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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

TriWest Healthcare Alliance Now Nationwide Administrator of Veteran’s Choice Program
Review this letter to learn more and become a network provider for veterans in your community. https://vapccc.triwest.com/PCCCWeb/index.html#/provider-home
 

Outreach and Enrollment

SEP Opportunity for Marketplace Consumers Affected by Winter Storm
CMS announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Marketplace consumers who were unable to enroll in a health plan by the Open Enrollment deadline due to the winter storm that occurred in December. Cases will be considered on an individual basis, and consumers are encouraged to apply for the SEP as soon as possible. Consumers who would like help with this process can schedule an appointment for free, in-person assistance by calling 1-855-733-3711 or by visiting ncnavigator.net. Learn more about the Winter Storm SEP opportunity.
 
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

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

Advocacy

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
Committee Meetings: March 30-31, 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.
 
 
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
 
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

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.
 
Brain Health
The American College of Preventive Medicine has developed a course on brain health, which will educate physicians and health care professionals about the benefits of blood pressure control and other modifiable risk factors as a possible mechanism for reducing the risk of future impaired brain health and cognitive decline. Physicians can obtain 1.0 CME/MOC for completing this course.
 
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
Democrats start legislative session by calling for expanded Medicaid
In a much-anticipated move, members of the General Assembly’s Democratic caucus filed bills in both the state Senate and House of Representatives to expand Medicaid, the health care program that covers many low-income North Carolinians.

The legislative session ends ‘when we get Medicaid expansion,’ says an aide to Gov. Cooper
Asked at a forum Wednesday night when the legislative session would end, Lee Lilley, Cooper’s director of legislative affairs, replied: “The session ends when we get Medicaid expansion.”
 
National
New Survey Shows Highest Uninsured Rate Since 2014
On January 23, 2019, the latest Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index showed that the uninsured rate for adults has increased significantly—from a record low of 10.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016 to 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. This 2.8 percent difference represents a net increase of about 7 million uninsured adults.

 

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.

NIH/NIDA: Mobile Technologies for Substance-Use Treatment  – Letters of Intent February 19.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) seek grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) to develop and test a prototype mobile/tablet technology-based application that primary care providers (PCPs) may use to deliver timely and tailored feedback to patients following up on interventions for risky substance use. The feedback delivered should make sure patients engage in appropriate self-monitoring and self-management skills in adherence to treatment plans. Last year, a report commissioned by the Appalachian Regional Commission identified mobile technology as one way to overcome barriers to recovery treatment in rural areas. 

Two Loan Repayment Programs for National Health Service Corps – February 21. The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) provides financial assistance to health care professionals in exchange for a commitment to work at approved sites in rural and underserved areas. Application cycles are currently open for two NHSC programs: The Loan Repayment Program awards up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment. The Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program provides up to $75,000 in exchange for a three-year commitment and expands eligibility to health care professionals and sites delivering substance use disorder treatment services.

Youth Health Equity Fellowship – February 22. Higher learning students, recent graduates and emerging health professionals with 1-5 years of experience may be eligible to apply for this opportunity offered by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH).  The Youth Health Equity Model of Practice was launched by OMH to provide hands on, “in the field” learning opportunities for 10 weeks over the summer through short-term, project-based placements in diverse organizations or institutions that promote health equity and/or addresses health disparities.  The goals of the fellowship and its targets align with the HHS strategic plan to eliminate health disparities for minorities as well as rural and underserved communities. 

NIH: Small Business Innovations for Health Disparities – Letters of Intent March 1.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites small business concerns (SBCs) in the United States to conduct innovative research supporting development of a product, tool, technology, process or service for commercialization with the aim of eliminating disparities in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minority populations or improving health in racial/ethnic minority populations. Technologies to address the unique health burdens experienced by health disparity populations in urban and underserved rural areas are of particular interest, including technologies to support healthy eating and active living, access and utilization of important governmental services and new scientific information and technologies that can help improve their quality of life; decrease food insecurity and decrease childhood obesity rates.  Deadline for application is April 1. 

Rural Residency Planning and Development Program 
March 4
 
A collaboration between HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, this program will help expand the health workforce in rural areas by developing new physician residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry.  An estimated 28 awards will be made for residency programs at hospitals, medical schools and community-based-ambulatory settings in rural areas.  Consortia of urban and rural partnerships also may be eligible.  Awardees will receive technical assistance from the Rural Residency Planning and Development – Technical Assistance Center, which was awarded via cooperative agreement in September 2018. 

Veteran Nurses in Primary Care Training Program
March 8 
Accredited schools of nursing and health facilities, separately or in partnership, are eligible for a total investment of $4.5 million to recruit and train nursing students and current registered nurses to practice in community-based primary care teams.  The program, which is administered through the Health Resources and Services Administration, expands on a current investment specifically targeting nursing students who are veterans committed to working in medically underserved communities.

AMAF Community Health Grants for Diabetes/Hypertension
March 8 
The American Medical Association Foundation (AMAF) will support innovative programs targeting the prevention and reduction of type 2 diabetes and hypertension, two conditions with higher prevalence in rural areas. Community-based organizations serving vulnerable and underserved populations may be eligible for awards up to $60,000, renewable for three years.

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.

 

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 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.

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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