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NCHN Healthcare News Digest

Issue #20 | Monday, February 7, 2011

+ NCHN Reminders & Upcoming Events


Upcoming NCHN Calls

  • Executive Coaching Team Training Call:
    Wednesday, February 9 @ 11:00 AM ET – 12:30 PM ET
  • 2011 Annual Conference Planning Committee Call:
    Thursday, February 10 @ 12:30 PM ET
  • 2011 Awards Committee Call
    Thursday, February 10 @ 2:00 PM ET
  • Program Development Committee Call:
    Tuesday, February 15 @ 1:00 PM ET – 2:30 PM ET
  • Executive Committee Call:
    Monday, February 21 @ 1:00 PM ET
  • 2011 Annual Conference Committee Call:
    Thursday, February 24 @12:30 PM ET

NCHN Orientation Sessions

NCHN has scheduled 2 more Orientation Sessions!

The Orientation Sessions will provide an overview of the programs and services of NCHN and review the benefits of your membership. This will also give you the opportunity to meet other new NCHN members and/or recently hired network directors. (We are using the term “recently” very liberal --as some of the directors may have been in their positions for several months, but not had the opportunity to attend a NCHN conference and/or an orientation call.)

The following items will be discussed: Mission of NCHN; Strategic Plan and Goals for 2010-2013; Membership Benefits; Business Partners Program; Committees.

  • Friday, February 11: 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET
  • Wednesday, February 23: 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Pre-registration is required: To register for one of these sessions, email

Peer-to-Peer Sharing Sessions with HRSA Network Planning Grantees

  • February 16 @ 1:30 PM ET
>> More information on Peer-to-Peer Sharing Sessions...

+ NCHN Members' News

National Rural Health Resource Center has released their 2010 Annual Summary, which includes the following highlights:

  • President's Letter
  • Performance Improvement
  • Health Information Technology
  • Recruitment & Retention
  • Community Health Assessments
  • Networking
  • Others...

>> View NRHRC's email release... (Source: 2010 Annual Summary from the National Rural Health Resource Center, email sent Feb. 2, 2011)

Share your Network's news with other NCHN Members...
Send a link to your news by email to

2011 NCHN Conference+ 17th Annual NCHN Conference

Don't miss your networking opportunity of 2011!

Please join us in Scottsdale, AZ, April 17-20, 2011 for the annual gathering of NCHN members.  This year’s Conference Planning Committee has been working extra hard to plan a conference that promises to make an impact!  With two pre-conference workshop offerings, along with two and half days of educational sessions, all aimed at improving your skills as a network leader, there is something for everyone.  Members of the Conference Planning Committee have strived to provide all conference participants with take home tools that will assist you in boosting the success of your network. 

+ Health information now third most-popular search topic on U.S. Internet

Seeking health information has become the third most-prevalent activity among American Internet users, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. In the survey, 8 out of 10 Internet users report going online for health information, even if it’s only occasionally. People most commonly look up diseases, treatments and doctors, often on behalf of a child or other dependent. “In many ways, the Internet has become the de facto second opinion,” Pew Research Associate Director Susannah Fox said. “People go online to prepare for a doctor’s appointment--or recover from it.” The only things more universal among Internet users were exchanging e-mail and using search engines, according to Pew Research. African Americans, Latinos, people 65 and older, disabled adults and those living in households with less than $30,000 annual income were less likely to use the Internet for medical reasons, the survey notes.

>> Read the full story (pdf)... (Source: Telemedicine and e-Health News Altert, Feb. 4, 2011)

+ SNHPA Complimentary Webinar on 340B for Prospective Members (February 24)

Congress recently enacted the most dramatic changes to the 340B drug discount program since the program’s inception. Not only is there a significant increase in the number and categories of hospitals participating in the 340B program, there are new compliance requirements that will affect every 340B stakeholder, including your hospital.

To make sure your hospital is well-informed on the issues and opportunities related to 340B, Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access (SNHPA) is hosting a complimentary, interactive webinar on Thursday, February 24, from 1:00-2:30 PM (Eastern Time). SNHPA is a non-profit membership organization in Washington,  D.C. that represents close to 700 hospitals enrolled in 340B. Whether your hospital has been in the 340B program two months or 10 years, this free webinar will address your key questions in operations, compliance, and maximizing your program savings. You will learn about the latest developments in efforts to extend 340B discounts to the inpatient setting, resulting in millions of dollars in savings, as well as efforts to address a variety of regulatory and legislative threats to the program.

Who Should Attend: Pharmacy directors, CFO's, in-house counsel, government relations directors and compliance officers. 

Speakers and Agenda: The webinar will be moderated by Bill von Oehsen, President and General Counsel and Rita Baskett, Director of Pharmacy and Educational Services. Mr. von Oehsen was deeply involved in drafting the original 340B law as well as the changes that were included in the health reform law. Rita Baskett was a pharmacy manager at Carolinas Healthcare System for six years and has extensive experience with 340B and patient assistance programs. Topics to be discussed include, among others:

  • Implementing effective strategies to enhance your 340B savings;
  • Addressing key operational issues and challenges;
  • Complying with the program's dynamic and complex requirements;
  • Selecting the best inventory management solutions for your facility;
  • Properly billing Medicaid;
  • Seizing opportunities to generate revenue using contract pharmacy arrangements;
  • Properly utilizing 340B for employees, long term care, managed care and other populations;
  • Engaging in advocacy efforts to repeal the prohibition against using 340B for orphan drugs for children’s and rural hospitals.

>> For more information about the webinar or SNHPA membership, please contact SNHPA Manager of Member Services Karen Hicks at or (202) 552-5854.

Registration: This event is free for hospitals, but registration is required. To register, please click here.  The registration deadline is February 22.

About SNHPA: SNHPA is the only national organization whose sole focus is to advocate on behalf of 340B hospitals. We also provide a large array of technical resources for effective and efficient day-to-day management of your 340B business. For more information about SNHPA, click on

+ NASI releases legislative toolkit to aid states in creation of online health exchanges

The National Academy of Social Insurance has released a legislative toolkit to help states design health insurance exchanges (HIEs) required by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The toolkit offers advice and tips in areas such as governance, establishment of exchanges for small employers, eligibility determination and enrollment, certification of qualified health plans, and coordination with Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The kit can also come in handy in terms of allocation of federal funding awarded to states that develop HIEs. In 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1 million each to 48 states and the District of Columbia to begin designing online HIEs, and to study the readiness of information technology systems and infrastructure. The toolkit is funded by a $450,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

>> Read the full story (pdf)... (Source: Telemedicine and e-Health News Altert, Feb. 4, 2011)

+ Reminder: HRSA Grant Opportunities

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has grants of up to $100,000 available to help Rural Community Partnerships purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and provide training in their use in rural areas.

Deadline: 2/28/2011

>> Learn more and apply...

HRSA is also offering grants of up to $80,000 to nonprofit and public agencies that are not current Section 330 grantees to plan for the development of comprehensive Section 330 primary care health centers in medically underserved communities.

Deadline: 3/18/2011

>> Get more information...

+ RESCHEDULED: AgriSafe Webinar

February 9, 2011
12:00 - 1:00 PM CT

Health Reform Can Mean Improving Health of Rural People

Presenter: Keith Mueller, PhD, Gerhard Hartman Professor and Head of the Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Iowa

Participants attending this session will be able to:

  1. Learn of provisions in the Affordable Care Act that could be used  to improve services in rural communities
  2. Understand how to integrate independent programs to benefit rural communities
  3. Learn how rural residents might benefit from expanded access to affordable health plans
  4. Understand  how to use new programs in health workforce training to improve cost effectiveness of the system

Session link:
Enter your name in the guest login box and click on 'Enter Room'
The session will be recorded and the archives can be accessed from

This webinar series is made possible by support from the National Rural Health Association.

+ CHIPRA Turns Two

To mark the second anniversary of  the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 , HHS is releasing the 2010 CHIPRA Anniversary Report (pdf), “Connecting Kids to Coverage:  Continuing the Progress”. This report highlights state, federal and community efforts to enroll all eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 

>> Read more (Source: Update | email sent Feb. 3, 2011)

+ NRHA CEO Alan Morgan meets with CMS Administrator Don Berwick

Just last week CMS Administrator Don Berwick, MD, told 400 NRHA Policy Institute attendees he hoped they'd be direct and generous with their comments. CEO Alan Morgan wasted no time. Click here to see NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog for more on the issues Morgan outlined for Berwick today.

(Source: NRHA Rural Health Connect, email sent Feb. 3, 2011)

+ Funding Opportunity: Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity and partners are pleased to send to you information on a Funding Opportunity Announcement related to Childhood Obesity Research.

Background: The objective of the research demonstrations is to determine whether an integrated model of primary care and public health approaches in the community can improve underserved children’s risk factors for obesity.  These approaches may include policy, systems, and environmental supports that encourage nutrition and physical activity for underserved children and their families.

Approach: Grantees will develop, implement, and evaluate multi-sectoral (i.e., childcare, school, community, health care), multi-level (i.e. child, family, organization, community, policy) intervention demonstration projects for underserved children ages 2-12 years and their families utilizing the  Obesity Chronic Care Model and other similar models. The Obesity Chronic Care Model provides a framework to integrate primary care and public health approaches with an intent to guides the design of strategies, approaches, systems, and/or tools to ultimately prevent and reduce childhood obesity.

The closing date for this FOA is April 8, 2011.

To Access the Announcement & Application Package:

1. Go to:<
2. Select: “For Applicants”
3. Select: “Find Grant Opportunities"
4. Select: “Basic Search”
5. Type in the Funding Opportunity Number, formatted as: RFA-DP-11-007

(Source: ORHP/CBD Announcements, Week of Jan. 31 - Feb. 4, email sent Feb. 4, 2011)

+ RAC launches Rural Training Track web portal

The Rural Training Track (RTT) Technical Assistance program, supported by the Office of Rural Health Policy, announces the launch of a dedicated web portal designed to connect stakeholders and RTT program administrators. The web portal, which recently went live, serves as an outlet for information pertaining to the assistance program. 

Operated and maintained by the Rural Assistance Center (RAC), the portal offers a conduit for communication between organizations working directly with the grant and members of the public who are interested in learning more about the efforts of RTTs and the challenges of medical residency programs in rural, underserved areas of the country.

>>The new RTT web portal can be accessed at (Source: ORHP/CBD Announcements, Week of Jan. 31 - Feb. 4, email sent Feb. 4, 2011)

+ ORHP: 2008 Network Development Grantee...

(From ORHP)

One of our 2008 Network Development grantees in MD will have its telepsychiatry project presented at the American Telemedicine Association 16th Annual International Meeting & Exposition to be held in Tampa, FL in May.  The ATA Annual Meeting is the premier educational and networking event for individuals involved in health technology and remote medical services.  ATA 2011 is a forum for reaching the world’s largest gathering of telehealth professionals–over 4000 researchers, clinicians, administrators, technicians and entrepreneurs, all focused on the development of telemedicine.  It is the single most important telehealth event of the year!

One of the 8 topical educational tracks at the conference is Telemental Health.  Jean Honey, with Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems and Network Director of the Telepsychiatry Network Program in Easton, MD, along with 3 other panelists, will show the effectiveness of telepsychiatry from the perspective of a provider, coordinator, a consumer and clinician – Bringing Telepsychiatry to Rural Communities: A Model Grant Collaboration in MarylandJean’s abstract of the Originating Site Fee Development has also been chosen as a poster presentation.

(Source: ORHP/CBD Announcements, Week of Jan. 31 - Feb. 4, email sent Feb. 4, 2011)

+ HRSA Health Information Technology and Quality Webinar

“Tips on Open Source EHR Systems in the Safety Net Community” Thursday, February 10, 2011
2pm to 3:30pm EST

This webinar focuses on open source Electronic Health Records (EHR) for the safety net community.  Open Source EHRs are systems that are either free or very low cost to implement. The presenters will provide an overview of the types of open source systems, the benefits and challenges of using open source EHRs, and how these systems can be used effectively to meet the Meaningful Use requirements and provide high quality care to meet population health needs. In addition, one speaker will present on how his rural federally qualified health center selected the use of  RPMS (a free EHR system which was developed by Indian Health Service) to support its clinical services.  A second presenter will talk about his health center’s selection of Worldvista (Based on the Veterans Administration EHR System) and how it supports UDS reporting requirements.

The presenters include:

  • Jason Goldwater, M.A., M.P.A., Health IT Program Manager,  NORC
  • Matthew King, M.D., VistAdoc,LLC and former Chief Medical Officer of Clinica Adelanta
  • Dave Campbell, CEO and Sarah Chouinard, M.D., Clinical Lead, Community Health Network of West Virginia

>> Register online...

Please email questions or comments to HRSA’s Health IT mailbox at:
Previous HRSA Health and Quality Webinars can be found at:

+ A Note about CMS News Archives


Over the last few weeks, we’ve received a handful of inquires from partners and providers about the availability of these e-News messages online, so as to be able to refer others to content that’s of interest.

Well, there’s good news.  The content of all the Provider e-News messages (dating back over years, when these messages went by other titles as well) is archived on the CMS website, and new content is usually available within a day or two of being mailed to e-News subscribers.  You can find (and direct others to) the archive at

As always, let us know if you have any other questions.  We’re always available at

My best—

Robin Fritter

(Source: CMS Medicare FFS Provider e-News for Fri Feb 4, email sent Feb. 4, 2011)

+ Brain Teaser of the Week: Einstein's Riddle


A man spends one fifth of the money in his wallet.
He then spends one fifth of what remains in the wallet.
He spends $36.00 in all.

>> View the answer... (I'd put a fifth of the money in my wallet on the bet that any of our readers who try this will get it! If you didn't get it, I will give you - first person to confess - $1.10 at the 2011 Conference. Disclaimer: you might also be outed in the next Weekly)

>> Get more puzzles from

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