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NCHN eNews
August 14, 2012
This issue's highlights:
  • NCHN News: The Tentative Agenda & Registration materials have been posted for the 2012 NCHN Leadership Summit
  • NCHN News: NCHN Member Handbook Available for Download
  • National News: Obama administration issues new rules to cut red tape for doctors and hospitals, saving up to $9 billion
  • National News: Expanding Medicaid Relies on Strong Primary Care Workforce, AAFP Leader Tells HHS Secretary
  • National News: Rural hospitals struggle with physician recruitment, but can focus on improved quality scores
  • Funding: Accountable Care Organizations: Testing Their Impact
  • Funding: Small Research Grant to Improve Health Care Quality through Health Information Technology

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2012 Leadership Summit: Do Your Best and Link to the Rest

The NCHN Leadership Summit is designed to build health network leadership capacity by bringing network leaders together to discuss leadership challenges and share leadership best practice models.  Through connections with their peers, network leaders will identify their individual leadership preferences and build facilitation skills to support the capacity of inclusive communication.  Participants of the 2012 Leadership Summit, Do Your Best and Link to the Rest, will have the opportunity to continue working together through the NCHN Leadership Learning Community.

NCHN Members: $175
HRSA/ORHP Network Development Grantees (who are not a member of NCHN): $250
Not a NCHN Member: $275

September 25-26, 2012

Westin Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center
1 East Pershing Road
Kansas City, KS 64108

Hotel Reservations
NCHN rate: $125.00/night + tax (single/double)
August 31, 2012


How well do you know your fellow NCHN members? Can you identify this network?

Which network is this?

• Hospital network founded in 2000
• Became a NCHN member in 2002
• Received the NCHN Network of the Year award in 2012


Member Handbook Available for Download

We have developed a handbook for NCHN members. The NCHN Member Handbook includes a list of programs, services, benefits, and resources to help you make the most of your membership. You will find it in the Member's Only section of the website. To download it:

  1. Log in at
  2. Go to Member Resources > Documents
  3. Select "NCHN Information" under Category and hit Search
  4. Click on "NCHN Member Handbook" and click "Download Document"
    (NOTE: You must be logged in to download the handbook. If you do not see it under NCHN Information, it is because you have not logged in. If you need assistance, contact Christy.)

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Dues Structure Task Force Call
Tuesday, August 14 @ 11:00 AM ET

Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, August 15 @ 12:00 PM ET
Wednesday, September 12 @ 12:00 PM ET

Business Partner Committee Call
Wednesday, August 15 @ 1:00 PM ET

Board of Directors Call
Monday, August 20 @ 2:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, August 21 @ 1:00 PM ET
Tuesday, September 11 @ 1:00 PM ET

RHNR Consulting Task Force Call
Wednesday, August 22 @ 12:00 PM ET

2013 Conference Planning Committee Call
Tuesday, August 28 @ 2:00 PM ET
Tuesday, September 11 @ 2:00 PM ET

NCHN Orientation Call (Registration Required)
Thursday, September 6 @ 1:00 PM ET (Register)

2012 Leadership Summit
Tuesday, September 25
Reserve your room by August 31st to receive the NCHN rate




NCHN Member News

  • There is no new member news this week




Kansas City, here I come
National Rural Health Association

Chart your facility’s success at the NRHA Rural Health Clinic (Sept. 25-26) and NRHA Critical Access Hospital (Sept. 26-28) conferences in Kansas City. The goal of these events is to share effective practices and policies to provide insights on best practices addressing many of the access, quality and patient safety issues confronted by CAHs and RHCs. They’re NRHA's fastest-growing events for a reason, so click here to register today.



Telehealth Resources for Safety Net Providers
HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth

Webinar: August 14, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Telehealth technology can be a valuable addition to a wide variety of care settings -- from critical access hospitals and rural health clinics to ambulatory and primary care settings. Presented by HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), this webinar will provide an overview of the HRSA activities and programs available to improve health care delivery, education and health information services to meet the needs of the underserved. Presenters, from both policy and safety net environments, will provide an overview of FCC and HRSA programs available to support the use of telehealth.


Take Action: Choose Effective Policies & Programs
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Webinar: August 14, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT

Choosing effective policies and programs that work in real life will maximize your chances of success. Not every well-intentioned policy or program is effective. Taking the time to look for strategies that have been shown to effectively address particular problems or issues will be time well spent. Learn about guidance, tools and resources for selecting policies and programs to address priority issues.


CMS National Provider Call: Five New Medicare Preventive Services

Webinar: August 15, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET

Did you know that five new preventive services are now covered by Medicare? CMS experts will provide an overview of these preventive services covered by Medicare, when to perform them, who can perform each service, who is eligible, and how to code and bill for each service, followed by a question and answer session.

Target Audience: Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, health educators, registered dietitians, nutrition professionals, medical billers and coders, and other interested health care professionals

Registration closes at 12:00 p.m. ET on the day of the call, or when available space has been filled.


Using Data for Evidence Based Quality Improvement

Webinar: August 17, 2012 | 2:00 ET




Obama administration issues new rules to cut red tape for doctors and hospitals, saving up to $9 billion

August 7, 2012 (HHS News Release) - Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today the release of a new rule that will cut red tape for doctors, hospitals, and health plans. In combination with a previously issued regulation, the rule will save up to $9 billion over the next ten years. The regulation adopts operating rules for making health care claim payments electronically and describing adjustments to claim payments.

“These new rules will cut red tape, save money and ensure doctors spend more time seeing patients and less time filling out forms,” said Secretary Sebelius.


Expanding Medicaid Relies on Strong Primary Care Workforce, AAFP Leader Tells HHS Secretary

August 8, 2012 (AAFP News Now) - As states decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs based on the provisions of the health care reform law, the success of the expansions will be determined, in large part, by the strength of the primary care workforce. This makes it incumbent on state and federal governments to enact payment reforms and other policies to bolster the nation's primary care infrastructure.

That was one of the main messages delivered by AAFP EVP Douglas Henley, M.D., to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a meeting between HHS officials and physician organization representatives at the agency's headquarters on Aug. 3.


Goodbye Best Practice, Hello Lean
by Haydn Bush

August 1, 2012 (H&HN Daily) - For years, many hospitals have looked to improve quality and patient safety through the development of best practices — a process that usually brings together a multidisciplinary team to identify a specific shortcoming in a particular unit, assess the root causes and develop a solution. If the effort is successful, hospitals then spread the best practice throughout the hospital, and ultimately to other providers, to replicate the initial improvement.

But Mark Chassin, M.D., president of the Joint Commission, believes it may be time for hospitals to move away from best practices and develop comprehensive process improvement tools — which can include Lean, Six Sigma or other emerging methodologies — that allow for deeper, more specific analyses of their patient safety needs.


Medicare pilot program meant to revise policy that leaves seniors with costly bill
by Susan Jaffe

August 9, 2012 (The Washington Post) - Medicare has launched a pilot project to test whether it can relax hospital-payment rules to help the growing number of seniors who are shelling out thousands of dollars for follow-up nursing-home care.

The issue involves what should be an easy question: Is the Medicare beneficiary an inpatient or an observation patient?


Rural hospitals struggle with physician recruitment, but can focus on improved quality scores
by Kelsey Brimmer

August 8, 2012 (Healthcare Finance News) - Chief financial officer John Cornell at Meadows Regional Medical Center, a 64-bed rural hospital in Vidalia, Ga., spoke recently with Healthcare Finance News Associate Editor Kelsey Brimmer regarding some of the most prominent financial issues that rural hospitals face in the future and have been facing in the last few years.


FCC changes threaten rural access to Internet
by Byron Dorgan

August 12, 2012 (Center for Rural Affairs) - What do border security efforts in Texas, health care in Kansas and economic development on an Indian reservation in New Mexico have in common?

All three rely on high-speed Internet services provided by small, independent rural telecommunications companies. And the success of all three will depend on the Federal Communications Commission making the right decisions in Washington.

Last year, the FCC began to reform the Universal Service Fund. That's the fund that makes sure even rural and high-cost areas of the country get affordable telecommunications services.


Incentive drawing health professionals to rural SD
by Jon Waler

August 13, 2012 ( - Sioux Falls, SD) - An incentive program will put $10,000 bonuses into the hands of newly hired health care employees if they promise to keep working in rural South Dakota for three years.

The money comes from the state with a matching share from the worker's employer. The Legislature approved the arrangement this year to protect towns where hospitals and nursing homes struggle to find employees.


FAQ: How Paul Ryan Proposes To Change Medicare
by Marilyn Werber Serafini

August 11, 2012 (Kaiser Health News) - Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president, has provoked consternation from Democrats and anxiety among some congressional Republicans with his proposals to reshape Medicare.

The Republican-controlled House, along party lines, twice approved his proposals to overhaul the popular social insurance program for the elderly and disabled by giving beneficiaries a set amount of money every year to buy coverage from competing health plans. That is a fundamental shift from today’s program, where the federal government pays for as many services as beneficiaries use.


Medicare To Penalize 2,211 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions
by Jordan Rau

August 13, 2012 (Kaiser Health News) - More than 2,000 hospitals — including some nationally recognized ones — will be penalized by the government starting in October because many of their patients are readmitted soon after discharge, new records show.

Together, these hospitals will forfeit about $280 million in Medicare funds over the next year as the government begins a wide-ranging push to start paying health care providers based on the quality of care they provide.


Curing the Physician Shortage: Systemic Change to Breed the Doctors We Need
by Ben Gallagher

August 13, 2012 (The Atlantic) - Last month, The New York Times reported that President Obama's Affordable Care Act will worsen America's already steep shortage of doctors, particularly in the valuable field of primary care. With an estimated 30 million people set to gain insurance coverage under the law in 2014, there won't be enough physicians to serve all these new patients. Because it takes about ten years to train a new doctor, little can be done to reduce this deficit in the short term. But Congress can begin to address the problem in the coming decades if it alters its investment strategy in medical education.


Setting a global standard for medical education
by Carolyne Krupa

August 13, 2012 ( - As an international medical graduate, Dr. Saby Karuppiah, MPH, knows the challenges of becoming certified to practice in the United States. He also knows that all medical schools are different. Views on how to prepare students to practice medicine vary by school and by culture.




Accountable Care Organizations: Testing Their Impact
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Purpose: This funding will support case studies of accountable care organizations (ACOs) as they develop in the private market. The supported case studies will examine facilitators and barriers to the success of select ACOs, including an overview of each ACO’s market, environmental, and organizational contexts. The case studies will additionally examine the potential effects of the ACOs on a variety of outcomes, including: clinical quality, cost, patient experience, and disparities.

The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting case studies about ACOs that have developed among safety net providers, in order to understand their potential impact on vulnerable and diverse populations.

Deadline: September 5, 2012


Small Research Grant to Improve Health Care Quality through Health Information Technology (IT) (R03)

Purpose:  The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support a wide variety of research designs in order to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care through the implementation and use of health IT.  These designs include: small pilot and feasibility or self-contained health IT research projects; secondary data analysis of health IT research; and economic (prospective or retrospective) analyses of health IT implementation and use.  Through economic analyses estimates of health IT implementation and use costs and benefits will be generated.   

Due Date: N/A


Exploratory and Developmental Grant to Improve Health Care Quality through Health Information Technology (IT) (R21)

Purpose:  The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support short-term preparatory, pilot or feasibility studies that will inform larger scale real world health IT implementation and use or the conduct of more comprehensive health IT implementation research.    

Research Areas:  This FOA is focused on three research areas of interest:

  1. Health IT to improve the quality and safety of medication management via the integration and utilization of medication management systems and technologies;
  2. Health IT to support patient-centered care, the coordination of care across transitions in care settings, and the use of electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care; and,
  3. Health IT to improve health care decision making through the use of integrated data and knowledge management. 

Due Date: N/A



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