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NCHN eNews
August 30, 2011
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

This is the latest issue of the NCHN e-News. This month, we are pleased to share two exciting announcements from Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (NC) and Synernet (ME). We are also excited about the 2011 Leadership Summit. If you have not registered and made your hotel reservations, do so soon! For more details, scroll on down.

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.






NRHD November 17, 2011

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!

Early bird registration ends Sept. 15, 2011 @ 5:00 PM ET
$125 for NCHN Members ($175 after 9/15/11)
$200 for non-Members ($275 after 9/15/11)

Hotel Reservations*: $135+tax (if made by September 5, 2011)
*We are in the process of expanding the room block. If you call and encounter problems reserving at the NCHN rate, check the website for an update. We should have resolved the room block increase by Wednesday, the 31st, at the latest.


Featured Partner
IPI Logo
FIVE Career Advisors is a Silver Level Partner

From the Forum

There are no recent posts in the Public area.



In front of you, there are 9 coins. They all look absolutely identical, but one of the coins is fake. However, you know that the fake coin is lighter than the rest, and in front of you is a balance scale. What is the least number of weighings you can use to find the counterfeit coin?


Expanded Membership Benefit

The Board of Directors voted on Monday, August 29, 2011 to extend access to the NCHN ListServ and Members Only Section on the NCHN website to employees of the Member Network. The request for additional access to these items must be submitted in writing, by the Network Director or NCHN designated contact to Christy Sullenberger at   The request should include the name of the Network employee, position within the network, and email address. 

Board Approves NCHN Leadership Learning Community Program!

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the approval of a new program for NCHN members.  The NCHN Leadership Learning Community Program will be kicked off at the first NCHN Leadership Summit on Tuesday, September 27 in Kansas City. Watch your email box for information about the new program, including eligibility criteria and curriculum details. 

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Quarterly Membership Call: Demonstrating Value & Membership Retention
Monday, September 12 @ 2:00 PM ET

Leadership Summit Committee Call
Tuesday, September 20 @ 11:00 AM ET

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

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

Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, September 21 at 11:00 AM ET
Wednesday, October 19 at 11:00 AM ET
Wednesday, November 16 at 11:00 AM ET
Wednesday, December 7 at 11:00 AM ET




Infant Parent InstituteFIVE Career Advisors

FIVE Career Advisors is a Healthcare Information Technology services firm founded and headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. FIVE is focused exclusively on Healthcare IT, boasts a database of thousands of HIT candidates and has successfully placed candidates in a variety of positions throughout the United States including but not limited to: Mt. Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, NYU, Cedar’s Sinai, Legacy in Portland, UC-Davis, Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center, Stanford, Clarian, University of West Virginia, Cincinnati Children’s, Adventist in Florida, and Baylor.

FIVE’s sole focus is Heathcare Information Technology. They understand the needs unique to HIT staffing, from supporting a mission critical infrastructure to implementing complex EMR technologies requiring clinical expertise. FIVE can provide experienced candidates in the form of high level management (CIO, Director, Project Manager) to hands-on technologists (Builders, Analysts) to support personnel (Trainers, Testers). They have worked with a variety Healthcare specific technologies, including Epic, Cerner, Eclipsys, Meditech and Siemens.

Benefits of using FIVE Career Advisors:

  • Flexibility: FIVE can provide candidates for both full-time, permanent positions and consulting engagements. They offer a satisfaction guarantee on candidates.
  • Cost Savings: Through the efforts of NCHN, our members will receive and aggressive, pre-negotiated pricing structure.
  • Immediate Expertise: FIVE can function as an extension of your Human Resources department. Because there is little to no learning curve, they can provide qualified candidates in a timely manner.
  • Peace of Mind: Because FIVE understands Healthcare Informatics, they can provide the expertise to insure your IT projects are successful, on schedule and under budget

John Adams
6100 West 96TH ST. STE 175
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Phone: 866-912-3483
Fax: 317-733-1410



CCHA: Duke Endowment Grant Awarded to Community Health Information Exchange

Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA) has been awarded $1.46 million dollars in grant funding from The Duke Endowment to assist with the expansion of the regional Health Information Exchange (HIE).  The establishment of an HIE in our communities will improve the coordination of patient care by providing a more timely exchange of information.  It will also help physicians meet requirements for Meaningful Use, the national standards being set for the delivery of health care.  The regional HIE is doing business as Coastal Connect HIE (CCHIE) with the mission to ensure the private and secure sharing of patient-centric data to encourage provider collaboration to improve efficiencies in healthcare and enhance consumer satisfaction in Eastern North Carolina.  

The grant funding, to be provided over three years, will be used to connect Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and Cape Fear HealthNet providers and case managers to the CCHIE network.  This grant will also help offset the costs of the orders and reporting interface connections for CCHIE’s original five pilot hospitals:  Dosher Memorial Hospital, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Pender Memorial Hospital, Sampson Regional Medical Center and Southeastern Regional Medical Center.   

This is exciting news for our local communities as we electronically connect care providers to improve coordination of patient healthcare. To get more information on Coastal Connect HIE, please contact Anne Marie Priddy at

The Duke Endowment, in Charlotte, N.C., seeks to fulfill the legacy of James B. Duke by enriching lives and communities in the Carolinas through higher education, health care, rural churches and children’s services.  Since its inception in 1924, the Endowment has awarded nearly $2.8 billion in grants.


Synernet recently began providing medical transcription services for Northern Michigan Regional Hospital (NMRH): a 250 bed facility located in Petoskey, MI.  Like many hospitals around the nation, NMRH is challenged by reduced reimbursement rates and budget cuts.  Partnering with Synernet  (we absorbed their staff) provided NMRH an opportunity to reduce payroll/benefits while maintaining the expertise they have developed over the years.  A true “win-win” for all involved.

Contact Information:
Troy Murphy



State Health Insurance Exchanges Webinar

August 31, 2011 | 3:00 - 4:30 PM ET

John O'Brien, senior advisor to the SAMHSA Administrator and former longtime consultant on health care financing, will again be the featured presenter in a webinar on state health insurance exchanges being developed as part of the Affordable Care Act. This webinar will look at the elements required for the exchanges and the benefits that coverage provided by the exchanges must include, as well as the processes by which exchanges are being developed in different states.


Conference Calls: 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.


Monthly Rural Health Care Conference Call

September 8, 2011 @ 2:00 PM ET

Dial-in: 1 (800) 240-9939
Passcode: 6772 932#
Universal Service Fund (USF)

The Rural Health Care Program of the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), is a support program authorized by Congress and designed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide reduced rates to rural health care providers (HCPs) for telecommunications services and Internet access charges related to the use of telemedicine and telehealth.

Program applicants and service providers can raise issues of concern or seek clarification on program rules during monthly outreach conference calls. The discussion of agenda items is followed by a general question and answer period.


Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Accelerated Development Learning Program

September 15-16, 2011
San Francisco, CA
Sponsord by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering ACO Accelerated Development Learning Sessions (ADLS) to provide the executive leadership teams from existing or emerging ACO entities the opportunity to learn about essential ACO functions and ways to build capacity needed to achieve better care, better health, and lower costs through improvement. Four ADLSs will be offered in 2011. Each will offer a focused curriculum on core competencies for ACO development, such as improving care delivery to increase quality and reduce costs; effectively using health information technology and data resources; and building capacity to assume and manage financial risk.

The goal of these sessions is to prepare participants to:

  • Understand their current readiness to become an ACO.
  • Identify organization-specific goals for achieving the three-part aim of improving care delivery, improving health, and reducing costs through improvement.
  • Begin to develop an action plan for establishing essential ACO functions.


National Rural Health Day - SAVE THE DATE!

November 17, 2011

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) invites all rural stakeholders to join the inaugural National Rural Health Day celebration on Thursday, November 17. NOSORH partners planning to recognize this special occasion include:

  • State Offices of Rural Health
  • National Rural Health Association
  • Rural Recruitment and Retention Network
  • National Cooperative of Health Networks
  • Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

How you celebrate is up to you — just be sure to celebrate!

» CONTACT BILL HESSERT to be placed on the NRHD mailing list



From NRHA: Multiple developments as debt ceiling deadline approaches

July 20, 2011 (NRHA email) -The so-called “Gang of Six” reunited Tuesday morning and presented their plan for deficit reduction to a group of approximately 50 senators. Reports have stated that the deal, totaling $3.7 trillion over 10 years, would include 26 percent revenue increase and 74 percent spending cuts.

Early information shows a compromise that includes $116 billion in cuts to health care. The released information, however, does not include the specifics of where these cuts would be made. In comparison, the Boehner-Cantor proposal presented at the White House early last week would cut $340 billion in health care programs within the decade.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that this compromise is not intended to be a solution for the looming debt ceiling issue, but rather a long-term solution to large budget deficits and debt. Reid indicated that sections of the compromise would likely be included in the McConnell-Reid proposal; however, the deal is unlikely to include the entire compromise. The full Gang of Six deficit reduction plan might be taken up at a later time as a blueprint for spending over the next several years, past the crisis of raising the debt ceiling.

The House, meanwhile, voted last night on H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. This bill would cut current spending levels for total government expenditures, cap future expenditures at a set percentage of GDP and mandate a “balanced budget amendment” to the Constitution. The vote was largely along party lines, though nine Republicans voted against the measure and five Democrats voted in favor of the bill. The Senate is unlikely to pass the legislation, and President Obama has promised to veto the bill if it is presented to him.

Because the details of the health care cuts included in the Gang of Six or Reid-McConnell proposals have not been released, it is critical that we keep our message to Capitol Hill strong. Please contact your members of Congress and ask them:

  1. To oppose a debt ceiling proposal that contains devastating cuts to rural health care.
  2. $14 billion in Medicare cuts to rural providers will decimate the delivery of health care in rural America, likely forcing many facilities to close.
  3. Rural hospitals are critical to the 62 million patients they serve and to the rural economy and can mean as much as 20 percent of revenue generated in rural areas.
Contact information for your members of Congress is available on NRHA’s homepage. NRHA will also continue to update our blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed as additional information becomes available. If you have questions about this information, contact Maggie Elehwany at or David Lee at

Comments Sought on Draft Plan to Reduce Health IT Disparities

August 26, 2011 (Minority Health Action Alert) - A draft Federal Health IT Disparities Strategic Plan was posted for public comment on Aug. 24 on the blog by the Office of Minority Health and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The comment period will last for approximately 30 days. Those who are interested in commenting are encouraged to provide input on an electronic form available just below the blog posting.


Preparing for Health Care Cuts
By Robert Bowman, M.D.

August 23, 2011 (The Daily Yonder) - On January 1, federal health care rates for doctors will be cut 29.5% unless Congress acts. The cuts will be harder on primary care physicians — and that means they will cut more deeply in rural communities, which are more dependent on primary care providers.

At one point in history, Congress did realize that health care cost increases were a huge problem. 

Various mechanisms were designed to limit health care spending. The SGR or Sustainable Growth Rate design was one of these spending limitation interventions. The SGR design typically resulted in only a few percentage points of proposed cuts. Congress has bypassed these SGR cuts year after year, often in last minute rescue sessions. 


Affordable Care Act initiative to lower costs, help doctors and hospitals coordinate care

August 23, 2011 (HHS News Release) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a new initiative to help improve care for patients while they are in the hospital and after they are discharged. Doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers can now apply to participate in a new program known as the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative (Bundled Payments initiative). Made possible by the Affordable Care Act, it will align payments for services delivered across an episode of care, such as heart bypass or hip replacement, rather than paying for services separately.  Bundled payments will give doctors and hospitals new incentives to coordinate care, improve the quality of care and save money for Medicare.

“Patients don’t get care from just one person – it takes a team, and this initiative will help ensure the team is working together,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “The Bundled Payments initiative will encourage doctors, nurses and specialists to coordinate care. It is a key part of our efforts to give patients better health, better care, and lower costs.”


HHS awards $137 million to states to boost prevention and public health

August 25, 2011 (HHS News Release) - Affordable Care Act funds will create jobs and target health improvement, local capacity building

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today awarded up to $137 million, partly supported by the Affordable Care Act, to states to strengthen the public health infrastructure and provide jobs in core areas of public health. Awarded in nearly every state, the grants enhance state, tribal, local and territorial efforts to provide tobacco cessation services, strengthen public health laboratory and immunization services, prevent healthcare-associated infections, and provide comprehensive substance abuse prevention and treatment.

“More than ever, it is important to help states fight disease and protect public health,” said Secretary Sebelius. “These awards are an important investment and will enable states and communities to help Americans quit smoking, get immunized and prevent disease and illness before they start.”


USDA and HHS Sign Agreement to Help Expand Health IT Infrastructure in Rural America

August 23, 2011 (ONC Health IT Email) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Rural Health Information Technology (Health IT) Task Force, specifically the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Health Resources and Services Administration, has been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure that rural health care providers can use USDA's Rural Development grants and loans to support the acquisition of health IT infrastructure.

HHS and USDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) linking rural hospitals and clinicians to existing capital loan programs that enable them to purchase software and hardware needed to implement health IT. On August 16, 2011, the White House publicly announced the Administration's commitment to this MOU in a press release. Two key USDA Rural Development programs that can help expand health IT infrastructure in rural America include the:

  • Community Facilities Program, which provides direct and guaranteed loans as well as grants for community facilities projects in rural areas. This program may help offset the costs of electronic health records implementation for rural health care providers.

How states will shape health reform
By Emily Berry, amednews stadd

August 29, 2011 ( - Attention over the last three years has been focused firmly on national health system reform, but state-level regulation of health insurers remains critical.

The bill was passed and signed into law in Washington, but much of health system reform, particularly where it affects health insurance, is taking shape in places such as Sacramento, Calif., Harrisburg, Pa., and Providence, R.I. -- state capitals.

Most often, pundits and politicians talk about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as if it is a blessing or a curse from the federal government. But especially when it comes to health insurance regulation, state legislators and regulators hold much of the power to enforce or ignore reform.

States are choosing either to overhaul insurance company oversight or to maintain a hands-off policy. That means physicians ought to direct their concerns to their state capitals, health policy experts said.




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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