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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

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Thanks to NC Community Health Center Staff and Board members who attended Primary Care Safety Net Day at the NCGA on Wednesday! We had a great breakfast and many long conversations throughout the NCGA offices all day. Many at the NCGA understood the need to Close the Health Insurance Coverage Gap.


 
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."

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:
  • 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 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 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


Governor Cooper visits MedNorth in Wilmington Tuesday
Governor Cooper visited MedNorth, toured the health center, and talked to community leaders and staff at MedNorth about the importance of closing the health insurance coverage gap.
 
Pictured, left to right: Rob Zapple, New Hanover (NH) County Commissioner, Deborah Maxwell, NH County NAACP. Julia Boseman, NH County Commissioner, Ben Money, NCCHCA, Michelle Winstead, NH County DSS – Director, Dr. Khadijia Tribie, Board Chair SmartStart and MedNorth Pediatrician;Dr. Alicia Galeano, Family Medicine Physician




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
 

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!


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

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.



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

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.b

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
NC state board votes for new election in 9th district after Harris calls for new race
Republican Mark Harris, in a stunning reversal, called Thursday for a new election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, giving up hopes of being certified as the winner in a race marked by voting irregularities in Bladen and Robeson counties. The five-member board of elections voted unanimously at 4 p.m. to call for a new election. It will set the dates for a new election.


Blue Cross Plans to Invest $5 Million in Diabetes Free NC
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced plans to make a $5 million investment in the Diabetes Free NC initiative. The Diabetes Free NC initiative is a collaboration between North Carolina Division of Public Health and NC State University. The initiative supports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized diabetes prevention programs across the state that provide a comprehensive, evidence-based curriculum promoting the adoption of healthier diets and increased levels of physical activity to prevent the full onset of Type 2 diabetes. Read the Blue Cross press release here.

National

Nearly a quarter of rural hospitals are on the brink of closure
Twenty-one percent of rural hospitals are at high risk of closing, according to Navigant's analysis of CMS data on 2,045 rural hospitals. That equates to 430 hospitals across 43 states that employ about 150,000 people and generate about $21.2 billion in total patient revenue a year. Hospitals are often the economic drivers of rural communities. Per capita income falls 4% and the unemployment rate rises 1.6 percentage points when a hospital closes, a related study found.


 

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

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
 
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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