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

In light of the Baltimore Riots, MACHC has coordinated a meeting with Baltimore City Health Department, please look on the EP section for details. All Baltimore Health Centers rep is invited to attend.
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 

May 11, 2015
Baltimore City Unrest 


Congratulations La Red Health Center

Yesterday the Department of Health and Human Services announced New Access Point grants that will expand care to nearly 650,000 people in 33 states and two U.S. Territories [see news release]. In making the announcement in North Carolina  Secretary Burwell. said,"Health centers are keystones of the communities they serve. Today's awards will enable more individuals and families to have access to the affordable, quality health care that health centers provide. That includes the preventive and primary care services that will keep them healthy."


Please join MACHC in congratulating La Red Health Center on successfully acquiring this NAP!


There were be many more opportunities in the future, please keep a look out!



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. 
(1) Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, June 5, 2014
1-866-740-1260 Access 4319483
Who: Outreach Staff
Discuss state updates, best practices, barriers/issues that need attention and provide any support and advocacy where needed.

(2) June 18-19, 2015
Maritime Conference Center- Lithicum, MD

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


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
Maritime Conference Center

September 17, 2015
Board Retreat
Turf Valley

    (1) 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

    (2) Recent State Developments and Common Terms
    Tuesday, May 12, 2015 3:00 pm (EDT) Register here.
    This is the first installment for the Payment Reform Webinar Series.
    In preparation for the payment reform summit, this webinar will provide background about state payment reform efforts, as well as terminology commonly used. 

    (3) BPHC All-Programs Webinar - Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET.
    BPHC is hosting this quarterly webinar to provide all BPHC programs (Grantees, Look-Alikes, Cooperative Agreement Partners - NCAs, PCAs, and BPHC Staff) with updates on current activities and future plans for Fiscal Year 2015.
    View the webinar the day of the session. Connect to the audio line using 1-888-456-0284; Participant Code: 5634107.

    (4) 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).

    (5) 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.


    (6) Using a Clinic-Based Screening Tool for Primary Care Providers to Identify Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Webinar - Monday, May 18, 2015, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, ET. The Administration for Children and Families in coordination with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Migrant Clinicians Network, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council is hosting this webinar to highlight the importance of identifying victims of human trafficking in health care settings 

    Register here


    (7) Legal Considerations
    Tuesday, May 19, 2015 3:00 pm 
    This is the second installment for the Payment Reform Webinar Series.
    In preparation for the payment reform summit, this webinar will provide background about state payment reform efforts, as well as terminology commonly used.  Register here.

    (8) FQHC Medicare PPS transition: Pitfalls, hurdles, and lessons learned in the first wave Register Here

    The "new" FQHC Medicare Prospective Payment System (PPS) is intended to ensure that FQHCs receive appropriate reimbursement for services provided to Medicare patients. Early results disclose that unanticipated challenges continue to plague FQHCs transitioning from the Medicare cost-based all-inclusive rate payment model to the "new" PPS payment methodology. The first wave of transitions has revealed unexpected outcomes in a number of crucial areas impacting payment.  
    You won't want to miss Part 2 of our Medicare PPS webinar series on

    Wednesday, May 20th at noon EST

    (9) Addressing the Social Determinants of Health at Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander Health Centers Webinar - Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET

    BPHC is hosting this webinar to highlight how addressing the social determinants of health at Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander Health Centers can positively impact access to quality health care. This webinar will feature speakers from the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.
    View the webinar the day of the session. Connect to the audio line using 1-888-469-2151; Participant Code: 4463737.

    Health People 2020 Tobacco Webinar - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, ET

    Join this Healthy People 2020 webinar focused on activities and interventions related to tobacco cessation and prevention. The webinar will explore the importance of tobacco cessation efforts and the progress being made to address this public health issue.
    View more information and register for the webinar

    (11) Delaware Health Care Commission June 4, 2015 at 9am
    Corporate Training Center 
    Rooms 400A-B 
    100 Campus Drive 
    Dover, DE 19904

    (12) Managing Ambulatory Health Care I (MAHC I): Introductory Course for Clinicians in Community 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
    (13) 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


    (14) 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: 



    Friday, May 29th from 2pm -3pm 

    1001 East Fayette Street, Baltimore MD



    DATE:   WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2015

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



    Corrected Registration Phone#: 301-474-1485











    Date:                    Friday, June 12, 2015      0730 to 1530 hours

    Description: Although Maryland's pediatric population accounts for approximately 25-30% of the state's overall population, the majority of Emergency Support Function: Public Health and Medical Services (ESF #8) activities have only addressed issues related to adult victims and patients.  Limited training opportunities coupled with inadequate pediatric critical care and surge capacity and capability within Maryland creates gaps and challenges in emergency preparedness and response efforts for those who are most vulnerable and require specialized care.  This one-day event seeks to bridge those gaps and begin the process of overcoming those challenges.

    Goal:  To enhance the capacity and capability of healthcare providers and members of healthcare coalitions to attend to the special needs of pediatric populations during mass casualty events.

    Objectives: After attending this session, participants will be able to:

    •          Recognize the special needs of pediatric populations during mass casualty events;
    •          Foster collaborative working relationships between non-pediatric and pediatric healthcare providers;
    •          Initiate and provide effective healthcare interventions to pediatric victims and patients as mass casualty surge grows.

    Audience:            Healthcare providers at all levels, nurses and physicians from all specialty areas, and EMS.

    Location:             The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies,

                    692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090, United States

    Event cost     Free

    Registration Required:

    CE Credits:          Educational Credit will be Available

    (4) MGT 433: Isolation and Quarantine for Rural Communities & PER 308: Rural Isolation and Quarantine for Public Health and Healthcare Professionals.

    Register hereMGT 433 (8am-12pm) is designed to provide small, rural and remote communities with the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively plan for and respond to events that require isolation and/or quarantine of their populations. PER 308 (1-5pm) expands on the concepts presented in MGT 433. It consists of two customized training modules that are specifically tailored toward course participants from the public health and medical fields.


    Date: June 26, 2015

    Time: 8:00am - 12:00pm  AND  1:00 - 5:00pm

    Location: Eastern Shore Hospital Center, Cambridge, MD

    Registration deadline: June 12, 2015


    How Prepared Is Your Community for an Emergency? 


    Download the kit checklist: 


    Family communication and evacuation plan: 







    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]

    Vacant - To be filled

    Intermittent Coordinator: 

    L. Kay Webster, MPH

    Office of Preparedness & Response

    Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

    300 W. Preston Street, Ste. 202

    Baltimore, MD  21201 


    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.

    6. MACHC provided support to all Baltimore Health Centers during the Baltimore Riots end of April-May 2015. We thank all of our member FQHCs and partners for the support and seamless communication which created transparency and effective communication of needs during the pressing time. Please email us at MACHC if you have any comments regarding the events that occurred. 

    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    The Baltimore health department, under the leadership of Mayor Rawlings-Blake, worked with the Maryland health department and private partners around the city and state to provide essential services to Baltimore residents throughout the city's unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray. 
    For Your Review--NACHC Draft Comments on Department of Justice Proposed Rule on FTCA De-Deeming
    NACHC's DRAFT comments on the Department of Justice's (DOJ) proposed rule
    on FTCA de-deeming.   This rule will implement the DOJ's authority to "de-deem" an individual health center provider from coverage under FTCA, among other provisions.  We have also attached a brief summary for more information. 
    Please take a moment to review these comments and let us know if you have any comments/questions/edits.  As always, we encourage you to submit your own comments, reflecting your state or health center experience.   You may use these comments as a template for your own, but we encourage you to include local examples to provide DOJ with "on the ground" examples.   Comments are
    due May 5, 2015 and can be submitted at (click here for the comments). 

    NACHC Urges HRSA to Fund More NAPs

    When health center continuation funding after September 2015 was uncertain, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) had planned to hold back a portion of the Fiscal Year 2015 funding as a several month buffer if the primary care cliff hit. With the passage of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which extends mandatory funding for health centers for an additional two years, there is now stability for the health center program. Therefore, NACHC is urging HRSA to fund more of the New Access Point applications that achieved fundable scores, but are in queue.

    As Plan Networks Narrow, States Work to Ensure They Still Meet Patients' Needs

    As more insurers limit their network of health care providers as a way to constrain costs, concerns are rising about whether these "narrow network plans" are jeopardizing access and putting patients at risk for out-of-network costs.  In a new issue brief, Georgetown University researchers explore how states are applying the Affordable Care Act's national standards for ensuring consumers have good access to providers. The law's regulations give states leeway in determining if an insurer has complied with the rules and to enforce additional, state-specific network rules.

    Medical billing is in the dark ages 

    On average, U.S. businesses now conduct about half of their payments electronically, boosting consumer expectations of being able to pay for virtually anything with the click of a button. Yet health insurers use electronic methods on average for only 15 percent of payments. New medical billing codes set to take effect in October could further complicate things, as insurers and providers will be required to use the updated codes to transmit information about specific health conditions. The system includes more than 14,400 different codes used to identify diseases, symptoms and abnormal findings.

    An Internet study by University of Maryland researchers found higher Black mortality rates occur in areas that exhibit the most intense levels of racism. David Chae, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and lead author of the study, called the disparity in health and disease among races a "significant public health concern" largely attributable to racism. 

    Even as end-of-life planning gains favor with more Americans, African-Americans, research shows, remain very skeptical of options like hospice and advance directives. The result can mean more aggressive, painful care at the end of life that prolongs suffering. 

    State News

    Delaware's Health Insurance Marketplace: Update on Activity

    Please click here for the slides from the meeting


    Delaware's State Innovation Model (SIM) Update

    Here are the slides


    More than 4,700 Marylanders took advantage of a special sixweek enrollment period that allowed them to enroll for health insurance to avoid an additional federal tax penalty for 2015 if they had already owed a tax penalty for lacking health coverage in 2014. Marylanders who applied for the special enrollment period, which ran from March 15 through yesterday, attested that they owe the penalty for lacking health insurance in 2014 and that they became aware of this after the Feb. 15 close of open enrollment for 2015 coverage. The tax penalty imposed for individuals who did not have health coverage in 2014 was 1 percent of gross household income over the federal income tax filing threshold, or $95 per individual - whichever is greater. For 2015, the penalty increases to 2 percent of gross household income over the federal income tax filing threshold, or $325 per individual - whichever is greater. As of April 29, 125,535 Marylanders have enrolled in Qualified Health Plans through Maryland Health Connection, and 248,475 Marylanders have enrolled in Medicaid since Nov. 15, 2014. The QHP enrollment total includes the 4,709 people during the tax special enrollment period. Medicaid and Maryland Children's Health Program enrollment is 1,266,186 as of April 29. Since Dec. 31, 2013, the net change in Medicaid enrollment is +263,329 as of April 29. This figure takes into account that individuals lose Medicaid coverage because of changes in household, age and income, as well as redeterminations. Marylanders who are eligible for Medicaid are not affected by the tax special enrollment period. People can apply for Medicaid at any time and enroll year-round. Marylanders who are eligible for Medicaid may have coverage starting immediately. Even though open enrollment for qualified health plans through Maryland Health Connection is closed, Marylanders with life changes can enroll online at, by calling 1-855-642-8572 (TTY: 1-855-642-8573) or through in-person assistance also listed on the website. 

    Finance & Business
    Congress Starts Work On Slashing Trillions From Federal Budget  
    The two GOP budget resolutions envision deep spending cuts above $5 trillion over 10 years to get to a balanced budget. The president's budget proposal doesn't balance, boosts spending on education and infrastructure and is paid for with a $320 billion tax hike on the rich that will never get past a Republican Congress. Similarly, GOP plans envision repealing the Affordable Care Act, something the president is sure to veto. 

    Did You Know?

    Mental Health Care Costs

    Mental health care costs for individuals ages 18 to 64 averaged more than $48 billion annually from 2009 to 2011, with 45 percent of the cost (about $22 billion) spent on prescription medicines. On average during that period, 28 million adults per year had health care expenses related to mental health diagnoses. 
    Latest News on ACA


    According to a new health policy report in the New England Journal of Medicine, while the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is perhaps most evident in the availability of health insurance to Americans and their ability to access care, the ACA is also having significant effects on the quality and safety of care, how health services are delivered to millions of patients, and how providers are reimbursed. The new health policy report reviews the law's track record at the five-year mark, taking note not only of the transformation in health coverage including the more than 30 million Americans who now have insurance under the ACA's new coverage sources and consumer protections but also the decline in hospital readmission rates, improvement in hospital-acquired infection rates, and bolstering of the nation's primary care capacity.


    Facing Cost-Sensitive Shoppers, Health Plan Providers Must Demonstrate Value 

    Satisfaction with the Health Insurance Marketplace exchange enrollment process among new enrollees has significantly increased from 2014, and health plans obtained through the Marketplace exchange generate levels of member satisfaction equal to or higher than plans not obtained through the Marketplace exchange, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace Exchange Shopper and Re-Enrollment (HIX) Study

    SM released today.

    The study measures satisfaction with Marketplace health plans obtained for the 2014 plan year by examining six attributes (in alphabetical order): claims processing; communications; cost; coverage and benefits; customer service; and provider selection. The study also measures the enrollment experience of both new Marketplace enrollees and re-enrollees by examining seven attributes (in alphabetical order): amount of time to complete the renewal/enrollment process; clarity of instructions for completing enrollment application; courtesy of the representative; ease of navigating the Marketplace website; ease of renewing/enrolling; ease of understanding benefits and coverage; and variety of information available about health insurance plan choices.

    Language on has been updated to address assister questions about what triggers the "permanent move" special enrollment period (SEP).  This SEP is triggered when consumers gain access to a new qualified health plan (QHP) as a result of a permanent move, even if they remain in their current plan service area. Therefore, even if the consumer is still in his or her current plan coverage area after his or her permanent move, he or she can still qualify for this SEP, as long as one or more new QHPs are available in his or her new location. The move question on the SEP screener tool has been clarified to reflect this distinction. 

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Guidance on Annual Eligibility Redeterminations and Re-enrollments for Marketplace Coverage for 2016. This guidance builds on the procedures that were provided in similar guidance for benefit year 2015, as well as the Marketplace's experience in implementing that guidance. As in benefit year 2015, the procedures described in this new guidance ensure that most enrollees do not have to take action to retain their coverage for 2016, which is important in promoting continuity of coverage while limiting administrative burden for enrollees, issuers, and Marketplaces.


    Special Enrollment Period for Those Impacted By Domestic Violence

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had previously established a time limited Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enable consumers impacted by domestic violence to enroll through the Marketplace. As of April 29, 2015, this SEP is once again available to eligible consumers. To access this SEP, eligible consumers should call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 to explain that they are a survivor of domestic violence, victim of domestic abuse, or survivor or victim of spousal abandonment. When completing their Marketplace application, consumers should indicate that they are not married on the application. Upon qualifying for the SEP, consumers will have 60 days to select and enroll in a QHP. They will receive regular, prospective coverage with an effective date following the 15th of the month rule. Eligible consumers may tell you that they assumed or were informed that they were ineligible for APTC (Advanced Premium Tax Credit because they are married and not filing a joint tax return with their spouse. While this is generally true, there is relief for consumers in specific situations, including for survivors of domestic violence and spousal abandonment, as specified in IRS Publication 971: Innocent Spouse Relief. More details about filing taxes separately for individuals who meet these criteria are available on page three of the 2014 Instructions for Form 8962 Premium Tax Credit (PTC). In addition, consumers who were not able to get coverage earlier in the year due to their domestic situation may be eligible for an exemption from the individual shared responsibility requirement or "fee" for not having coverage. 


    CMS Assister Webinars & Supplemental Webinars

    The next two CMS Assister Webinars will be held on Thursday, May 7 and Thursday May 21. Please be aware of the date change. Also here is a list of supplemental webinars:

    • Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured; Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 2:00 pm EDT: Click to register.  To join by phone only: 1 (415) 655-0059, Access Code: 419-734-181, Pin code is the # key. Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 2:00 pm EDT: Click to register.  To join by phone only: (415) 655-0051, Access Code: 564-443-351, Pin code is the # key.
    • Got Coverage? Next Steps in Using Your Health Insurance; Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 3:00 pm EDT: Click to registerClick to register.  To join by phone only: 1 (646) 307-1706, Access Code: 763-833-558, Pin code is the # key.  Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 4:00 pm EDT: Click to register.  To join by phone only: (415) 655-0051, Access Code: 379-833-859, Pin code is the # key.
    • Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars for Small Employers**
    • Spanish-language ACA 101 Webinars for Small Employers

    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

    MACHC Outreach Call 5/8/2015 (next call on June 5, 2015 at 11 am)


    Best practices:

    • Highlighted best practices shared during call:
    • Viral Marketing (ask consumer to spread the healthcare assistance information)
    • Front desk staff trained to spot those without health insurance or whose insurance just lapsed
    • Work with local partners (i.e. church, schools, housing facilities) to gather more folks


    • More training to understand tax documents
    • Long wait times when call Maryland Call Center
    • More training or better handling of Documents of Citizenship
    • Why is there a 5 year bar of residency before eligibility for Medicaid
    • Identification Verification issue at times; only staff that can help are Call Center (takes time)


    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. 

    Office of Minority Health Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities II Initiative

    Application Deadline: May 22,2015 by 5:00 pm EDT

    The purpose of the PICC II Initiative is to educate racial and ethnic minority populations, including those that are economically and/or environmentally disadvantaged, and immigrant and refugee populations who are eligible for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace), about the Marketplace and to assist them with enrollment and completion of the application to determine their eligibility and obtain or purchase health coverage offered through the Marketplace. HHS expects to grant 14-17 awards of $200,000 - $250,000 for work beginning Aug. 2015

    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.


    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.


    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.

    Shared Services Corner 
    Check out the comprehensive Credentialing Checklist. This can help your health center adhere to all the regulations,receive the payments at the appropriate time and forecast any financial constraints due to credentialing early.

    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 
    Several pharmacy, community health and public health students in Wisconsin have helped to gather an asthma medication and other prescription assistance programs and/or coupons list to assist patients in receiving their medications at a lower cost.  They gathered the information over the years and have compiled it into a single document to share with caregivers and patients.  The information is posted on the Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin website.

    Wired reports that UnitedHealthcare has announced a partnership with three telemedicine companies to cover video-based doctor visits. "The decision by so influential a player in the healthcare industry to telemedicine is the strongest sign yet that the technology is entering the mainstream," reports the publication. These video visits typically cost $40-$50 each, but UHC clients will pay only their usual co-pay. For now, video visits are available only to UHC's self-funded customers, but the program is expanding.

    ECRI Risk Management Training Program

    The ECRI Institute continues to offer free resources on their Clinical Risk Management Program website.  They recently developed a checklist and other resources that can help health centers to develop effective clinical risk management training programs that are tailored to both providers and non-clinical staff.  You can access their Risk Management and Patient Safety Training Program, the guidance article Risk Management in Ambulatory Care, and the Sample Risk Management Plan.  You can also contact them for more information on free education on their e-learn library of risk management courses.  If you do not currently have access or would like to attend a free, live demonstration of their website, please email them or call (610) 825-6000 ext. 5200.

    Health Observances This Week


     National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month


    May is "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." It's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate your patients, family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases.

    Asthma affects approximately 25.9 million Americans and more than 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies. Please join us in raising awareness for these common diseases.

    Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. One in 14 Americans lives with asthma, a disease affecting the lungs, causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.

    Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma successfully to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes. Successful asthma management includes knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that may trigger an attack, and following the advice of your healthcare provider.

    Using what you know about managing your asthma can give you control over this chronic disease. When you control your asthma, you will breathe easier, be as active as you would like, sleep well, stay out of the hospital, and be free from coughing and wheezing. To learn more about how you can control your asthma, visit CDC's asthma site.

    Asthma Affects People of all Ages and Backgrounds

    In most cases, we don't know what causes asthma, and we don't know how to cure it. Certain factors may make it more likely for one person to have asthma than another. If someone in your family has asthma, you are more likely to have it. Regular physical exams that include checking your lung function and checking for allergies can help your healthcare provider make the right diagnosis.

    With your healthcare provider's help, you can make your own asthma management plan so that you know what to do based on your own symptoms.

    Use your asthma medicine as prescribed and be aware of common triggers in the environment known to bring on asthma symptoms, including smoke (including second-hand and third-hand cigarette smoke), household pets, dust mites, and pollen. Limit or avoid exposure to these and other triggers whenever possible.

    The important thing to remember is that you can control your asthma.

    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 | | |