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 13, 2015


La Red Health Center in Delaware on The Expansion of Prenatal Services 

In 2014, La Red Health Center (LRHC) took steps to expand its prenatal care program and the enabling services (transportation, translation and interpretation) required to support the underserved populations in Sussex County by offering prenatal care at its Seaford facility. 

The need for and importance of access to high quality prenatal care in the western portion of the County cannot be overstated as Seaford has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the state.


Per Brian Olson, LRHC's CEO, "Without access to high quality prenatal services there is an increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight. It is a significant problem and one that LRHC is determined to address."


LRHC's offers a comprehensive prenatal program that includes pre-conception counseling, nutrition counseling, prenatal and perinatal services, and behavioral health services. Sometimes women can experience the "baby blues" during or after their pregnancy, which can lead to a level of depression or anxiety that requires special care. 


NACHC TeleForum: Next Phase of Access is the Answer Now Available Online

The Next Phase of Access is the Answer Advocacy Campaign has officially launched with a  new menu of advocacy action steps and set of options for how Health Center Advocates can take action. The TeleForum to launch the next Phase took place on June 30th. During the call, Advocates received the latest updates on Health Center Program funding, a walk-through of action steps associated with the latest phase of Access is the Answer, and highly inspiring feedback from House Appropriations Sub-Committee Chairman, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (OK) about the importance of being an active advocate and his dedicated support for the Health Centers Program. A transcript of the TeleForum is now available of the CFAHC website.


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)MACHC Board Retreat
July 30-31, 2015 at Rocky Gap
Who: MACHC Board

(2) Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, August 7th, 2015
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.

(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)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


    (2) Providing an Inclusive and Affirmative Health Care Environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People Webinar - Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET.

    This National LGBT Health Education Center webinar will provide health center staff with ten key practices for creating LGBT-inclusive and affirming health care organizations. Participants will learn approaches ranging from shaping policies and processes, to collecting data, to engaging the community. 

    View more information and register for the webinar


    (3) 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

    (4) Healthy People 2020 Social Determinants Webinar - Thursday, July 23, 2015, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, ET.
    Join this Healthy People 2020 webinar focused on social and environmental conditions that shape a wide range of health, functioning, and quality of life outcomes. This webinar will also highlight housing security, a key social determinant of health.

    The webinar will explain the process for covered entities and business associates to use to draft, adopt, and implement HIPAA compliance policies. The webinar will begin with a discussion of how to decide, using a gap analysis and a risk analysis, what policies the organization needs, including required, addressable, and other policies. Then, the webinar will cover writing a policy. Writing a policy is easier than one may think. It is a three-step process: researching, drafting, and revising. Click here for registration information.


    (6) 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: 

    HHS awards improve health care, public health preparedness

    Health departments across the country will receive more than $840 million in cooperative agreements from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve and sustain emergency preparedness of state and local public health and health care systems. The cooperative agreement funds are distributed through two federal preparedness programs: the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) programs. Nationwide, HHS awarded a total of $228.5 million for HPP and $611 million for PHEP in fiscal year 2015.


    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 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is poised to launch a new model of care designed to support greater quality of care among Medicare beneficiaries. The model, announced by CMS on July 6, is included in the 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System proposed rule, which updates payments and requirements for home health agencies under the Medicare program. The Home Health Value-Based Purchasing model would test whether incentives for better care can improve outcomes in the delivery of home health services. 

    Congress makes a big telehealth push 

    Another bipartisan piece of legislation has been introduced in Congress that, if passed, would mean huge advancements for telehealth nationwide. The bill would add physical therapists, speech language pathologists, audiologists and others to the list of providers eligible to administer telehealth services. The bill, backed by a handful of industry stakeholders, would also include the patient's home as an allowable care site for specific hospice and home health services. 

    CVS Health Quits U.S. Chamber Over Stance on Smoking
    The CVS Health Corporation said on Tuesday that it would resign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after revelations that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were undertaking a global lobbying campaign against antismoking laws.

    CVS, which last year stopped selling tobacco products in its stores, said the lobbying activity ran counter to its mission to improve public health.

    Study Finds Doctors Order Fewer Preventive Services For Medicaid Patients 

    Gynecologists ordered fewer preventive services for women who were insured by Medicaid than for those with private coverage, a recent study found. The study by researchers at the Urban Institute examined how office-based primary care practices provided five recommended preventive services over a five-year period. The services were clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, mammograms, Pap tests and depression screening.

    After Court Victory, Obama Asks GOP To Work With Him To Improve Health Care

    President Barack Obama called on Republicans Wednesday to find a bipartisan way to fix problems in the nation's health care system rather than continue to fight over the health law. 'Part of what I'm hoping is with the Supreme Court case now behind us what we can do is ... focus on how we can make it even better because it's not as if we've solved all the problems in our health care system,' Obama said in remarks at an elementary school in Nashville, Tenn. 'America still spends more on health care than any other advanced nation and our outcomes aren't particularly better. 


    Centene's $6.3B Health Net Deal Shows Medicaid Plans Quick To Diversify

    News that the large Medicaid health plan Centene CNC has agreed to buy Health Net HNTfor $6.3 billion is the latest sign insurance carriers known for contracting with states to cover poor Americans are making a bigger push into other medical benefits. Combined, the two health plans would expand to a more national base of customers, providing health benefits to more than 10 million people, a number that is growing as more states agree to expand their Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act

    Changing the way police respond to mental illness 

    The Washington Post recently released an analysis of the 462 police shooting deaths it counted in the U.S. in the first six months of 2015. The newspaper found that one-fourth of those deaths involved people "in the throes of emotional or mental crisis." Crisis intervention team training, known as CIT, is one program for law enforcement and local communities to better respond to people experiencing mental health crises. The 40-hour training educates police officers on mental health conditions and medications, and introduces police to mental health resources in the local community. 

    FY 2016 Budget Period Progress Report (BPR) Submission Schedule Released  

    The BPR non-competing continuation provides an update on the progress of Health Center Program award recipients.  Award recipients who do not have a project period end date in FY 2016 (October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016) are required to submit a BPR. 

     View more information on the BPR, including the submission schedule and technical assistance resources.

    Opportunity to Register New Sites and Contract Pharmacies for 340B Closes Wednesday, July 15

    All Health Center sites that participat in 340B, and all contract pharmacies with whome Health Center contract, are required to register with HRSA's Office of Pharmacy Affairs. HRSA only accepts new registrations four times a year, for a two-week period. Registration is currently open through July 1-15, and is available here. Health Centers and contract pharmacies that register during this period will be eligible to participate in the program starting October 1, 2015. 

    Today's Heroin Epidemic

    Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. Not only are people using heroin, they are also abusing multiple other substances, especially cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013. States play a central role in prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts for this growing epidemic.

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

    Bird flu: 'Largest animal health emergency' in history 

    The chief veterinary officer of the United States laid out a dire picture Wednesday of the devastating spread of highly contagious bird flu this year through some 232 poultry facilities, forcing the killing of 7.5 million turkeys and 42 million chickens, including roughly 10 percent of the nation's egg-laying population.

    "Today, we are facing the largest animal health emergency in this country's history," Dr. John Clifford, deputy administrator for the USDA's animal and plant health inspection service, said in written testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. "People have lost their jobs and have seen their livelihoods put in danger, and our hearts go out to them."

    The disease has yet to strike poultry in Delaware, but officials here are taking extra precautions.

    Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., ranking member of the committee, noted the poultry industry's size in his home state. He said more chickens are raised in Sussex County than in any other U.S. county.


    Baltimore officials and others are alarmed at a nearly a fourfold jump in the cost of a drug used to save the lives of people who have overdosed on heroin - a price spike that has prompted calls for state and federal action.

    City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana S. Wen says a leading manufacturer of naloxone has since spring raised the 10-dose cost from $97 to $370, with the most recent hike coming last week.

    In a letter this week to a congressional committee, Wen said the increase by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has contributed to a near-doubling in the overall cost of delivering more than 1,000 doses annually of naloxone, which she calls a "miracle drug" for preventing overdose deaths.


    Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore is among 14 groups around the country selected to participate in an initiative that will look at ways to consider trauma that patients may have experienced when providing medical care.

    The National Council for Behavioral Health and Kaiser Permanente chose Chase Brexton to participate in a 9-month educational program for community health centers to become trauma-informed practices and models.

    About 60 percent of U.S. adults have experienced an adverse life event or trauma at least once in their lives. Studies have shown these events can lead to physical health, mental health and addiction problems down the road. Taking trauma into account can help with recovery.

    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
    Young adults see cost as disadvantage of health insurance
    While many young adults are concerned about the cost of health insurance, they often don't understand how out-of-pocket costs for care can add up, a small study suggests. These adults, mostly in their 20s, see access to preventive or primary care as the biggest advantage of insurance, and the financial strain of paying for coverage as the main disadvantage, the study found. Despite their price concerns, however, nearly half of them couldn't define "deductible," and 78 percent of them incorrectly defined "co-insurance." 

    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 August 7th! (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 7/10/2015 Call Update:

    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 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.


    Also, remember we are less than a month away from National Health Center Week (NHCW), August 9-15, 2015. Please check the highlights section for details on NHCW contest and what to do. Remember to inform MACHC ( about any NHCW events your health center is planning to host as soon as possible.


    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

    Regional AIDS Educational and Training Centers Funding Opportunity Announcement  

    HRSA released HRSA-15-154 that is designed to educate health care professionals on how to counsel, diagnose, treat, and medically manage people living with HIV and to help prevent high-risk behaviors that lead to HIV transmission.  Applications are due to on Wednesday, July 15, 2015..


    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

    Last month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published its updated Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015. CDC has developed several resources for clinicians based on the Guidelines, including

    • Wall Chart - This poster-sized chart provides an overview of CDC's 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines. The wall chart is ideal for use in doctor offices, nurse's stations, and other clinical settings. Limited quantities are now available to order through CDC-INFO on Demand Publications.
    • Pocket Guide - A booklet that includes a summary of CDC's 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines. The pocket guide is small, and printed at a size that can fit in a lab coat, pocket, or desk drawer. Limited quantities are now available to order through CDC-INFO on Demand Publications.
    • Apple STD Tx Guide 2015 App - This easy-to-use mobile reference features a streamlined interface so that providers can quickly and easily access STD treatment and diagnostic information. The free app is currently available for Apple devices. An Android app is being developed and will be available later this summer.
    • Evidence Tables - These background documents provide a basis for the STD screening, diagnostic, and treatment recommendations included in the 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines.

    All of these resources can be found online at

    Additionally, CDC's Division of STD Prevention and the National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers (NNPTC) hosted a webinar to provide an overview of the updates in the Guidelines and answer questions. The webinar, slides, and continuing education (CE) information are available on the DSTDP Webinars Page.


    Study Examines Nursing Homes With Pay-for-Performance Programs

    Creating a reimbursement context that facilitates the collection and use of reliable local evidence is an important consideration for nursing home leaders contemplating pay-for-performance policies, AHRQ-funded researchers concluded in a study in BMJ. Pay-for-performance programs are used in organizations aiming to improve the quality of care. This study explored ways in which data were collected and used as a result of participation in a pay-for-performance program. Interviews were conducted with 232 employees from 70 nursing homes that participated in pay-for-performance-sponsored quality improvement projects. Interviewees included supervisors, nurses and nursing assistants, therapists, other patient care staff and administrators. Researchers found that data and evidence played an important role in quality improvement project implementation. Nursing home staff discussed using data to identify problems, track progress, motivate employees and increase the marketability of the organization. The study and abstract, "Pay-for-Performance Policy and Data-Driven Decision making Within Nursing Homes," appeared online March 6. 


    Community Health Centers: Meeting the Needs of a Diverse and Growing Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander Population (AA & NHOPI) 

    The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations published an infographic which illustrates the needs of the diverse and growing AA & NHOPI population in the United States and provides information on what community health centers can do to meet these needs.



    Health Observances This Week


    July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month
    What is Juvenile Arthritis?

    Juvenile arthritis (JA) is not a disease in itself. Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, JA is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States.

    Although the various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, each type of JA is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms. Some types of juvenile arthritis affect the musculoskeletal system, but joint symptoms may be minor or nonexistent. Juvenile arthritis can also involve the eyes, skin, muscles and gastrointestinal tract.

    Types of Juvenile Arthritis
    • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Considered the most common form of arthritis, JIA includes six subtypes: oligoarthritis, polyarthritis, systemic, enthesitis-related, juvenile psoriatic arthritis or undifferentiated. 
    • Juvenile dermatomyositis. An inflammatory disease, juvenile dermatomyositis causes muscle weakness and a skin rash on the eyelids and knuckles. 
    • Juvenile lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. The most common form is systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood and other areas of the body. 
    • Juvenile scleroderma. Scleroderma, which literally means "hard skin," describes a group of conditions that causes the skin to tighten and harden.
    • Kawasaki disease. This disease causes blood-vessel inflammation that can lead to heart complications. 
    • Mixed connective tissue disease. This disease may include features of arthritis, lupus dermatomyositis and scleroderma, and is associated with very high levels of a particular antinuclear antibody called anti-RNP. 
    • Fibromyalgia. This chronic pain syndrome is an arthritis-related condition, which can cause stiffness and aching, along with fatigue, disrupted sleep and other symptoms. More common in girls, fibromyalgia is seldom diagnosed before puberty. 
    Juvenile Arthritis Causes

    No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop JA. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition to juvenile arthritis, which means the combination of genes a child receives from his or her parents may cause the onset of JA when triggered by other factors.

    Juvenile Arthritis Symptoms

    Each of the different types of JA have their own set of signs and symptoms. You can read more specifics about the diseases by following the links above, and by visiting the Arthritis Foundation's website dedicated to pediatric rheumatic diseases,KidsGetArthritisToo.

    Juvenile Arthritis Diagnosis

    The most important step in properly treating juvenile arthritis is getting an accurate diagnosis. The diagnostic process can be long and detailed. There is no single blood test that confirms any type of JA. In children, the key to diagnosis is a careful physical exam, along with a thorough medical history. Any specific tests a doctor may perform will depend upon the type of JA suspected.

    Juvenile Arthritis Treatment

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, although with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, remission is possible. The goal of treatment is to relieve inflammation, control pain and improve the child's quality of life. Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating.

    Juvenile Arthritis Self Care

    An important part of JA treatment is teaching the child the importance of how to follow the treatment prescribed by the healthcare team. Self care also involves helping the child address the emotional and social effects of the disease. Self management encompasses the choices made each day to live well and stay healthy and happy.

    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 | | |