Not displaying correctly? View this email in your web browser... Miss an issue? View the archives...
NCHN eNews
January 17, 2012
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. We know that, among you - our readers - there are numerous outstanding examples of innovative strategizing and intense commitment to rural health. To that end, NRHA is seeking nomintations for 2012 Rural Health Awards. The deadline is February 8th, so act soon if you plan to nominate a practitioner, student, educator, organization, researcher, or program. Find out more here. Elsewhere in the news, the Center for Rural Affairs (NE) is looking for rural community success stories for a new section in its newsletter. You can find out more here.

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 NEWS FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Reserve Your Room for the 2012 NCHN Annual Educational Conference

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

The Curtis has opened reservations for the 2012 NCHN Annual Educational Conference in Denver, Colorado.

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




Lighter than what I am made of, more of me is hidden than is seen. What am I?



2012 Dues Assessments

Dues assessments are necessary to determine your membership dues for 2012. If you have not completed your dues assessment, please take a moment to fill it out online (estimated time to complete: < 5 minutes).

Special Thanks to the following members who have already submitted their 2012 Dues Assessments:


Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, January 17 @ 1:00 PM ET

Coffee Chat with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, January 18 @ 11:00 AM ET

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

2012 Conference Planning Committee Call
Monday, January 23 @ 2:00 PM ET




Member Newsletters

  • Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network: January 2012 issue
    » READ (pdf)




NRHA: 2012 Rural Health Awards Nominations

January 13, 2012

Each year the National Rural Health Association honors outstanding individuals and organizations in the field of rural health at its Annual Conference, and 2012 will be no exception. Act now to nominate your favorite rural health professional or student in hopes that they might be known and honored nationally for dedicating their time and talents to improving the health and well-being of others. The entry deadline is Feb. 8.

NRHA strongly prefers online submissions. Please click here to submit a nomination online. If you prefer to submit a paper or e-mailed submission, or if you have questions about the Rural Health Awards, contact Donna Douglas at or 816.756.3140.




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


Roadmap for Success in ICD-10 Readiness--Presented with Elsevier

Webinar: Thursday, January 19th, 2012 @ 2:30 PM EST

The upcoming transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is the subject of great conversation and stress across the healthcare industry. In this free webinar, experts from Elsevier and will educate you about some of the innovative and customized e-learning tools that can ensure your staff is ready.

Learn how the right e-learning tools maximize efficiency by utilizing focused, prescriptive training, and monitoring of staff progress. The take-aways from this informative session will include how and when to start the preparation of your staff and how to do so with the least possible disruption of operations.


HRSA Health IT and Quality Webinar

"Tips For Engaging Safety Net Patients Using Health IT”

January 20, 2012 @ 2:00 PM ET

This webinar provides tips on how safety net providers and staff can use health information technology (IT) to increase patient engagement.  Health IT systems provide powerful tools that enable safety net providers to view a range of health information about their patients.  This includes generating graphs and charts through an electronic medical record or patient portal that displays critical information such as a patient’s weight, blood sugar levels, or other health factors over a period of time; as well as the ability to message with patients about their health needs. Safety net providers can use this resource for engaging patients in their healthcare environments and communicating to them how they can achieve better health outcomes. Webinar speakers will speak from the perspective of rural inpatient and health center primary care settings.  In addition, speakers will provide tips on how health literacy can foster better patient communication, the use of patient portals and kiosks as a tool for patient engagement, and how doctors can best work and engage with patients who now have access to their health information.


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.


Wipfli Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conference

January 31 - February 2, 2012
Bloomington, MN

The 12th Annual Rural Health Clinic Forum and Critical Access Hospital Conference are again being held together, giving you the chance to attend one or both! This event is designed to help organizations like yours succeed through quality education and the opportunity to communicate directly with regulators and existing RHCs and CAHs.




National Rural Health Resource Center Receives Contract to Provide Technical Assistance to Rural HIT Networks

January 11, 2012 ( | News) - The National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center), a national  nonprofit organization based in Duluth, MN, has been awarded a three  year, $1.2 million contract from the U.S. Department of Health and  Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Office  of Rural Health and Primary Care to provide technical assistance for  the Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (RHITND)  Grantees.


States Move Forward on Health Policy

January 2012 (Center for Rural Affairs) - Buying health insurance will soon be easier and more affordable when each state creates its own “exchange,” or marketplace. It’s a good idea because consumers and small businesses need clear information about how much a plan costs or what benefits it includes to make smart decisions.

The new marketplaces will also protect us from unfair practices insurance companies have used in the past. Unfortunately, an idea that previously enjoyed bipartisan support has become embroiled in controversy.

And the deadlines are approaching.

The vast majority of states are making progress, some faster than others. All but six states (AK, KS, OK, LA, FL & NH) received federal planning grants of up to $1 million to explore how to establish a health insurance marketplace. Subsequent grants will fund the process of actually creating the marketplace.


Affordable Care Act holding insurers accountable for premium hikes

January 12, 2012 (HHS News Release) - Health insurance premium increases in five states have been deemed “unreasonable” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.

After independent expert review, HHS determined that Trustmark Life Insurance Company has proposed unreasonable health insurance premium increases in five states—Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming.  The excessive rate hikes would affect nearly 10,000 residents across these five states.


AHRQ: New patient-centered medical home brief and white paper now available

January 10, 2012 (AHRQ Newsletter) - A new decisionmaker brief and white paper from AHRQ discuss how to improve the quality of the evidence and evaluations for the Patient-Centered Medical Home to ensure optimal policy decisions. The decisionmaker brief offers a concise description of why and how to commission effective evaluations of medical home demonstrations. It provides insights into which outcomes to assess, why to include control practices, and why accounting for clustering is critical to accurate evaluations. The white paper provides information about how to determine the effect sizes a given study can expect to detect, identifies the number of patients and practices required to detect achievable effects, and demonstrates how evaluators can select the outcomes and types of patients included in analyses to improve a study's ability to detect true effects


Rural Health: eEmergency system provides help in 20 seconds
by Barry Amundson, Reporter

January 12, 2012 (Tri-State Neighbor) - As it enters its third year, the eEmergency system of Avera Health has no plans to slow down as it expands and continues to help smaller rural facilities - and a few larger ones - in six states provide more efficient and timely patient care in emergency rooms.

Dr. Don Kosiak, director of what is the world's largest such system with a hub in Sioux Falls, S.D., said the economy of scale is important as the staff of 10 emergency room physicians and a team of 16 critical care nurses staff the headquarters to help increase access to rural health care and respond to emergency room patients in the region on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis through its telemedicine system.


Rural Hospitals Band Together for Insurance-Buying Power
by Alexandra Wilson Pecci

January 12, 2012 (HealthLeaders Media) - There's buying power in numbers, and rural Texas hospitals are looking to capitalize on that power.

The Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness among its 150 members about its insurance program. Low insurance premiums can be difficult to come by for small, rural hospitals. But that changes when hospitals band together to buy their insurance, says David Pearson, TORCH president and CEO.




Educating Women about Programs, Benefits, and Rights under the Affordable Care Act (RFP)

Funding is available to support activities and events that provide awareness and education to women living in the United States and its affiliated territories on the programs, benefits, and rights under the Affordable Care Act. These activities can cover differ-ent areas of the Affordable Care Act such as preventive services, Medicare benefits, reducing health disparities, and the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Educational sessions should target women and provide them with information that will allow them to make informed health care decisions for themselves and their families. It is important to target women because they are more likely to be the primary health care decision makers for themselves and/or their family.

Applications are due by January 20, 2012.


Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center Special Projects Grants

Purpose: The NRTRC is an organization that supports growth in telemedicine and telehealth through the sharing of information, leveraging a community of experience and expertise, and collaborative activities that benefit communities served through increased access to healthcare delivered through telehealth. Projects selected will be requested to share tools developed and information and lessons learned with NRTRC membership.

Applications are due by February 3, 2012.


State Implementation Grants for Systems of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

Purpose: This grant program improves access to a quality, comprehensive, coordinated community-based systems of services for CYSHCN and their families that is family-centered and culturally competent. This grant program improves access to a quality, comprehensive, coordinated community-based system of services for CYSHCN and their families that is family-centered and culturally competent.

The initiative supports grants to assist State Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) programs, family organizations, providers, and other partners to implement the six core outcomes of a system of services based on evidence based practices for CYSHCN.

Applications are due by March 1, 2012.


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.



NCHN Logo National Cooperative of Health Networks
Contact Us | About Us |
To learn more about membership and to join, go to
or contact Christy Sullenberger at