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NCHN eNews
August 9, 2011
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. We want to remind you once more to submit your Lessons Learned for 2011. The deadline is this Friday AND the first member to submit a form will receive a $25 discount on their registration for the Leadership Summit. Get these in - they will be posted on the Rural Assistance Center web site, as well! Elsewhere in the NCHN news, we've taken up tweeting. You can follow NCHN on twitter!

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.








NCHN Welcomes 2 Members

Please join us in welcoming Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network as a new Network Member.

Formed in 2007, the Santa Cruz County Adolescent Wellness Network exists to promote improved health by increasing adolescent health literacy. Its purpose is to open opportunities for health information, resources and education, in order to promote well-informed and empowered adolescents and the larger Santa Cruz County community.

Contact: Chris Dixon, Network Director
Ph: (520) 375-6050 Ext. 1370

We are also delighted to announce that Martha McLeod is back with NCHN as an Associate Member. You can reach her at 603-491-0542 or

From the Forum

There are no new posts this week.



A man has a 12 liter jug of beer, and wants to split it in half, but only has a 8 liter and a 5 liter jug. How can he do it?



Submit Your 2011 Lessons Learned

Be the first to submit Lessons Learned and receive $25 off of one registration for the 2011 NCHN Leadership Summit!

Deadline: Friday, August 12, 2011

It is that time again! NCHN is looking for lessons learned to share with other members and networks. Tell us about your program/service, how it was implemented, barriers, and how your network overcame them. Share your network's stories!

NCHN Lessons Learned submissions are submitted to RAC and included on the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) web site under Success Stories.


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

2011 Leadership Summit Committee Call
Wednesday, August 10 @ 11:00 AM ET

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

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



The HCC of Lafayette County

August 5, 2011 -- The HCC of Lafayette County has released the August 2011 issue of Wellness Works!




New Section

We have added this section to the NCHN Weekly to share news from NCHN Partners.




Monthly Rural Health Care Conference Call
Offered by Universal Service Administrative Company

August 11, 2011

Conference calls begin at 2:00 PM ET. Please read the Conference Call Guidelines before dialing in. Participants may begin calling in 10 minutes prior to the call.

Dial-in: 1 (800) 240-9939
Passcode: 6772 932#


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. 


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,


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.


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




Feeling pinched: Hospitals, docs anxious as 'provider payment cuts are pretty easy to do
by Rich Daily

August 8, 2011 ( - The newly enacted debt-ceiling deal may have saved the nation from a financial crisis, but it also managed to paint a target on the backs of healthcare providers. And the potential size and scope of the cuts they could face has providers scrambling for a response.

The deal followed a months-long partisan fight over extending the federal government's borrowing authority beyond the $14.3 trillion limit it was set to reach Aug. 3. President Barack Obama signed a compromise into law last week that would provide $2.1 trillion in additional borrowing authority.


Increase in Public Health Spending Results in Healthier People, Study Suggests

August 5, 2011 (ScienceDaily) - A groundbreaking new study published in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that increases in public health spending result in healthier people, especially in communities with fewer resources.


The study examined whether changes in spending by local public health agencies over a 13-year period contributed to changes in rates of community mortality from preventable causes of death, including infant mortality and deaths due to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.


High student loans push doctors from primary care positions
Rachel Lake

August 5, 2011 (KHAS-TV) - The average college graduate owes about $20,000 in student loans.
But a medical graduate owes up to twelve times that. So to pay off their debts, many young doctors are choosing to enter more lucrative specialties like dermatology or neurology over primary care.

It means a shortage in primary care physicians and it's nothing new.


As of July 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported about 6,400 primary care shortage areas nationwide.

Since 1978, 86 of Nebraska's 93 counties have been designated as medically underserved including the tri-cities.

"I see the aging population increasing and having more illness and I see the people who can take care of them that pool becoming smaller," said Dr. Smith.

Especially when it comes to rural areas.


More on Rural Physicians:
Med schools seek right fit for rural practice (, August 8, 2011)

Report Identifies Proven Design Methods for Use by Consumer Health Informatics Product Developers

August 3, 2011 (AHRQ Health IT Update) - A new report funded by AHRQ offers a range of design methods that may be applicable for use in developing consumer health information technology (IT) applications.  Improving Consumer Health IT Application Development: Lessons from Other Industries:  Background Report offers an environmental scan of design practices found in successful consumer products and identifies those that could support improved development of consumer health IT applications.  The full report provides recommendations of methods that can be incorporated into consumer health IT application design processes. 


ATA calls on A-Team to craft 'meaningful use' policy objectives

August 2, 2011 (Telemedicine and e-Health News Alert) - The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has created its latest policy A-Team to explore the policy implication of “meaningful use” on telemedicine. Robert Jarrin, senior director, government affairs, Qualcomm, will lead the A-Team on Telehealth and Meaningful Use. Its purpose will be “to recommend ATA strategy and to proactively advocate for the integration of telehealth into 'meaningful use' policy objectives as being defined for Stage II AND Stage III,” according to ATA. Participation in A-Teams is open to all ATA members; team communications are completed over The HUB, ATA's social network and communications tool. The group will disband after the public comment period for Stage III meaningful use has concluded.


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.


Monday Roundup: A Confused Times Editorial

August 8, 2011 (The Weekly Yonder) - We have another utterly confused accounting of federal payments spent in rural America, this time from the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. 

In the first paragraph, the editorial says the "recipients with the most to lose" in federal budget cutting live in  rural America. They "are almost twice as reliant on federal largesse as city dwellers and suburbanites." The Times then links to a page at the Economic Research Service at the Department of Agriculture showing the metro versus nonmetro transfer payments. 


Medicare payment rule promotes improved inpatient care

August 1, 2011 (CMS News Release) - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a final rule that will update Medicare payment policies and rates for hospitals in fiscal year (FY) 2012. The final rule, which will affect Medicare payments to general acute care hospitals and long-term care hospitals for inpatient stays, supports efforts to promote ongoing improvements in hospital care that will lead to better patient outcomes while addressing long-term health care cost growth.




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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