This Week in Community Health

What the Funding Cliff Means for Health Centers

Blogger Elizabeth Levy writes, “Diverting funds from Community Health Centers and local health departments takes money from prevention and will lead to more people having to rely on costly emergency services.”

For Better Treatment, Doctors and Patients Share the Decisions (NPR)

A new initiative at Mass General in Boston is focusing on making risk more understandable to patients in order to better involve them in the shared decision making.

Innovation in the Safety Net: Integrating Community Health Centers Through Accountable Care (The Commonwealth Fund)

According to a national survey, 28 percent of accountable care organizations (ACOs) have teamed up with Community Health Centers, an indication that these safety-net providers are viewed by ACOs as valuable partners. ACOs with Community Health Centers have greater experience implementing  reforms like care management programs, public reporting, and risk‐sharing, which may prove helpful in meeting ACOs’ goals of improving quality, cost performance, and population health.

The Wealth Gap is Growing, But Poor Women See One Improvement: Healthier Newborns (Washington Post)

Improved access to care is a factor in low-income pregnant women giving birth to healthier babies. According to the Post: “While other economic and health disparities have widened, giving way to huge national debates about inequality, pregnant women at the lowest rung of the nation’s economic ladder are bucking that trend. They have narrowed the gap with wealthier women in the health of their babies.”

ACA Creates Residencies for Doctors in South Florida Health Centers (Miami Herald)

The ACA established training grants for primary-care physicians to address the shortage of doctors nationwide. “The money given to CHI is part of a package of $83.4 million in grants nationwide to train new primary-care doctors in the coming year under the Teaching Health Center Program, which expands residency training for medical students in community-based settings. CHI and other organizations must apply for the grants every year.”

Loss of Funding Could Close Michigan Community Health Centers (Public News Service)

Nationally and statewide, community health centers are peering over the edge of a funding cliff, despite more than 700,000 Michiganders annually using their services.

NACHC Introduces New Outreach and Enrollment Webinar Series

A new, free webinar series—“Sign me up!” Navigating the Outreach and Enrollment Landscape—will focus on what we learned from the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, what to expect and prepare for in the next round of open enrollment, and the latest news, updates and information on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Kaiser Family Foundation Presents ACA Enrollment Efforts Web Briefing

At 1 p.m. ET on Monday, July 28, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation will hold an interactive web briefing to examine the experiences and lessons of four states — Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Washington.  Each state established state-based Marketplaces, expanded their Medicaid programs, and successfully enrolled eligible individuals into Medicaid and Marketplace coverage under the ACA.

National Health Center Week (NHCW)

NHCW is less than 3 Weeks Away! Enter your picture or video into the #NHCW2014 contests to show the world how your health center is a local engine for a healthier community!

Community Health Institute and Expo

Early bird registration for the NACHC Community Health Institute (CHI) and Expo ends next week (July 31, 2014). Register today! Not sure if you should attend? Check out the video below to learn more about the CHI.

“Sign Me Up!” NACHC introduces new Outreach and Enrollment webinar series

Open enrollment is just around the corner and Community Health Centers continue to be on the forefront of educating the uninsured about their options and signing them up for coverage. Following last year’s enrollment period, NACHC and its partners have worked with health center staff on the ground to explore lessons learned, best practices and strategies to assist with outreach and enrollment (O&E).

Picture1A new, free webinar series—“Sign me up!” Navigating the Outreach and Enrollment Landscape—will focus on what we learned from the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, what to expect and prepare for in the next round of open enrollment, and the latest news, updates and information on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Participants will hear from speakers who are O&E staff from both expansion and non-expansion states, and other federal officials.

The first webinar in the series is “Connecting Kids and Teens with Free and Low-cost Coverage” and will be held on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST. Children and teens can enroll in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) all year round and this webinar will showcase the creative and innovative outreach efforts and strategies currently being deployed to get kids and teens signed up. Webinar attendees will also hear about leveraging the back-to-school season to reach their local community, as well as learn about free materials and resources available to help with outreach.

Featured speakers

Donna Cohen Ross
Director of Enrollment Initiatives and Stakeholder Engagement
Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

Colleen McCauley, RN, BSN, MPH
Health Policy Director
Public Citizens for Children and Youth

Liz Tansey
CHC Outreach and Enrollment Training Coordinator
Covering Kids and Families Project at the Colorado Community Health Network

Click here to register. Stay tuned to our blog and follow the #navigateOE on Twitter to hear more about future webinars in this series.

This week in health care

HHS Announces Funds to Better Integrate HIV Services into Health Centers:

This week Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced the availability of $11 million to support the integration of high quality HIV services into primary care in Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York. The integration of HIV services into primary care settings is seen as a critical step in meeting the goals of the National HIV/AIDS strategy.

National Health Center Week is Quickly Approaching and the Gathering Steam (#NHCW2014)

Governors Rick Snyder (Michigan), Pat McCrory (North Carolina), Pat Quinn (Illinois) and Rick Perry (Texas) have all issued  National Health Center Week proclamations. Get the word out to your community by obtaining a proclamation for NHCW from your local or state elected officials with this proclamation template.

NHCW events continue to pour in to Health Center Week website. If your health center is celebrating with an event, let us know by submitting it here.

Don’t forget there are also tools—social media, materials, media toolkit and more—your health center can use to promote NHCW.

Lost Funding Could Shutter 80 TN Community Health Clinics

United Neighborhood Health Services CEO Mary Bufwack spoke to Public News Service about the impact the health center funding cliff would have on her health center in Nashville, Tennessee.

CVS Caremark and IBM Announced NACHC Partnership to Provide Community Health Centers with Technology Solutions to Enhance Patient Engagement

The “Technology Solutions for Smarter Health” grants will be awarded to Community Health Centers nationwide in need of advanced technology to help people get on a path to better health. The grants will enhance technology infrastructure and help centers more easily communicate and share health information with patients through secure electronic messaging. The advanced technology will also provide patients with the ability to view, download and transmit their health information online.

Groups Under Health Act Are Said to Aid Millions

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey ACA enrollment assistance programs helped 10.6 million people with their health insurance options during open enrollment. The survey also found that states with their own exchanges or that were working towards their own exchanges received more funding and helped twice as many people as those who opted not to run their own exchange.

New Challenge for Obamacare: Enrollees who don’t understand their insurance plans

New health coverage enrollees are having trouble understanding their new coverage and this could be barrier to the success of the ACA. According the Washington Post: “Health insurance, with its jargon and complicated fee structure, has long been confusing for many consumers, but experts say the literacy gap poses an especially big problem now.”

Funding Cliff Gathers Steam in the News

Funding-cliff[1]Health center advocates have been talking about the funding cliff for some time, now the media is starting to pay attention.  The health center funding cliff is what happens after 2015, when funding from the Affordable Care Act expires, just as the demand ramps up for primary care.

“Access problems could intensify in September 2015,” writes Jed Graham in a feature recently published in Investors Business Daily.  “The 2015 funding cliff would leave health centers unable to sustain current caseloads, sharply damaging primary-care access for the insured and uninsured alike and potentially leading to more costly increases in specialty, emergency and inpatient care.”  Graham also cites the recent report on the funding cliff by researchers at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.  You can find that report by visiting this link.

That same report was also mentioned in a recent blog post by  Nonprofit Quarterly writer Ruth McCambridge, who observes, “that if this funding is not continued, and if more states do not expand Medicaid, the number of patients cared for by health centers could by 2020 fall by more than 25 percent. If, on the other hand, funding is renewed and all states expand Medicaid, the numbers of patients served by health centers will rise from the 25.6 million that is expected this year to 36.5 million in 2020—a 42 percent increase.”

Health center leaders are also taking pen in hand to write about the issue. Anita Monoian, Former NACHC Board Chair and the President and CEO of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services described the impact a funding cliff would have on her health center in an op-ed published in the Yakima Herald Republic.

She writes, “The impact would be disastrous. Our clinic, like others here in the Valley and across the state, would be forced to cut back services and staff. Programs focused on growing the supply of primary care providers also would be hurt.”

In the coming week, we predict more headlines about this critical issue.  So stay tuned!

54 Days until the CHI

chitwitterThe NACHC Community Health Institute (CHI) & Expo is 54 days away and we are excited to welcome everyone to San Diego, California. If you haven’t registered yet why haven’t you? Early bird registration ends on July 31st.

For those who aren’t sure what the CHI is and why should attend, you should know that the CHI is the largest gathering of Community Health Center managers, clinicians, board members and leaders. The conference offers you the opportunity to network with peers and learn more about new issues impacting Community Health Centers. Relevant and timely financial, management, governance, policy and clinical topics are covered over three days. The CHI brings together the most up-to-date information about the health system transformation now taking shape.

There really are so many exciting reasons to be part of the CHI including having fun networking with new and old friends in the health center movement, visiting the EXPO to learn about the latest technologies and services, and also many opportunities to win great prizes. But most of all it’s the opportunity to learn and share innovative ideas and knowledge that you can take back to your health center and apply.

CHI Badge

Share this badge to let your health center friends know you’ll be at the CHI.

As the CHI continues to take shape we’ll keep you updated via our Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be
highlighting education sessions throughout the month. Just look for the #NACHCchi14 hashtag.  If you’re already making plans to attend let your friends on Facebook know by joining our event and sharing the badge in this blog post.

See you in sunny San Diego!