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

National Health Center Week, August 9-15, is just around the corner! What is your Health Center hosting to celebrate? Please inform us at MACHC of any events!
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 

July 6 2015

National Health Center Week 2015 
is around the Corner!


National Health Center Week 2015 (#NHCW15), August 9-15, is closer thank you think! This year's theme is "America's Health Centers: Celebrating Our Legacy, Shaping Our Future." #NHCW15 will be action packed as it coincides with the 50th anniversary celebration of America's Health Centers. 




*****MACHC Members' Facebook NHCW Contest*****

In celebration of NHCW, MACHC will join you in contributing and showcasing the various efforts through a bit of fun and healthy competition! We will be hosting a Facebook Picture & Video Contest for our members. MD and DE FQHCs are asked to LIKE us on Facebook  and post a NHCW picture or video showcasing the fun event! Winners will be chosen on how many 'LIKES' you can get for your picture so please ask your staff members to like MACHC's page. 
The contest is an opportunity to use your creativity and teamwork to garner attention for your health center. The prizes for the contest is a surprise so check the next Eblast to find out more!
Meanwhile, please send MACHC a quick email telling us about your NHCW event(s) and start thinking about what kind of pic/video you want to capture and share for the contest.

Good luck and may the likes be ever in your favor!



To ensure your Health Center has a great celebration, prepare now:

National Health Center Week 2015 Picture & Video Contest

#NHCW15  is fast approaching, and so is the #NHCW15 Picture & Video Contest sponsored by Amerigroup and NextGen Healthcare. Check out the Guidelines for the #NHCW15 Picture & Video Contest. The contest is an opportunity to use your creativity to garner some national attention for your Health Center. This year, NACHC has some excellent new prizes, including a chance to win a NHCW 2016 sponsorship, a chance to be featured in the 2016 NHCW Calendar, and much more!  

Chase Brexton Medical Services

Big news! Chase Brexton Health Care has achieved Level 3 recognition from the NCQA - National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Patient-Centered Medical Home! These standards emphasize enhanced care through a patient-clinician partnership. Achieving Level 3 recognition means Chase Brexton demonstrates the benchmarks of patient-centered care. 
Congratulations to all of Chase providers and staff! 



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


(1)Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, July 10th, 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) MACHC Board Retreat
July 30-31, 2015 at Rocky Gap
Who: MACHC Board

(3) MACHC's OPERATIONAL CONFERENCE has been moved to December
Please look out on the next Eblast for more details!


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


    (1) Join Medicaid Officials for a Conversation on Dental Health

    July 10th at 1pm - 2 pm

    Oral health is an important part of overall health, however, access to dental coverage for low-income adults remains a challenge, particularly since these benefits are optional for state Medicaid programs.

    In this webinar, Medicaid officials from Colorado, Iowa, and Washington-three states that have recently taken action on their adult dental benefits-will share insights on important factors in the decision to add, reinstate, or introduce adult dental benefits; how adult dental benefits fits into the larger health reform discussion in each state; successes and challenges each state has faced since implementation; and future policy considerations.  NASHP will also provide an overview of a new brief that draws out lessons for state policymakers on these topics.

     Register here


    (2) Why You Should be Worried About HIPAA

    July 23-24,2015       9am -6pm

    Areas Covered in the Session:

    • History of HIPAA
    • ITECH
    • HIPAA Omnibus Rule
    • How to perform a HIPAA Security Risk Assessment
    • What is involved in a Federal audit and how is it conducted
    • Risk factors for a federal audit
    • EHR and HIPAA
    • Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning
    • Business Associates and HIPAA
    • In depth discussions on IT down to the nuts and bolts
    • Risk factors that can cause an audit (low hanging fruit)
    • New rules which grant states ability to sue citing HIPAA on behalf of a patient
    • New funding measures
      ...much, much more

    (3) Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget Period Progress Report (BPR) Briefing - Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET.
    HRSA is hosting a technical assistance webinar to potential Health Center Program grantees with preparing BRP non-continuation funding in FY 2016. HRSA plans to release the FY 2016 BPR Instructions in early July 2015.
    View the webinar the day of the session. Connect to the audio line using 1-800-619-8525; Participant code: 3681935


    (4) 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: 


    Preventing the Next Pandemic

    Though the furor has died down, the Ebola outbreak is not over. The latest World Health Organization situation report found 20 cases last week compared with 24 cases the week before. Liberia was declared free of the disease on May 9, but cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone have continued to hover at 20-27 per week.

    When you compare that to six months ago, when there were hundreds of new cases per week, it certainly seems that things are approaching getting back to normal. But what we've learned from the Ebola outbreak is that, in the face of an unexpected pandemic, normal isn't good enough.

    "We do need an approach to what I call the big one," he went on. "Ebola was a big one. As tragic as it's been, we could face something much much worse."

    How, then, can governments and health organizations use the experience of the Ebola outbreak prepare for the next big one? How do public health officials convey that pathogens are not to be underestimated without causing panic? How do we prevent a pandemic? Read more


    HHS Selects Nine Regional Ebola and Other Special Pathogen Treatment Centers

    On Jun. 12, HHS announced its selection of nine health departments and associated partners hospitals to become special regional treatment centers for patients with Ebola and other severe, highly infectious diseases.

    HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has awarded approximately $20 million through its Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) to enhance the regional treatment centers' capabilities. ASPR will provide an addition $9 million to these recipients in the subsequent four years to sustain their readiness.

    The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in partnership with Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been selected to coordinate and facilitate the development of Johns Hopkins Hospital as HHS Region 3 Regional Ebola and Other Special Pathogen Treatment Center.
    For more information, please refer to the HHS Press Release



    June 3, 2015. The Emergency Response Symposium 2015 was held in Shady Grove, MD where three main critical incidents' response in the 21st century were discussed in great detail. The three main emergency incidences included Joplin Tornados, Boston Marathon Bombings, and Aurora Theatre Shootings.

    Lessons learned from these incidents were shared during the event. Here is a quick update on some of the lessons learned from the events.

    Lessons Learned:

    1.       When in an emergency situation make sure your own family knows what to do (have a plan and talk about it, ie. Table-top exercise) so you can be involved and fully focused at work.

    2.       Put Emergency Response teams together and have an area for forestaging.

    3.       Utilize all existing communication tools especially your social media. You would be surprised how far the reach is...especially for your patients.

    4.       Active relationship/partnership planning

    5.       Can you utilize GIS Mapping or can your partner? That is an excellent resource. This goes to point out the importance of MOUs and partnerships!!

    6.       Establish a hierarchy of response (they suggested local, State then Federal at the Symposium but please check with your Regional Coordinator during your Regional Meetings)

    7.       Communication causes issues so make sure to have chain of communication and command.


    Please find the After Action Report to the Boston Marathon Bombing here:

    A YouTube video from the day of the incident is here (please note the video is graphic from the day of the event):


    MACHC has conducted Active Shooter Exercises at two of our health centers and disseminated the information to everyone. I urge you to implement the table top  simulation at your shops to better keep your health center sites prepared. 


    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]

    Casey Owens

    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 King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision on Thursday marked a huge victory for ACA proponents. In a 6 -3 ruling, the Court preserved health insurance premiums for over 6 million individuals-affirming the legality of subsidies across both federal and state-established marketplaces. With the wait finally over, we are now left to consider what the decision means for the ACA moving forward

    BPHC announces funding for Expanded Services

    On Friday June 26, BPHC announced the availability of $350 million in Expanded Service (ES) supplemental funding.  By now, all eligible health center grantees should have received an email indicating the maximum amount of funding they can apply for.  Applicants must propose to use at least 80% of ES funding to increase their capacity to provide one or more of the following types of services: medical, oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, and/or vision.  These "service expansions" can take the form of either expanded access to existing services, and/or adding new services.  No more than 20% of ES funding may be proposed to increase the availability of new and/or existing enabling services.  Applications are due in EHB on July 20, and awards are expected in September 2015. For additional information, contact  

    Revised Guidebook now available for National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)

    After receiving over 360 comments on their November 2013 draft, HRSA has released an updated Guidebook on the use of the NPDB. This updated Guidebook, which is designed for NPDB users: reflects recent legislative and regulatory changes; offers definitions and frequently asked questions: and includes and reporting and querying examples. 

    Registration window for 340B opens tomorrow; closes July 15

    All Health Center sites that participate in 340B, and all contract pharmacies with whom Health Centers contract, are required to register with HRSA's Office of Pharmacy Affairs.  HRSA only accepts new registrations four times a year, each for a two-week period. The next registration period runs from July 1-15, and is available here  Health Centers and contract pharmacies who register during this period will be eligible to participate in the program starting on October 1, 2015

    HIMSS Survey Finds Two-Thirds of Healthcare Organizations Experienced a Significant Security Incident in Recent Past

    The recent breaches in the healthcare industry have been a wake-up call that patient and other data are valuable targets and healthcare organizations need a laser focus on cybersecurity threats," said Lisa Gallagher, Vice President of Technology Solutions, HIMSS. "Healthcare organizations need to rapidly adjust their strategies to defend against cyber-attacks. This means incorporating threat data, and implementing new tools and sophisticated analysis into their security process. 


    Will same-sex marriage make America healthier?

    Absolutely same-sex marriage will make America healthier -- that's what all the medical literature says," said Dr. William C. Buffie, a physician at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, who researched public health implications of same-sex marriage. Numerous studies have shown that a happy heterosexual marriage gives individuals a health boost, including better access to health care, longer life spans, and lower rates of depression -- and, Buffie said, that applies to same-sex marriage, as well. 

    Deadline Extended: Health Centers Need to Verify PCMH Status 

    Health centers that have Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition by July 1, 2015, are eligible to receive the FY 2015 PCMH recognition supplemental base award.
    As part of the PCMH recognition supplement, HRSA will award eligible health centers a base amount for recognition plus an additional per site amount. 
    To support the PCMH recognition supplemental base award, please review your health center's information in the table located on the PCMH Recognition Award webpage.
    If the information is correct, no further action is needed. If the information is incorrect, or you have other questions, please send the corrected information and/or your questions to no later than Thursday, July 9, 2015. Use subject line "2015 Health Center PCMH Recognition Awards" and include documentation (e.g. certificates or official correspondence from recognition entities) of PCMH recognition (for each site, if applicable).

    Health Center Engagement Needed in Proposed Federal Budget

    On Tuesday, June 16, the House Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee moved forward its proposed Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations bill, calling for funding of health centers at $5.1 billion. The Senate is expected to consider its Subcommittee funding bill as early as next week.  NACHC and MACHC are engaging our congressional delegation to ask for their continued support of our funding request as an extension of their support of health centers following the avoidance of the funding cliff this spring.  Please contact your member of Congress and ask that they support this appropriation request.

    HRSA Adjusts Some Health Center Budget Periods

    Starting in fiscal year 2016, to ensure that all health centers have sufficient opportunity to prepare and submit their Service Area Competition and Budget Period Progress Report applications, Health Center Program grants will no longer be assigned November 1 budget period start dates.  To facilitate this transition, existing grants with a budget period end date of October 31, 2015 will receive a budget period extension for up to four months.  Impacted award recipients should have been notified through an EHB email message that refers to a May 2015 Notice of Award that reflects the new budget period end date (December 31, January 31, or February 29); and provide prorated funding for June 1, 2015 through the new budget period end date. 

    Consumers by Large Margin Satisfied with ACA Coverage

    According to a new survey, 86 percent of Americans receiving coverage under the Affordable Care Act from either government-run exchanges or expanded Medicaid coverage are "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their health insurance. The Commonwealth Fund survey indicates the law is filling a medical care void with nearly 70 percent using it to get care and 62 percent saying they wouldn't have been able to either "obtain" or "afford" that care if it weren't for the law.

    State News
    Next Delaware Healthcare Comission Meeting is on August 6th at 9am --- DelTech Terry Campus

    Obamacare in Delaware: Fewer young adults sign up

    Delaware millennials say it's important to have health care, but for some it's just too expensive.

    Those 18 to 34 years of age are dubbed "young invincibles" because of the perception they are most likely to go without health insurance. According to the most recent census, that age bracket totals 202,322 Delaware residents, or a fifth of the state population.

    Experts say having young, healthy people enrolled in coverage helps keep the price of insurance plans down, and in the wake of Affordable Care Act reform, the medical industry has meticulously monitored that population's health care decisions.

    Screening for Life offers lung cancer screening

    Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer of Delaware men and women, accounting for more than 30 percent of all cancer deaths.

    The Division of Public Health's Screening for Life Program now covers lung cancer screenings for uninsured or underinsured Delwareans who qualify for the Screening for Life Program and are not eligible for Medicaid or the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace. The low-dose CT Scan is available to current and former smokers deemed at high-risk for lung cancer:

    • Current smokers or those who quit smoking within the last 15 years
    • Those who smoke or have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 or more years
    • Are 55 to 80 years of age

    These high-risk individuals should visit or call 301-401-4212 to speak with a screening nurse navigator. Christiana Care Health System, Bayhealth Medical Center and Beebe Healthcare will offer the sceening. 


    Delaware's State Innovation Model (SIM) Update

    Here are the slides


    Partnerships improve health care in Maryland 

    For decades, as health care costs continued to spiral upward and patients were stymied by an increasingly fragmented health care system, policy leaders, politicians and front-line caregivers strained to find a better way to care for people.

    Here in Maryland, this has been a more than 40-year pursuit, as hospitals have worked closely with the federal agency that administers the Medicare program to help keep health care costs in check and ensure quality care for patients.

    The agreement that governs this work was modernized in January 2014 and extended the state's one-of-a-kind way of paying hospitals for the care they provide. Maryland is the only state in the country where hospital rates are set not by hospitals but by an independent state agency, much like utility rates are set.

    While Maryland has its own insurance exchange program, advocates say the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Thursday upholding the Affordable Care Act will help millions of Americans who need medical care.

    The Supreme Court ruled the federal government can subsidize people who use the national insurance exchange program.

    Vincent DeMarco, president of Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, said while Maryland is not affected, the court again showed its support for affordable health care for all Americans. However, "The rest of America can rest easy that their health care would not be undermined," DeMarco said. "It would have been devastating for hospitals and patients all across the country if the decision would have gone the wrong way."

    Maryland's state-run health care not affected by supreme court ruling
    Regardless of the outcome, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday upholding federal subsidy provisions in the Affordable Care Act had no bearing on Maryland, which has its own health care exchange, according to experts. To watch the news piece, please click here. 

    Finance & Business

    On June 26th, HRSA announced the FY 2015 Health Center Expanded Services (ES) supplemental funding with instructions now available. Approximately $350 million in ES funding is available through formula-based supplements to support increased access to comprehensive primary health care services, including medical, oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, and/or enabling services, at existing Health Center Program grantees nationwide. Eligible health centers will receive an individual email announcing grantee-specific maximum funding amounts today. Applications for the ES opportunity are due in EHB by 5:00 pm, ET on Monday, July 20, 2015. Questions about the Expanded Services funding opportunity may be directed to 

    NACHC is Offering a Free 3-Part ICD-10 Webinar Series

    NACHC is hosting a three-part webinar series, "It's Really Happening...ICD-10."  Each session - June 25, July 2, July 16 - will be presented twice, early morning and late morning, and provide diagnosis examples to determine what documentation is required for ICD-10. 

    Participants are encouraged to attend all three separate sessions and to only register once for each session. There is no charge for any of the webinars in this series. Registration will close two days prior to each session start date.
    Click here to register.  

    Latest News on ACA


    Survey finds state policies have critical impact on ACA applications, enrollment
    A new survey by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that the variable approaches states have taken to implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have had major effects on whether low-income adults are aware of the law, whether they have applied and obtained coverage, and whether or not they think the law has helped them.

    The study, one of the most in-depth analyses of the recent enrollment experiences of adults under the health reform law, focused on three states with markedly different ACA policies: Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas. They found that insurance application rates, successful enrollment, and positive experiences with the ACA were highest in Kentucky, followed by Arkansas, with Texas performing worst. Latinos were equally likely to apply for coverage as other groups, but much less likely to complete the process and obtain coverage. Surprisingly, more than half of low-income adults in the study said they had heard little or nothing about the law's new coverage options.


    IRS Issues Clarification on ACA Reporting Requirements The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued additional FAQ guidance on Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting, including how to properly code certain employees and plan participants, and also issued draft guidance on the electronic filings of ACA returns. While this guidance will largely impact third-party vendors that provide ACA reporting services, employers that plan to do their own reporting should take special note of this latest guidance. Employers that intend to outsource reporting to third-party vendors should also review this recent guidance to understand how their operations and coverage offerings will impact their ACA reporting. An employer that outsources ACA reporting remains liable for the content of their ACA reports, so employers should be aware of their obligations. A new Compliance Alert provides an overview of the recent guidance.


    Does Medicaid Make a Difference?

    Medicaid provides health insurance to tens of millions of Americans, including many who had no coverage before the Affordable Care Act allowed states to extend eligibility for the program. But how well does Medicaid do its job?  According to a new Commonwealth Fund study, 95 percent of adults who have Medicaid and were covered all year have a regular doctor, and 55 percent report receiving excellent or very good care-experiences similar to those reported by people with private insurance. In contrast, 77 percent of adults without any health coverage have a regular doctor and only 40 percent say they get good care. The study also finds that Medicaid beneficiaries have good experiences with their providers, with 53 percent able to get a same- or next-day appointment the last time they were sick, compared to 43 percent of the uninsured.


    New Analysis Looks at Impact of Health Coverage on People's Lives

    A new analysis of the 2014 Kaiser Survey of Low-Income Americans and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) assesses the impact that gaining health care coverage has had on the lives of the "newly insured" adult population. Findings indicate that previously uninsured Americans who obtained health coverage experienced an improvement in access to care and a decrease in financial insecurity, though they remained concerned about cost. Additionally, newly insured adults had a similar health profile to people who already had coverage prior to 2014, and were more likely to report being in good or excellent health than their uninsured counterparts. The survey of 10,502 adults was conducted between September 2, 2014 and December 15, 2014.


    CMS Assister Webinars & Supplemental Webinars

    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**
      • **To view an audio recording of the ACA 101 webinar, click here
    • 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

    Join MACHC's next O/E Call on July 10th! (see events section for full details)


    Outreach & Enrollment Planning Pre-Enrollment Season!


    I.                    Maryland Enrollment

    400,000+ Enrolled for 2015

    • o   125,000+ enrolled in Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) (from 11/15/14 to 5/12/15). Enrollment continues with life changes.
    • o   87% eligible for financial assistance, up from 80% a year ago
    • o   275,000+ enrolled in Medicaid through Maryland Health Connection (11/15/14 to 5/12/15).
    • o   Special Tax Enrollment Period: 4,709 QHPs (3/15/15 to 4/30/15)


    Maryland Health Connection's Social Media

    • o   16,000+ both Facebook and Twitter Followers
    • o   Audience best reached were "young invincibles", their parents, African-Americans and Latinos


    Adam Jones Radio Ad Last Enrollment Season (which MACHC helped sponsor with Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative)

    • o   Visitors on the weekend of Jones ad/press conference increased by 2,000 from prior weekend
    • o   Website conversations from MHC and on Pandora spiked after ad began to 1,193, up from 228 the day prior


    Ongoing Need for Improved Customer Service and Consumer Assistance

    • o   Many consumers need help with online application. 25% of online applications incomplete since they needed help! This is where YOU come in!
    • o   Most consumers in need of help want to talk to someone:
      • More than 1/3 want to speak to phone rep for assistance
      • More than want in person assistance
      • o   Greatest difficulty in application process: 40% have trouble calculating income
      • o   Selecting health plan: More than half report having some trouble
      • o   Volume in Call center: Despite high functioning website, almost half million calls in three month during OE2.
      • o   In-person assistance: Outreach and Enrollment workers assistance thousands at enrollment events, store-fronts, local health departments, social
      • o   Services offices, clinics, hospitals, libraries, one-stop career centers


    II.                  Outreach & Enrollment For Outreach & Enrollment Season 3 (OE3)


    Top Ten List for OE

    1. a.       Create a Follow-up Program
    2. b.      Utilize Research & Tools
    3. c.       Have a Consistent Message
    4. d.      Collaborate with Partners & Coalitions on Planning
    5. e.      Build New Relationships with Partners
    6. f.        Know Your Political Climate
    7. g.       Make an Internal Work Plan
    8. h.      Know Your Community
    9. i.         Set Goals & Objectives
    10. j.        Train your Staff!


    Opportunities for Creativity and Greater Efficiency:

    • o   Faith Community Health Network
    • o   Brokers
    • o   Consumer assistance hubs
    • o   Incremental website improvements


    Outreach & Enrollment Training Resources:

    • o   National Immigration Law Center
    • o   National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
    • o   In the loop: Connecting the Enrollment Community
    • o   Enrollment America
    • o   Families USA
    • o   CMS
    • o   Health Resources & Services Association

    Adulting Learning: Toolkit from NQ Center for Public Health Practice



    OE Goals & Objectives

    • o   Your outreach strategy should be designed to achieve specific goals:
    • o   Articulate what your program intends to achieve
    • o   Illustrate what needs to be accomplished
    • o   Offer insight into how to utilize resources


    What are some outreach goals?

    1. 1.       Raise the communities' awareness of OE3
    2. 2.       Obtain buy-in from key stakeholders to actively promote OE3
    3. 3.       Increase the consumers knowledge of health care and OE3


    Have an Execution Plan

    • o   Identify Key Players
    • o   Set Goals and Objectives
    • o   Map Target area and venues and schedule events at those targeted areas (Use ASPE zip code level enrollment data)
    • o   Disseminate message to community
    • o   Build your Coalition


    Messaging for Follow Up


    • o   Confirm they get covered
    • o   Find out if they were affected by a life changing event
    • o   Pre-book appointments

    New Consumers:

    • o   Promote educational events
    • o   Find out if they were affected by a life changing event
    • o   Pre-book appointments


    Outreach & Enrollment 6/5/2015 Call Update:


    Thank you to those who called into the O/E Conference Call today. There are a few questions that we have that need addressing. Please find the information about the NEW CAC Training:

    The new CAC training will likely take place in the September time frame.  However, MHBE is aware that we may have folks that need training prior to then.  On the last ACSE monthly call, MHBE's Director of Operations, Leslie Lyles Smith, asked for the ASCEs to provide MHBE with a count or list of folks that need training now. ASCEs were to send the list to

    Post collecting all responses, MHBE is going to see if they could work out a training in between to cover them.  If MHBE are able to put together a training in between that group will however have to take the system training again as the system training will contain all of the new system enhancements for open enrollment.  
    ***Please note that this means that the June Training is for existing and already certified CACs for new system updates, not a new training!

    Please note that all Connectors are still operational; those of you who had been partnering with another entity for Navigators and lost their partnership, please remember that the partnership from their end was linked to Connector. So please contact your Connector if you wish to partner with them for Navigators!

    Utilize the following number for help with Identity Proofing Issues. Make sure to have all identifying and required consumer documents scanned online prior to contacting the number for help.



    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

    USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

    Application Deadline:  July 6, 2015

    The USDA Rural Development (DLT) program provides increased access to education, training and health care resources in rural areas.  For fiscal year 2015, $19 million is available; awards range from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $500,000. The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program finances telecommunications equipment, computer networks and advanced technologies for use by students, teachers, medical professionals and rural residents.


    Expanded Services Supplemental Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) HRSA-15-153

    Applications are due in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB) by 5:00pm, ET on Monday, July 20, 2015.

    Last week HRSA announced the availability of approximately $350 million in Fiscal Year 2015 Expanded Services (ES) funding through formula-based supplements to support increased access to comprehensive primary health care services, including medical, oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, and/or enabling services, at existing Health Center Program grantee sites nationwide.


    American Dental Association Semi-Annual Grant Program: Access to Care
    Application deadline: July 31, 2015 
    Awards funding to projects that improve access to oral health care. Examples include screening programs, treatment programs, and dental clinics within a community healthcare facility. Eligibility limited to 501(c)3 organizations, awards limited to $10,000.


    American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Access to Care Grants
    Application deadline: August 3, 2015
    Offers matching grants to support community-based initiatives that provide dental homes to children whose families cannot afford dental care.


    Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Access to Care Grants
    Application deadline: August 3, 2015
    The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry offers matching grants of up to $20,000 a year to support community-based initiatives that provide dental homes to children whose families cannot afford dental care.


    HRSA FY 2016 Service Area Competition (SAC) Funding Opportunity Announcement

    Application Deadline:  due in by 11:59 pm, ET, August 17; EHB by 5:00 pm Sept 1

    The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) released the FY 2016 SAC Funding Opportunity Announcement (HRSA-10-003) for service areas with a January 1, 2016 project period start date. Technical assistance materials for applicants, including frequently asked questions, are available on the SAC webpage. HRSA is hosting a webinar for SAC applicants on Thursday, June 25, 3:00-4:00 pm. Connect to the audio line using 1-888-769-9723; Participant Code: 1811768 and/or view the webinar the day of the session. 


    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. 

    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 
    Promoting Healthy Choices and Community Changes e-Learning Program
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health launched this e-learning program to develop culturally and linguistically competent messengers, advocates and educators to promote health and wellness among their peers and within their communities. Over 100 stakeholders joined a call to learn more about the program, a key component of the HHS Promotores de Salud Initiative.

    Enter passcode 1071091.

    KnowBullying Mobile App 

    SAMHSA created a mobile app which empowers parents, caregivers and educators with the tools they need to start a conversation with children about bullying. This mobile app describes strategies to prevent bullying and explains how to recognize warning signs that a child is bullying, witnessing bullying, or being bullied

    Advancing Health Equity for Boys and Men of Color Webinar

    In recognition of Men's Health Month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health hosted "Advancing Health Equity for Boys and Men of Color" to bring greater awareness to issues impacting health and opportunities for minority men and boys. The webinar examined strategies across public health, education, employment and justice sectors that seek to improve health outcomes for boys and men of color.

     Watch the webinar replay.


    The Downside of Medical Screening 

    Medicine has long focused on early detection of diseases as part of a move toward preventive care. But imperfect tests, false positives, and overdiagnosis mean that sometimes the tests do more harm than good, and in recent years, there have been more recommendations to reduce some kinds of screening, including pap smears, colonoscopies, mammograms, and even annual pelvic exams

    Kaiser Permanente Helps Health Centers Implement New Protocol to Decrease Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

    Prescriptions for a medication regimen to reduce heart attacks and strokes in patients with diabetes increased by nearly 40 percent after community health centers implemented Kaiser Permanente's "ALL" quality improvement protocol, according to a new study published in Implementation Science, an open access journal promoting the uptake of research findings into clinical practice. The protocol, established by Kaiser Permanente in 2003, reminds providers to prescribe blood pressure-lowering medications (ACE-inhibitors) and/or lipid-lowering medications (statins) for people with diabetes, who are often at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. A 2009 study showed that patients who took the medications had a 60 percent lower chance of being hospitalized for heart attack or stroke. The protocol was so successful in Kaiser Permanente that it has since been adopted by 55 community health centers serving approximately 80,000 patients in four states. 
    Health Observances This Week


    July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month

    One look at our blog and it's easy to see we like to talk about cord blood and its valuable stem cells. As a cord blood bank it makes sense, but we also see the transforming power cord blood stem cells can have on a life so we know the importance of generating awareness on the topic. That's why we're happy to thank the National Health Information Center (NHIC) for dedicating the whole month of July to cord blood awareness. Educating expectant parents and others about the value of cord blood stem cells may help keep this precious resource from being thrown away as medical waste. If you'd like to spread the word or find out more yourself, here's a quick primer:

    The basics
    Today, stem cells are mainly used in the treatment of disease and in tissue regeneration. They largely come from one of three sources - cord blood, bone marrow and peripheral blood. Cord blood stem cells are found in the blood of the umbilical cord. With their instant availability at birth and demonstrated utility, cord blood is quickly becoming a well known source of stem cells by transplant physicians. Learn more in our Stem Cells 101 blog post.

    After a baby is born, and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, the blood left in the umbilical cord can be collected and the stem cells extracted and stored for potential use in a future medical application. Today, there are nearly 80 conditions that can be treated with cord blood and experimental treatments using cord blood for cerebral palsy and Type 1 diabetes are underway.  In fact, over 210 ViaCord families have used their saved cord blood in a transplant or infusion.

    Ways to store cord blood stem cells
    Cord blood stem cells can be stored in two ways: with a public bank or a private family bank, like ViaCord. Public banks take cord blood donations from a limited number of hospitals around the country. The cord blood is stored and listed as part of a registry that make it available to anyone with a medical need, provided they are an adequate match.  Families who donate their child's cord blood are not guaranteed access to their blood should they ever need it. They would have to go through the same process as others to access a donated cord blood unit, and pay to retrieve the unit, which at this time can cost up to $35,000.1

    Private cord banks, like ViaCord, store your baby's cord blood stem cells exclusively for your family. If a medical need arises, you would have immediate access to those cord blood stem cells. In addition to exclusivity, there are a few other benefits to privately banking:

    • If a stem cell transplant is needed, there is an increased chance of finding an acceptable match within your own family.
    • Transplants using cord blood from a family member are proven to be more successful than transplants using cord blood from a non-relative. 2
    • Access to emerging treatments, such as those focused on cerebral palsy and type 1 diabetes, require a patient to use his or her own cord blood stem cells.

    And with private banking the cord blood can be collected anywhere you deliver your baby. A kit containing the necessary materials to perform a cord blood collection is mailed directly to you. Simply bring the kit to the hospital on the big day, a medical professional will conduct the cord blood collection and the unit will be shipped to a processing facility where the cord blood is stored.  

    Raising awareness one person at a time
    There are many ways that you can help raise awareness about cord blood. Here are just a few:

    • Take a few minutes to pass along your knowledge about the importance of cord blood stem cells. You never know the impact your words could have on someone's life.
    • Let expecting friends and family members know about their options when it comes to cord blood banking: donating or saving it - doing something means that precious resource of stem cells won't be thrown away!
    • ViaCord is on Facebook and Twitter. Come find us and join the conversation!


    No matter what you do, every little bit can help shed light on the life-saving potential of cord blood stem cells.

    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 | | |