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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

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.


BPHC All-Programs Webinar
Tuesday, March 5
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Webcast information coming soon
To submit questions in advance, send an email to bphcta@hrsa.gov by Friday, March 1, with the subject line "BPHC All-Programs Question."


 

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.

 

 

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
 
NCCHCA is hiring!
…A Special Populations and Community Health Worker Coordinator to manage initiatives related to special populations and community health worker programs.  The job posting can be found here.

 

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 and to send a message to your Senators: Take action now!

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
Last Friday, 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.
 
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 12 Tuesday Northwest AHEC
Winston-Salem, Forsyth County
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
March 14 Thursday College of the Albemarle AE-208
Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
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.

NC DHHS to Issue March SNAP Benefits Early 
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) will issue March SNAP benefits between March 1-3, 2019. Benefits are typically issued to SNAP households between the 3rd and 21st of each month. The early issuance of March benefits is intended to minimize the effects of the early issuance of February SNAP benefits, which were distributed on January 20, 2019 as a result of the uncertainty created by the 35-day partial federal government shutdown. The early issuance of February benefits has meant that SNAP households have had to stretch their benefits over a longer period of time. NC DHHS is working to get SNAP households back on their regular issuance schedule. Community health centers and other community groups can let households know about the early issuance of March SNAP benefits by posting and distributing this flyer available in English and Spanish.  


 

Federal Updates

Title X
Last week, HHS published its final draft rule to the Title X Family Planning Program, which would effectively prohibit many Planned Parenthood and other facilities from receiving Title X funds. According to our friends at AMCHP, under the rule, Title X family planning clinics will still be required to provide an array of contraceptive services; however, Title X recipients will be permitted to partner or subcontract with groups that stress only abstinence or natural family planning. It will also bar health care providers that accept Title X funding from making any abortion referrals or performing abortions at the same facilities where they provide Title X family planning services. The final rule takes effect 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

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.
 
Updated Federal Poverty Guidelines
The 2019 poverty guidelines are in effect as of January 11. See the new guidelines.
 
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
For many, Medicaid expansion is personal
State Democrats say this is the year for Medicaid expansion, and hundreds of advocates came to the capital on Wednesday to back them up.

Legislature makes another attempt at creating association health plans
After failing to create alternative health insurance plans for small businesses last year, General Assembly members propose a new bill to make them legal in North Carolina.

Fear, Confusion About Immigration Change Leads Some To Forego Medical Benefits
Ramirez, originally from Mexico, now lives in Charlotte with her husband and children who are U.S. citizens. Since she’s pregnant and a permanent resident with a green card, she’s eligible for Medicaid. But she’s nervous about signing up.

National

Integrating Oral Health in Primary Care: Community Health Centers Take the Lead
While maintaining good oral health is essential to overall health, ensuring access to dental and oral health services has long been challenging in the U.S., especially in medically underserved communities with multiple barriers to care.  Health care systems continue to grapple with meeting the gaps in care, and integrating oral health care with general health services. Community health centers have heeded the call of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, “to change the perception of oral health as separate from medical health,”[1] and have played a key role in developing and implementing models that help integrate oral health and primary care.

Climate Change
The American Public Health Association has issued an action alert on the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act, which would better equip the medical and public health communities to adapt to and protect the public from the health impacts of climate change.
 
Evidence for man-made global warming hits 'gold standard': scientists
Evidence for man-made global warming has reached a “gold standard” level of certainty, adding pressure for cuts in greenhouse gases to limit rising temperatures, scientists said on Monday.

 

Funding Opportunities

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
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

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.
 
Medical Care Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting
March 8, 2019, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Raleigh, NC
The North Carolina Division of Health Benefits is hosting a MCAC meeting on Friday, March 8 at the NCSU McKimmon Center, 11901 Gorman Street, Raleigh. Participants will hear presentations about the Pre-Paid Health Plans and the Enrollment Broker that are part of the state’s upcoming transition to Medicaid Managed Care. Individuals can attend in-person or by phone by calling 919-733-2416. Meeting materials will be posted on the MCAC web page. Both in-person and remote attendees are asked to print meeting materials ahead of time.
 

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/
 
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!
 
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
 
Find More Conference and Training Opportunities on the NCCHCA Calendar




 
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