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NCHN eNews
August 16, 2011
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. We are excited to share the full agenda for the 2011 NCHN Leadership Summit! You will find a link to the agenda and registration forms below. Also, make sure to check in next week when the Leadership Committee will release details about another exciting opportunity available only to Summit attendees!

What else? NCHN has recently started tweeting. You can follow NCHN on twitter or just check the NCHN home page for updates.

Let us know what's going on with your network
If you have information you would like to share, or have any feedback, please email us.








Extraordinary Leadership Transforms Networks - 2011 NCHN Leadership Summit Sept 27 2011 in Kansas City MODate: September 27, 2011
Location: Hyatt Regency Crown Center
2345 McGee
Kansas City, MO

According to Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, the first know use of the word “Transform” was in the 14th century.  Transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function. A little creativity can transform an ordinary meal into a special event.  One synonym of transform is “metamorphose” – which suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power! 

Join us in Kansas City for a “metamorphosing” experience!

Registration: $125 for NCHN Members
$200 for non-Members

Hotel Reservations: $135+tax (if made by September 5, 2011)


From the Forum

There are no new posts this week.



Translate the following group of letters: YYYMEN



Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Mary Kay Chess: Wednesday, August 17

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 @ 11:00 AM ET

Note from Dr. Chess:  “Grab a cup of iced coffee or tea and head for your phone for our August conversation!  This month, we'll ask again, "What's on your mind?"  The results from the last call were practical and provocative.  Let's keep this momentum going. See you the 17th!”

There is no charge to participate in the Coffee/Tea Chat and participation is limited to current NCHN members.  You can also chat with Dr. Chess on the NCHN on-line forum.  If you have registered for the forum, it is easy – check it out on the NCHN website -

The call in number for the August Coffee/Tea Chat will be posted on the on-line forum and distributed to the membership next week.

Please plan to join us on the chat! 


Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, August 16 @ 1:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, August 17 at 11:00 AM ET

2011 Leadership Summit Committee Call
Thursday, August 25 @ 11:00 AM ET

Board of Directors Call
Monday, August 29 @ 2:00 PM ET

Quarterly Membership Call
Monday, September 12 @ 2:00 PM ET (Topic TBA)

Executive Coaching Training Calls
Wednesday, September 14 @ 11:00 AM ET

1st NCHN Leadership Summit
Tuesday, September 27
Hyatt Regency Crown Center: Kansas City, MO

» VIEW THE NCHN CALENDAR for more upcoming calls



There are no new member blurbs this week. » SUBMIT YOUR NEWS



MedAssets Announces Continued Wide Market Appeal for Innovative Revenue Cycle Technology Solutions

August 9, 2011 (Business Wire) - MedAssets today announced that three independent healthcare systems representing 10 hospitals and more than 50 care locations are the latest to join the more than 2,200 healthcare providers across the country turning to MedAssets Revenue Cycle Technology Solutions to exert better control over revenue cycle processes and achieve rapid return on investment.

Common Goal to Replace Outdated Legacy Solution
Northwest Community Hospital (NCH), Arlington Heights, IL; Resurrection Health Care (Resurrection) and Sinai Health System (Sinai), Chicago, IL, respectively, have recently adopted MedAssets Claims Management solution to displace a competitive legacy claims solution used by all three.

The health systems now rank among the more than 2,000 Illinois customers using MedAssets solutions and services, 52 of which are MedAssets revenue cycle technology users located in and around the Chicago area.


MedAssets is a Silver Level NCHN Partner




HIT Standards Committee Advisory Meeting; Notice of Meeting

Webinar Date: August 17, 2011 @ 9:00 AM ET

This notice announces a forthcoming meeting of a public advisory committee of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The meeting will be open to the public.

Dial into the meeting: 1-877-705-6006. For up-to-date information, go to the ONC Web site,


AHRQ’s National Resource Center for Health IT Announces Upcoming Web-teleconference

August 18, 2011 @ 2:30 PM ET

On August 18, 2011, beginning at 2:30 p.m., EST, AHRQ’s National Resource Center (NRC) for Health IT will host a 90-minute Web-based teleconference covering the unique challenges of providing care to elderly patients in hospital, home or nursing care settings.  This web-based teleconference, “webinar”, will present innovative ways that care is being provided to the elderly using health IT.  Participants will hear from three distinguished experts. 

Learning objectives of this event include:

  • Exploring how health IT is affecting the care of the elderly population
  • Describing challenges of caring for the elderly in different settings and how health IT application may improve care
  • Identifying health IT strategies to implement in your practice, to help improve and support various aspects of the health care provided

The Wisconsin Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Understanding Meaningful Use

August 18, 2011 @ 1:30 - 3:00 PM ET
Offered by CMS

Target Audience: Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and professionals eligible for the Medicare and/or Medicare EHR Incentive Programs.

This is an opportunity for eligible hospitals, CAHs and eligible professionals to learn about the meaningful use requirements of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Helpful resources will be discussed. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.


HRSA Webinar: “Privacy and Security - What Questions You Should Ask Your Vendor”

Webinar Date: August 19, 2011 @ 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST

When implementing a Health IT system, it is vital for healthcare providers to know which questions to ask vendors.  Health IT security and privacy issues are complex and critical for providers, and one system breach or unauthorized access to patient data can adversely affect a healthcare provider’s practice, violate a patient’s trust in the provider, and  leave the provider liable to investigations by State and Federal regulators. 

Today’s presenters have first-hand experience working with safety net providers on health IT privacy and security issues.  They will share how they integrated this important process and how other healthcare providers can protect themselves and their patients from unauthorized data breaches. 


CMS Rural Health Open Door Forum

August 23, 2011 @ 2:00 PM ET

Dial: 1.800.837.1935
Conference ID: 68647472
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Conference Call Only


Conference Call: Affordable Care Act 101
Hosted By the HHS Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Tuesday, August 23, at 8 pm ET
Wednesday, August 31, at 12:30 pm ET
Wednesday, September 14, at 12:30 pm ET

Did you know...?

  • young adults can stay on their parent’s health insurance until the age of 26, even if they don’t live at home or are married?
  • there is now a plan for people with pre-existing conditions to access health insurance called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan?
  • 8 million children who are currently uninsured are eligible to receive care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program known as CHIP?

There are millions of people who lack access to health care, essential for healthy children, families and communities, throughout the United States.  Many families don’t know what their options are to access better care.

NOW YOU CAN LEARN MORE about many provisions that are currently in place that could help you and those in your congregation or community.

The Affordable Care Act expands access to care, ends abuses of insurers, and makes health care more affordable.  The law helps those with pre-existing health conditions, people who are under age 26 and without health insurance, the most vulnerable in our society and those who are currently insured.  To learn more about the health care law and how to access health care benefits in your community, RSVP to attend our Affordable Care Act 101 Conference Call.




White House Rural Council Delivers Report on Rural America – Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America

August 12, 2011 (White House Press Release) - Today, the White House Rural Council released a new report entitled Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America, which lays out the economic landscape rural Americans face today and highlights the Administration’s key accomplishments in rural communities.  The Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America report focuses on five critical areas: creating jobs and promoting economic growth, improving access to quality health care and education, fostering innovation, expanding outdoor opportunities, and supporting veterans and military families.

“This report on “Jobs and Economic Security in Rural America” underscores the commitment my Administration is making to rural communities,” said President Obama.  “It highlights some of the many programs and policies my Administration has implemented in rural America to support economic growth.  It also offers a look at the economic agenda we will continue to pursue during my Presidency.”

“This report highlights the importance of understanding some of the specific needs as well as unique opportunities found within rural America,” Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack said. “It also presents vital strategies that can and will be used to seize those opportunities and tackle some of the toughest challenges facing our rural communities.”


CDC awards more than $49 million to strengthen State and local health departments

August 15, 2011 (HHS News Release) - HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today awarded $49 million in grants, partly supported by the Affordable Care Act, to improve the quality of health care and strengthen the public health infrastructure. Awarded to all fifty States, the grants strengthen State, local and territorial health departments’ capacity to perform critical epidemiology and laboratory work, detect and prevent healthcare-associated infections and support immunization programs. This is double the spending for the same programs in 2010.

“Investing in public health is a key part of the Affordable Care Act. It helps transform our nation’s health care system from one based on when people get sick to one that prevents disease in the first place,” said Sebelius.


Rural Communities Fear Budget Cuts Will Hit Hard
Neal Conan, Host

August 11, 2011 (NPR: Talk of the Nation) - The percentage of Americans living in rural areas is shrinking. As rural America changes, programs that serve those areas, like postal facilities and subsidies for commercial aviation service, are being reevaluated.

NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. New census figures show that rural America accounts for a smaller piece of the American pie, now just one-sixth of the country's population. And as the population dwindles, companies and agencies that serve these areas are reconsidering.

The U.S. Postal Service may close thousands of postal facilities early next year. The Federal Aviation Administration may cut subsidies that keep rural airports open, and budget cuts may hit country schools and clinics disproportionately.


HRSA: Call for Abstracts for Special Theme Issue

Evidence for Informing the Next Generation of Quality Improvement Initiatives: Models, Methods, Measures and Outcomes

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (NIMHD/NIH), in collaboration with the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU), have partnered to publish a special theme issue that addresses: quality improvement initiatives related to clinical care outcomes, health systems delivery, organizational efficiencies, financing models, reducing medical errors, improving patient safety, and communications.

Interested parties will need to submit an abstract of 500 words or less which includes: 1) author names and affiliations, 2) contact information for the corresponding author, 3) proposed title, and 4) type of manuscript (original paper, commentary, brief communication, report from the field, column, or review) by September 1, 2011 to and addressed to:  Ahmed Calvo, MD, MPH, Senior Guest Editor.


HHS, Treasury take new steps to help states build Affordable Insurance Exchanges

August 12, 2011 (HHS News Release) - The Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury today took the next steps to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges – one-stop marketplaces where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan that fits their health needs and have the same kind of insurance choices as members of Congress. Among other policies, the proposed rules describe how middle-class families will gain access to unprecedented tax relief that will dramatically reduce the cost of coverage.

Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, over half of states have taken actions to build an Exchange. Today, HHS awarded $185 million to 13 states and the District of Columbia to help them build Affordable Insurance Exchanges and, with Treasury, posted three proposed rules that will provide a simple, streamlined, and affordable path for consumers to use the Exchanges to purchase private health insurance. Additionally, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to governors laying out options and resources available to states to set up their Exchanges.


After Health Reform, Safety Net Providers Still Play Crucial Health System Role, Experts Say

August 8, 2011 (The Commonwealth Fund News Release) - Nearly all leaders in health and health care policy recently surveyed (98%) believe traditional safety-net providers—including public hospitals, community health centers, and faith-based and mission-driven organizations—will continue to play crucial roles in the U.S. health system after the Affordable Care Act is implemented. Even in the post-reform environment, experts say, these providers will fulfill a critical need by serving individuals who remain uninsured and by being best equipped to meet the special needs of vulnerable populations —for example, providing culturally competent care or translation services. These findings and others are from the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey, which asked respondents about the ways in which health care reform can improve care for vulnerable populations—including low-income people, the uninsured, and disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities.


Pilot Program of Enhanced Contract Care Authority for Veterans in Highly Rural Areas

August 15, 2011 (The Federal Register via - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing the "Veterans' Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008," which requires VA to establish a pilot program to contract with non-VA health care providers to provide health services to highly rural veterans. This program will assist veterans who often have great difficulty obtaining VA health care due to physical distance to VA facilities.


Rural ERs lag in electronic prescribing: study

August 12, 2011 (Reuters Health) - Emergency departments in rural hospitals may be behind their urban counterparts in switching to computerized drug prescriptions, a new study finds.

President Barack Obama has made information technology a cornerstone of his plan to cut costs out of the U.S. healthcare system. That includes not only electronic prescribing of medications, but completely digitizing patients' medical records so they can be easily accessed and shared among providers.




There are no new funding announcements this week. However, remember that you can always visit the RAC web site or use GrantStation (if you are a subscriber) to search funding opportunities. Both sites have excellent listings.

Please send us any announcements you would like to share witht he NCHN membership.



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