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In this issue:
Primary Intelligence
Member News
Outreach and Enrollment
Advocacy
NC Tracks
State Updates
Federal Updates
Healthcare Headlines
Workforce Development
Funding Opportunities
Group Purchasing
Events and Training





 

Primary Intelligence

Governor Cooper declares March Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
See the proclamation here and read more about colorectal cancer control efforts here.


Notice of Funding Opportunity for Rural Providers: Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program
Applications are due by Monday, April 22.
HRSA recently released a notice of funding opportunity that will support up to 32 public or private nonprofit health care providers located in rural areas to improve patient care in their communities. HRSA expects to invest approximately $6.4 million for this program, which aims to improve the quality of rural health care through an evidence-based approach to primary care that has proven effective in rural areas.
Previously funded organizations under this program designed and carried out projects focused on coordinated care for patients, chronic disease management, integrated care delivery systems, and reduced admissions for emergency rooms and hospitals, among other issues for rural providers. Objectives for this program, which is competitive every three years, include improved health outcomes, better engagement of patients and their caregivers, and continuous improvement to chronic disease management. Grantees also are encouraged to implement quality improvement activities that measure value by outcomes, establish and maintain PCMHs, and integrate behavioral health into the primary care setting.
View the announcement on Grants.gov to learn more.

NC Medicaid Releases Policy Paper on Advanced Medical Home Data
Building on the Department’s AMH data strategy, the Policy Paper describes the potential roles, relationships, and data flows between Prepaid Health Plans (PHP), Advanced Medical Homes (AMH), Clinically Integrated Networks (CIN), and other partners as they perform their respective care management responsibilities. https://files.nc.gov/ncdhhs/documents/CIN-Other_Partners_policy-paper_20190305.pdf

 

Outreach and Enrollment

Remind Consumers to Reconcile APTCs
Enrollment assisters should remind consumers to reconcile advanced premium tax credits (APTCs) received in 2018 when they file their taxes. Consumers can reconcile APTCs by using the information provided on Form 1095-A to complete Form 8962. If a consumer has not received Form 1095-A for their 2018 Marketplace coverage, they can log-in to their Marketplace account or call the Marketplace Call Center (1-800-318-2596) to obtain a copy. Consumers who fail to file a 2018 tax return and reconcile APTCs received in 2018 will not be issued PTCs for plan year 2020 until they take action.
 
Penalty Still Applies for Consumers Who Were Uninsured in 2018
Individuals who were uninsured for all or part of 2018 will be subject to a penalty when they complete their 2018 tax return, unless they qualify for an exemption. The penalty amount is a percentage of household income or a flat dollar amount, whichever is greater (see table below and the Tax Year 2018 Reference Guide).
 
Percent of Household Income Flat Dollar Amount
2.5% of income above tax filing threshold $695/adult; $347.50/child
Capped at annual cost of average premium of bronze level plan Capped at $2,085
 
Enrollment assisters can review exemptions individuals may be eligible for, possibly helping them avoid the penalty. The Exemptions Tool on Healthcare.gov, as well as this exemptions worksheet, can be used to assess possible exemptions an individual may be able to claim. The current tax season represents the last year uninsured individuals will be assessed the individual mandate penalty.
 
New Video Shows Medicare Beneficiaries How to Choose Primary Clinician on MyMedicare.gov
CMS released a video for Medicare beneficiaries showing the step-by-step process for choosing or changing their primary clinician on MyMedicare.gov. The video is available in English and Spanish. Outreach and Enrollment staff can assist Medicare beneficiaries with setting up a MyMedicare.gov account and helping them select their primary clinician.  


 

Member and NCCHCA News

Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine’s (TAPM) - 2nd Annual Friends of TAPM Brunch featuring Merle Green, Director of Guilford County Department of Public Health as our Keynote Speaker and the inaugural Dr. Stewart and Betty Rogers Award. Thursday, April 25, 2019 | 8:30am-11:00am | The Conference Center at GTCC – Oak Ridge Room| 7908 Leabourne Road, Colfax, NC, 27235.  For more information go to friendsoftapmbrunch.eventbrite.com
 
The Seventh Annual Lincoln Community Health Center Foundation Legacy Award Luncheon Honoring Dr. Oveta McIntosh-Vick and Dr. Veronica Ray, Friday May 10, 2019 at the Washingon Duke Inn and Golf Club, Durham, NC. Lincolnchcf.org

 

Advocacy

Take Action! Ask Congress to Support Health Center Funding
The beginning of the year has been busy for America’s health centers and our 28 million patients! Several bills were introduced in the Senate to extend the Community Health Center Fund for 5 years and provide support for workforce expansions at health centers. These legislative efforts represent a critical step forward in our efforts to secure long-term and predictable funding for community health centers. For more information on the bills click here.
  • Click here to ask your Congressional Representative to sign the annual health center appropriations letter
Click here to ask our Senators to cosponsor Community Health Center legislation

Join NCCHCA for Capitol Hill Visits on March 28!
More than 70% of Community Health Center funding expires on September 30, 2019. Be sure your Congressional delegation is aware of what that will mean and the actions they need to take to prevent health centers from losing funding Join NCCHCA for Capitol Hill Visit Day (March 28, 2019). Come talk with our elected officials about the important services you are providing to your communities and explain why Congress should renew mandatory Community Health Center funding. Please fill out this form to let us know which staff/board members/patients from your health center will be joining us for the preparation meeting on March 27th at 5:45pm and the visits on March 28th.


 

NC Tracks

Is It Time for Your Re-verification Application? 
It's already been five years since the implementation of NCTracks, which means there are many providers who will need to complete re-verification over the next few months. If you haven't received a re-verification notification in your Message Center Inbox yet, you may be seeing it soon. To find your re-verification date, go to the NC Division of Medical Assistance (DMA)'s list of the providers who are due for re-verification in 2018 under 'Recredentialing' on the DMA Provider Enrollment webpage
 
Be sure to check your email and NCTracks Provider Portal for reminders on useful resources and tips for completing your application. To learn more, visit the Re-verification/Re-credentialing FAQs page today.

NCTracks Provider Announcement and Newsletters
Join NCTracks’ Email List

 

State Updates

More Information Released About NC Health Opportunities Pilots & RFI Response Extended to March 20
NC Medicaid released a policy paper and Request for Information related to the Healthy Opportunities pilots which will invest $650 million in Medicaid funding to pilot evidenced based strategies to addressing social determinants of health in 2-4 regions of the state. Learn more about the opportunity and the role primary care providers may play by reviewing the state’s website.  Health center staff with questions can email Alice Pollard at NCCHCA. The RFI response was extended to March 20 at 2:00pm.
 
Office of Rural Health Stakeholders Meetings on NC J-1 Visa Waiver and Provider Loan Repayment & Incentive Programs.
The NC Office of Rural Health (ORH) is hosting several stakeholder meetings across NC to gather Stakeholder input regarding our J-1 Visa Waiver program and NC’s Loan Repayment and Incentive Programs. They need your help in shaping ORH programs to recruit and retain medical providers for rural and underserved areas in NC.  ORH’s Loan Repayment programs include the NC Loan Repayment (NCLRP) and the State Loan Repayment (SLRP) programs. ORH incentive program includes the High Needs Service Bonus (HNSB). ORH administers each of these programs. At the meetings, ORH will review key priorities and requirements for each program.  The purpose of the stakeholder meetings is to gather information and feedback regarding the current processes and possible program modifications to ensure maximum benefits to rural NC communities. Attendance is welcome to any or multiple meetings regardless of location.
Remaining meetings include:
March 28 Thursday Anson Community Hospital
Wadesboro, Anson County
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
April 4 Thursday Madison County NC Cooperative Extension, Marshall, Madison County 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
 
Registration for the meeting is requested. Please register attendee names(s) to: Karen Gliarmis, ORH Recruiter at karen.gliarmis@dhhs.nc.gov or call 919-527-6452 for more information.
 
Did you Miss the NC Medicaid Managed Care FQHC/RHC Payment Guidelines Webinar?
Email Kristen Dubay if you missed this webinar focused on how federal protections for FQHC/RHC PPS payments will be maintained under North Carolina Medicaid managed care. Slides and a webinar recording are available.

 

Federal Updates

Information on Auto-HPSA updates available on NACHC and HRSA websites:  The auto-HPSA Update Preview 4 Report was sent to health centers last week.  If you have concerns about the accuracy of data used in the scoring contact Mark Snuggs at the NC Office of Rural Health mark.snuggs@dhhs.nc.gov. Once finalized, these new scores will become effective for the 2020 NHSC recruiting year. Both NACHC and HRSA have information on their websites about how and why the scores are being updated, and how to interpret preliminary estimates.  The NACHC Shortage Designation website contains FAQs, a background memo, and a recording of a NACHC webinar discussing the auto-HPSA changes.  The HRSA website contains general information about the Shortage Designation Modernization Project.  The NC Office of Rural Health is the immediate contact regarding preliminary HPSA scores however NCCHCA can facilitate with the process of collecting correct data for your county/area.  You may direct your general questions about the process to Sharon Brown-Singleton at NCCHCA.
 
New FTCA Site Visit Protocol
FTCA-deemed health centers are already familiar with FTCA site visits. Now we have streamlined the process into one document, the FTCA Site Visit Protocol, to help you find the information you need.

Healthcare Headlines

State
Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Foundation names new president
Following the departure of longtime president Kathy Higgins, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation has a new president. On Wednesday, the foundation officially announced the appointment of Dr. John Lumpkin as its next president, effective April 22. Lumpkin most recently was the senior vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Prior to that, he served as the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health for 12 years.

Press Release from BCBS: Blue Cross NC Launches Primary Care Initiative for High Quality, Coordinated Patient Care
Blue Cross NC has entered into agreements with multiple national leaders in delivering intensive primary care. These companies will open new medical practices intended to serve Blue Cross NC members who could benefit the most from highly coordinated, patient-centered care.

National
Study Finds Racial Gap Between Who Causes Air Pollution And Who Breathes It
Pollution, much like wealth, is not distributed equally in the United States. Scientists and policymakers have long known that black and Hispanic Americans tend to live in neighborhoods with more pollution of all kinds, than white Americans. And because pollution exposure can cause a range of health problems, this inequity could be a driver of unequal health outcomes across the U.S. A study published Monday in the journal PNAS adds a new twist to the pollution problem by looking at consumption. While we tend to think of factories or power plants as the source of pollution, those polluters wouldn't exist without consumer demand for their products. The researchers found that air pollution is disproportionately caused by white Americans' consumption of goods and services, but disproportionately inhaled by black and Hispanic Americans.

Raising Awareness of Colorectal Cancer. 
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, an observance that encourages regular screenings and healthy lifestyle changes to prevent colorectal cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is most often found in people who are 50 years old or older and affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic populations.  In its series of studies on rural health, the CDC found that nonmetropolitan counties had higher rates of incidence and death from cancers that can be prevented by screening.  Learn more about CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign that raises awareness about the importance of having regular colorectal cancer screening tests for men and women aged 50 years and older.

Dying Too Soon: County-level Disparities in Premature Death by Rurality, Race, and Ethnicity
In this brief from the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center researchers found that the highest rates of premature death were observed in rural counties where a majority of residents were non-Hispanic Black or American Indian/Alaskan Native.

HHS: Best Practices and Barriers to SUD Treatment. 
A patient’s initiation with treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) and subsequent engagement with recovery is used as a performance measure in this report from the analysis and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  Looking at data on Initiation and Engagement of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence Treatment (IET), commonly reported by health plans and used by Medicaid and Medicare programs, the study aimed to determine what variables may contribute to patients’ initiation and engagement in treatment, including individual, provider, health plan, and market and environmental factors. The study examines how these factors affect health plan performance on the IET measures for both commercial and Medicaid health plans and how initiation and engagement may be improved.


 

Funding Opportunities


Increasing Access to HIV Primary Health Care Services
March 22.  Rural communities may request funding preference for this $4 million investment through HRSA’s Ryan White/HIV AIDS Program.  Twenty-six awards will go to public and non-profit private entities, including faith-based and community-based organizations.  Tribes and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.  Funding is intended to support one short-term activity that can be completed within the one-year period of performance.  Supported activities include care efforts such as HIV case finding and treatment adherence, and infrastructure development such as for electronic health records and management information systems.  Assistance for applicants, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), a recording and slides explaining the requirements and process, and more about programs in HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau can be found online at the TargetHIV website

NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program
March 28.  Eligible nurses working full time in a Critical Shortage Facility may receive 60% repayment of their unpaid nursing education debt in exchange for a two-year commitment to stay and practice in rural and other underserved areas. Participants may be eligible to work a third year and receive an additional 25% of the qualifying loan balance.   

RFP to increase physician awareness and practices to prevent, detect, and control hypertension among priority populations
Proposals due March 30th, 2019.
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) will fund up to six health care organizations/practices to develop and implement protocols to prevent, detect, and control hypertension among African-American men ages 35-64 using data. Awards will begin in the spring of 2019 and have the opportunity to last for up to 3 years dependent on federal funding and successful completion of initial work. These demonstrations projects are funded by a grant from the Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More information can be found here: https://www.acpm.org/page/hypertensionawardproposals

BUILD Health Challenge
Proposals due April 5, 2019
The BUILD Health Challenge is looking to support up to 17 innovative collaboratives within the U.S. that include a community-based organization, hospital or health system, and public health department working together to address upstream challenges and drive sustainable improvements in community health. Inclusion of additional cross-sector partners such as health plans, businesses, foundations, and others that are aligned with the proposed efforts is encouraged. Each award includes up to $250,000 in funding over two-and-a-half years. Learn more.

SAMHSA: Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Minorities at High Risk for HIV/AIDS
April 22.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) will make 24 awards of up to $500,000 each to increase engagement in care for racial and ethnic minority individuals with substance use disorders, and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, who are at risk for HIV or are receiving HIV services and treatment.  Eligible applicants include state, local and tribal governments, public and private universities and colleges, and community- and faith-based organizations.  Racial and ethnic minority populations make up only 15 percent of the rural population, but approximately 62 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in rural areas are minorities.
 
Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation)
May 6.  The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making approximately 75 awards of up to $1 million each to rural communities to enhance service delivery for substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder. Over the course of a three-year period of performance, grant recipients will implement a set of core prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis.  Award recipients are strongly encouraged to leverage workforce recruitment and retention programs such as the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).  All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, are eligible to apply and all services must be provided in HRSA-designated rural areas (as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer).  The applicant organization must be part of an established network or consortium that includes at least three other separately-owned entities.  At least two of these entities must be located in a HRSA-designated rural area.  FORHP will hold a 90-minute webinar for applicants on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 from 11:30-1:00 pm ET.  A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.  For the webinar dial-in and playback information,  please reference page (ii) in the Notice of Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov.  (Click “Preview” on the Package tab, and then “Download Instructions”.)  Contact ruralopioidresponse@hrsa.gov with questions.
 
 
All other funding opportunities are listed on our website, here.

 

Workforce Development

STAR² CENTER SELF-PACED COURSES
The STAR² Center has added new interactive self-paced online courses to our growing catalogue of resources and training opportunities for health center workforce teams looking to enhance their recruitment and retention efforts. Take some time today to  set up your learner account and review our new "Administrative Strategies for Increasing Retention" course.  Click here to view a brief overview of how to access and register to complete these courses and be sure to reach out to Mariah Blake with any questions.

Data Metrics Collaborative
Don't wait to apply to be part of the STAR² Center's Data Metrics Learning Collaborative! This nine-week program kicks off on April 2, and will leave participants fluent in workforce data and how it connects to their overall workforce and organizational goals. Would you like to start incorporating workforce data into your clinician recruitment and retention efforts? Do you have the time to explore this concept, but want some guidance as you develop a strategy? Answer yes to both of these questions, and you were made for this learning collaborative opportunity! Apply to this immersive learning experience for a chance to explore different workforce metrics, identify ways to collect and analyze them in connection with your workforce efforts, and discuss the topic with experts and health center peers.
Click here for more information on this upcoming opportunity and apply by March 15!

Become a Vital Part of North Carolina’s Safety Net!
Community Health Centers are a unique, growing area of the health care industry. Community Health Centers offer many dynamic career opportunities for dedicated individuals who want to make a difference in their communities. You will also find postings for careers within the North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) whose mission is to promote and support patient-governed community health care organizations and the populations they serve. Visit our website to see open positions and to post opportunities.


 

NCCHCA Group Purchasing Organization


The NCCHCA Group Purchasing Organization provides a shared savings model for NC Community Health Centers. NCCHCA members may participate at no cost and can save a significant amount of money on items, such as medical/dental supplies and equipment. Thank you to our current partners: LabCorp, Toshiba Business Solutions, and Community Health Ventures (VIP). Contact Chris Shank for more information.
 

Events and Training

Building Sustainable Partnerships between Community Health Centers & Domestic Violence Programs: Opportunities and Challenges
March 20, 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Durham Convention Center
Register here.

2019 Convergence Telehealth Summit, March 31 - April 2, 2019
The Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) is offering free pre-sessions on Sunday, March 31st which may be of interest to Community Health Centers. Topics for 3/31 include:
  • 2:00-4:15pm, Telehealth in Community Health Centers
  • 3:00-6:00pm,
  • 4:30-5:30pm, Post-Acute Care Management and Remote Patient Monitoring 101
Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, VA, http://matrcsummit.org/

Coming Together for Rural Resiliency
The NC Agromedicine Institute is partnering with NC Cooperative Extension to conduct a one day workshop "Coming Together for Rural Resiliency" in 4 locations across the state. They invite anyone who is interested in working together to address farm stress to come learn more and help best respond to this important public issue.  Workshops and lunch are all provided at no cost. If you are a community organization that provides behavioral health or other support to farming and rural communities and you would like to have a table to share resources with participants, please let them know.
  • learn about causes & effects of escalating farm & rural stress
  • share or learn about existing resources to support farm families & other rural residents experiencing stress
  • share your ideas as to what strategies are needed to address farm & rural stress
  • participate in ‘Talk Saves Lives’: A presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide
Dates and locations:
  • April 8, 2019: Edenton Baptist Church, 200 S Granville Street, Edenton, NC 27932
  • April 11, 2019: NC Cooperative Extension–Duplin County Center (Lois Britt Agriculture Service Center), 165 Agriculture Drive, Kenansville, NC 28349
  • April 15, 2019: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759
  • April 29, 2019: NC Cooperative Extension – Forsyth County Center, 1450 Fairchild Road, Winston Salem, NC 27105
Registration is free. To register: call the NC Agromedicine Institute at 252.744.1008 or email agromedicine@ecu.edu  Be sure to indicate the date and location of the meeting you plan to attend.

2019 NCCHCA Clinical Conference on Quality and Chronic Disease
April 11-12, 2019
Chapel Hill, NC
The Clinical Conference on Quality & Chronic Disease is a professional training opportunity providing continuing education at a low cost. Nationally recognized health care experts share knowledge with safety-net providers on cutting-edge trends and quality improvement methods. Registration open!
 
National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership Summit
Request for Workshop Proposals
Deadline: May 13, 2019
The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership is accepting workshop proposals for their upcoming Summit, scheduled for September 19-20, 2019 in National Harbor, MD. Individuals do not need to work with a medical-legal partnership in order to present a workshop at the Summit. Preference will be given to proposals that take a layered approach and include a broad range of perspectives. Preference will also be given to proposals that include consumer presenters. Full tuition and travel scholarships are available for consumers who present workshops. Learn more about submitting a workshop proposal.   
 
Registration Open: Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) University
May 15-16, 2019
Asheville, NC
Hosted by the North Carolina Community Health Center Association and presented by the Health Resources and Service Administration, the Federal Tort Claims Act University (FTCAU) is an innovative training offered to members of the health center community. FTCAU provides a great opportunity for seasoned quality and risk management professionals and new professionals to learn from experts, leaders, and government officials about FTCA, healthcare quality and risk management, and related subjects. Over the course of two days, attendees will participate in interactive presentations and exercises that are specially geared toward health center grantees. 
Who should attend?
  • Quality Improvement Coordinators
  • Risk Managers
  • Board Members
 
Save the Date: 2019 NCCHCA Primary Care Conference
June 26-28, 2019
Renaissance Asheville Hotel
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Registration Opening Soon.
 
10th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference
July 15th - 18th
Anaheim, CA
Click here for more information

Please save the date for the
Fourth Annual John W. Hatch FaithHealth Lecture
December 3, 2019

Shaw University—Raleigh, North Carolina
 
 
Find More Conference and Training Opportunities on the NCCHCA Calendar

 
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