocates want to address the growing list of people who are qualified for state services-especially those classified on the highest level of emergency need-and yet currently waitlisted due to unavailable funds.  

    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
    An AHRQ-funded study that looked at price trends for two common heart procedures found prices increased at a lower rate in states that did not have a public reporting system before Medicare began publishing Hospital Compare quality scores in 2008. The evidence suggests Hospital Compare provided leverage to purchasers in moderating price increases while adding competitive pressures to hospitals, researchers concluded. The study and abstract, "Medicare's Hospital Compare Quality Reports Appear To Have Slowed Price Increases For Two Major Procedures," appeared in the January issue of Health Affairs. To assess the relationship between quality reporting and hospital prices, researchers tracked pricing for coronary artery bypass graft and percutaneous coronary intervention before and after the 2008 start of Hospital Compare's outcome-based quality scores. These cardiac procedures are among the most common major medical interventions in the United States and are among the most costly, accounting for more than $15 billion in health care spending in 2012. 


    CVS Joins Express Scripts In Targeting New Cholesterol Drugs 

    CVS Health on Tuesday warned that costs of a potent new class of cholesterol treatments and other specialty drugs in development could eclipse those of expensive new medicines and overwhelm the healthcare system "if rigid cost control mechanisms are not put in place." CVS, the second largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager which negotiates drug prices for 65 million people through contracts with employers and health plans, noted that two of the new injectable cholesterol fighters - called PCSK9 inhibitors - could be approved by mid-2015 and likely each cost $7,000 to $12,000 a year.  

    Latest News on ACA


    HHS announced a new special enrollment period (SEP) for consumers who find out they must pay the Shared Responsibility Payment because they did not have coverage in 2014.

    Consumers are eligible for this SEP if they:

    • live in states with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM),
    • are not currently enrolled in 2015 FFM coverage,
    • attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014, and
    • attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.

    This SEP does not apply to consumers who do not have to pay the penalty but are subject to reconciliation and have to repay APTCs.

    This SEP will begin on March 15th and end on April 30th. Consumers who qualify must complete the entire enrollment process (that is, including selecting a plan) by 11:59 pm E.S.T. on April 30th.


    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 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.

    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 
    NO PCMH news this week.
    Clinical Quality 

    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.


    Vital Signs Report on Secondhand Smoke

    The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) February Vital Signs report shows that nearly half of nonsmoking African Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke and that 7 out of 10 of them are children.  This report shows an unequal burden of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and also shows that those living below the poverty line and/or in subsidized housing are at the highest risk for exposure
    Health Observances This Week

    Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


    More than 1 in 10 teens who have been on a date have also been physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness and protect teens from violence.

    You can make a difference: Encourage schools, community-based organizations, parents, and teens to come together to prevent teen dating violence.

    How can Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month make a difference?

    We can use this month to raise awareness about teen dating violence and take action toward a solution - both at home and in our communities.

    Here are just a few ideas:

    • Encourage parents to talk with their teens about healthy relationships.
    • Ask teachers to hold classroom discussions about dating violence and prevention - or to invite speakers in to talk about these issues.
    • Help schools create policies that support healthy relationships and involve student voices.
    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 | | |