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NCHN eNews
Happy Thanksgiving from NCHN
December 20, 2011 FacebookTwitter LinkedIn
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Weclome to the last issue of the year! The next issue of the newsletter will get to you on Tuesday, January 3rd. The NCHN offices will be closed from December 23rd through January 2nd. We will check email periodically. If there is something you need, don't hesitate to send an email.

It has been a joy to work with all of you in 2011. We wish you all the best this holiday season and in the year to come.

NCHN Staff

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.







2012 NCHN Annual Educational Conference

Health Networks of the Future - All Together Now!
Denver, CO: The Curtis
April 15 - 18, 2012

All Together Now at the Curtis

The Curtis has opened reservations for the 2012 NCHN Annual Educational Conference in Denver, Colorado. You can reserve your room now using the group code NCH.

Rate: $145+tax/night (single or double)


Related Links
Call for presentations: due December 21, 2011
More information

Featured Partner
Paradigm Learning
iVantage Health Analytics is a Gold Level Partner

From the Forum

Membership Application, Forms Samples

12/14/11 by Laurie Miller



The Top Twenty Funny, Fascinating, and Unusual World Wide Customs To Celebrate New Year

• Baby New Year Tradition

• Hogmanay (Scotland)

• Burning "Mr Old Year" (Columbia, Cuba, Puerto Rico)
• Eating Noodles (Japan)
• Gifts in Shoes (Greece)
• Carrying a Suitcase (Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico)


Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

NCHN Offices Closed for Holidays
December 23, 2011 - January 2, 2012

Executive Committee Call
Monday, January 16 @ 2:00 PM ET

NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community Session
Friday, January 20 @ 11:00 AM ET




iVantageiVantage Health Analytics

Performance Management Institute (PMI), an affiliate of Stroudwater Associates, works with more than 180 hospital clients in 29 states. We partner with numerous state networks and hospital systems to provide a platform for monitoring and performance. PMI offers a broad range of technology and consulting services to link healthcare organizations’ performance improvement programs to strategy and operations.

Our Approach
The work of PMI is strongly rooted in the Balanced Scorecard methodology for strategy execution as developed by Kaplan and Norton. Through extensive work in the field, PMI offers rich perspective, helping organizations translate their strategic vision into clear objectives. We link these objectives to measurable indicators and initiatives, a process that enables performance monitoring and improvement. The Balanced Scorecard integrates four critical perspectives: quality, finance, operations and satisfaction of customers, physicians and staff. The powerful RPM platform is PMI’s solution for customized and benchmarked performance monitoring. Understanding that each project is unique, PMI utilizes the flexibility of the Balanced Scorecard to deliver custom solutions. There are some areas in which PMI may advise organizations to adopt best practice indicators. This enables performance benchmarking of affiliates in an appropriate, relevant manner.

Core Competencies

  • Apply Balanced Scorecard methodology to create strategic alignment within and among healthcare organizations and their affiliates.
  • Establish state-wide hospital networks to facilitate performance improvement.
  • Integrate systems that own multiple hospitals.
  • Provide performance management tools for acute care, physician practices, and long term care operations.
  • Develop innovative custom reporting solutions.
  • Analyze data for network benchmark reporting.
  • Consult with leadership teams to interpret data from scorecards, and recommend initiatives to improve performance in healthcare organizations.

Michael Topchik, Consultant
509 Forest Avenue, Suite 250, Portland, ME 04101
Phone: 207-518-6705



Links to Member News

  • RWHC's Eye on Health - January 2012 issue is available online
  • Via Christi (KS & OK) is very active on Twitter
  • Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County is on Facebook

Network Director opening at Prince of Wales Health Network

Location: Craig, AK

Description: The Prince of Wales Health Network is seeking a full-time Network Director to oversee the operation of a four member community based vertical health network.

Responsibilities include:

  • Coordination with all Network members to ensure individual member needs are recognized and addressed
  • Facilitation of the Governing Body process
  • Facilitation of committee processes
    Development and execution of strategic goals and objectives in accordance with Governing Body discussions
  • Establishment and monitoring of subcontracts with all partners
  • Development and maintenance of relationships with local, regional, and State agencies and key stakeholders
  • Development and coordination of funding and grant requests
  • Completion of all required grant reports and evaluations.
  • Development and management of Network budgets and fiscal reports
  • Implementation of evaluation system to monitor Network progress and achievement of goals and objectives
  • Coordination with fiscal support staff, funders and granting agencies
  • Supervision of Network Program Assistant


Employment: Community Health Manager at HCC of Lafayette County

Location: Lexington, MO

SUMMARY: The Community Health Manager will be responsible for the day to day functions of the programs offered by the HCC and collaborating partners to implement activities relative to HCC’s strategic plan and Social Innovation for Missouri (SIM) Project Plan.

1) Experienced in working with organizations with diverse backgrounds to reach consensus regarding issues;
2) Able to provide technical data in ways that it can be understood to both community and clinical
3) Supportive of the collaborative nature of the HCC and its work
4) Willingness to help develop on-going revenue streams through the SIM initiative
5) High energy individual
6) Clinical Training





The 2012 Community Action Partnership Management & Leadership Training Conference

Ensuring High Performance in Community Action: Strategies for Leadership, Innovation & Success
January 5-7, 2012
Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel
Miami Beach, FL


HRSA's Grants Process: Pre-Award, Award Post-Award, and Grant Closeout

January 10, 2012

These webcasts will assist applicants applying for HRSA funds, discuss the registration process, and address important items such as how to register for a DUNS number, registration with CCR, and registration with


HRSA HIT and Quality Webinar

"Tips For Engaging Safety Net Patients Using Health IT”

January 20, 2012 @ 2:00 PM ET


NRHA Rural Health Policy Institute

January 30 - February 1, 2012
Washington, D.C.

Join NRHA for the largest rural advocacy event in the country. Learn firsthand about the development and implementation of health care policy at the federal level and meet with your members.




HHS to give states more flexibility to implement health reform

December 16, 2011 (HHS News Release) - Approach will help ensure consumers have quality, affordable coverage starting in 2014

The Department of Health and Human Services today released a bulletin outlining proposed policies that will give states more flexibility and freedom to implement the Affordable Care Act.  

The Affordable Care Act ensures all Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance.  To achieve this goal, the law ensures that health insurance plans offered in the individual and small group markets, both inside and outside of the Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges), offer a comprehensive package of items and services, known as “essential health benefits.”  


Health care's top 2012 issues: technology, social media, security
by Pamela Lewis Dolan, amednews staff

December 13, 2011 ( - As organizations confront budgetary and government matters, a report outlines what patients consider important.

Investment in health information technology, the privacy and security of patient data, and ramping up social media efforts will be top concerns for health care organizations in 2012, according to a study by PwC's Health Research Institute.

PwC made these predictions after the completion of a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults on their attitudes toward health care issues. Results were combined with an analysis of regulatory, government and economic issues that will affect health care next year.

"2012 will be a seminal year for the health industries as businesses wade through economic, regulatory and political uncertainty," said Kelly Barnes, U.S. health industries practice leader at PwC. "One of the ways the health industry is responding to these uncertainties is by connecting in new ways with each other and their consumers as they rethink existing business models and previous notions about competition, cooperation and collaboration."


Senate Passes Two-Month Medicare Extender Legislation

December 17, 2011 (Rural Health Voices | News and Opinion from the National Rural Health Association) - The Senate passed a modified Medicare extender bill early Saturday morning that includes a number of expiring rural health provisions.  The legislation extends, for a two-month period, the outpatient hold harmless extension, Medicare Section 508 reclassification, reimbursement increases for ambulance services, rural mental health add-ons, extension of therapy cap exemptions and an update for the sustainable growth rate within the physician fee schedule. A full copy of the legislation can be found through the Modern Healthcare link below.

While NRHA commends the Senate for acting to preserve these vital programs, we urge Congress as a whole to take steps to make these vital programs permanent.  Many rural facilities depend on these programs and a permanent extension of these payment methodologies and programs will provide them with stability and certainty in the future.


Members of Congress issue call to extend health benefits to rural communities (December 16, 2011 | Lake County News)
House Republicans Voice Opposition to Senate “Extenders” Legislation (December 18, 2011 | Rural Health Voices)

Affordable Care Act helps 32 health systems improve care for patients, saving up to $1.1 billion

December 19, 2011 (HHS News Release) - Thirty-two leading health care organizations from across the country will participate in a new Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) initiative made possible by the Affordable Care Act, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.  The Pioneer ACO initiative will encourage primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals and other caregivers to provide better, more coordinated care for people with Medicare and could save up to $1.1 billion over five years.

Under this initiative, operated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center (Innovation Center), Medicare will reward groups of health care providers that have formed ACOs based on how well they are able to both improve the health of their Medicare patients and lower their health care costs.


We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration makes more progress to reduce, prevent drug shortages (December 15, 2011)
We Can’t Wait: Nine States Awarded Race to The Top-Early Learning Challenge Grants (December 16, 2011)
New data: Affordable Care Act helps 2.5 million additional young adults get health insurance (December 14, 2011)
Partnership for Patients initiative to improve hospital care (December 14, 2011)

HIMSS report finds widespread use of mHealth but also raises concerns

December 13, 2011 (Telemedicine and e-Health News Alert) - The HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey found widespread use of mHealth in healthcare settings but also that upper level management is not keeping up with the technology. Only 38% of the 164 respondents said they have a policy in place to regulate use of mobile devices and outline a mobile strategy, and half said their organization is developing one. Privacy and security was the greatest concern at 59.76%, followed by lack of funding or budget constraints at 48.17%. However, 93% of respondents said that clinicians at their organization access information on a mobile device, with laptops and computers on wheels most widely used. Most clinicians, 83.54% use apps to look up health information, such as clinical guidelines, and 75% to view patient information, such as lab results or digital images.

» DOWNLOAD THE REPORT (requires registration)

How states are keeping doctors from moving out
by Carolyne Krupa, amednews staff

December 19, 2011 ( - In the face of physician shortages, they are focusing efforts on keeping medical students and residents within state boundaries.

Widespread concerns about physician shortages have many states working to keep doctors trained in medical schools and residency programs there from crossing state lines to practice medicine.

Nationwide, there were 258.7 active physicians per 100,000 people in 2010, according to new statistics from the Assn. of American Medical Colleges. In individual states, ratios range from a high of 415.5 physicians per 100,000 people in Massachusetts to a low of 176.4 per 100,000 in Mississippi.




New AHRQ Funding Opportunity on Research Centers in Primary Care Practice Based Research and Learning
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

December 12, 2011 (AHRQ email) - AHRQ has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) soliciting Center Core grant applications from organizations with a track record of success in conducting research in primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs).  Each research center must have at least 120 primary care member practices organized around shared resources and research infrastructure. These centers will foster a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment. AHRQ is particularly interested in supporting center infrastructure that will accelerate both the generation of new knowledge and a community of learning for primary care practices to improve quality, patient safety and effectiveness of care.  AHRQ intends to publish future “rapid-cycle” FOAs describing research projects that will be limited to funded centers because of the cohesive infrastructure required to respond to these rapid-cycle funding opportunities. Applications are due by January 26, 2012.


Surgeon general opens Healthy Apps Challenge

December 13, 2011 (Telemedicine and e-Health News Alert) - The U.S. Surgeon General and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT launched the Surgeon General's Healthy App Challenge, aimed at encouraging the development of technology applications to complement and support the Surgeon General's prevention agenda and the nation's prevention strategy. Entrants can submit apps in the three categories: fitness/physical activity, nutrition/healthy eating, and integrative health. Judges will consider the apps usefulness, innovativeness, evidence-base, usability, potential to help Americans, data downloads, and its fun factor. Submissions can include existing apps or those developed for the challenge. The app must be available free for consumer use and not require the purchase of additional products to be fully operational.



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