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. 

June 6, 2016

Don't Forget to Register for MACHC's Semi- Annual Conference: Transformation in Healthcare 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
  • Quality
COME OUT AND JOIN  Register Here
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Anne Arundel Medical Center

National Health Center Week
August 7-13, 2016
Visit the Health Center Week website to access the NHCW Kick-off webinar recording and slides. The webinar featured Health Center leaders from Georgia and Virginia who shared best practices on how to plan and host successful Health Center Week celebrations. Also, be sure to take advantage of support and resources designed to help with event planning and implementation - visit the NHCW website. Plan ahead and inform us, your PCA, about any NHCW Happenings and whether we can assist in coordination of having your Congressman at your event. Remember, this week is the best week to showcase your health center successes.

Outreach & Enrollment Call 
Friday, June 10, 2016
11am- noon
1-866-740-1260 Access 4319483
Who: Outreach Staff
Discuss state updates, best practices, barriers/issues that need attention and provide any support and advocacy where needed.

(2)  The Art & Science of Communication
June 14, 2016   12pm-1pm
*For webinar link, please email Deitra Bell at deitra@machc.com

(3) ***REGISTER NOW***
MACHC Clinical Informatics/Quality/Finance Conference 
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, MD
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!   Register Here

(4)  Outreach & Enrollment Webinar with Enroll America  Friday, June 24, 2016  11am- noon
Check next week for webinar link or ask Aneeqa to add you to OE Team listserv
641-715-3580 / Access Code: 941-597 / Login: https://enrollamerica.adobeconnect.com/_a1138253866/sageneral

(5) Mastering the Art of Minute Talking
July 12, 2016 
*For webinar link, please email Deitra Bell at deitra@machc.com


  • (1)
     Take A Stand June 11, 2016
    The Westin Baltimore Washington Airport-BWI
    9:00 am - 1:30 pm  Register Here
    Lunch included
    One-time, FREE workshop on raising your clinic's adult immunization rates while streamlining your practice
     This workshop is a one-stop shop to help you easily implement standing orders in your practice.
     Using standing orders for adult immunizations can help your practice be a leader in quality adult care.
    Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to Plan Health Services in Health Center 

    (2) Webinar: Addressing the Behavioral Health Needs of Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Patients
    Monday, June 13, 2016 |8 am HDT / 11 am PDT / 12 pm MDT / 1 pm CDT / 2 pmEDT           Register Now! 
    This 90-minute HRSA webinar aims to build competency to address the behavioral health needs of transgender and gender non-conforming patients in a culturally-appropriate manner and will feature promising practices of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grantees. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights will discuss the proposed nondiscrimination rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

    (3) Program Grantees, With a Focus on Public Housing Primary Care Grantees - Wednesday, May 18, 2:30-3:30 p.m. EST -The use of GIS technology allows Health Center Program award recipients to identify neighborhood needs and assets, explore disparities in health, compare trends within a geographic region, and prioritize the use of limited resources.  This webinar will address Public House Primary Care grantees and the use of mapping software as a tool to analyze and utilize data to better serve residents in and accessible to public housing. Register here

    ParkWest's Janie B Geer Scholarship Fund Golf Classic Monday, August 8, 2016
    The Woodlands Golf Course
    2309 Ridge Road, Windsor Mill MD 21244 

    Emergency Preparedness Events: 
    Dr. Tom Frieden has dealt with a number of epidemics during his seven-year tenure as director of the Centers for Disease Control. But the rapidly spreading Zika virus, the terrifying birth defects it causes and Congress' inexplicable foot-dragging on funding anti-Zika efforts has him feeling downright desperate. "Imagine that you're standing by and you see someone drowning, and you have the ability to stop them from drowning, but you can't," Frieden told a packed room of reporters and potential donors at the National Press Club on Thursday. "Now multiply that by 1,000 or 100,000. That's what it feels like to know how to change the course of an epidemic and not be able to do it." 

    On The Horizon...
    • MACHC Pre-Semi Functional Exercise, Technical Assistance session on dissecting Federally Qualified Health Center Emergency Preparedness Plans to find gaps.
    • Semi-functional exercise with all FQHCs as observers

    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]
    Allegany County Health Department
    12501 Willowbrook Road
    Cumberland, MD  21502
    301-759-5238 (Office)
    443-934-2232 (Mobile)
    301-777-2069 (Fax)

    [Baltimore City; Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties]
    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]
    Office of Preparedness & Response
    Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    300 W. Preston Street, Ste. 202
    Baltimore, MD  21201 

    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
    The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has awarded 23 Network Planning grants  to support enhanced health care delivery in rural communities.  The grants, which provide $100,000 for a one-year project period, represent an investment of more than $2 million to help rural communities in 17 states.  For each grantee, an award of up to $100,000 provides an opportunity to implement new and innovative approaches towards a dynamic health care environment that may in turn serve as a model for other rural communities. The incoming cohort of Network Planning grantees have projects that focus on behavioral health, care coordination, infrastructure, health information technology, and health education. Additionally, three projects are proposing to address the loss of local health and/or social services as a result of a recent rural hospital closure or conversion and/or loss of ambulatory services.

    First drug-resistant 'superbug' confirmed in US
    American military researchers have identified the first patient in the United States to be infected with bacteria that are resistant to an antibiotic that was the last resort against drug-resistant germs. The patient is well now, but the case raises the specter of superbugs that could cause untreatable infections, because the bacteria can easily transmit their resistance to other germs that are already resistant to additional antibiotics. The resistance can spread because it arises from loose genetic material that bacteria typically share with one another

    Providers Spend $15.4B to Report on Healthcare Quality Measures
    General internists, family physicians, cardiologists, and orthopedists spend more than $15.4 billion annually to report on healthcare quality measures set by payers, according to a report from Health Affairs.
    Annually, these four types of practices have spent an average of 785 hours per physician to report on quality measures. The time spent by physicians and staff on these tasks equates to an average cost of $40,069 per physician per year, the report said.
    "The cost to physician practices of dealing with quality measures is high and rising," researchers said. "There is much to gain from quality measurement, but the current system is far from being efficient and contributes to negative physician attitudes toward quality measures."

    FDA Approves First Drug-Oozing Implant to Control Addiction
    Federal health officials on Thursday approved an innovative new option for Americans struggling with addiction to heroin and painkillers: a drug-oozing implant that curbs craving and withdrawal symptoms for six months at a time. The first-of-a-kind device, Probuphine, arrives as communities across the U.S. grapple with a wave of addiction tied to opioids, highly-addictive drugs that include legal pain medications like OxyContin and illegal narcotics like heroin. Roughly 2.5 million Americans suffer from addiction disorders related to the drugs, according to federal estimates

    Police departments need mental health programs
    A U.S. Justice Department report prompted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre urges police chiefs around the country to put mental health programs in place in to help officers cope with on-the-job trauma, including the aftermath of mass shootings. The report, offered as a best practices guide, was prepared with help from officials including retired Newtown police chief Michael Kehoe, who led the response to the 2012 school shooting and worried over the following weeks that some of his officers might kill themselves. 

    Senators say they are optimistic that a bipartisan mental health reform bill can reach the Senate floor and pass soon, though they are still working out differences over guns and finances. Multiple senators said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has told them that he is willing to put the bill from Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on the floor but that a consensus has to be built ahead of time so that consideration does not take up too much valuable floor time. 

    California insurance officials are looking into whether Health Net Inc. has improperly withheld payments to addiction treatment centers for months while the company investigates concerns about fraudulent claims. The California Department of Insurance began an inquiry after receiving numerous complaints from substance-abuse treatment facilities statewide that Health Net had not paid them since at least January, according to providers questioned by the agency. Health Net is California's fourth-largest health insurer, acquired in March for $6 billion by Centene Corp., a St. Louis-based insurer.

    Uninsured Rate Drops to Historic Low
    The nation's uninsured rate fell below 10 percent for the first time in history last year, according to survey results published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To see how many uninsured are in your county and learn how your county ranks on other indicators, click here to access County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and  click here for an analysis at the county level, pre- and post-Affordable Care Act implementation.

    The bill, the first significant update to federal chemicals safety law in 40 years, is expected to be passed by the Senate as soon as this week and signed into law by President Barack Obama. It passed 403 to 12. It gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to evaluate and impose restrictions on chemicals used in everything from dry-cleaning to grease removal to paint thinners. In most cases, that authority pre-empts states from passing laws to regulate a chemical while the EPA is making its determination. 

    HHS Finalizes Health Equity Rule
    Last week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released final regulations on the nondiscrimination provision - Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.  It is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in all health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.  The regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes gender, sex stereotyping, orientation, gender identity and pregnancy.  The rule also imposes requirements on covered entities relative to access to health-related services for persons with disabilities and clarifies and extends language access rights by defining who can be an interpreter and translator.  
    State News
    Citing higher cost of care, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, Aetna Inc. and Aetna Life are pushing for double-digit rate increases in health care premiums for people enrolled in the state's marketplace.
    Created by the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the marketplace began Jan. 1, 2014, and has seen 28,256 people sign up for 2016 coverage.
    The Delaware Department of Insurance announced the proposed jumps Thursday. New rates will take effect Jan. 1, although the exact changes are yet to be determined.
    Highmark, which covers the majority of Delawareans enrolled through the state's marketplace, is seeking increases of 32.5 percent in the individual market. Nine plans would be affected, with rate changes from 24.2 percent to 35.8 percent, according to a filing from the company posted online. The company said 11,629 people would see higher premiums as a result.
    Aetna requested an increase varying from 19.5 percent to 30.7 percent for 12 plans, with an average change of 25 percent. A total of 1,531 people would be impacted.
    Derek Scott and his wife had just dropped off two of their three children at school one day last fall when he started having trouble breathing. By the time the Pikesville father arrived at Sinai Hospital's emergency room he was gasping for air.
    "I didn't know what was going on," Scott said. "And I couldn't even talk well enough to tell anyone what was wrong."
    It turned out that Scott, 44, was among the 6 million Americans suffering from heart failure, a complex condition that keeps the heart from pumping normally. The condition is often poorly managed, sending about a quarter of patients back to the hospital within a month of their initial treatment.
    When Scott returned to the emergency room two weeks later, again short of breath, he was enrolled in a study assessing the effectiveness of a new home monitoring program overseen by Dr. Mauro Moscucci, medical director of the LifeBridge Health Cardiovascular Institute and chairman of Sinai's department of medicine.

    Federal jury found the owner of an Owings Mills imaging firm guilty Wednesday of defrauding the federal Medicare and Medicaid system of more than $7.5 million and contributing to the deaths of two patients whose diseases and infections were not caught on X-rays because employees were not qualified to read them.
    Rafael Chikvashvili, the owner of Alpha Diagnostics LLC, was convicted of several counts of health care fraud, including two counts of fraud resulting in death, for ordering employees who were not doctors to interpret X-rays, ultrasounds and cardiologic examinations, prosecutors said.
    In one case, they said, Chikvashvili directed an employee to create false documents while on vacation in Jamaica.
    Finance & Business
    An 11-year-old statewide effort to expand mental health services with a tax on high incomes is helping many people, but there's not enough hard data to measure the overall impact of the billions of dollars raised so far, members of an independent state watchdog agency said Thursday. More work is needed to overcome problems of communication, reporting and oversight in order to assemble a clear picture of how the money's spent. That, anyway, was the consensus reached at Thursday's hearing before the Little Hoover Commission, most of whose members are appointed by the governor and the legislature. 

    The closure represents a significant disruption for the enrollees. The Obama administration and state regulators had worked to shut down any financially shaky co-ops before 2016 enrollment began on Nov. 1, in an attempt to avoid such failure in the middle of the coverage year. But that is now happening in Ohio. ... ObamaCare set up the nonprofit co-op health insurers as a way to increase competition in the insurance market. Many of the co-ops have gone out of business. Just 10 of the original 23 will now remain. 

    In its first detailed disclosure on executive pay, nonprofit Blue Shield of California said Chief Executive Paul Markovich made $3.5 million last year - a 40 percent increase since he took the top job in 2013. The San Francisco-based health insurer has faced criticism for years from consumer advocates about its lack of transparency on executive compensation, and the issue attracted even more scrutiny after a state audit raised questions about the insurer's big pay increases and large financial reserves. Following that audit, in 2014, California revoked Blue Shield's state tax exemption, which it had held since its founding in 1939. 
    Latest News on ACA


    Resource: New rules for enrolling in Medicaid managed care 
    Check out the first analysis in our series explaining major changes to how Medicaid managed care works. This analysis explains the elements of the new Medicaid managed care rule that affect enrollment, including new requirements for states to create "beneficiary support systems" to help individuals with the enrollment process.  

    MHBE has reviewed all comments received regarding proposed COMAR 14.35.16 and is providing a revised and redlined version of this chapter and a chart that summarizes the comments received.
    MHBE also is providing version 5 of COMAR that incorporates all comments received pertaining to the definitions in general and the specific definitions within Chapters 7, 14-16.
    Stakeholders may submit written comments by June 7, 2016 in advance of the June 14, 2016 public meeting. In addition, written comments will be accepted after the meeting until June 24, 2016 that will be considered for inclusion in the version of the proposed regulations presented to the MHBE Board of Trustees on July 18, 2016. 
    Interested parties may send written comments to mhbe.policy@maryland.gov.

    Starting July 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented an interim final rule requiring consumers to prove they had qualifying health coverage for one or more days in the 60 days before their move, unless they are moving from a foreign country or United States territory. Also, moving only for medical treatment or staying somewhere for vacation doesn't qualify them for a Special Enrollment Period.  This interim final rule will not take effect until July 11, 2016, and CMS is accepting comments on the rule through July 5. 

    Marketplace Announces 2017-2019 Open Enrollment Dates
    • 2017 Benefit Year (OE4): November 1st, 2016-January 31st, 2017 (coming up!)
    • 2018 Benefit Year (OE5): November 1st, 2017-January 31st, 2018
    • 2019 Benefit Year (OE6): November 1st, 2018-December 31st, 2018
    NEW: Ending Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Retroactive Coverage
    On April 1st,  the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance announcing that after March 31, 2016 the Marketplace will no longer be accepting new requests for Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for retroactive coverage back to 2015. All retro SEP requests received after this date will receive a max retro date of January 1, 2016.
    MACHC Conference Call Updates
    Maryland Health Benefit Exchange News:

    At the May 17 meeting covering Chapter 14 (Terminations, Cancellations and Rescissions), MHBE stated that it would provide an update to stakeholders about any edits the Exchange would make regarding two items:
    1. the obligation of carriers to process enrollee requests for termination without the enrollee first notifying the Exchange; and 
    2. how a household's contract and accumulators would be affected if the primary enrollee in a household is terminated from the plan.
    MHBE intends to incorporate the amendments to and additional about these two items as specified below.
    MHBE will continue to accept written comments on Chapters 7 and 14 through Wednesday, May 25. We've extended the date to allow stakeholders additional time to respond to the updated information in this email.
    We thank you for your continued time and partnership.
    • MHBE will amend Chapter 14 to require that carriers must only accept and process whole-household termination requests directly from the enrollee without requiring that the enrollee first notify the Exchange. 
    • At this time, carriers will not be required to accept and process partial household termination requests directly from the enrollee, and the enrollee will be required to notify the Exchange of this request.
    • CMS removed the original explicit requirement that both the Exchange and carriers process any enrollee-requested terminations under 45 CFR 155.430(b)(1)(i) and instead added language at 45 CFR 155.430(e) to allow the Exchange to specify a termination process for itself and carriers that corresponded with the technical and operational capacity and preference of each Exchange. As such, based on feedback from stakeholders, MHBE will amend its original proposed rule and only require carrier processing of whole household termination requests. Partial household termination requests will be processed only by the Exchange given then current technical capabilities of the Exchange and its partner carriers.

    The contract:
    • MHBE will amend Chapter 14 to add the following options that carriers may use to ensure that the household's coverage continues seamlessly when the primary enrollee is terminated from coverage for any reason:
      • MHBE proposes that for 2017, a carrier either: 1) continue the contract with the original policyholder but the individual moves to the position of responsible adult in lieu of an enrollee; 2) allow the original policyholder to assign the contract to another enrollee from the original enrollment household who is maintaining their enrollment; or 3) if the carrier cannot currently accomplish items 1 or 2, the carrier must manually apply the household accumulators from the original contract to the new contract with the household members who have maintained coverage when the previous primary enrollee terminated coverage. 
      • MHBE proposes for 2018 and beyond that the carrier use approach 1 or 2, except for certain exceptions listed below where option 3 will remain permissible in 2018 and beyond.
    The accumulators:
    • MHBE will also amend Chapter 14 to address how accumulators should be handled in situations where the primary enrollee is terminated from coverage:
      • MHBE proposes that for all situations, the issuer must apply all amounts contributed to the deductible and out-of-pocket costs under the contract -- regardless of who in the household incurred and accrued the amounts (including from the initial primary subscriber) -- to either the remaining enrollees in the contract (if the contract continues under option 1 or 2 above) or the new contract for the remaining enrolled members (if the contract is new under options 3 above).
    • This language mirrors the final 2017 issuer letter.
    • It is MHBE's understanding that carriers currently continue accumulators within the contract when anyone but the primary terminates, because MHBE has provided approaches whereby the contract may continue uninterrupted despite the primary enrollee's termination, MHBE believes that carriers can apply their current logic to primary enrollee terminations. 
    • MHBE, however, recognizes two exceptions where option 3 above must be permitted in 2018 and beyond to allow carriers to meet the accumulator requirements. These situations are:
      • Where the household is enrolled in a family plan but termination of the primary enrollee -- even if the primary is moved to the responsible adult position -- results in a change in the plan structure such that, under the carriers contract requirements, the remaining enrollees are moved to a child-only plan.
        • MHBE will work with carriers in these situations to build an indicator within the 834 to alert carriers that the accumulators from the original contract should be applied to the new contract.
        • This situation will also be identifiable because the previously enrolled adult is moving to the responsible adult position.
      • Where the terminated member is leaving the tax household completely (ie divorce).
        • If the two new households (i.e., divorced adults with any children that are now under his/her new tax household) elect to enroll in a new plan through an SEP, they would not qualify for the continuing contract accumulators rule.
        • If one of the new households remains under the current contract but the other household enrolls through a new account/plan, the former household would qualify for the continuing accumulators rule but the latter household would not qualify for the continuing accumulators under the new contract. MHBE believes that how households choose to construct themselves is addressed by a court order, not MHBE.
          • If the individual who leaves the original household/contract) and moves to a separate household was the primary enrollee, MHBE will work with carriers to build an 834 indicator for the remaining enrollees in the original contract to indicate that there will be a new primary enrollee. In this situation, MHBE suggests that carriers allow the original primary enrollee/policyholder (one of the original spouses) to assign the contract to the new primary enrollee (the other original spouse)

    Marketplace Announces 2017-2019 Open Enrollment Dates
    • 2017 Benefit Year (OE4): November 1st, 2016-January 31st, 2017
    • 2018 Benefit Year (OE5): November 1st, 2017-January 31st, 2018
    • 2019 Benefit Year (OE6): November 1st, 2018-December 31st, 201

    Join MACHC's next Outreach & Enrollment Call ON FRIDAY, 
    June 10, 2016.
    We took a poll at the past conference call but would like to continue to ask you to submit the following: 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.

    Maryland--Call Center Note:
    Direct Line for Navigators and CAC to MHBE Call Center--Regarding the Call Center # 844-224-6762 It should be noted that: If you need customer assistance from the call center, CAC's should call this number.
    Grants & Funding Opportunities

    HRSA Funding Opportunity to Support Leadership Training for People Living with HIV
    The needs of people living with HIV have continued to evolve over time, and it is essential that the diverse perspectives and experiences of people living with HIV continue to be an integral part of program planning and implementation at all levels. To ensure that people living with HIV are engaged and their voices continue to be heard, HHS has directed $2.5 million from the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund to support a new initiative to provide leadership training for people of color living with HIV.
    HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau is leading this effort and recently published a Funding Opportunity Announcement, Leadership Training for People of Color Living with HIV.

    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

    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

    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
    PCMH Corner 
    Free PCMH Technical Assistance is Available through NCQA's Government Recognition Initiative Program (GRIP) Register here
    The National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) Live Open Forum will address questions related to PCMH 2014 standards, the application, and survey process. NCQA staff will respond to your questions. You may attend the Open Forum as many times as you need.
    Clinical Quality 
    New evidence-based tools from AHRQ are available to help adult patients work with their health care providers to make informed treatment decisions for binge-eating disorder.
    A research summary for clinicians and a companion plain-language brochure for patients outline the benefits and harms of various treatment options, including psychotherapy and medications. To enhance shared decision-making, the clinician publication includes talking points, and the consumer brochure offers sample questions to ask clinicians. In addition, a new continuing medical education module is available at no cost and provides health care providers with information and skills to support shared decision-making. The new tools are based on a systematic review that evaluated the evidence on the effectiveness, comparative effectiveness and adverse effects of treatment options for patients with binge-eating disorder.  

    NACHC Webinars to Improve Compliance, Finance, Operations
    The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is offering several webinars to support health centers in making the best of the present, remain in compliance and prepare for the future.  There is no fee for any of the webinars, but registration is required.  
    For a FULL List of Webinars, CLICK HERE 
    Ask the Experts Webinar Series: State Policy & Behavioral Health 
    • Behavioral Health Integration--Tuesday, June 14, 2PM ET
    • Substance Use Disorder--Tuesday, June 21, 2PM ET
    • Behavioral Health Workforce--Tuesday, June 28, 2PM ET
    • Behavioral health experts will speak to state health policy challenges and opportunities related to behavioral health integration in health centers
    2016 Maryland Patient Navigation Network Annual Meeting & TrainingMaryland Patient Navigation NetworkTuesday, June 14, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM (EDT)                 Towson, MD
    Register Here
    Benefits Include:
    • Hearing from national and local speakers that are experts in topics pertaining to patient navigation and cancer care 
    • Learning about resources available to cancer patients and their families
    • Networking with other navigators across the state
    • Certificates of attendance will be distributed
    Health Observances This Week

    June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, which is a national campaign to increase public education around the language disorder and to recognize the numerous people who are living with or caring for people with aphasia. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is increasing aphasia awareness by sharing communication tips, the effects of having aphasia, assistive devices for those with aphasia and more. AHA is making progress but we still hasa ways to go and  need your help! 
    Aphasia is loss of language, especially characterized by difficulty finding desired words. Aphasia is caused when the brain is damaged in areas that affect language comprehension and production. It can range significantly in severity, and is sometimes accompanied by other physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties. It is life-altering and seriously affects activities of daily living and communication.
    Aphasia can be caused by a number of different types of damage to the brain:
    • Stroke - this is when a clot lodges somewhere in the brain and prevents blood-flow to other parts of the brain; this clot can come from other parts of the body, like the heart, or can develop in the brain itself
    • Hemorrhagic Stroke - this occurs when a vessel bursts in the brain; blood is actually poisonous to the brain, so any area of the brain that is touched by blood will be damaged and the neurons (the cells in our brain) may die
    • Aneurysm - an aneurysm is a ballooning of a vessel - if that balloon bursts, it will cause a hemorrhagic stroke
    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - a TBI can cause aphasia, depending on what part of the head was hit and then what part of the brain was damaged
    • Tumor - a tumor in the brain can cause aphasia if it grows in or presses upon a language region of the brain
    • Disease - some neurological diseases can damage the brain and can result in aphasia, depending upon where that damage happens
    Despite the challenges of aphasia, it CAN improve over time!  It just takes the right exercises, support, and endurance! 

    So please do your bit to educate your patients, friends, family and colleagues. Spread the word using all your mediums.
    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 |