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

Have you heard about the Health Center Funding Cliff (which battles the 70% cut of federal funding to FQHCs)? 
Check out Access is the Answer campaign information under the MACHC Spotlight section for more details.
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 aneeqa@machc.com. 

March 9, 2015
MACHC HAPPENINGS

MACHC EVENTS

 

(1) MACHC's Advocacy Call (*bi-weekly) 

March 10th, 2015; 
March 24th, 2015
10 am - 11 am
1-866-740-1260 Access Code: 4319483

To get on call listserv, email aneeqa@machc.com

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
Finance/IT 
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.

*** Note that the ICD-10 Training is occuring TWO DAYS but attendees only need to attend ONE of the two days.

 

(5) June 19-20, 2015
Clinical/Informatics
Harbourtowne

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

----------------------------------

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

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
  • OTHER EVENTS
  •  

    (1) NHSC Loan Repayment Program Application Conference Call
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015
    8:00 - 10:00 p.m. ET
    Dial-in Number: 1-888-391-6801
    Participant Passcode: 8081979

    Do you have questions about the application process for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program? We've got answers! NHSC staff will be on hand to answer all of your questions about eligibility requirements, loan documentation, employment verification and more.

    Prospective applicants are also encouraged to view the recordedNHSC Application & Program Guidelines Webinar, which reviews the program eligibility requirements, online application process, and helpful resources. 


     

    (2) Risk Management Webinar - Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, ET or Thursday, March 12, 2015, 3:00pm - 4:00pm, ET.  ECRI Institute 

    , on behalf of HRSA is hosting this  webinar to educate health providers and staff about important risk management strategies that apply to both the obstetric environment and other healthcare settings. 

    (3) Healthy People 2020 Mental Health Webinar - Thursday, March 19, 2015, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, ET.  Join this Healthy People 2020 webinar focused on activities and interventions related to mental health disorders. Through four presentations focusing on data, communication efforts, and effective implementation strategies at the state level, presenters will explore the importance of mental health and the progress being made to address this public health issue.

     

    (4) 2015 NACHC Policy & Issues Forum

    Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

    March 18-22, 2015

    Dates: 
    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    


    (5) Aligning Forces for Quality Webinar - Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, ET. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is hosting this webinar to highlight the Aligning Forces for Quality Patient Engagement Toolkit  for health care organizations interested in establishing provider-patient partnerships to improve care. 
     View more information and register for the webinar.

    (6) NACHC's Practice Operations Management, 
    Level I (POM I) Seminar

    April 22-23, 2015 - Bally's Las Vegas

    Las Vegas, Nevada
    EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: April 8
    Online registration ends April 15.

     
    Register here.

    Emergency Preparedness Events: 

     

     

    HHS/ASPR Funding Opportunity Announcement: Hospital Preparedness Program Ebola Preparedness and Response Activities

     

    The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has released the new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) EbolaPreparedness and Response Activities. The intent of this funding is to ensure that the nation's healthcare system is ready to safely and successfully identify, isolate, assess, transport, and treat patients with Ebola or patients under investigation for Ebola, and that it is well prepared for a future Ebola outbreak. The FOA addresses two categories for Ebola preparedness activities: Part I: Healthcare System Preparedness, and Part II: Development of a Regional Hospital Network for Ebola Patient Care.


    For those who missed the DHMH conference call on Friday, March 6th, 2015, here are the slides

     

     

    Measles resources, among others, are available for use: 

     

     

    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

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    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
  •  

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    ATTENTION MD FQHCS 

     

    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)
    alison.robinson@maryland.gov 

     

    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)
    edward.johnson@maryland.gov

     

    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

    301-883-7632(Office)

    443-462-0230 (Mobile)

    kamelah.jefferson@maryland.gov 

     

     

    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. MACHC conducted two FQHCs with Planning for Onsite Drill/Exercise in February 5th & 6th, 2015. The Drill on Active Shooter will be available post the MACHC EP call taking place on March 12th (see additional info above in upcoming events section). All EP POIs please dial in for this important call.

    6. There is a DHMH Ebola Funding Announcement call this Friday, March 6th at 2 pm. Look in the events section (above) for full details.
     
    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    MACHC SPOTLIGHT

    MACHC Announces its Newly Launched Provider Credentialing Services

    For a subscription cost, MACHC will provide initial and re-credentialing services to our members.

    For more information please contact Bernadette Johnson at bernadette@machc.com

    MACHC created a Funding Cliff (see more info below)
    Work Plan Tracking Tool (click here). The fight towards the 70% cut in Health Center funding and ensuring continuing Health Center Trust Fund is now more important than ever. 

    MACHC has discussed the Funding Cliff Work Plan with MD & DE FQHC Leadership so that collectively we can make a greater impact. Please have your Point of Contact for your health center, complete the sheet and turn it in to Aneeqa Chowdhury (aneeqa@machc.com) every week. 

    A Factsheet has been created for MD & DE FQHCs depicting the Funding Cliff impact. In order to receive this, please email Aneeqa Chowdhury.


    Have you checked out the NEW MACHC website?
    The MACHC website now
     features Communifier (please email Junaed Siddiqui for login info or details at junaed@machc.com) 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 junaed@machc.com to be posted on our website.

     

    To Fix the Cliff, Start By Asking Yourself These 4 Questions
    "In just over two weeks, nearly 2,500 health center advocates will descend on Washington for the 2015 Policy and Issues Forum and will head to Capitol Hill to speak with one voice about the need to sustain what has been gained over 50 years and fix the funding cliff. Between now and then, every health center advocate should ask himself or herself 4 questions. When every advocate in the country can answer YES to all four of these questions, fixing the cliff will be a priority for Congress." - NACHC Director of Federal Affairs John Sawyer. To read the full blog post,  click here.

     

    Do Your Part - Get Started Today on Access is the Answer: Phase Three

    Phase Three of the Access is the Answer campaign to fix the Health Center Funding Cliff is in full swing and we need your help to deliver the Health Center message to Congress! All Health Center Advocates were called upon to ramp up efforts to engage various major Health Center constituencies: Health Center Boards, staff & patients, and state-based elected officials and community partners to step up for Health Centers. Click here for more information (including how to access templates and talking points) and to learn what you and your Health Center can do to help move Congress to ACT to fix the cliff!
      

    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

    HRSA Announces Funding Available for Infrastructure Projects

    On March 3, 2015, HRSA announced the Health Infrastructure Investment Program Funding Opportunity Announcement. HRSA expects to award approximately $150 million in Affordable Care Act funding for the alteration or renovation, expansion or construction of a facility, allowing health centers to provide increased capacity or additional primary and preventive care services. HRSA will hold a call on this announcement on March 24, 2015. Applications are due to grants.gov by April 21, 2015 and additional information will be due in the Electronic Handbook by May 21, 2015. You can view the announcement and additional information, including call in information, here.


    The 2015 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Site Application cycle opens on Tuesday, March 31 for healthcare sites that have never been approved as an NHSC site.  Currently there are more than 9,200 NHSC clinicians and more than 15,000 NHSC-approved health care sites providing healthcare in urban, rural, and frontier areas located throughout the Country.

     

    The benefits of becoming an approved NHSC-site are many including access to NHSC Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program providers who are currently seeking employment at NHSC-approved sites.  Sites can also utilize the NHSC Jobs Center, where NHSC-approved sites post job openings and site profiles to attract the attention of more than 17,000 unique visitors each month.  In addition, NHSC-approved sites can participate in NHSC Virtual Job Fairs, which provide NHSC-approved sites the opportunity to recruit providers in a cost effective manner since interaction is facilitated online via the internet and phone.

    When the cycle opens on March 31, facilities will submit an NHSC Site Application through the Bureau of Health Workforce Program Portal. Below are several resources potential NHSC site applicants may find helpful:

     HRSA has released the Fiscal Year 2015 HIIP Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Approximately $150 million in ACA funding will be made available to support 150-175 awards for existing Health Center Program grantees to increase their patient capacity and to provide additional comprehensive primary and preventive health services to medically underserved populations through the alteration/renovation, expansion, or construction of a facility.

    Applications are due to Grants.gov by April 21, 2015. Supplemental information is  due in EHB by May 21, 2015

    HRSA's 340B Drug Pricing Program Recertification 

    HRSA requires all 340B covered entities to annually recertify their program information in order to continue participation in the 340B Program.  Recertification is open through March 11, 2015.
    It is critical that health centers recertify before the deadline in order to continue participating in the 340b Program.
     Recertify your health center's 340B Program information. 
    View 340B Program resources.
    Contact the 340B Prime Vendor Program with any questions on the recertification process.

    Pilot Project on Intimate Partner Violence 

    Futures Without Violence, in collaboration with HHS and HRSA, is soliciting applications from PCMH-certified health centers to participate in a pilot project to improve health outcomes for women through the identification and response to intimate partner violence (IPV). Technical assistance and training will be provided by Futures Without Violence.
    Applications for the funding are due March 19, 2015.
    View more information about this funding opportunity.
     

    In case you missed last week's Teleforum, Phase Three of the Access is the Answer campaign to fix the Health Center Funding Cliff was officially launched and Health Center Advocates were called upon to take specific advocacy action steps. You can read the transcript of the call here (recording coming soon). This new phase ramps up efforts to engage various major Health Center constituencies: Health Center Boards, staff & patients, and state-based elected officials and community partners. Click here for more information (including how to access templates and talking points) and to learn what you and your Health Center can do to help move Congress to ACT to fix the cliff. Questions about the campaign? Email grassroots@nachc.com.

    Veteran Health Services Webinar Recording Now Available

    If you missed the recent webinar "Veteran Health Services-- What Health Centers Need to Know", a recording is now available. The webinar covered the ins and outs of the VA health system, and how the Veterans Choice Act (VCP) and Patient-Centered Community Care Networks (PC3s) interact and affect health centers' abilities to provide health care to veterans. Click here to log in to MyNACHC  and view the recording.

    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 340b.recertification@hrsa.gov.

     

    Start Planning NOW: Fix the Cliff Advocacy Call-In Day, Thursday, March 19

    Thousands of Health Center Advocates will be storming Capitol Hill on March 19th to deliver the Health Center message to Congress during the NACHC Policy & Issues Forum. If you're not coming to Washington for Hill Day, YOU have an advocacy job to do back home! Start planning for the Call-In Day (3/19) NOW to help amplify the Health Center message that advocates will be delivering on Capitol Hill - we need thousands of advocates back home to make calls to urge Congress to ACT to fix the Cliff. YOU can help make their message even stronger that day by planning now to call your Congressional offices and raising your voice for your Health Center.  Look for more information on how to call Congress, call scripts, and more- coming soon. For more information and resources on the Health Center Funding Cliff, click here . If you have questions, email us at grassroots@nachc.com.

    Upcoming Electronic Handbooks (EHB) Maintenance Schedule 

    Due to planned network maintenance, the EHBs will be unavailable on Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 6:00pm to 6:00am on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Questions should be directed to the HRSA Contact Center at 1-877-464-4772. 

    In the past several years, due to economic pressures, consumers have seen banks, airlines, and other businesses add fees for basic services that were once complementary. Now medical practices and healthcare providers have started in this trend. While most health insurance plans have reimbursement guidelines for covered services, the plans also allow doctors to charge patients for non-medical services including administrative and processing fees. 

    HHS Secretary Burwell to Congress: Inaction on Funding Cliff Would Cut Off Access for 7 Million Patients, Cost 40,000 jobs, Close 2,000 Sites

    Last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell testified before the about the President's Budget before two key House Committees. In her testimony before the Energy and Commerce Committee , Burwell released information for the first time on the impact of the looming Health Center Funding Cliff if Congress does not act by October. Specifically, the Secretary cited the potential loss of access for 7 million patients, loss of 40,000 jobs at Health Centers, and closure of some 2,000 Health Center sites. NACHC's statement on Burwell's testimony and the newly released impact numbers can be viewed here. The full Energy and Commerce hearing can be viewed here. The Health Center-specific exchange between Secretary Burwell and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) begins around the 35:20 mark and remarks on Health Centers by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) begin at 53:50.

    State News
    DELAWARE
    State employees could face higher health care costs

    An employee benefits panel will vote later this month on proposals aimed at closing an estimated $60 million deficit in Delaware's state health insurance plan.
    The panel met Friday but didn't vote on any of the proposals, which include new or higher deductibles, and higher copays for drugs, lab tests, outpatient surgeries and hospital stays.
    Officials are even considering eliminating coverage for erectile dysfunction pills, which are used by more than 3,400 state employees and retirees.
    State taxpayers cover 91 percent of the annual premiums for government workers and retirees.
    But the system is being squeezed by several factors, including more utilization, higher medical and drug claims - including recent spikes in maternity cases and expensive hospital stays - and more adult dependents enrolling on their parents' state plans. 

    MARYLAND
    Although the Affordable Care Act and creation of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange were important steps in expanding health care coverage for previously uninsured Marylanders, mounting evidence suggests that more work is needed to help ensure that coverage translates to care. Sen. Catherine Pugh and Del. Ariana Kelly have recently introduced legislation (Senate Bill 834/ House Bill 990) to help improve access to physicians and treatment for those with health insurance through the Maryland exchange. The Maryland General Assembly should work through the common-sense steps proposed by these legislators to protect patients and enable access to transparent, dependable health care coverage.
    Finance & Business

    HHS Invites Participation in the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network

    Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is inviting private payers, employers, providers, patients, states, consumer groups, individual consumers, and other partners within the health care community to participate in the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network ("Network").  First announced on January 26 by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, the Network has been created to support the transformation of the nation's health care delivery system to one that achieves better care, smarter spending, and healthier people through the expansion of new health care payment models.

    Cooperation through the Network supports efforts to help the entire U.S. health care system match or exceed the goals recently announced for Medicare: tying 30 percent of fee-for-service payments to quality or value through alternative payment models by the end of 2016 and tying 50 percent of payments to alternative payment models by the end of 2018.  It will also support the broader goal of tying the vast majority of payments in the health care system to quality or value. 

    For more information on the Network, please visit: innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Health-Care-Payment-Learning-and-Action-Network/.  The Network's kickoff event is planned for March 25, 2015. 

    The
    Latest News on ACA
     
    OUR WORK IS NOT OVER

      

    Assister Webinar Schedule and Supplemental Webinars

    Assister Webinar Schedule

    • Friday, March 13 at 2:00 pm EST

    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.

     

      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. 

    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

     

    Important message that was sent out to all applications for CAC's.

    Good Afternoon,

    We have scheduled MHC System training webinar sessions for Application Counselors. These sessions are scheduled and open for registration in The Hub for those who still need to complete this requirement or if you feel you need refresher training on the system.  The webinar sessions are scheduled under the MHC-Application Counselor ILT System Training Event listed in the HUB either on the active or completed tab on your transcript.

    If you have problems with accessing your Hub account, contact our training team at mhc.trainingsupport@maryland.gov.


     

    Title: MHC-Application Counselor ILT System Training

    Locator Number: 788

    Date: March 26th, 2015

    Time 10:30 am - 1: 30 pm

    Registration close date/time: 3/23/2015 @ 12:00 am

     

    Title: MHC-Application Counselor ILT System Training

    Locator Number: 795

    Date: June 25th, 2015

    Time 10:30 am - 1: 30 pm

    Registration close date/time: 6/22/2015 @ 12:00 am

     

    Requirements for Webinar Completion:

     

    1.    You must attend the webinar session in their entirety. Participants who miss more
    than 15 minutes of the webinar, as captured by entry and exit times throughout
    the session, will not receive completion status for the training.  For example, if a participant enters the online meeting space after 9:15 am for a webinar start time of 9:00 am, he or she will not receive credit for the training. 

    Participants must participate in the webinar through the Webex Meeting space and by phone for audio. If you are on the phone the entire time, but not signed into the
    WebEx, you will not receive credit for the training.  For this reason, we encourage you to remain logged into the online event during scheduled breaks and Q&A sessions. 

     2.    You must log into the session on an individual computer with a complete and
    accurate last name, first name, and email address. When joining the session, 
    please enter the same name and email address you used when registering for the
    webinar on The Hub.

    Participants who share a computer to attend the webinar will not receive completion status for the training, because their names and email addresses will not be captured
    in the webinar attendance report. 

    3.    Only participants who completed the required prerequisites and registered for the webinar through The Hub, before the registration deadline date and time, and satisfied the attendance requirements listed above will receive credit for completing the webinar.
     
    4. Only registered participants will receive an email on how to access the webinar, to the email address that was used to register in The Hub, at least 24 hours before the
    start of the webinar. 

     

    Thank you,

    MHBE

     

    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

     

    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.

    HRSA HIIP (Infrastructure Investment Program) Funding Opportunity: $150 million in support to an estimated 150-175 awardees
    Who: Section 330 grantees
    What: Funding for efforts to increase patient capacity and to provide additional comprehensive primary and preventative health services to medically-underserved populations through the alteration/renovation, expansion or construction of a facility.
    When: Grants.gov due April 21st, 2015 and EHB due May 21st, 2015

      

    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 
    02BPHC released PAL 2015-02 which describes the Accreditation and Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition Initiative, and outlines the process and requirements for applying for ambulatory health care accreditation and/or patient centered medical home (PCMH) recognition in 2015.
    Clinical Quality 
    Resources for Patient Safety Awareness Week 
    March 8 -14, 2015 isPatient Safety Awareness Week across the nation. Use BPHC's Risk Management and Quality Improvement webpage to find resources to address risk management issues in healthcare settings and to spread awareness about patient safety. 

    Simulation Can Improve Safety Protocols for Hospital Teams Treating Ebola Patients

    To help hospitals understand the value of simulation in caring for patients with high-risk, communicable diseases, AHRQ has developed a new issue brief, "Health Care Simulation to Advance Safety: Responding to Ebola and Other Threats."  The brief describes simulation's role in helping health care teams practice how to perform high-risk procedures correctly, identify breaches in safety protocols and reinforce high levels of performance. Simulation also can serve as an effective troubleshooter for organizations that think they're prepared to safely treat high-risk patients. For example, simulation identified serious gaps in safety protocols at one major university hospital that was considered "ready" to treat Ebola patients. The issue brief, the first in a series about the AHRQ's research priorities, also highlights lessons learned from AHRQ-funded grants on simulation and training and addresses ongoing challenges. 

    Health Observances This Week


     

    National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed on March 10 to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves and their partners from HIV.  
     

    National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a time each year when organizations and communities across the country come together to help women and girls take action to protect themselves and their partners from HIV - through prevention, testing, and treatment. The observance is sponsored by the Office on Women's Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    HIV Among Women and Girls

    HIV remains a significant health issue for women and girls, who comprised 23% (280,200) of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States in 2011. In 2013, one out of five (9,278) of the estimated 47,165 new diagnoses of HIV infection were among women and girls over age 13. The majority of these diagnoses (87%) were attributed to heterosexual contact. While these numbers are still too high, the latest available data about HIV among women and girls show some encouraging trends. The rate of HIV diagnoses among adult and adolescent women decreased from 8.3 per 100,000 in 2009 to 6.9 per 100,000 in 2013, due in part to a 21% reduction in the number of HIV infections among African American women from 2008 through 2010.

    African American and Hispanic/Latina women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. The rate of HIV infection among African American women remains the highest among all women - 19 times that of white women and almost 4 times that of Hispanic/Latina women.* African American women face a number of challenges that contribute to their higher rates of HIV infection. Among other factors, the greater number of people living with HIV (prevalence) in a community can increase the risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter.

    Although most (88%) of women living with HIV in 2011 were aware of their infection, less than half of them (45%) were engaged in medical care. Even fewer were prescribed antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV (41%), and less than a third (32%) had achieved viral suppression. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces the amount of virus (viral load) in blood and body fluids and  can keep people with HIV healthy for many years, and greatly reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to sex partners if taken consistently and correctly. Testing, diagnosis, and achieving viral suppression through treatment are all essential to reducing new infections and improving the health of people with HIV.

    *Hispanic/Latinos may be of any race. 

    What Puts Women and Girls at Risk?
    • Having sex without a condom or other protection (i.e., HIV medicines like PrEP).
    • Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for HIV transmission.
    • Ever having had sex without a condom or other protection with a male partner who also has sex with men.
    • Using drugs or alcohol, which can lead to risky sexual behaviors.
    • Being sexually abused may lead to difficulty in refusing unwanted sex, exchanging sex for drugs, or engaging in risky sexual behaviors.
    • Having more than one sex partner increases the chance that you will have sex with someone who is infected with HIV or another STD.
    • Get tested for HIV, alone or with your partner. To find a testing site near you, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), go to http://gettested.cdc.gov/, or text your ZIP code to KNOW IT (566948). You can also buy a home testing kit online or at a pharmacy.
    • If you have HIV, start treatment as soon as possible with HIV medicines (also known as antiretroviral therapy or ART), and stay on treatment. ART can lower the level of virus in your body enough to improve your health, prolong your life, and prevent you from spreading HIV to others.
    • Get tested and treated for other STDs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia, and insist that your partners do too. Being infected with other STDs makes you more likely to get HIV. 
    • Choose not to have sex or choose to have sex with one partner and agree to be sexually active only with each other.  Both of you should get tested for HIV, and share your test results before you decide to have sex.
    • Choose less risky sexual behaviors. Anal sex, especially if you are the receptive partner, is the highest-risk sexual activity for getting HIV. Vaginal sex is much less risky, and oral sex carries much less risk than anal or vaginal sex
    • Use latex male condoms or female condoms correctly every time you have anal or vaginal sex. Condoms are the only effective form of birth control that also helps reduce the risk of transmitting HIV and most other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  
    • Talk to your doctor about HIV medicines to prevent HIV infection (known as PrEP) if you routinely have sex with someone who has or may have HIV.
    • See a doctor immediately if you have sex with someone who has or may have HIV, if you are not already taking PrEP. Starting medicine (known as PEPwithin three days after a possible exposure reduces the chance of getting HIV.
    • Limit the number of people you have sex with. The fewer partners you have, the less likely you are to have sex with someone who is infected with HIV.
    • Don't share injection drug equipment, such as needles, syringes, works, or anything that might bring you into contact with someone else's blood or bodily fluids.
    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 | | aneeqa@machc.com |