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

ENROLLMENTS 
Have you joined MACHC's December Series of Outreach & Enrollment Webinars?
Have news to share with us? Want to be featured on our next E-Digest? Want to read about something in particular? Please email us at aneeqa@machc.com. 

December 7, 2015
MACHC SPOTLIGHT
Thank you for attending MACHC's Leadership & Operations Conference!
How did you like MACHC's Leadership & Operations Conference?
*Your feedback will help in improving our conferences to serve your workshop needs better.

Enjoy the following highlights of the conference!


MACHC HAPPENINGS

MACHC EVENTS
   
(1) Outreach & Enrollment Webinar Series Dates with Enroll America:
  1. December 11, 2015 1pm -2pm
    Women & Youth Webinar 
     Register here
  2. December 18, 2015 1pm -2pm
    Youth Engagement Webinar
    Register here 
(2)  Leadership Development Institute - Double Tree Annapolis, MD 
January 14, 2016

(3) Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, January 15, 2016
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.  

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

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

  • OTHER EVENTS


  • (2) 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference will be held on December 6-9, 2015 in Atlanta, GA,

    (3) Managing Ambulatory   Health Care I: Introductory Course for Clinicians in Community Health Centers
    Delray Beach, Florida
    January 11-18, 2016
    Apr 10 - 12, 2016
    Cambridge, MD 
    Type: Conference/Meeting
    Sponsoring organization: Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center

    Emergency Preparedness Events: 

    The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has launched
    The Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange
    (TRACIE) which now allows health and emergency preparedness professionals access to the nation's most comprehensive system of resources designed to help communities better manage the health impacts of disasters.  TRACIE features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions, and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.To learn more about preparedness, response and recovery from the health impacts of disasters, visit the HHS public health and medical emergency website via clicking on the title above.

    What we learned from Ebola
    It was the largest Ebola epidemic in history. It took thousands of lives. It was a wakeup call, and today we are better prepared because of it.
    In the year since Ebola spread through three West African countries and into the United States, we've taken a coordinated approach to be better prepared today for the threats of tomorrow. We implemented a screening process for travel from West Africa to the United States. We've strengthened our hospital system and have given U.S. hospitals the resources they need to care for someone who might have Ebola. Today, we're on the tail end of clinical trials for two vaccines and a treatment in West Africa. We learned that with good medical care Ebola is a survivable disease.

    Important Announcement for Maryland FQHCS
    Please get in touch with your Regional Coordinators if you have not already done so and be more active in your Regional Coalition. MACHC has reached out to you in order to make sure you know who your coordinators are and has planned MINI GRANTS as incentives to help with travel for the Coalition meetings.
    You should already have their contacts in emails I have sent within this year numerous times. Please find them below: 
     
    Regions I and II Health Care Coalition 
    [Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington Counties]
    Alison Robinson
    Allegany County Health Department
    12501 Willowbrook Road
    Cumberland, MD  21502
    301-759-5238 (Office)
    443-934-2232 (Mobile)
    301-777-2069 (Fax)
    alison.robinson@maryland.gov 

    [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)

    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 
    casey.owens@maryland.gov


    Preparedness Resources 
    September is National Preparedness Month, a time for everyone to plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed resources that can help you spread the word about preparedness in your community.
    , and public service announcements. 

    What to look forward to:
    MACHC has been working diligently to finalize this year's Emergency Preparedness Plan. The tentative goal for us is to 1.) increase participation at DHMH Regional Meetings (we are looking into mini grants to incentivize this effort further; we will keep you posted) 2.)  Gather the number of FQHCs that have existing MOUs and those who are currently working/partnering with a neighboring hospital/clinic (please email this information to Aneeqa Chowdhury at aneeqa@machc.com with the subject: EP MOU Status) and 3.) Conduct two Tabletop exercises and two Functional Exercises this year. The focus of our exercises this year will be mass care, ebola and pathogen illnesses. 
    Please remember to participate during Fall Regional Public Health and Medical Preparedness Conferences. The DHMH HPP Regional Preparedness Conferences are being held in October 2015. Please see below for schedule:
     
    Items on this year's agenda: Ebola "In Progress" Review; Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Planning; Regional Updates; 3M Fit Testing and PPE Donning & Doffing Training
     
    Who should attend: acute care and specialty hospitals, DHMH state facilities, community health center/FQHCs, local health departments, regional healthcare coalition members (current and prospective)
     
    To register, visit the DHMH/OP&R Events Calendar:
     

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

    How Prepared Is Your Community for an Emergency? 

    Download the kit checklist: 

    Family communication and evacuation plan: 


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

    Past: ATTENTION MD FQHCS 
     
    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

     
    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    With current government funding set to expire next Friday, December 11th, finalizing a trillion-dollar spending bill is not even the only thing on Congress's plate as they race to finish up the year's business. Negotiators are also working on a long-term fix to highway funding and a package of tax provisions that are considered "must-pass". Amidst these deadlines, debate continues over the size and scope of an effort by House and Senate Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act using the "budget reconciliation" process. At press time Senators were debating amendments to the repeal bill, which needs 51 votes to pass. That vote is expected later this week, at which point the bill would go back to the House. Any repeal effort will face a certain veto from President Obama.

    CHroniCles, the dynamic, multi-media website dedicated to the living history of the community health center movement, is newly redesigned. The updated website improves overall user experience and allows visitors to better access the site on mobile and tablet devices.  

    Hospital-Acquired Conditions Continue To Decline, Saving Lives and Costs
    A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that an estimated 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of reductions in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2010 to 2014. The report indicates that HACs were reduced by 17 percent in 2014, contributing to an overall reduction of 2.1 million HACs since 2010. A new infographic highlights important findings. To develop the report, Saving Lives & Saving Money: Hospital-Acquired Conditions Update, AHRQ analyzed the incidence of avoidable HACs compared with 2010 rates, using as a baseline estimates of deaths and excess health care costs that were developed when the Partnership for Patients was launched.  AHRQ's analysis included a number of HACs including adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, pressure ulcers and surgical site infections, among others. AHRQ has produced a variety of tools and resources to help hospitals and other providers prevent hospital-acquired conditions, such as infections, pressure ulcers and falls. Recently the Toolkit for Reducing CAUTI in Hospitals was released, which is based on the experiences of more than 1,200 hospitals nationwide that participated in an AHRQ-funded project to apply the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to reducing catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). This new report updates data released in December 2014.

    Health Center Controlled Networks Funding Opportunity 
    HRSA released the FY 2016 Health Center Controlled Networks funding opportunity. HRSA will award approximately $33 million to 45 health center controlled networks (HCCNs) to support meaningful use of electronic health records, adoption of technology-enabled quality improvement strategies, and engagement in health information exchange, to strengthen the quality of care and improve patient health outcomes achieved by Health Center Program grantees and look-alikes.
    HRSA will hold a technical assistance webinar for potential applicants on Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 4:00pm, ET.. To participate, view the webinar via https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/hccnwebinar/ and call 1-888-989-3416; participant passcode:  5998688. 


    Cancer researchers say there has been a substantial increase in women under the age of 26 who have received a diagnosis of early-stage cervical cancer, a pattern that they say is most likely an effect of the Affordable Care Act. Starting in 2010, a provision of the health law allowed dependents to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26. The number of uninsured young adults fell substantially in the years that followed. The share of 19- to 25-year-olds without health insurance declined to 21 percent in the first quarter of 2014 from 34 percent in 2010 - a decrease of about four million people, federal data show
      
    John Dunnam of Warrior works 12 to 20 hours a week as a janitor. He collects a small salary that barely covers rent, food and other bills. It certainly wouldn't cover the monthly cost of health insurance on the federal exchange. ... Dunnam falls into the Medicaid gap, a group of patients who were supposed to be covered by an expansion of Medicaid - the health care program for low-income adults under Obamacare. ... On Wednesday, the Health Care Improvement Task Force unanimously recommended that the governor and legislature reverse their earlier decision and close the coverage gap for nearly 300,000 patients like Dunnam

    Mental Health Bill Collides With Guns - Again
    The spate of mass killings over the past year reignited mental health reform efforts in both chambers of Congress. A bipartisan bill is gaining momentum in the Senate, with the HELP committee likely to take it up early next year. The House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee recently approved a similar bill and Speaker Paul Ryan this month said on "60 Minutes" that he wants Congress to move ahead on mental health. But the Senate's No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, has been working behind the scenes to drum up support for his own mental health legislation, which includes language endorsed by the National Rifle Association. Cornyn says his bill would boost the federal background check system to prevent guns from getting into the hands of those with serious mental illness. His critics say the legislation actually loosens restrictions on gun purchases, under the umbrella of mental health reform. 

    Democrats say the 2010 Affordable Care Act - better known as Obamacare - has helped 17.6 million Americans gain medical coverage and has stopped insurance companies from refusing to insure patients with pre-existing conditions. "Everybody knows (repeal) is a gesture in futility," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., before the vote. "Let's move on from repeal and start making the Affordable Care Act work even better for the American people." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Obamacare has raised health care costs, limited patients' ability to choose their doctors, and hurt the already struggling middle class. 
    Bill To Repeal Health Law Passes Senate  
    The Senate approved legislation on Thursday night that would repeal President Obama's landmark health care law, a goal of Republicans since the law was adopted in March 2010. The measure, which would also halt federal financing for Planned Parenthood, will now be sent to the House, which adopted a different version last month. The bill is ultimately expected to pass both chambers, but faces certain veto by Mr. Obama

    The Real Reason For The Obamacare Repeal  
    Republicans on Capitol Hill are sending their long-sought Obamacare repeal on a kamikaze mission to the president's desk. The GOP has big reasons to move ahead with a doomed mission: to force the president to veto the bill, to fulfill a promise to its base and to lay the groundwork to truly repeal Obamacare under a Republican president in 2017.It's not just optics. Republicans are carefully constructing a legislative strategy, based on Senate rules and precedents, to make it easier to unravel the health law in 2017 if a Republican wins the White House. 

    State News
    DELAWARE
    Delaware's health care commission is getting an update on enrollment in the state's health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
    Last Thursday's scheduled briefing comes as federal officials report that 5,471 Delawareans have signed up for coverage during the current open enrollment period, which end Dec. 15.
    For the current plan year, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has more than 90 percent of the individual market share in Delaware, has been granted an average premium increase of 22.4 percent for individual plans. Aetna Health and Aetna Life Insurance Co. were approved for average individual premium increases of just under 17 percent.
    Meanwhile, the penalty for not having coverage in 2016 is 2.5 percent of annual household income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, whichever is higher.
    MARYLAND
    Maryland's health exchange turns to a rock band to help get young adults signed up for insurance
    Maryland Health Connection tossed its sweet-sounding jingle this year and called in a Montgomery County rock band to make an appeal to the young adults who have been slow to sign up for health insurance.
    Lionize, a four-member group whose latest single is "Dyin is Ez" and lists Deep Purple among its influences, took a break from work on their upcoming album to lend some guitar riffs to the state health exchange's newest television commercial and belt out the ad's catchphrase, "Health Yeah!"


    Maryland Health Connection Enrollment Events

    Region Day Date Time Location
    (listed are those coming up)

    Monday
    12/7/2015
    6pm -8:30pm
    Cecil County Library - Elkton 301 Newark Road,
    Elkton, MD 21921
    Lower Shore - Worcester

    Saturday
    12/12/2015      10am - 2pm
    Ocean Pines Community Center, 235 Ocean Parkway, Berlin, MD 21811
    Central - Baltimore City

    Sunday
    12/13/2014     10 am - 2 pm
    Hyatt Regency Baltimore 300 Light St.,
    Baltimore, MD 21202
    Capital - Montgomery County
    Sunday
    12/13/2014
    10 am - 4 pm
    Executive Office Building Cafeteria-Terrace Level 101 Monroe St., Rockville, MD, 2 blocks from Metro
    Western - Carroll County

    Saturday
    1/9/2016        10 am - 2 pm
    TownMall of Westminster 400 North Center St., Westminster, MD 21157
    Central - Anne Arundel

    Saturday
    1/16/2015       10 am - 2 pm
    DoubleTree Annapolis
    210 Holiday Court,
    Annapolis, MD 21401
    Lower Shore - Somerset

    Saturday
    1/16/2016      10am-2pm
    Somerset County Civic Center
    11828 Crisfield Lane, Princess Anne, MD, 21853
    Lower Shore - Wicomico

    Saturday
    1/23/2016      10am-2pm
    Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, 500 Glen Ave., Salisbury, MD 21804
    Southern Region will have extended and Saturday hours throughout open enrollment.
    Finance & Business
    In a 90-10 vote, lawmakers voted for the inclusion of an amendment axing the tax as part of a larger bill that would make deep cuts to stipulations in the Affordable Care Act. The tax, set to go into effect in 2018, would require businesses and municipalities pay a 40% tax on the excess cost of health care plans that exceed government-mandated thresholds. ... The Congressional Budget Office estimates the tax would raise a total of $87 billion by 2026, which will help defray the costs of the sweeping Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama previously indicated he would veto legislation that would weaken the law. Albeit a small part of the nearly 1,000-page ACA, discussion of the tax is on the rise as the start date looms. 

    The sudden collapse of the largest nonprofit insurance cooperative created by President Barack Obama's health care law is causing headaches in New York, especially for medical providers owed millions of dollars for treating the failed plan's patients. More than 200,000 people insured through Health Republic Insurance of New York have until Monday to sign up with another company if they want to maintain coverage in December. State regulators ordered the insurer to shut down at the end of the month because of severe financial problems. They are also investigating what they say were inaccurate financial filings by the company. 
    The
    Latest News on ACA
    OUR WORK CONTINUES



    Resource of the Week: ACA Pocket Guide for Providers 

    Health care providers play an essential role in connecting patients to health care coverage and services. The pocket guide (click on heading) includes resources and information that providers can share with their patients during this open enrollment period to help their patients get covered. It also contains information for providers describing what services are considered essential health benefits included in all Marketplace health insurance plans and what preventive services must be covered at no cost by an in-network provider.


     

    The Affordable Care Act: Building Health Equity for LGBT People Webinar 
    Monday, December 7, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, ET 
    The National LGBT Health Education Center is hosting this webinar to address strategies that health centers and other organizations can use to enroll LGBT people into affordable insurance options.
    View more information and register for this webinar.


    MARYLAND HEALTH CONNECTION
    OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS NOV. 1
    DEC. 15 IS DEADLINE FOR JAN. 1 COVERAGE.
    ENROLLMENT PERIOD ENDS JAN. 31
     
    The third open enrollment for Maryland's state-based marketplace for health coverage begins Nov. 1 with a wide network of consumer assistance workers to help provide greater in-person help for consumers, a more mobile-friendly website and a streamlined application process.
     
    "Tens of thousands of people now have health coverage who didn't before without worry about pre-existing conditions," said Carolyn Quattrocki, executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. "And it's important to note that nine of every 10 people covered through MarylandHealthConnection.gov received some type of financial help to offset the cost of premiums."
     
    "We've talked to hundreds of consumers, stakeholders and medical and insurance professionals around the state since the last open enrollment," she said, "and with their input, we've made many improvements to the process for this third year of the marketplace. We're looking forward to another successful open enrollment."
     
    In 2015, more than 700,000 Marylanders enrolled through Maryland Health Connection in its second year, including 120,000 in private health insurance plans and more than 600,000 in Medicaid.
     
    Improvements and highlights for 2016 include:
     
    1.      In-person assistance: More than 1,500 trained experts are available across the state to provide free assistance in enrolling. A list of "connector entity" (regional consumer assistance) offices and hours can be found on MarylandHealthConnection.gov as well as searchable tools to locate participating brokers and navigators nearest you.
     
    2.      Enrollment fairs: A list of events featuring assisters ready to enroll consumers at major venues across the state can be found at MarylandHealthConnection.gov and will be publicized throughout open enrollment.
     
    3.      Financial support: Nine in 10 Marylanders qualified for financial help to help lower or even waive the cost of health coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, Marylanders who are not eligible for qualifying health coverage, such as affordable employer-sponsored coverage or a government program such as Medicaid, may apply for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit, or APTC, to offset the cost of monthly insurance premiums. Individuals who have an annual income of less than $47,080 or a family of four whose household income is less than $97,000 may qualify for coverage with financial assistance that begins Jan. 1, 2016, for example. In 2015, more than 60,000 Maryland households have received more than $190 million in tax credits -- an average of more than $3,000 per family --to help reduce the cost of health coverage.
     
    4.      Website improvements, including a streamlined application, a more mobile-friendly website and more information resources. The site also features a star system to rate the quality of plans. The rating system was produced by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange with the Maryland Health Care Commission and applies only to Maryland plans.
     
    5.      Simpler renewal: Most Marylanders who enrolled in a qualified health plan through Maryland Health Connection for 2015 coverage will be renewed automatically in the same plan or a similar plan if their plan has changed.  If they received a subsidy in 2015, in most cases if their income hasn't changed much they will receive a similar one in 2016. Even if they were enrolled this year, consumers may want to shop and compare plan prices since some have increased in price and others have decreased. They may save hundreds of dollars by doing so.
     
    6.      Small business coverage: The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is open to businesses with 50 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees. The program offers a two-year tax credit to help offset costs for qualifying businesses and more coverage options to offer employees.
     
    7.      New dental plans: For 2016, Marylanders can enroll online in a dental-only plan or enroll in dental at the same time they enroll in a health plan. Maryland Health Connection offers family and child-only dental plans - 19 plans in all from six participating dental insurers.
     
    8.      Enhanced links to brokers: In a pilot program, select brokers will be linked directly through the call center in the Broker Assistance Transfer pilot program known as the "BATPhone." Brokers are the only consumer assistance workers who can recommend a specific plan to consumers based on individual needs.
     
    9.      Coverage is better than a penalty: For 2016, the federal tax penalty for lacking coverage is 2.5 percent of gross household income over the federal income tax filing threshold, or $695 per individual - whichever is greater. That is up from the 2015 penalty of 2 percent of gross household income over the tax filing threshold or $325 per individual. It makes sense to get coverage for your money instead of paying a penalty and not having any. The law provides certain exemptions, including for people below a certain income and those who are without coverage for fewer than three months. The penalty is designed to prompt healthier people to get coverage to keep premium levels sustainable as insurers are now forbidden from turning away applicants due to existing health problems. More people covered also reduces the shared cost of uncompensated care.
     
    10.  Don't miss the deadline(s): Coverage will begin on Jan. 1 for enrollments completed by Dec. 15, 2015.  Enrollments completed Dec. 16-Jan. 15 will have coverage beginning Feb. 1, 2016. Enrollments completed Jan. 16-Jan. 31, the last day of open enrollment, will have coverage beginning March 1, 2016. 


    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
    December 4, 2015 - Latino Outreach & Engagement Webinar
    Thank you to those who made time for the resourceful webinar. Here are a list of resources that were discussed to be shared with you all. If you have any specific questions about the webinar, please direct them to Jose Plaza, National Director of Latino Engagement, Enroll America, at jplaza@enrollamerica.org and cc Aneeqa Chowdhury at aneeqa@machc.com. REMINDER, do NOT forget to REGISTER (see links above, also emailed to outreach team) for the next two webinars on Women & Youth and African American Outreach & Engagement respectively.


    Upcoming MACHC Webinar Series on Outreach & Enrollment Efforts in partnership with Enroll American coming up this December! See the Events section for dates and details. SAVE THE DATE! Webinars to take place each Friday at 1 pm in December.
     
    How can you Ramp Up Outreach & Enrollment Efforts during this Crucial Time?!
    • Leverage Social Media to Get the Word out for Your Health Center:
    • Host Local Meetings with other community advocates and faith-based groups
    • BuildYour Grassroots OE Community Advocate Network
    • Use the Local Media to Tell Your Health Center Story (local newspapers!)

    ***Reminder***
    Join MACHC's next Outreach & Enrollment Call ON FRIDAY, December 2nd!  
    As the new enrollment season kicks off, there will be a significant increase in consumers pouring in for assistance. During this time, it remains vital for Outreach & Enrollment staff to attend the Outreach & Enrollment calls we host to share the latest on the trends, barriers and share best practices. Remember, this is the way we can all be aware of State affairs, assist more seamlessly and learn from each other. Have a representative from your FQHC present on the call if your schedule does not permit attendance. 

     
    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

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Funding to Connect Kids to Coverage (CMS-1ZO-16-001) 
    CMS announced the availability of $32 million in funding to support efforts to help eligible children sign up for health coverage under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and help them stay covered for as long as they qualify. Proposals are due by Wednesday, January 20, 2016. 


    Funded! Now What? Webinar Archive 

    NACHC released this archived webinar focused on what Health Center Program grantees need to do to become operational within 120 days of receiving their Notice of Award using the "Funded! Now What?" publication as the guide. 

    Service Area Competition (SAC) Funding Opportunity Announcement May 1, 2016 Starts  PHC released the FY 2016 SAC funding opportunity announcement (HRSA-16-007) for service areas with a May 1, 2016, project period start date. 
    Applications are due to Grants.gov by 11:59pm, ET on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 and in HRSA's Electronic Handbooks (EHB) by 5:00pm, ET on Thursday, December 17, 2015. Technical assistance materials are available on the SAC technical assistance website.


    Fiscal Year 2016 MAERDAF Grant
     
    For FY16 the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) Grant received $167,000 in funding.  During this grant cycle, the Rural Maryland Council received 53 applications with requests amounting to over $850,000.
     
    The MAERDAF Grant Review Board made full or partial grant awards to 16 organizations.  The Grant Review Board was created in statute and consists of Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Business and Economic Development, Housing and Community Development, Health and Mental Hygiene, and Natural Resources or their designees.
     
    Administered by the Rural Maryland Council, MAERDAF provides grants to rural-serving nonprofit organizations that promote statewide and regional planning, economic and community development, and agricultural and forestry education.  Also eligible are rural community colleges that support small and agricultural businesses through enhanced training and technical assistance.
     
    MAERDAF's goal is to increase the overall capacity of rural-serving nonprofit organizations and community colleges to meet a multitude of rural development challenges and to help them establish new public/private partnerships for leveraging non-state sources of funding.



    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.

    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.


    Rural Health Funding Opportunities
     
    Walmart Foundation Community Grant Program
    Application deadline: Dec 31, 2015
    Grants to support the needs of local communities in the areas of hunger, nutrition, women's economic empowerment, career opportunities, and sustainability.

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants to community collaborations and initiatives that have used shared data and information to increase their capacity for planning, implementing, and evaluating health improvement activities. These community collaborations would be part of a nationwide learning collaborative that would create a cadre of lessons learned and promising practices.

    Community Response Fund
    The Community Response Fund supports organizations, activities, and events that address access to needed oral healthcare 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.
    DEADLINE: ongoing basis
    ELIGABILITY: The DentaQuest Foundation makes grants to a variety of organizations that are engaged improving oral health. Grants are not made to individuals.
    CONTACT: Matthew Bond, Grants and Programs Manager: Matthew.Bond@DentaQuestFoundation.org 

    340B Peer-to-Peer Program
    The purpose of the 340B Peer-to-Peer Network is to connect 340B entities and stakeholders with high performing sites, called leading practice sites that have exemplary 340B pharmacy service offerings. These sites serve as guides for covered entities that are interested in improving patient care. This approach provides the opportunity for practice sites to reach their peers and strengthen the 340B program from inventory management to quality care initiatives.
    Sites that receive the status of a 340B Peer-to-Peer recognized site will be asked to dedicate two members of their team to share their expertise and leading practices - for a limited amount of time per month - with other safety-net organizations to help these organizations achieve results and establish sound business practices.
    FUNDING AVALIABLE: Peer-to-Peer annual stipends of $10,000/year
    ELIGABILITY: Applications must be submitted by a 340B entity listed on the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) 340B database as a participating 340B entity.
    Healthcare Connect Fund
    The Healthcare Connect Fund provides funding to healthcare providers for telecommunications and internet access services, as well as network equipment, at a flat discounted rate of 65%. Participants can apply as a member of the consortium or a stand-alone entity.
     
    FUNDING AVAILABLE: Participants will receive a flat rate discount of 65%. There is an annual spending cap of $400,000,000.
    ELIGIBLITY: Rural public or nonprofit healthcare providers (HCPs) are eligible. Consortia may be comprised of both rural and non-rural HCPs. All consortia must consist of more than 50% rural participation within three years of receipt of the first funding commitment obtained through the HCF Program. Connections to, and equipment located at, eligible off-site data centers and administrative offices are eligible for support.
    CONTACT: rhc-assist@usac.org

    USAC Rural Health Care Telecommunications Program
    Health care providers are permitted to apply to receive reduced rates for a variety of telecommunications services under the Rural Health Care Program. Health care providers may seek support for multiple telecommunications services of any bandwidth and for monthly Internet service charges.
     
    FUNDING AVALIABLE: The level of support depends on the HCP's location and the type of service chosen. Health Care Providers are permitted to apply to receive reduced rates for a variety of telecommunication services under the RHCD program. HCPs may seek support for multiple telecommunications services of any bandwidth.

    As a result of recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action, health care participants may be eligible to receive a 25% discount on their monthly Internet service charges. These services are limited to the monthly Internet net access charge, monthly charges for web hosting and web addresses.
    ELIGIBILITY: Community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants
    CONTACT: rhc-admin@universalservice.org

    Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Programs
    Wells Fargo supports nonprofit organizations that work on a community level in the areas of human services, arts and culture, community development, civic responsibility, education, environmental consciousness, and volunteerism.
    CONTACT: Ashley Williams -- Community Support Rep -- Wells Fargo
    ashley.l.williams@wellsfargo.com   

     
    Maryland Small Grants Program
    The Maryland Small Grants Program awards funding to nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to poor and vulnerable populations.
    FUNDING AVALIABLE: Award Ceiling: $50,000
    CONTACT: Amy Kleine, Program Director, Basic Human Needs
    410-654-8500, ext. 268
    Email: akleine@hjweinberg.org


    Accelerating Community-Centered Approaches in Health
    Accelerating Community-Centered Approaches in Health will support innovative population health programs and policies that work to improve health at the community level, including the use of new financial models to achieve cost effective solutions.
    CONTACT: Phone: 248.643.9630
     

    Commonwealth Fund Health Grants
    The Commonwealth Fund promotes a high performing healthcare system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including people with low-incomes, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
    The Fund supports independent research on healthcare issues and makes grants to improve healthcare practice and policy. The Commonwealth Fund actively seeks to support projects on innovative approaches to addressing problems within its areas of focus.
    CONTACT: Email: grants@cmwf.org
    Phone: 212.606.3800

    USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program
    The USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program provides loans, grants, and loan guarantees for essential community facilities in rural areas. Priority is given to healthcare, education, and public safety projects. Funds may be used to construct, enlarge, or improve facilities.
    AVALIABLE FUNDING: Amount varies. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants.
    CONTACT: Bill McGowan, State Director
    1221 College Park Drive, Suite 200
    Dover, DE  19904
    Voice: (302) 857-3580 www.rd.usda.gov/de
    www.rd.usda.gov/md
    PCMH Corner 
    No New Updates at this time: Come back next Week for more!

    Clinical Quality 
    AHRQ has merged its Patient Safety Network (PSNet) and AHRQ WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web) to help readers more efficiently access patient safety news, research and expert commentary. PSNet combines all the features of and content from both sites, including PSNet weekly updates, WebM&M Cases and Commentaries, Perspectives on Safety (including podcasts), Patient Safety Primers, The PSNet Collection and more.

    Healthfinder Website Tool for Prevention and Wellness Information  
    Myhealthfinder is a free, interactive tool that provides reliable health information along with steps people can take, with a provider and at home, to prevent illness and improve health. 

    Webinar on Shared Decision-Making With Low Health Literacy Patients
    Registration is open now for a webinar on December 9 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET that will address how clinicians can effectively engage patients who have limited health literacy skills in shared decision-making. Shared decision-making occurs when a health care provider and a patient work together to make a health care decision that is best for the patient. Research shows that implementation of shared decision-making in clinical practice increases patient satisfaction, enhances patient understanding of their treatment options and increases their involvement in decisions about their care. Yet shared decision-making has not been widely adopted in clinical practice and can be particularly challenging to implement with patients who have limited literacy skills. The webinar will be accredited for continuing education for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and certified health education specialists. Determination of continuing education credit through Professional Education Services Group is pending. The webinar is offered via AHRQ's SHARE Approach initiative, a five-step process for shared decision-making.
    Register here
    Health Observances This Week

    National Influenza Vaccination Week
    December 7-13th is National Influenza Vaccination Week. If you haven't gotten your flu vaccine yet, now's the time! An annual flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent this serious illness.
    This season, National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place from December 7-13th, 2014. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established NIVW in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. All around the country, NIVW events including press briefings, health fairs, flu vaccine promotion events, and educational opportunities will emphasize the importance of flu vaccination.
    Vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu!
    As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can still provide protection against the flu. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February in the United States, and the season can last as late as May. While there's still time to benefit from a flu vaccine, the sooner you get vaccinated, the more likely you are to be protected against the flu when activity picks up in your community.
    Who Needs a Flu Vaccine?
    CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses. A flu vaccine offers the best protection we have against this serious disease. Once vaccinated, it takes about 2 weeks for the body's immune response to fully kick in.
    Have you gotten your flu vaccine? It's not too late! It's National Influenza Vaccination Week.
    Are You at High Risk?
    There are certain people who are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death, including pneumonia and bronchitis are two examples of flu related complications. Those at high risk include:
    • Pregnant women
    • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
    • People 65 years of age and older
    • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease)
    If you are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications, you should get vaccinated. Those who live with you or those who care for people at high risk should also be vaccinated to protect them. A full list of people at high risk of serious complications from flu because of age or other medical conditions is available here.
    In addition, there are other people for whom vaccination is especially important:
    • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
    • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
      • Health care workers
      • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
      • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
    Some Children Need 2 Doses of Flu Vaccine
    NIVW serves as a reminder to parents, guardians and caregivers of children not only about the importance of flu vaccination in general, but also of the fact that some children 6 months through 8 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine to be fully protected. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart. Some children who have received influenza vaccine previously will also need two doses. Your child's doctor or other health care professional can tell you if your child needs two doses.
    The Flu Vaccine-You've Got Choices!
    There are several flu vaccine options for the 2014-2015 flu season.
    Traditional flu vaccines made to protect against three different flu viruses (called "trivalent" vaccines) are available. In addition, flu vaccines made to protect against four different flu viruses (called "quadrivalent" vaccines) also are available.
    The trivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. The following trivalent flu vaccines are available:
    • Standard dose trivalent shots that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. These are approved for people ages 6 months and older. There are different brands of this type of vaccine, and each is approved for different ages. However, there is a brand that is approved for children as young as 6 months old and up. Most flu shots are given with a needle. One flu vaccine can be given with a jet injector, for persons aged 18 through 64 years.
    • A standard dose trivalent shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 18 and older.
    • A standard dose trivalent shot that is egg-free, approved for people 18 and older.
    • high-dose trivalent shot, approved for people 65 and older.
    • A standard dose intradermal trivalent shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot, approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.
    The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The following quadrivalent flu vaccines are available:
    Has your FQHC joined the National Branding Campaign?

     

    With more than 43 billion people  eligible to enroll in private insurance starting this October 1, FQHCs strive to create an identifiable unifying identity for themselves. This is where the National Branding Campaign for Our Health Centers comes into place. 

    The campaign is a national branding effort to strengthen recognition of our Health Centers as a unified and nationwide network of quality community-based primary care providers.  Initially created at the state level by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) and its membership, the National Association of Community Health Centers has expanded the campaign nationwide.

     

    The FQHC Brand Components  

    MACHC recently hosted a Branding Webinar for MD and DE Health Centers with CEO of PACHC, Cheri Reinhart and Event and Communications Coordinator, Kirsten Keyes, as guest speakers. If you missed the webinar and would like access, please click here.

    Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers | | aneeqa@machc.com |