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 16, 2015
MACHC HAPPENINGS

MACHC EVENTS

 

(1) MACHC's Funding Cliff Call (*bi-weekly) 

March 24th, 2015
10 am - 10:30 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) 
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.

 

(3) Outreach and Enrollment Call (monthly) 

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.

 

(4) Maryland's New Quality Improvement Organization
April 7th, 2015 12:30 PM   through   1:30 PM
This webinar will focus on key quality improvement and clinical priorities for FHQCs in Maryland
Sheila McLean, Program Director for Maryland, and Peggy Oehlmann, Improvement Consultant, of VHQC, will give an overview of VHQC and its role as the CMS-designated Quality Improvement Organization for Maryland and Virginia. As the CMS-designated Quality Improvement Organization for Maryland and Virginia, VHQC is actively reaching out to key stakeholders and providers interested in participating in various quality improvement activities, such as:

 

*         Working with physicians to promote more effective treatment to patients at risk for heart attack and stroke, especially in underserved populations
*         Working with providers across the continuum of care to reduce healthcare associated infections and spread evidence-based practices for infection prevention and reduction.
*         Promoting prevention and treatment of chronic disease by working with providers to reduce disparities for underserved patients with heart disease or diabetes.
*         Improving prevention coordination through Meaningful Use of HIT and provider education on PQRS and the Value Modifier incentive program. 


June 19-20, 2015
Clinical/Informatics
Harbourtowne

(5) 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) 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.

     

    (2) 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    


    (3) 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.

    (4) NHSC Scholarship Application TA Call - Thursday, March 26, 7:00pm - 9:00pm, ET.
    NHSC is hosting this call to provide technical assistance for students interested in applying for the NHSC Scholarship Program (referenced in the "What's New" section of this Digest).

    Dial-in to the call at 1-888-391-6801, passcode: 8081979

    (5) 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: 

     

     

    Hospital Ebola Preparedness Assessment Survey: Preliminary Results

     

    In January, DHMH/OP&R disseminated the DHMH Hospital Ebola Preparedness Assessment to Maryland acute care hospitals and other healthcare partners. The survey was intended to assess whether hospitals are ready and capable of properly identifying, isolating and treating a potential Ebola patient. The assessment was sent to 46 acute care hospitals; 95.7 percent provided responses. Hospitals across all 5 regions were represented among the respondents.

     

    Analysis of the survey data is still in progress; however, an initial review indicates that Maryland hospitals have done a great deal of work to prepare for a potential Ebola patient. Preliminary results indicate the need in some areas for additional training and PPE, as well as additional planning around the healthcare system/EMS interface. DHMH will continue to support healthcare system partners in their efforts to enhance preparedness for Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases. 

     

     

    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

     

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

     

    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]

     

    Kristin McMenamin

    Kent County Health Department

    A.F. Whitsitt Center

    300 Scheeler Road, P.O. Box 229
    Chestertown, MD  21620

    410-778-4861 (Office)

    443-690-3091 (Mobile)

    410-778-4862 (Fax)

    kristin.mcmenamin@maryland.gov 

     

     

    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 follow up call with ALL MACHC member health centers and partners was held Thursday, March 12th. Due to the large file size of Active Shooter documents, an email to all attendees and FQHC POIs was sent out. Please alert Aneeqa Chowdhury (aneeqa@machc.com) if you have not received the link.

     
    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    MACHC SPOTLIGHT

    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. 
     

    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.

     

    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.

     

    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
     

    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News

    HRSA Information Center 

    On March 27, 2015, the phone number for the HRSA Information Center will no longer be in service. Please refer to HRSA.gov for information and resources about HRSA programs. 

    Farmworker Health Resource Center 
    The National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) Resource Center functions as a library that allows health professionals access to over 5,000 different farmworker related materials. These materials include everything from patient educational materials, to historic farmworker documents, to legislation to current research on topics such as HIV/AIDS, occupational health, demographics, and pesticides. 

    House and Senate Health Center Dear Colleague Letters Up and Running

    The House letter went live last week with Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Gene Green (D-TX) stepping up to lead the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Health Center letter. In the Senate, the letter is once again being led by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). As in the past, the letter expresses general support for Health Center Program funding in FY2016, but this year the letter also specifically emphasizes the need for swift action to address the Health Center Funding Cliff. Click here  to see copies of the letters and current signers, and here to take action and ask your Members of Congress to sign on.

    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 19 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.  Click here  for a brief sample script, video and all of the information you need to help you get prepared to call Congress. If you have questions, email us atgrassroots@nachc.com.

    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. For more info on talking points or help with resources for the campaign, please click on the title.

    Last week NACHC submitted comments on the Veterans Administration's Interim Final Rule on the establishment of the Veteran's Choice Program. This program was established in the Veteran's Choice Act, passed last summer, and gives veterans an opportunity to seek care in non-VA facilities, including FQHCs. NACHC commented on many aspects of the program, including many issues we have heard from FQHCs regarding the implementation of the program thus far. For more information on the Veterans Choice Program, please see the NACHC fact sheet here.

    Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Funding Push on Capitol Hill

    With CHIP funding slated to expire in September (at the same time as the Primary Care Cliff), Advocates are gearing up on Capitol Hill to pass a funding extension ASAP. Given that a number of state legislatures will have finished their legislative sessions for the year well before September rolls in, there is increasing pressure that Capitol Hill act sometime this month to extend the program. Accordingly, three sets of legislators have proposed legislation to extend the program's funding...albeit each bill is different and neither advocacy groups nor legislators have coalesced around any one particular option.

    NACHC staff are working closely with legislators and other advocacy groups in DC to ensure that whatever bill ultimately passes on dovetails with Health Center priorities
    The National Center for Medical Legal Partnership recently released an issue brief examining the benefits and potential resources for Health Centers engaging in the medical-legal partnership approach to health.

    More than 50 Democrats in the House and 30 national health advocacy groups sent letters to the administration urging a change that would offer a special enrollment period to uninsured women who become pregnant. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court challenge to federal exchange subsidies could reduce the number of insurers expanding into new markets next year.

    House and Senate Republicans release their 2016 budgets this week, mapping out a conservative blueprint for shrinking federal spending and challenging the vision laid out by President Barack Obama in his budget last month. ... If House and Senate Republicans can agree on a budget, they would be able to tap into a procedural shortcut known as reconciliation, which would enable the GOP to bypass Senate Democrats on related legislation, likely including changes to the Affordable Care Act. Should internal GOP fissures derail passage of the budget resolution, the party's best chance at sending its most conservative bills to Mr. Obama's desk this year is gone. 
    State News
    DELAWARE
    HIE should stand for "Health Information Ecosystem," where all parties draw from and contribute to the network, according to Jan Lee, CEO of the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN).

    The state's health information exchange is a way to gather information from every health entity in the region and make it valuable to everyone, Lee tells CIO Insight in a recent interview. DHIN also is helping practices cut down the time it takes to find missing information, and saving time saves money for providers, she says.

    MARYLAND

     An American healthcare worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in a Sierra Leone treatment unit arrived safely at the National Institutes of Health's hospital in Maryland, officials said Friday.

    Doctors evaluated the patient, and the person is in serious condition after being flown in isolation from Sierra Leone on a chartered plane and admitted at 4:44 a.m., NIH officials said in a statement. The patient's name, age and gender were not released.

    Finance & Business

    With a deadline fast approaching, bipartisan negotiations are heating up in the House to find a permanent replacement for Medicare's physician payment formula. But the tentative package being hammered out behind closed doors contains some key provisions that are likely to raise objections from both Republicans and Democrats. Unless Congress takes action by the end of this month, doctors who treat Medicare patients will see a 21 percent payment cut. 

     

    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 Spring Webinar Schedule
    • Friday, March 13 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, March 20 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, March 27 at 2:00 pm EST
    • THURSDAY, April 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm EST*
    • Friday, April 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm EST
    • Friday, April 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm EST*

    *Please note that there will NOT be an assister webinar on Friday, April 3 or on Friday, April 17, 2015.

     

    Marketplace Call Center and SHOP Call Center Hours

    Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center: For customer service support, to start or finish an application, compare plans, enroll or ask a question. 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).  Available 24/7. Closed Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

    SHOP Call Center: For customer service support, including assisting employers and employees apply for and enroll in SHOP. 1-800-706-7893 (TTY: 711).  Available M-F 9:00 am-7:00 pm EST. 

    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. 

     
    NHSC Scholarship Program Now Open 

    The 2015 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program application cycle is now open and will close on May 7, 2015 at 7:30pm, ET. Refer to the "Upcoming TA and Training Sessions" section of this Digest for information on a related webinar.
    Eligibility for the program is open to all students who are committed to primary care and are U.S. citizens or nationals and are enrolled in a fully accredited training program for Physicians (MD or DO), Dentists, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse-Midwives or Physician Assistants at a U.S. accredited school. Refer to the 2015 Application and Program Guidance for all of the program requirements.

    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 

    A new study indicates that the Affordable Care Act's expansion of coverage for dependents has increased the efficiency of medical care delivery by reducing non-urgent emergency department (ED) use among young adults. The study by a team of researchers, including one from AHRQ, found that the Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage provision, which allows young adults to stay on their parents' private health plan until age 26, was associated with a modest decrease in the use of hospital EDs. In the study, researchers examined data from more than 17 million ED visits over a 5-year period (2007-2011) from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. They found that the quarterly ED-visit rate decreased by a small but statistically significant amount (1.6 per 1,000 population) among young adults after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act provision. The study, "Changes in Emergency Department Use Among Young Adults After the ACA's Dependent Coverage Provision," was published March 10 in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

     

    Expanding Medicaid to Parents Is Associated With Increased Coverage for Children, According to AHRQ Study

    An study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that children whose parents applied for and received Medicaid insurance had a higher probability of also being covered. The study assessed results of Oregon's expansion of Medicaid in 2008 when uninsured, low-income individuals were randomly selected to apply for coverage. The study found that parents selected to apply for Medicaid conveyed 18 percent higher odds of their children also getting coverage within the first six months. Children of parents who both applied for and later obtained Medicaid had more than double the odds of receiving coverage compared with children whose parents were not selected. These results demonstrate a causal link between parents' access to Medicaid coverage and their children's coverage, researchers said. The study, "Effect of Expanding Medicaid for Parents on Children's Health Insurance Coverage: Lessons From the Oregon Experiment," and abstract were published January 5.

    Health Observances This Week


    National Poison Prevention Week - March 15 - 21, 2015 is National Poison Prevention Week across the nation.  Unintentional poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths and the ninth leading cause of emergency room treatment. Program the Poison Help Line 1-800-222-1222 into your phone and encouraging friends and family to do the same. To learn more about Poison Help, watch this  video or visit the Poison Help website.


     

    Each year, approximately 2.4 million people - more than half under age 6 - swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some important tips to prevent and to treat exposures to poison. Please feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgement of source.  Spanish version
     

    To poison proof your home:

    Most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are home but not paying attention. The most dangerous potential poisons are medicines, cleaning products, liquid nicotine, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil. Be especially vigilant when there is a change in routine. Holidays, visits to and from grandparents' homes, and other special events may bring greater risk of poisoning if the usual safeguards are defeated or not in place.

    • Store medicine,  cleaning and laundry products (including detergent packets), paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.
    • Safety latches that automatically lock when you close a cabinet door can help keep children away from dangerous products, but there is always a chance the device will malfunction. The safest place to store poisonous products is somewhere a child can't reach.  
    • Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps and keep out of reach of children. Discard unused medication. Note that safety caps are designed to be child resistant but are not fully child proof.
    • Never refer to medicine as "candy" or another appealing name.
    • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage. For liquid medicines, use the dosing device that came with the medicine.
    • If you use an e-cigarette, keep the liquid nicotine refills locked up out of children's reach and only buy refills that use child resistant packaging. Ingestion or skin exposure with just a small amount of the liquid can be fatal to a child.
    • Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
    • Keep coal, wood or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
    • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    • Secure remote controls, key fobs, greeting cards, and musical children's books. These and other devices may contain small button-cell batteries that can cause injury if ingested. 
       
    Treatment 

    If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If your child has come in contact with poison and has mild or no symptoms, call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222.  

    Different types and methods of poisoning require different, immediate treatment:
     
    • Swallowed poison - Take the item away from the child, and have the child spit out any remaining substance. Do not make your child vomit. Do not use syrup of ipecac.
    • Swallowed battery - If your child has swallowed a button-cell battery, seek treatment in a hospital emergency department immediately.
    • Skin poison -- Remove the child's clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
    • Eye poison -- Flush the child's eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner for 15 minutes.
    • Poisonous fumes - Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own, or until someone can take over.
    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 |