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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

NC Medicaid made the big Medicaid transformation announcement on Monday. The awarded Standard Plans for Medicaid managed care are:
  • Statewide Standard Plans: AmeriHealth Caritas North Carolina, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina, Inc., WellCare of North Carolina, Inc
  • Regional Standard Plan: Carolina Complete Health (Regions 3 & 5)
  • Phase 1: Regions 2 and 4, Medicaid Managed Care will launch in November 2019. In all other regions, Medicaid Managed Care will launch in February 2020 (Phase 2).
ICYMI: Secretary Cohen’s Tuesday Medicaid Transformation update was recorded. Click these links for the presentation and recording.   

Save the dates: NCCHCA Medicaid Managed Care Contracting Training Series. Webinar series for primary care safety net provider organizations only. (Registration fee required.) Register here for all three sessions:
  • February 15, 10:00am-11:30am: Essential Contract Terms and Protections, Adam Falcone, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidel, LLC
  • February 21, 2:00pm-3:30pm: Current NC Environment & Preparing Your Health Center for Contracting (Guest Speaker: Mari Kaptain-Dahlen, Siouxland Health Center, Iowa)
Feb 26, 9:00-10:30am: Clinically Integrated Networks, Advanced Medical Home, and Value-Based Payment in Contracting
 

Outreach and Enrollment

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. The penalty amount is the greater of a percentage of household income or a flat dollar amount.
 
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 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 Medicare Cards Mailed to Beneficiaries
New Medicare cards have been mailed to beneficiaries in North Carolina. The new cards no longer include social security numbers, helping to prevent identity fraud. Beneficiaries should start using their new Medicare card and should destroy their old Medicare card. If a beneficiary has not received their new card, they should call 1-800-MEDICARE or log-in to their MyMedicare.gov account. Beneficiaries can follow these tips to prevent fraud.
 

 

Member and NCCHCA News




Congratulations to Robeson Health Care Corporation on the ribbon cutting at the the Dr. AJ Robinson Community Health And Wellness Center, a partnership with Southeastern Health, on February 7, 2019.
Pictured, right, CEO Tim Hall asked “Do you believe in miracles? We do!  ‘No’ and ‘cannot’ were not in our vocabulary,” he said. “We will see everyone with the best services.“

 

NCCHCA’s Annual Report for FY 2017-2018 is available on our website. Click here to download it.

Advocacy

Encourage Community and Board Members to Listen to Free "Lunch and Learn" Webinar About Medicaid Expansion
NC Child is hosting a free lunch and learn webinar on February 15 from 12-1 p.m. to explain why Medicaid expansion is critical for children and families throughout our state. Register here.
 
Join us for Primary Care Safety Net Day at the NCGA!  February 20, 2019
Register Here
We’ll have a webinar to prepare those attending for the day.
Please register for Prep for Safety Net Day at the NCGA on Feb 13, 2019 10:00 AM EST at:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3540386056173657602
How to talk to your legislator, review of our legislative priorities (Closing the coverage gap) and logistics.
 
NACHC’s Policy & Issues Forum
March 27-30, 2019, Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
Even if you’re not attending the conference, we encourage FQHC staff and board members to 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 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

Traditional Medicaid Expansion Bills Introduced at the NC General Assembly
This week, a group of Democratic members of the North Carolina House of Representatives and NC Senate introduced companion bills (House Bill 5 / Senate Bill 3) which called for North Carolina to close the health insurance Coverage Gap utilizing traditional expansion, which would extend Medicaid coverage to adults age 19-64 with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Currently, childless adults cannot access Medicaid coverage and parents can only access coverage if they have incomes at or below 43% FPL. This leaves between 200,000 and 300,000 adults uninsured without access to subsidies on the federal Marketplace and without access to affordable employer-sponsored insurance.
 

 
North Carolina Medical Care Advisory Committee (MCAC) Seeking Nominations from Congressional Districts 9 & 10 and One At-Large Seat
The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) Division of Health Benefits (NC Medicaid) is seeking nominations for qualified candidates to serve on its Medical Care Advisory Committee (MCAC). Membership information here. Interested candidates should email a PDF of their resume and a completed biographical sketch to Pamela.Beatty@dhhs.nc.gov, no later than Friday, February 8, 2019. You may nominate yourself from the congressional district in which you work or live.

 

Federal Updates

Update on Congressional Action Toward FQHC Funding Renewal
Community Health Center mandatory funding – which accounts for more than 70% of federal funding for CHCs – expires on September 30, 2019. Fortunately, Congress appears focused on renewing the funding and taking action before that deadline. Here are a few updates on what’s happening to address this deadline on Capitol Hill:
  • Read the National Association of Community Health Centers’ (NACHC) press release about the Tuesday, January 29th Senate HELP Committee held a hearing entitled “Access to Care: Health Centers and Providers in Underserved Communities the hearing, click here. To watch the recording of the hearing or download a copy of the witness testimony, click here.
  • In addition to the two bills already introduced in the Senate, (S. 106 and S. 192), NACHC is expecting a third bill to be introduced next week by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The bill will likely include a five-year extension with increases in funding for Community Health Centers and other key programs.
  • For more information on current legislation, be sure to check out the HC Advocacy blog.
 
New Issue Brief:  Managing Online Patient Engagement
NACHC and Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell (FTLF) have partnered to provide the Managing Online Patient Engagement issue brief, which  addresses the key ways that health centers can benefit from using social media to increase patient engagement; discusses the associated risks surrounding patient online engagement; and provides strategies that health centers can apply to protect against associated liabilities. Learn more.

It’s Time to Recertify for 340B – Must Complete by Monday, 2/25
Every year, all health centers are required to “recertify” their compliance with all 340B program requirements, as well as each of their clinical and contract pharmacy sites, on the HRSA 340B database.  Health centers who fail to complete this process by Monday, February 25 will lose eligibility to participate in 340B for a minimum of 4 months.  HRSA has information and tutorials on recertification available here. For further assistance, please contact the 340B Call Center at apexusanswers@340bpvp.com or 1-888-340-2787. NACHC will be reaching out via email to PCA 340B contacts to share lists of health centers that have not yet completed the recertification process.

Information on Auto-HPSA updates available on NACHC and HRSA websites:  By now, all health centers should have received the third set of preliminary estimates for their updated auto-HPSA scores.  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 State PCO 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 questions about interpretation or incorrect/missing data related to your profile/preliminary estimates to  Sharon Brown-Singleton at NCCHCA.

Updated Federal Poverty Guidelines
The 2019 poverty guidelines are in effect as of January 11. See the new guidelines.

Pain Management
The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force released their draft report entitled Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations. The Task Force was created by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 with the goal of identifying, revising, and developing a strategy for disseminating information about best practices for pain management (including chronic and acute pain) and includes representatives from federal agencies and non-federal stakeholders. The draft report is open for a 90-day public comment period. More information on submitting comments can be found here.
 
Trump Commitment to Eliminate the Spread of HIV by 2030
During the State of the Union Address, President Trump announced a plan to eliminate new HIV infections in the US by 2030. The strategy will focus on addressing the epidemic in 48 counties, DC, Puerto Ric, and 7 states with substantial rural HIV burden. The focus will be to diagnose, treat, prevent and respond. Learn more here.
 
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
Could you qualify if Medicaid were expanded in NC? And will private management change it?
Medicaid will be making headlines in North Carolina this year on two fronts, and we want to help you understand what’s going on. The two big changes — Medicaid expansion and Medicaid privatization — are not related. But they can be confusing because they both relate to Medicaid. So here are the basics to help you follow the developments in the coming weeks and months.
 
 
National
North Carolina: The New Frontier For Health Care Transformation
In many ways, North Carolina highlights the potential and the challenges facing health care and public health in America. The state is home to leading health systems and health care innovators capable of delivering state-of-the-art care, and to health care providers and community organizations developing and implementing new population health innovations. At the same time, North Carolinians are also experiencing stagnant or worsening population mortality rates and substantial health disparities. The state ranks 33rd in overall health, 14.7 percent of residents live below the poverty line, and over one million North Carolinians are uninsured.

In rush to revamp Medicaid, Trump officials bend rules that protect patients
As it races to revamp Medicaid by allowing work requirements for the first time, the Trump administration is failing to enforce federal rules directing states to assess the impact of the change on low-income patients who rely on the half-century-old safety net program, a Times analysis shows.

How Community Health Workers Could Create Less-Costly, Higher-Quality Care
Community health workers are trusted laypeople from local communities who are hired and trained by health systems to bridge the gap between patients and providers. They support patients in a variety of ways: calling to make sure they’ve taken their medications; coaching them on healthy behaviors; coordinating care across multiple doctors; scheduling transportation to clinic appointments. They often share the cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds of their patients, and thus, are intimately familiar with—and to—the communities they serve.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., think they have a start to a solution. Thursday they are introducing a framework defining what they call a "Green New Deal" — what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.


 

Funding Opportunities

New Access Points Funding Opportunity Now Available (HRSA-19-080)
$50 million in New Access Points (NAP) funding for the delivery of primary health care services for underserved and vulnerable populations will be awarded to approximately 75 awards in September. Organizations can apply for up to $650,000 per year and the deadline is Tuesday, March 12. For more information, read the Notice of Funding Opportunity and visit the NAP technical assistance webpage.


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.


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


2019 Multidisciplinary Symposium on Human Trafficking
February 20th & 21st, Charlotte, North Carolina. 
The North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission (NCHTC) invites you to attend this
regional symposium for service providers, law enforcement, advocates, legal providers,
and other professionals engaging in North Carolina’s local, regional, and statewide
response to human trafficking. Participate in discussions across a broad spectrum of
trafficking-related issues, from demand to identification to service and prosecution.
Register here.


NC Regional Telehealth Summit-West
March 1, 2019, 8:00 am-4:30 pm
Asheville, NC
Register here
You are invited to join NCRHLA for a day of education and collaboration around rural health issues, featuring telehealth delivery.  The day's agenda will cover an array of issues relevant to rural health and telehealth. There will also be an opportunity for you to share how rural health impacts your life and be part of meaningful strategy discussion.
 
NC State University Department of Social Work 2019 Spring Summit
Integrated Behavioral Health for Medically Underserved and Rural Populations
Featuring Keynote Speaker: HRSA Administrator, Dr. George Sigounas
March 5, 2019, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Raleigh, NC
Register here.
The summit will focus closely on building collaborations between entities that deliver services, educate students and staff and advocate to deliver integrated behavioral health solutions to rural and underserved populations.

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
Registration info coming soon!

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/
 
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!
 
Save the Date: 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
Registration Info coming in February 2019.
 
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
 
Find More Conference and Training Opportunities on the NCCHCA Calendar

 
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