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


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. 

March 11, 2016
MACHC SPOTLIGHT
CCI Health & Wellness Service has once again earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its nationally-recognized standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization's commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.
CCI Health & Wellness Service underwent a rigorous, unannounced on-site survey. During the survey, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance with ambulatory care standards related to a variety of areas, including coordination of care, monitoring for procedures that involve use of sedation or anesthesia, infection prevention and control, management of medications, and patient education and training.
To prepare for this, CCI's Corporate Compliance and Quality Assurance team worked very closely with their site managers, to ensure that all domain areas of inspection were keenly adhered to and observed. In an effort to remind staff of those specific compliance areas, the team created a Tip of Week series that included an email of that week's tip, and a graphical representation of it. The graphical reminders were rotated in our organization-wide screen-saver. Additionally, the preparation team did mock surveys of all practice sites to evaluate and reinforce important topics such as Medication Management, Infection Control, National Patient Safety Goals, and the Environment of Care.
"We are very proud to once again receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, especially because only 25% of all FQHCs across the nation have such distinction," said Kathleen Knolhoff, Chief Executive Officer and President. "We have set high standards of excellence to ensure we provide the best high quality wholehealth care to our communities."




MACHC HAPPENINGS
  
MACHC EVENTS
   
(1)  Policy & Issues (P&I) Forum is OPEN! March 16-20, 2016 in Washington, D.C.
Join MACHC and your FQHC colleagues from across the state and country to get the most up-to-date information and tools to stay ahead, competitive and ready for another year of health center advocacy. 

(2) Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, April 1, 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.

(3) *SAVE THE DATE*
Cultural Competency Conference (Pick one day) - Dover Downs, DE
Thursday, May 5th OR May 6th, 2016

(4) TENTATIVE - SAVE THE DATE
MACHC Clinical Informatics/Quality/Finance Conference 
Thursday, June 16-17th, 2016
Transformation inHealthcare Delivery: Shifting from Volume to Value
The Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers provides an opportunity for community health centers providers / clinicians and other safety net providers to receive professional development and ongoing education while networking with colleagues in the primary care settings across Delaware, Maryland and other states in the region. Transforming health care payment and delivery systems is essential in order to achieve improvements in health care quality and reductions in costs that are needed to achieve the Triple Aim.  This conference seeks to share information and educate attendees on concepts of volume to value in all four breakout tracks - Finance, IT, Clinical and Quality. This is a conference you will not want to miss!

  • OTHER EVENTS
  • Apr 10 - 12, 2016
    Cambridge, MD 
    Type: Conference/Meeting
    Sponsoring organization: Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center


    (2) Practice Operations Management, Level II(POM II) Training 
    April 20-21, 2016 | Charlotte, NC
    NACHC is pleased to present the Health Center Practice Operations Management Training - Level II (POM II). POM II offers health center Chief Operating Officers, Practice/Clinic and other managers, and Board Members an opportunity to learn and apply the critical management and leadership skills necessary to optimize performance. This training features a multidimensional approach to effective management and continuous improvement the areas in the health center: profitability, staffing, and patient workflow.

    (3) An In-Depth Look at FTCA Coverage for Health Centers.  Learn More
    Nashville, TN - May 4 & 5, 2016
    Philadelphia, PA - June 7 & 8, 2016
    Operating a health center within the confines of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) has never been more challenging. The myriad requirements and involvement of various agencies coupled with increased accountability and responsibility can make providing health care services to your patients a risky proposition. This training provides information from trusted and experienced health center attorneys, Marty Bree, Molly Evans, and Matthew Freedus, who for years have provided advice and counsel on the day-to-day issues that arise around FTCA at health centers.
    Emergency Preparedness Events: 

    CDC: Zika virus risk-based preparedness and response guidance for states
    State Actions to Consider as Risks Increase for Locally Acquired Cases of Zika *Does not include guidance specific to U.S. territories 
    Purpose: This document is intended to guide state public health leaders on actions to consider (first hours - days) upon laboratory confirmation of the first locally acquired (transmitted by the bite of a local vector) case of Zika virus infection in their state. This document may serve as a support tool for states to consider a phased response to Zika virus. It is organized according to actions previously described in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Response Plan for Areas at Risk for Local Zika Virus Transmission and High Volume of Travel Associated Cases.  
    Facts: 
    * Zika is transmitted to people mainly through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes or through sexual transmission or maternal-fetal transmission. 
    * A vaccine or treatment for Zika virus infection is not currently available. 
    * Guidance and recommendations will change as more is learned about Zika virus. 
    Assumptions: 
    * Zika virus infection in pregnant women is associated with birth defects and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and the evidence for a causal link is growing. Pregnant women represent a highly vulnerable population with special needs.  
    * In areas of active mosquito spread of Zika, there is a risk of transmission through the blood supply. 
    * Texas, Florida, and Hawaii are likely to be the US states with the highest risk of experiencing local transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes, based on prior experience with similar viruses. However, additional states are assumed to be at some risk due to the presence of Aedes aegyptimosquitoes. 
    * Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are more widely distributed in the continental United States and Hawaii and have been proven competent vectors for Zika virus transmission. This vector may also contribute to limited local transmission of Zika virus. 
    State Risk Assessments: 
    1. All states need to provide public information, particularly to pregnant women, and to assess returning travelers who may have contracted Zika virus infection. 
    2. States with known Aedes aegypti mosquitoes need to intensively monitor for cases in returning travelers and prepare to find and stop clusters of Zika before they become widespread. 
    3. States with Aedes albopictus mosquitos need to presume transmission is possible and be ready to prevent, detect and respond to cases and possible clusters of Zika infection. 
    Guidelines for a Phased Response to Zika Virus  
    The objective of a phased, risk-based response using Zika virus surveillance data is to implement public health interventions appropriate to the level of Zika virus risk in a community, county, or state (see table below). An effective arboviral illness surveillance program and diagnostic testing algorithm that includes testing for Zika virus infection must be in place to recommend a phased response. Effective public health actions depend on interpreting the best available surveillance data and initiating prompt and aggressive intervention when necessary.
    Get to Know Your Regional Coordinators!
    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]
    *VACANT*
    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]
    *VACANT*
    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. 
     
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 

    How Prepared Is Your Community for an Emergency? 

    Download the kit checklist: 

    Family communication and evacuation plan: 


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    *** Look for the latest EP related updates RIGHT HERE!
    Policy, Advocacy and Legislation
    National News
    HHS awards $94 million to health centers to help treat the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic in America
    On Friday (3/11 Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 271 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services in health centers, with a specific focus on treatment of opioid use disorders in underserved populations.
    "The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today," said Secretary Burwell. "Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and integrating these services in health centers bolsters nationwide efforts to curb opioid misuse and abuse, supports approximately 124,000 new patients accessing substance use treatment for recovery and helps save lives."
    The abuse of and addiction to opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain medication, is a serious and increasing public health problem. Approximately 4.5 million people in the United States were non-medical prescription pain reliever users in 2013, and an estimated 289,000 were current heroin users. HHS also estimates the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain medications has nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, and deaths related to heroin increased 39 percent between 2012 and 2013.
    Congratulations to our Member Health Centers on the Award! 
    OrganizationCityAward Amount
    BALTIMORE MEDICAL SYSTEM, INC.BALTIMORE$406,250
    CHASE BREXTON HEALTH SERVICES, INCBALTIMORE$300,000
    COMMUNITY CLINIC, INC., THESILVER SPRING$378,604
    GREATER BADEN MEDICAL SERVICE INCBRANDYWINE$379,167
    TOTAL HEALTH CARE, INC.BALTIMORE$325,000
    ****CONGRATULATIONS!****

    The Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) has posted a new resource addressing how acquisitions and mergers may impact a health center's federal award, and whether the changes meet the definition and criteria for a successor-in-interest to be recognized by HRSA.  This resource will assist health centers to understand federal grants management requirements related to prior approval when such changes are proposed, as well as highlights key considerations and planning steps prior to implementing such changes.

    Five Policy Questions On Addiction That Every Presidential Candidate Should Answer
    Voters must ensure candidates go beyond personal stories to propose evidence-based proposals to address substance use, overdose, and addiction in the United States. Outlined below are five key policy questions about addiction and overdose that candidates need to address in their platforms over the coming months.
    1. Do You Understand Drug Addiction To Be A Disease?
    2. What Is Your Plan To Ensure On-Demand Addiction Treatment Services?
    3. What Approaches Will You Take To Identify Emerging Trends In Drug Trafficking?
    4. What Will You Do To Regulate The Price And Availability Of Naloxone?
    5. What Is Your Policy Prescription For Prevention

    Guns, drugs and motor vehicle crashes account for half of the life-expectancy gap between men in the United States and other high-income countries, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    For years, it's been known that U.S. life expectancy trails that of people in other high-income countries, despite the fact that we spend more on health care per person than anyone else in the world. American men die at 76 years of age and American women at 81, about 2.2 years earlier than their counterparts in a dozen other high-income countries, according to 2012 data. Efforts to understand why have often focused on chronic disease, obesity, smoking or access to health care -- traditional health issues that might trim years off Americans' lives compared with others.

    Across the U.S., more than 20 million people abuse drugs or alcohol or both. Only about 1 in 10 is getting treatment.
    People seeking treatment often have to wait weeks or months for help. The delays can jeopardize the chances they'll be able to recover from their addiction.
    In Baltimore, Health Commissioner Leana Wen has been pushing for treatment on demand, so that the moment people decide they're ready for help, it's available. It's something other health officials have sought to achieve, without success.
    The need for quick access to treatment came into focus for us when we caught up with Andrea Towson, whom we first met last September.
    Towson, known in her West Baltimore neighborhood as Teacup, has used heroin on and off for more than 30 years. She considers herself an active user.
    By mid-December, she was looking to change that. "For the new year, I want to be in treatment," she says.

    Guns, drugs and motor vehicle crashes account for half of the life-expectancy gap between men in the United States and other high-income countries, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    For years, it's been known that U.S. life expectancy trails that of people in other high-income countries, despite the fact that we spend more on health care per person than anyone else in the world. American men die at 76 years of age and American women at 81, about 2.2 years earlier than their counterparts in a dozen other high-income countries, according to 2012 data. Efforts to understand why have often focused on chronic disease, obesity, smoking or access to health care -- traditional health issues that might trim years off Americans' lives compared with others.
    New Report Shows 20 Million Americans Have Gained Health Insurance Coverage Because of the Affordable Care Act
    A new report released this month finds that the provisions of the Affordable Care Act have resulted in an estimated 20 million people gaining health insurance coverage between the passage of the law in 2010 and early 2016-an historic reduction in the uninsured. Those provisions include Medicaid expansion, Health Insurance Marketplace coverage, and changes in private insurance that allow young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance plans and require plans to cover people with pre-existing health conditions.
    "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage," said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.  "We have seen progress in the last six years that the country has sought for generations. Americans with insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace or through their employers have benefited from better coverage and a reduction in the growth of health care costs."


    Supreme Court Blocks Louisiana Abortion Law 
    The Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana abortion regulation Friday, temporarily stopping the state from requiring doctors to hold admitting privileges at local hospitals while litigation over the issue continues. ... The high court said it was granting the Louisiana stay "consistent with the court's action" in the Texas litigation. The Supreme Court last summer prevented parts of the Texas law from going into effect while that case continued, so Friday's move may have been made to maintain the status quo until the court announces the Texas ruling. Both laws were blocked by federal judges who found they were a "substantial obstacle" for women seeking abortions. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which oversees Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, overrode those decisions, prompting abortion providers to appeal to the Supreme Court. 

    State News
    DELAWARE
    The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging everyone who has not yet been vaccinated against the flu to do so as soon as possible. DPH is currently reporting 92 new lab-confirmed flu cases for the week ending Feb. 27, which is more than double the number of cases from the week before. The numbers, which officials say could grow even higher by week's end, don't include the cases identified at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution (HRYCI).
    At the beginning of February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported seeing influenza activity increasing across the country, and had received reports of severe respiratory illness among young- to middle-aged adults with the Influenza A H1N1pdm09 virus. Most of these patients were reportedly unvaccinated, according to the CDC. In the past, the H1N1pdm09 virus infection has caused severe illness in some children and young- and middle-aged adults.
    MARYLAND
    Last Thursday, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement commending the U.S. Senate on passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (S. 524), a bill to help tackle nation's opioid & heroin epidemic:
    "We applaud the U.S. Senate for its bipartisan effort to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016, which will help our nation combat the opioid epidemic-a public health crisis that is affecting communities across every part of our country.
    Last December, I was proud to testify in front of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on how Baltimore is leading the way nationally with innovative strategies and evidence-based solutions, specifically around three pillars:
    1. Preventing deaths from overdose and saving the lives of people suffering from addiction, with one of the most aggressive overdose prevention programs in the country that includes a blanket prescription for naloxone to 620,000 residents;
    2. Increasing access to quality and effective on-demand treatment, including with medications, psychosocial support, plans for a 24/7 behavioral health urgent care, and case management services; and
    3. Expanding addiction education and awareness to reduce stigma, including with education for local doctors around opioid prescribing practices and a "Don't Die" campaign for residents.
    This bill would provide new support for each of these three pillars, and emphasizes what we know from science and research: that addiction is a disease, that treatment exists, and that recovery is possible.
    Senate passage of the CARA Act is critical first step in this effort. I hope the House of Representatives works quickly to consider this legislation in their respective chamber. Baltimore has been fighting heroin and opioid addiction for decades.
    With the assistance of federal partners, we are transforming Baltimore into a national model for addiction recovery to provide care, save lives, and ensure equity and justice."

    Funding Dear Colleague Letters being led by Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Gene Green (D-TX) in the House and Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in the Senate are now circulating.  We are counting on you to reach out to your Members of Congress to ask them to co-sign these letters -  Click here to TAKE ACTION and contact your Member via email, Facebook, or Twitter.  The deadline to sign on to the House letter is March 19 and the deadline to co-sign the Senate letter is March 15By signing on to the letters, Members of Congress publicly show their support for Health Centers. The signatures we receive will influence how successful we are in securing funding for the Health Center Program in FY2017. 
    Finance & Business
    Blue Cross Parent Lost $1.5B On Individual Health Plans Last Year  
    Year 2 of the Affordable Care Act was another financial flop for the Chicago-based parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois but hints of a turnaround are emerging. Health Care Service Corp.'s financial losses in its individual business, which includes ACA plans, worsened in 2015. The company, which owns Blue Cross affiliates in Illinois and four other states, said it lost $1.5 billion in its individual business, up from $767 million in 2014, the first year of the health law's state exchanges for buying coverage.
    The
    Latest News on ACA

    OUR WORK CONTINUES

    *Please note, the next Outreach and Enrollment QPR (January 1 - March 31) will be available in the Electronic Handbook (EHB) on April 1 and is due April 14, 2016.

    A new report released this month finds that the provisions of the Affordable Care Act have resulted in an estimated 20 million people gaining health insurance coverage between the passage of the law in 2010 and early 2016-an historic reduction in the uninsured. Those provisions include Medicaid expansion, Health Insurance Marketplace coverage, and changes in private insurance that allow young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance plans and require plans to cover people with pre-existing health conditions.
    "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage," said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.  "We have seen progress in the last six years that the country has sought for generations. Americans with insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace or through their employers have benefited from better coverage and a reduction in the growth of health care costs."

    FAQ: What Are The Penalties For Not Getting Insurance? by Kaiser Health News
    If you're uninsured, you may have questions about possible penalties for not having coverage. The fine may be bigger than you expect. Here are the details:

    Is everyone required to have health insurance or pay a fine?
    Most people who can afford to buy health insurance but don't do so will face a penalty, sometimes called a "shared responsibility payment." The requirement to have health insurance, which began in 2014, applies to adults and children alike, but there are exceptions for certain groups of people and those who are experiencing financial hardship.

    What kind of insurance satisfies the requirement to have coverage?
    Most plans that provide comprehensive coverage count as "minimum essential coverage." That includes job-based insurance and plans purchased on the individual market, either on or off the exchange. Most Medicaid plans and Medicare Part A, which covers hospital benefits, count as well, as do most types of Tricare military coverage and some Veterans Affairs coverage.
    Insurance that provides limited benefits generally does not qualify, including standalone vision and dental plans or plans that only pay in the event someone has an accident, or gets cancer or another specified illness.
    If I don't have health insurance, how much will I owe?
    The penalty has risen each year since 2014. For 2015, the penalty is the greater of a flat $325 per adult and $162.50 per child under age 18, up to a maximum of $975 per family, or 2 percent of the portion of your family's modified adjusted gross income that is more than the threshold for filing a tax return. That threshold is $10,300 for an individual,$13,250 for a head of household and $20,600 for a married couple filing jointly.
    For 2016, the penalty will be the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of income.
    Although much of the discussion is often about the flat dollar penalty - $325 in 2015 - many people will be paying substantially more than that. A single person earning more than $26,550 would not qualify for the $325 penalty ($26,550 - $10,300 = $16,250 x 2 percent = $325.) So the 2 percent penalty is the standard that will apply in most cases, say experts. For example, for a single person whose modified adjusted gross income is $35,000, the penalty would be $494 ($35,000 - $10,300 = $24,700 x 2 percent = $494. That same individual would have paid $249 in penalties for 2014.
    The penalty is capped at the national average price for a bronze plan, which the IRS announced was $2,484 for an individual and $12,240 for a family of five or more in 2015.
    Many more people will be able to avoid the penalty altogether because their income is below the filing threshold.
    If I owe a penalty for not having insurance,  how do I pay it?
    If you had health insurance for only part of 2015 or didn't have coverage at all, you'll have to file Form 8965, which allows you to claim an exemption from the requirement to have insurance or calculate your penalty for the months that you weren't covered.
    What if I just realized I face a penalty. Can I do anything to avoid a penalty next year?
    Open enrollment for 2016 coverage ended Jan. 31. However, if you have a change in your life circumstances such as getting married, adopting a child or losing your job and your health insurance, it may trigger a special enrollment period during which you can sign up for or change coverage and avoid paying a fine. In addition, if your income is low and meets guidelines in the law, you can generally sign up for your state's CHIP or Medicaid program at any time.
    What if I have a gap in coverage after open enrollment ends? Will I have to pay a fine?
    It depends. If the gap in coverage is less than three consecutive months, you can avoid owing a penalty. Subsequent coverage gaps during the year, however, could trigger a fine.
    If you have coverage for even one day during a month, it counts as coverage for that month. The penalty, if there is one, would be calculated in monthly increments.
    Are parents responsible for paying the penalty if their kids don't have coverage?
    They may be. If you claim a child as a dependent on your tax return, you'll be on the hook for the penalty if the child doesn't have insurance. In cases where parents are divorced, the parent who claims the child as a tax dependent would be responsible for the penalty.
    Who's exempt from the requirement to have insurance?
    The list of possible exemptions is a long one. You may be eligible for an exemption if:
    • Your income is below the federal income tax filing threshold (see above).
    • The lowest priced available plan costs more than 8.05 percent of your income.
    • Your income is less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,105 for 2015 coverage for an individual) and your state did not expand Medicaid coverage to adults at this income level as permitted under the health law.
    • You experienced one of several hardships, including eviction, bankruptcy or domestic violence.
    • You are a member of an Indian tribe, health care sharing ministry or a religious group that objects to insurance.
    • You are in jail.
    • You are an immigrant who is not in the country legally.
    For a more complete list go to the exemptions page at  healthcare.gov or the questions and answers page on shared responsibilities provisions on the IRS website.
    When should I claim or file for an exemption?
    There's no one-size-fits-all answer. You can claim some of the exemptions when you file your tax return in 2016, but for others, you will have to complete an exemption application available at healthcare.gov.
    Are U.S. citizens living overseas subject to the penalty for not having insurance?
    If you live abroad for at least 330 days during a 12-month period, you aren't required to have coverage in the States.
    What happens if I don't pay the penalty?
    The IRS may offset your income tax refund to collect the penalty, but that's about it. Unlike other situations where the tax agency can garnish wages or file liens to collect unpaid taxes, the health law prohibits these activities in cases where people don't pay the penalty for not having insurance.

    MACHC Conference Call Updates
    *Please note, the next Outreach and Enrollment QPR (January 1 - March 31) will be available in the Electronic Handbook (EHB) on April 1 and is due April 14, 2016.

    Join MACHC's next Outreach & Enrollment Call ON FRIDAY, April 1, 2016
    What would you like to included as part of Maryland & Delaware's Outreach & Enrollment assistance from MACHC? Please send Aneeqa Chowdhury an email at aneeqa@machc.com.

    Post MACHC OE3 March 4, 2016 Call
    Here are the resources from Enroll America discussed during the call:

    Co-branding Instructions:
    Place an image or object in a pdf:
    1. Choose Tools -­-> Contents -­-> Edit Object Tool
    2. Right-­-click the page and choose Place Image
    3. Choose one of the following file formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PCX, PNG, or TIFF
    4. Select an image file, and click Open
    5. A copy of the image file appears on the page with the same resolution as the original file

    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

    Application Deadline:  March 31, 2016
    The Accountable Health Communities model, as authorized under section 3021 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides funding opportunities to community-based organizations, healthcare provider practices, hospitals and health systems, institutions of higher education, local government entities, tribal organizations and for-profit and non-profit local and national entities for the purpose of testing whether systematically identifying the health-related social needs of community-dwelling Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and addressing their identified needs impacts their total healthcare costs and their inpatient and outpatient utilization of health care services.

    Ongoing Accepted Applications

    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

    Rural Health Research Center Cooperative Agreement - applications due March 14, 2016.  FORHP is funding up to seven Rural Health Research Centers to conduct policy-oriented health services research on rural issues and synthesize the issues into publically available policy briefs designed to be easily understood by a non-technical audience.  Applicants can take part in a technical assistance webinar on Wednesday January 27th from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST. 

    Building Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Capacity - applications due March 22, 2016. Community-based, faith-based and tribal organizations are among those eligible to apply for funding intended to build national capacity for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) recipients and engage People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) to increase their access to health care.  Funded organizations will work with HRSA, CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to assess and disseminate best practices culturally appropriate methods for improving health outcomes of PLWH.  Interested applicants should attend a technical assistance webinar on Wednesday, January 27 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET; go to https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/coag/ and enter as Guest. To join the audio, dial 888-603-9810  with participant passcode 1165029.  



    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 PCMH News this week, please check next week :)
    Clinical Quality 
    Find out the Social Impact of Your Health Center
    The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) launched a new tool, the Social Impact Calculator, a first-of-its-kind tool to put a dollar value on the benefit of community investments like education.  

    If someone is well-educated, the odds are that he or she will marry someone with similar credentials, according to census data. And that trend has consequences when it comes to access to health care in rural areas.
    Rural areas have for years been facing a doctor shortage. That means for the roughly 20 percent of Americans who live in those areas, it's harder to get care when it's needed. Policymakers have been trying to create programs that offer medical debt forgiveness and other incentives to doctors willing to set up shop away from the city. But a research letter published Tuesday in JAMA highlights how a key demographic change - the rise of power couples - is stacking the deck against these efforts.
    According to the research letter, doctors are much more likely to marry people with advanced degrees than they used to be - 54 percent of married doctors in 2010 compared with less than 10 percent in 1960.
    Health Observances This Week


    Focus on the Kidneys During National Kidney Month in March
    March is National Kidney Month and the NKF is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a second thought and a well-deserved checkup.
    Kidneys filter 200 liters of blood a day, help regulate blood pressure and direct red blood cell production. But they are also prone to disease; 1 in 3 Americans is at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure. There are more than 26 million Americans who already have kidney disease, and most don't know it because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed.
    During National Kidney Month in March, and in honor of World Kidney Day on March 14, the NKF offers the following health activities to promote awareness of kidneys, risk factors and kidney disease:
    • Free Screenings: On World Kidney Day and throughout the Month of March, NKF is offering free screenings to those most at risk for kidney disease - anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure. Locations and information can be found on the calendar on our website.
    • 'Are You at Risk' Kidney Quiz: Early detection can make a difference in preventing kidney disease so it's important to know if you're at risk. Take the online kidney quiz!
    • Live Twitter Chat with Dr. Joseph Vassalotti: The National Kidney Foundation's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, will be hosting an interactive kidney Q&A on World Kidney Day, Thursday, March 14, from 12-2 pm ET. Ask your questions at www.twitter.com/nkf using the hash-tag #WorldKidneyDayNKF
    About The Kidneys:
    The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health through the following functions:
    • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day.
    • Regulating of the body's salt, potassium and acid content.
    • Removing of drugs from the body.
    • Balancing the body's fluids.
    • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure.
    • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones.
    • Controlling the production of red blood cells.
    Quick Facts on Kidney Disease:
    • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
    • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don't know it.
    • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
    • More than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the US today.
    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 |