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

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April 24, 2015
MACHC created a Funding Cliff


You did it!

On Tuesday, April 13th,  the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass H.R. 2 (92 - 8). This bill, which will soon be signed into law by President Obama, includes $7.2 billion in mandatory funding for the Health Centers Program, as well as continued funding for the National Health Service Corp (NHSC) and Teaching Health Centers (THC) for two years. Moreover, passage of this bill means access to care is now protected for 28 million people CHCs are projected to serve by next year! Read the NACHC statement on the passage of H.R. 2 here.

You, and thousands of Health Center Advocates made this victory a reality. Your calls and emails, visits with Members of Congress in Washington and back home, letters to the editor, Health Center Week events - Your commitment to advocacy and YOUR ACTION made this success happen for Health Centers and the patients they serve. Make no mistake, the power of advocacy has never been more real!

Our job as Health Center Advocates is far from over, there is much work to be done in the weeks, months and years ahead. But we celebrate this victory as this is a testament of health centers' incredible commitment and advocacy action! 


MACHC Announces its Newly Launched Provider Credentialing Services (look under Shared Services Corner)

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

For more information please contact Bernadette Johnson at


*Please note that the MACHC conference day(s) for June and Board of Directors meeting dates have been changed. Changes reflected below. 

(3) Cultural Competency in Practice:
Using CLAS and Health Equity in your everyday Practice
April 30 or May 1, 2015
(April 30, 2015, 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or
May 1, 2015 8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.) Register here
(This workshop is being repeated, participants need only attend one day)
Dover Downs Conference Center, Dover, DE
This competency training will help you and your staff build awareness, knowledge, and skills through a variety of teaching methods including direct instruction, role playing, case studies, facilitated group discussions, and technology/media.
All healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, social workers, front office staff, facility managers, supervisors, etc., are encouraged to attend!
This free training will offer:
  • Better understanding of  your patient's culture and yours
  • Knowledge and skills for navigating the dynamics of difference
  • Strategies for healthcare organizations to foster greater engagement with clients and co-workers
  • Excellent networking opportunities
(4) June 18-19, 2015

(5) September 17-18, 2015 
Operations Leadership
Turf Valley Conf. Ctr.


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

April 17, 2015
Conference Call 
11 am - 1pm

June 18, 2015
Face to face
11 am - 1pm

September 17, 2015
Board Retreat
Turf Valley

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

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

    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Online registration ends April 15.
     Register here.

    (2) Take Steps Today, Avoid Penalties Tomorrow (online)

    Wednesday April 22, 2015 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT       Register Now

    Are you concerned about the impact of the CMS value-modifier on your practice's bottom line? Join VHQC on Wednesday, April 22 at noon to hear from

    Patrick Hamilton, Health Insurance Specialist/Rural Health Coordinator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. During the webinar, Mr. Hamilton will share:

    1. A general overview of the value modifier and 2015 quality reporting
    2. Relationship between the physician quality reporting system (PQRS) and value modifier
    3. The quality and cost components of value-modifier
    4. Timeline for value modifier and when groups of various sizes will be affected 

      Accessing and understanding your Physician Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRUR)


    (3) First Ever Trauma-Informed Primary Care Initiative

    The National Council for Behavioral Health, in partnership with and sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, is pleased to announce an exciting 9-month learning community for primary care organizations to explore how adopting trauma-sensitive screening, assessment and treatment practices will support their efforts to successfully treat patients with challenging medical, mental health and addiction treatment needs.

    Ongoing research demonstrates that adverse life experiences (trauma) in childhood and adulthood significantly increases the likelihood of persisting physical health, mental health and addiction problems.

    Organizations selected for this pioneering learning community will engage in a critical first effort to examine trauma-informed care's effect on health outcomes for patients with significant exposure to traumatic life events. Through your participation, you will play a significant role in shaping our future health care system - one that accelerates the health and wellness of primary care patients.

    Apply by Friday, April 24th, 2015. Learn more here. Questions? Contact Jordan Winn at




    (4) Hepatitis C Prevention Opportunities among People Who Inject Drugs Webinar - Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, ET.  Register Here.

    HHS's Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) is hosting this webinar to highlight opportunities for hepatitis C (HCV) prevention among people who inject drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that cases of acute HCV have increased by 75% from 2010 to 2012, indicating an increased need for HCV prevention information, tools and strategies.


    (5) 2015 NHSC Site Application Technical Assistance Webinar

    Thursday, April 30 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. ET
    Access link:

    Dial-in Number: 1-888-996-4919
    Passcode: 8392355
    * To participate in the webinar, you will need to use both the access link and the dial-in number.
    NHSC Site Application Technical Assistance Conference Call 

    Wednesday, May 13 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET

    Dial-in Number: 1-888-790-1868
    Passcode: 8788160


    (6) Medicare PPS ONE-DAY Implementation Trainings 

    The time is now to register for NACHC's One-day Medicare PPS Trainings!  Most health centers have already begun to transition to the new Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) rate mandated by the Affordable Care Act, for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). According to these new requirements, FQHCs must transition to the new payment system by the end of their annual cost reporting period. For some of you that can be as early as May 1, 2015
    To make sure your health center is ready, join us and fellow colleagues in Kansas City, Missouri, May 5 & 6, 2015 for these one-day, intensive workshops to prepare health centers and look-alikes to implement the new Medicare PPS regulations. 

    Click here to register

    (7) The Urban Health Institute and the Johns Hopkins Centro SOL announce the
    Latino Health Conference
    "Land of Opportunity? Latino Immigrants and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)" on Tuesday, May 12, in Feinstone Hall. This day-long event will provide a dynamic forum for speakers and attendees to discuss challenges and opportunities associated with changes in the healthcare system and the rapid growth of the Latino community in Maryland. The conference will bring together scholars, policy experts, clinicians, and community advocates interested in improving access and quality of healthcare for Latino immigrants and their families.
    Please join us in a dynamic conversation with health policy experts, clinicians, community partners, public health officials, and academics. Our plenary speaker will be
    Dr. Benjamin D. Sommers of the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School. 
    Tuesday May 12, 8 a.m. to  5 p.m.
    Feinstone Hall, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21224

    Register TODAY

    (8) Accountable Care Academy: Moving from Volume to Value and from Theoretical to Practical Application
    May 13 - 14, 2015
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Online registration ends May 6
    NACHC is pleased to offer a new training designed to bring together the key leaders (CEO, CMO, CFO, COO, and CIO) of Health Centers, PCAs, and HCCNs to focus on the critical elements for successful participation in both informal and formal Accountable Care Organizations (managed care).

    (9) Reimbursement and Appropriate Diabetes Coding Training and Education Session
    Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 7:30 AM - Friday, May 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM (EDT)

    The Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control is providing a nationally recognized consultant to train and educate community based diabetes programs on Medicare and private coding and coverage guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME), and Intensive Behavior Therapy for Obesity. Building skills for consultation on patient empowerment and motivational interviewing will also be provided. Register here.


    (10) Managing Ambulatory Health Care I (MAHC I): Introductory Course for Clinicians inCommunity Health Centers       
    June 15-18, 2015 - Portland, Oregon
    EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: June 1      Apply here.

    The Managing Ambulatory Health Care I (MAHC I) course is an exciting collaboration between the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA). 

    This four-day course goes beyond the basics of being a new clinical director in a FQHC. This course focuses on skills that are essential in the community health center environment. You will learn specific management skills that are essential in the community health center environment:

    • Financial management
    • The enhanced role of the medical director (dental, behavioral health, etc.)
    • Clinical operations
    • Productivity management
    • Performance compensation
    (11) Patient-Centered Medical Home Training "Completing the Journey to 2014 NCQA PCMH Recognition"  June 15-16, 2015


    The Sheraton Harrisburg/Hershey 
    Harrisburg, PA    Register Here.

    Contact Cheryl Bumgardner for more information

    (12) Save the Date for the Maryland Chronic Disease Conference

    On September 8-9, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland, DHMH will be hosting the Inaugural Chronic Disease Conference.  The Maryland Chronic Disease Conference aims to explore challenges and opportunities in public health as well as approaches to prevent and control chronic diseases and associated risk factors. The conference will identify best practices, examine existing barriers, and develop a roadmap for future programs in Maryland. The core focus of the Conference will be the four CDC Chronic Disease Domains-Epidemiology/Surveillance; Environmental Approaches; Health Care System Interventions and Community Programs Linked to Clinical Services.

    For more information please visit: Maryland Chronic Disease Conference 

    Emergency Preparedness Events: 


    Domestic Preparedness: Coalition & Communication

    The National Institutes of Health has been saving the lives of patients diagnosed with Ebola virus. At the same time, Walter Reed Army Institute has been developing and testing a new Ebola vaccine. Montgomery County, Maryland, is home to these world-renowned facilities as well as a leading healthcare coalition that continually prepares for emerging public health threats.

    Created in response to the 11 September 2001 attacks and anthrax attacks later that year, the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) has increased hospital emergency preparedness nationwide. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response heavily promoted hospital coalitions as an integral part of community emergency preparedness across the nation, and there are now nearly 500 healthcare coalitions across the country. These coalitions play a critical role in preparing for and responding to public health crises. To read more, please click on the title.


    How Prepared Is Your Community for an Emergency? 


    Download the kit checklist: 


    Family communication and evacuation plan: 




    DATE:   WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2015

    TIME:  8:30 AM - REGISTRATION          9:00 AM TO 5:00 PM - WORKSHOP



    Corrected Registration Phone#: 301-474-1485








    Fun New Emergency Preparedness Challenge YOU can take part in TODAY!
     MEMA is holding a pet preparedness challenge. See info below. If anyone would like to participate, you can send 
    Sara Luell (

     your pet preparedness picture and she will post to the OP&R Facebook and Twitter.



    Starting tomorrow, April 1st-May 8th, share a pet selfie with DHMH (HPP Program) of you and your pet taking action and preparing for any emergency. The action can be simple as;
    1. Downloading a Pet Preparedness App
    2. Building a Pet Emergency Supply Kit
    3. ID-ing your pet w/ a collar & tag (or consider micro chipping)
    4. Practicing your evacuation plan in the car or determining where you both would shelter-in-place.
    5. Creating a buddy-system with a relative or friend to help each other's pets if one of you is away from home during an emergency.

    Whatever your action is, Office of Preparedness & Response (OP&R) wants to see it! Once the action is complete, take a picture (or selfie) of your #petpared and share, tweet, or Instagram the picture to them (email provided above or use social media) and include the hashtag #Petpared to help spread the word. You will feature you/ your pet ON the OP&R Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page.





    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]


    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) 



    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.   
    , 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 ( if you have not received the link.

    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    Health Infrastructure Investment Program (HIIP) FOA Deadline 
    HRSA is accepting applications for 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 by 11:59pm on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Supplemental information is due in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB) by 5:00pm on Thursday, May 21, 2015. .

    Save the Date: National Health Center Week 2015 Kick-Off Webinar May 12 at 2PM ET

    National Health Center Week will be observed August 9th-15th this year and is themed: America's Health Centers: Celebrating Our Legacy, Shaping Our Future. To kick off National Health Center Week planning efforts, NACHC will host its annual NHCW webinar on Tuesday, May 12 at 2PM ET. The webinar is open to all and will cover the nuts and bolts of how to plan and host successful events, recruit local sponsors, and invite federal, state, and local officials to join the celebration at your health center. Without a doubt one of the best ways to ensure a successful NHCW event is to start your planning EARLY and allow plenty of time to prepare. Click here to register for the webinar and join us next month! And, be sure to visit the National Health Center Week website to get event ideas and access resources to support your event planning.

    NHSC New Site application cycle

    The 2015 NHSC New Site application cycle is now open for eligible health care sites.  The application cycle will close on June 2, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. ET.  Interested sites are encouraged to read the 2015 NHSC Site Reference Guide for all program requirements.
    Eligible sites include health care facilities that provide outpatient, ambulatory and primary health care services (medical, dental, and behavioral) to populations residing in high-need urban and rural areas. Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are the only eligible inpatient facilities and must be affiliated with an NHSC-approved outpatient clinic.

    Applicants are encouraged to participate in any of these upcoming events, which will offer application help and technical assistance to those applying to become an NHSC Site.


    2015 NHSC Site Application Technical Assistance Webinar

    Thursday, April 30 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. ET

    Access link:
    Dial-in Number: 1-888-996-4919
    Passcode: 8392355
    * To participate in the webinar, you will need to use both the access link and the dial-in number.

    NHSC Site Application Technical Assistance Conference Call  

    Wednesday, May 13 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET
    Dial-in Number: 1-888-790-1868
    Passcode: 8788160

    Health Center Site Visits Now Include 340B Questions

    Health centers preparing for HRSA Operational Site Visits (OSVs) to verify their compliance with the 19 Health Center Program requirements should be aware that those visits now include five questions on the 340B Drug Discount Program.  OSV reviewers are to ask the following but are not expected to review 340B documents/policies or patient records.  The questions are:


    1.   Does the health center participate in the 340B drug pricing program? (if NO, the remaining questions are not required)

    2.    Does the health center have written 340B policies, procedures, or other related documents? (if NO, proceed to question 4)

    3.    If YES to #2, do the policies, procedures or other related documents address the following areas to assure that the individuals provided access to 340B drugs purchased by the health center meet all of the following?

    a)   The health center has an established relationship with the individual, as documented by the health center maintaining records of the individual's health care;

    b)    The individual receives health care services from a health care professional who is either employed by the health center or under contractual or other arrangements (e.g. referral for consultation) such that responsibility for care provided remains with the health centers; i.e. 340B prescriptions are only made available to those who receive services that are either provided directly by the health center (Form 5A Column I or II) and/or through formal written referral arrangements (Form 5A Column III) consistent with approved scope of project; and

    c)     The prevention of duplicate discounts for patients covered under Medicaid?

    4.   Does the health center dispense 340B drugs to patients through a contract pharmacy services model?  If YES, please verify the following: 

    a)   Does a written contract exist between the health center and contract pharmacy(ies);

    b)    Does the health center have within its contract or in written policies and procedures how the contract pharmacy will ensure against diversion;

    c)     Does the health center have, within its contract or in its written policies and procedures, a process that reflects how the contract pharmacy will ensure against duplicate discounts.

    5.  Does the health center attest that it provides oversight (e.g. annual audit or other mechanism) of the 340B drugs dispensed by the contract pharmacy(ies)?


    While the OSV reviewers are simply to ask the question and record the responses, responses could potentially trigger a 340B audit.  A comprehensive Community Health Center 340B Policy & Procedure Manual can be found online on the 340B University Tool Guide site.

    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) 2015 Edition Health Information Technology (IT) Certification Criteria Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

    HHS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and ONC announced the release of the Stage 3 NPRM for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria to improve the way electronic health information is shared and the way care is delivered and experienced. These proposed rules will give providers additional flexibility, make the program simpler, and drive interoperability among electronic health records. It will also increase the focus on patient outcomes to improve care. BPHC encourages public input to the NPRM, during the public comment period, which ends on Friday, May 29, 2015.

    Has Your Health Center Hasn't Yet Started the Medicaid Re-validation Process?

    The Affordable Care Act requires states to re-validate all providers participating in the Medicaid program by March 24, 2016, and every five years thereafter.  Being well aware of the length of time approval of PROMISe applications can take, we urge you to re-validate now, rather than wait closer to the deadline, when there will likely be an avalanche of applications. The Department of Human Services (DHS) this week clarified the following question:

    Q:  I know we have to revalidate all our providers but do we have to do that for our service locations since we have a promise number for each of our sites as an FQHC or RHC?

    A:  An FQHC or RHC is a provider, as is each site(geographic location) and each clinician, so each organization, site and clinician requires revalidation by the deadline of March 24, 2016.

    Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) University

    FTCA University is an innovative new training organized by the FTCA Branch of HRSA's Bureau of Primary Health Care for Community Health Centers . It is a great opportunity for seasoned and new professionals to learn from experts, leaders, and government officials in the areas of FTCA and related subject matter.  Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS), NY's primary care association, is offering FTCA U May 14-15 in Tarrytown, NY.  Registration is $395 for NY FQHCs and Look-Alikes, $450 for health center registrants from other states. 

    On April 10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to align Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3.  The modifications would allow providers to focus more closely on the advanced use of certified EHR technology to support health information exchange and quality improvement. The proposed rule would streamline reporting requirements by:

    • Reducing the overall number of objectives to focus on advanced use of EHRs
    • Removing measures that have become redundant, duplicative or have reached widespread adoption
    • Realigning the reporting period beginning in 2015, so hospitals and critical access hospitals would participate on the calendar year instead of the fiscal year
    • Allowing a 90 day MU reporting period in 2015 (instead of one year) to accommodate the implementation of these proposed changes in 2015
    • Modifying patient action measures in Stage 2 objectives related to patient engagement

    A fact sheet about the NPRM is also available. The deadline for comments is 5:00 pm, June 15, 2015.  For more about meaningful use, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website.

    As Florida lawmakers far away in the state capital struggle to break their stalemate over Medicaid expansion, Cynthia Louis sees the bus bench advertising "Obamacare" near her Miami home as a reminder of a broken promise: that the Affordable Care Act would help her get the medical care she needs to return to work.

    Louis, 57, has been unemployed since fall of 2013. Before then, the mother of three worked for Burger King for nearly 25 years, preparing and serving breakfast and lunch to Miami customers.

    State News

    Tax Special Enrollment Period to End April 30

    When filing their taxes this year, some individuals are finding out that they owe a penalty for going uninsured in 2014.  The Federal government announced that there will be a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) until April 30 for these individuals to enroll in 2015 coverage.  This SEP will allow individuals and families who owe the penalty one last chance to get covered for 2015 and minimize the additional fees they may owe next tax season.  One important note: taxpayers who owe the 2014 penalty still must pay it, even if they enroll in coverage through this SEP.  Consumers can find information about how to access in-person enrollment assistance at

    We are well passed the fifth year anniversary of the day President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was supposed to give every American affordable and accessible health care, especially to those people who had pre-existing conditions and were either forced to pay extremely high premiums for insurance or were denied coverage. However the ACA only works, assuming your goal is not a government-payer health care system, if those of us who don't have health insurance buy into the system to help ensure less healthy individuals can keep their premiums down. 


    Three shot at Delaware university cookout 

    Three people were shot at a Delaware State University student cookout Saturday, resulting in a police search across the campus and nearby areas.

    The shooting was reported at about 8 p.m. at a school-sanctioned sorority and fraternity cookout event, university President Harry L. Williams said in a statement.


    At the beginning of this year's General Assembly session, the prognosis for quality, affordable health care in Maryland was unclear. Newly elected Governor Larry Hogan had proposed a number of cuts to critical programs, the funding mechanism for our health insurance marketplace was up in the air and uncertainty in Congress clouded the future of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

    Now, with the 2015 General Assembly Session just ended, we have made some substantial progress. The General Assembly has done its job. But now Governor Hogan must act to keep Maryland's health care progress going. We strongly urge the governor to use the funds allocated by the General Assembly for critical health care programs. 

    Finance & Business

    The legislation passed this week by Congress that extended Health Center Program, CHIP, Teaching Health Center Program, and National Health Service Corps funding for two years also repealed the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR), averting a 21% across-the-board cut in Medicare's physician fees.  Perhaps more important than averting the physician fee cut is what the legislation does to replace SGR:  the bill replaces the SGR with an approach focused on rewarding high-performing providers while supporting alternative payment models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs).  The volume-based cuts to fees integral to SGR will be replaced with modest annual updates (0.5% each year from 2015 through 2019 and then no increase through 2025), but high-performing providers participating in alternative payment models will have the opportunity for additional payments in the form of shared savings for ACOs, care management fees or shared savings for PCMHs and bonuses for those receiving a substantial portion of their revenue from these models.  For more insights, see Commonwealth Fund article.

    Resources and Publications for your Health Center:

    Latest News on ACA


    Agents and Brokers Are Important Resource for Those Who Need Help Getting Coverage

    Delawareans who need help getting health insurance might prefer to work with an agent or broker, licensed professionals who help consumers, employers, and Medicare beneficiaries make decisions about enrolling in coverage.

    For individuals, many agents and brokers can look for options both in and outside the federal Health Insurance Marketplace ( If you qualify for savings, make sure your agent or broker is certified to enroll you in a Marketplace plan, since premium tax credits and savings on out-of-pocket costs are available only through the Marketplace.

    Agents and brokers can help consumers compare the benefits of insurance plans, differences in provider networks, deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance, etc.  They can also help determine if a consumer might qualify for government assistance such as the types mentioned above or for state programs such as Medicaid. The agent, unlike government-affiliated enrollment assisters, can also recommend specific plans.
    "The goal of an agent is to educate consumers on the pros and cons of their choices, so they can make good decisions based on their needs," says Nick Moriello, president and CEO of Health Insurance Associates in Newark, who serves on the Insurance Agent Advisory Board to Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart.
    The job of an insurance agent doesn't stop once a consumer is enrolled, says Moriello, who holds leadership positions with NAIFA Delaware (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) and the National Association of Health Underwriters. "Agents and/or their staff remain attached to a consumer's health insurance policy as a point of contact for service.  If the consumer has questions with the plan, or if they need service on the plan, they can contact their agent for help." Agents are also available to review the consumer's coverage, usually annually, to make sure the plan continues to meet the consumer's needs.
    An agent's service is provided at no cost to the consumer, Moriello says. "Agents do not charge fees, the insurance companies do not charge a consumer extra to work with an agent, and the plans are the same exact price with or without an agent involved.  The insurance companies pay the agents a commission to do what they do."

    For a list of agents and brokers certified to sell Marketplace plans in Delaware, go to and click on "I need help with the process."

    Policy Updates

          I.            Final Open Enrollment Updates

    As of February 22, 2015, the total number of Delaware consumers who had secured affordable health insurance coverage through the Marketplace reached 25,036. This includes both consumers that selected a plan for the first time and those who re-enrolled through These numbers reflect the totals as of the end of the Open Enrollment Period for Year 2.

    Nationwide, 11.7 million consumers selected a plan or were re-enrolled through the platform during this same period. For more detailed information about the enrollment numbers from this Open Enrollment Period, click here.

          II.            Uninsured Numbers Drop Nationwide
    March 23, 2015, marked the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Since its inception, 16.4 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services released a report stating that 14.1 million uninsured adults have secured insurance coverage since the first open enrollment period began in October 2013, and a further 2.3 million young adults gained coverage between 2010 and October 2013 due to the provision that allowed them to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26. These numbers do not take into account the gains in coverage that were realized through expansion of the Medicaid program by many states and increases in employer-sponsored coverage. All together, these figures represent the biggest drop in the number of uninsured in 40 years.

    In Delaware, over 9,600 individuals have secured affordable health care coverage through the state's expansion of Medicaid.

        III.            Thank You from HHS
    On March 12, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell shared her thanks with the in-person assistance community, whose work was crucial to the mission of the Affordable Care Act - reducing the number of uninsured Americans and connecting Americans to care.

    We also would like to take the time to thank the Delaware assister community for their work throughout this Open Enrollment period. As stated above, 25,036 consumers now have health insurance through the Marketplace and 9,600 have secured Medicaid coverage. This impact on Delaware's uninsured population would not have been impossible without the outreach and enrollment efforts of the Guides and Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and agents and brokers in the community.

        IV.            Tax Penalty Scams and Resources for Consumers
    The Affordable Care Act has led to numerous tax-related changes for consumers with Qualified Health Plans (QHPs). If a consumer purchased a QHP he/she will need to obtain and complete a set of IRS forms in order to accurately report their health insurance status. These tax-related changes also impact consumers who have employer-sponsored health coverage, consumers, who obtained exemptions, and consumers who could not purchase health coverage on the Marketplace due to their immigration status.

    We strongly recommend that consumers seek out the assistance of a licensed tax preparer or tax preparation agency if they have any questions. Consumers are advised to use their discretion when seeking out tax preparation assistance from anyone else. However, consumers should contact the following agencies if they feel that they have been the victim of a tax penalty scam:

    • To report a suspected telephone tax scam, consumers can call the IRS at (800) 366-4484.
    • To report a suspected email scam, consumers can forward the message to
    • Consumers can also report any tax scams in person at the IRS's local walk-in offices in Wilmington, Dover or Georgetown or by calling the Delaware Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 220-5424.
    This information was shared in the News Journal and you can find the full article here.


    Connecting Kids to Coverage Webinar

    On April 22 at 3:00 pm, the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign is hosting a webinar, Helping Newly Enrolled Families Understand and Use their Medicaid and CHIP Coverage. Please click on the link to register.
    • To view the full enrollment update,  click here.
    • To view the newly-released Medicaid and CHIP Application, Eligibility Determination, and Enrollment Data, click here.
    • To view a NEW fact sheet on Medicaid/CHIP and the ACA, click here.

    Assister Spring Webinar Schedule
    • 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. 

    MACHC Conference Call Updates

    All Maryland CACs: 

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange's ACSE monthly meeting has been cancelled for Monday, April 27th. The call/meeting will meet next month on the fourth Monday of June.
    June 22, at 10am. 


    NEW Plan Selection Data Available By Zip Code

    Newly-released data from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) allows viewers to browse consumer plan selections by zip code from November 15, 2014 through February 22, 2015. Assisters may find this interesting because it offers a look at plan selections on a local level. To view this new dataset, click here 

    Navigator Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Released

    Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a funding opportunity for organizations and individuals to operate as Navigators in Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs), including State Partnership Marketplaces (SPMs).  As they did have done over the past two years, and as they are doing now, Navigators will continue to assist consumers in various ways, including providing information about available coverage options through the Marketplace during open enrollment. 

    Navigators have been an important resource for the millions of Americans who enrolled in coverage over the past two years. This funding announcement ensures this important work will continue over the next three years in states with a FFM, including during Marketplace open enrollment periods. 


    Model Form 1095-A Now Available in Spanish

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a Spanish translation of Form 1095-A and instructions for using the form. To view the instructions and model Form 1095-A in Spanish, click here ; you can also view this form along with other tax-related resources here. 


    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


    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,



    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

    HRSA Health Infrastructure Investment Program Funding
    Application Deadline: application package by April 21; EHB application by May 21
    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. For additional information, click here.

    The Geiger Gibson Capstone Fellowship in Health Policy and Leadership

    Program Period: April 20-22, 2015, Washington, D.C.

    This program is offered through a partnership between the Department of Health Policy and the National Association of Community Health Center's Leadership Development Institute.  The program is designed to provide participants with the knowledge needed to understand U.S. health policy trends and their implications for health centers. Special emphasis is placed on current and emerging health reform implementation issues. Program speakers come from senior levels of Washington DC's health policy leadership community.  The program is $750 per participant, not including travel, lodging and meal expenses.

    UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program (HCEP)

    Application Deadline:  April 30, 2015

    This program is a unique opportunity for executives of community health centers and AIDS service organizations to participate in an intensive management training program at UCLA Anderson. This leadership and management development program sharpens leaders' skills so they can help their community-based organizations improve and expand care for the people they serve. The program also builds both executive and entrepreneurial management skills. The curriculum consists of practical tools, techniques and approaches to leadership and management relevant to organizations that are adapting to the major changes in health policy, financing and service integration. Participants also engage in a rigorous but relevant curriculum that provides the requisite skills, knowledge and abilities to successfully manage and lead change in their organizations and communities. To learn more about the program, please mark your calendar and register to participate in an online informational webinar scheduled for April 2, 2015 at 12:00 noon ET

    National Training and Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreements (NCA) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (HRSA-15-140) - HRSA released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 NCA FOA (HRSA-15-140). Approximately $3 million will be available to support 3-4 awards to national organizations that will provide training and technical assistance to potential and existing Health Center Program grantees and look-alikes in the areas of oral health services, health information technology and data, and clinical workforce development.

    Applications are due to by Monday, June 1, 2015. This NCA funding opportunity is a only application.

    A technical assistance (TA) webinar will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 2:00pm, ET. The details for this webinar and FOA TA resources are available on the NCA FOA TA website.


    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.


    National Training and Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement (NCA) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (HRSA-15-140) - HRSA released Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 NCA FOA (HRSA-15-140)  which will provide approximately $3 million  to support 3-4 awards to national organizations that will provide training and technical assistance to potential and existing Health Center Program grantees and look-alikes. The organizations will provide training in the areas of oral health services, health information technology and data, and clinical workforce development.
    Applications are due to by Monday, June 1, 2015. This NCA funding opportunity is a only application.

     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.


    CY 2016 Requirements for FTCA Medical Malpractice Coverage for Health Centers- HRSA has issued Program Assistance Letter (PAL) 2015-03 to describe the process for Health Center Program grantees to submit initial and redeeming Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) deeming applications for Calendar Year (CY) 2016.
    Applications are due by Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 11:59pm, ET.

    Technical Assistance (TA) Webcasts will be held on April 2 (Risk Management) , April 8 (Credentialing), and April 9 (Professional Liability) from 2:00pm - 3:30pm, ET.
    View more information on this PAL and TA Webcasts

    Shared Services Corner 
    MACHC now offers  a myriad of Shared Services for member convenience. 
    Please check out the attached flier for additional details on the services  offered.
    Clinical Quality 
    The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) has released its 2014 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report.  These reports to Congress highlight the importance of examining quality and disparities together to gain a complete picture of health care.  This report provides a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.  It is based on more than 250 measures of quality and disparities covering a broad array of health care services and settings.  You can also access AHRQ's chartbook on  
    Access to Health Care.

    What Health Centers Need to Know Resources - National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has produced a fact sheet, toolkit, and webinar on the Veterans Choice Program (VCP). These resources provide a detailed overview of how health centers can become providers under the VCP.
    Health Observances This Week


    National Infant Immunization Week 

    April 18 - 25, 2015, is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). NIIW is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.


    Key messages help everybody in your organization speak with one voice about your NIIW programs. These can be changed to suit your own needs. Consider posting one message for each day of National Infant Immunization Week on your own Web site.


    • National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW is scheduled to be held April 18-25, 2015.
    • NIIW provided an opportunity to draw attention to these issues and to focus on solutions. Communities have continued to use the week each year to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring all children are fully protected from vaccine preventable diseases through immunization. Today, many immunization programs, partners and communities can celebrate high infant immunization rates.
    • During the last week in April for the past 20 years, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined those in countries around the world to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting the health of our children, families, and communities. The United States celebrates NIIW as part of World Immunization Week (April 24-30, 2015), an initiative of the World Health Organization.
    • The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines to children who are underinsured or whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. The VCF program helps children get their vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule and has contributed directly to a substantial increase in childhood immunization coverage levels, making a significant contribution to the elimination of disparities in vaccination coverage among young children.
    • Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Among children born during 1994-2013, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
    • Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community.
    • Healthcare professionals remain parents' most trusted source of information about vaccines for their children. They play a critical role in supporting parents in understanding and choosing vaccinations.
    • Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines. Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles. Parents are encouraged to talk to their child's doctor to ensure that their baby is up-to-date on immunizations.
    • Protecting babies from whooping cough begins before a baby is even born. All pregnant women are recommended to receive the whooping cough vaccine, or Tdap, during the third trimester of each pregnancy to help protect their baby from whopping cough until he can receive his first whooping cough vaccine at 2 months. Learn more about the CDC's Born With Protection campaign at
    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 | | |