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NCHN eNews
January 3, 2012
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed some time off and festive gatherings with family and friends.

Before NCHN closed for the holidays, you should have received an email from Rebecca with NCHN's 2011 In Review. If you have not had a chance to read it, you can check it out below. It's a long list of what we - members, partners, and friends of NCHN - have accomplished together. We have exciting plans for 2012 and we hope you will all be part of them. To that end, don't forget that dues assessments are due Friday, January 6th.

In Member News, Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance has shared information about their HIE project. Enjoy!

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.







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2012 Dues Assessments

Due: Friday, January 6, 2012

Once again, the Directors are pleased to announce that the NCHN dues structure will remain the same!  The last dues increase for NCHN was seven years ago! Please continue your membership in NCHN by completing and submitting the 2012 Dues Assessment form by Friday, January 6, 2012. Invoices can be distributed via email ASAP once your assessment form is received.  Your electronic invoice will be from




Everyone knows that both Christmas Day and New Year's Day always fall on the same day of the week. However, in 1939, the year of the outbreak of World War II, Christmas fell on a Monday and New Year's fell on a Sunday. Why?



Rebecca DavisFrom the Executive Director: 2011 in Review
Rebecca J. Davis, Ph.D.

December 22, 2011 - It is once again time to look back over the events of the current year and as always, I am amazed and so thankful to have the opportunity to work with such a dedicated group of professionals!  NCHN is a membership organization and without the support and dedication of each one of you the list of accomplishments below would not be possible.

We thank the members that have volunteered their time to serve as Directors and Officers of the Association for 2011.  We thank the many, many members that have given of their time and expertise by serving on NCHN Committees, participating in our new monthly Coffee/Tea Chat Program; volunteering to serve as Executive Coaches; supporting other network leaders through the sharing of information and examples; and for attending our Annual Conference and first Leadership Summit in 2011! 

It has been an exciting year for NCHN. The Board of Directors and Officers have worked very hard to provide programming that meets the needs of our diverse membership. During 2011, NCHN has provided the following programs, services and/or activities to network leaders across the country:

  • 2011 Annual Conference in Scottsdale, AZ – This was the 17th Annual Conference of NCHN and again we had high attendance even though the newest HRSA Rural Health Network Development Planning Grantees could not be with us in Scottsdale – The final attendance count was 91! 
  • 2011Leadership Summit was implemented in September in Kansas City, Missouri.  The HRSA Rural Health Network Development Planning Grantees did attend and with their attendance the total registration was 48!   
  • The NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community was implemented after the Leadership Summit and consists of follow-up calls with the NCHN members that attended the Summit.  A leadership curriculum was developed and introduced at the Summit. The final session will be a face-to-face session at the 2012 Annual Educational Conference.  The Leadership Learning Community is a pilot this year and NCHN plans to implement the program fully in 2012.
  • The NCHN Executive Coaching Program continued with a special training session in Scottsdale in April 2011. Fourteen (14) members have participated in the quarterly training programs throughout 2011, which have been led by former NCHN VP President, Dr. Mary Kay Chess.
  • NCHN Quarterly Membership Calls program continued during 2011 with four (4) regularly scheduled calls that addressed the topics of Business Planning for Health Networks; Demonstrating Value and Membership Retention; Accountable Care Organizations: The Latest since Scottsdale; and Affordable Care Act: A Wisconsin Perspective. The Program Development Committee continues to coordinate this benefit and determined topics for the calls based on membership feedback to a Quarterly Membership Call Survey conducted earlier in the year.
  • NCHN Coffee/Tea Chats were introduced in March and have been held monthly throughout 2011. The one-hour, once a month call is the opportunity for NCHN members to connect with their peers to discuss whatever is on their minds. The average attendance for the monthly chats has been twelve (12).
  • Through December 15, thirty-five (35) questions have been posted to the NCHN Listserv from NCHN members. We received one hundred-eighteen (118) responses to the 35 questions.
  • Two (2) new Business Partners have been added to the NCHN Business Partner Program. New partners in 2011 are The Infant-Parent Institute – Consulting Division and Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, as a Member Business Partner. Negotiations are currently underway with the forthcoming announcement of two additional partners in early 2012.
  • Our continuing Business Partners include:
    CareerStaff Unlimited
    Five Career Advisors
    Forsyth-Stephens Consulting, LLC
    Fukuda Denshi USA
    Healthcare Management
    Hylant Group
    iVantage Health Analytics
    Medical Recovery Services
    Paradigm Learning
    ThermoFisher Scientific
    If you have not accessed the programs or services available through the Business Partner program, we would encourage you to do so during 2012!  You should have received the new revised and updated NCHN Business Partners Booklet

  • NCHN committees have been active and meeting on a monthly basis throughout the year. The bulk of NCHN’s planning, implementation of new programs, and management of existing member benefits is conducted through the committee system. This is each member’s opportunity to become more involved in the Association. If you haven’t served on a committee before, please consider serving your Association and peers by volunteering for a committee in 2012.
  • NCHN Network Membership We currently have 64 network members, which is an increase of two (2) Network organizations from the final count for 2010 organizational members; however, seven (7) of the 2011 members are new members to NCHN. NCHN members are located in thirty-two (32) states.   
  • The new NCHN Associate Member Program was implemented.  During 2011 three (3) individuals joined and one (1) organization joined.
  • The NCHN Weekly Update and eNews electronic distribution continued on a weekly basis. All 2011 editions are archived on the NCHN website.
  • NCHN continues its presence on Facebook, joined Twitter, and created a Linked-In Group during 2011.  If you are not following your Association on one or all of these electronic formats, please sign up to do so in 2012.
  • NCHN partnered with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) on their Policy Institute in January 2011 and will be a partner again in 2012. The Policy Institute will be January 30 – February 1, 2012.
  • And, just in case you missed it, NCHN headquarters moved to Montrose, Colorado!  (Of course, along with your Executive Director J) 
Plans for 2012, include:
  • Introduction of our new and expanded website;
  • Comprehensive Membership Survey;
  • 2012 Network Leader Salary & Benefit Survey;
  • 18th Annual Conference in Denver, CO – “”Health Networks of the Future – All Together Now” on April 15-18, 2012; 
  • The new NCHN Leadership Learning Community Program will be implemented, which will include the 2nd Annual Leadership Summit in September in Kansas City, Missouri;
  • The Executive Coaching Program will continue and coaching strategies will be offered to all NCHN members through special webinars;
  • Success stories will be collected and shared with Rural Assistance Center for posting on their website;
  • The NCHN Coffee/Tea Chats will continue;
  • The new Associate Member Program will be promoted to encourage former members to reconnect with NCHN;
  • Committees comprised of members will continue to meet and plan the work of the Association;
  • NCHN’s for-profit company, Rural Health Network Resources, LLC will develop and implement a Consulting Group; and
  • The Business Partner Program will continue to expand to meet members’ needs. 

Your Officers, Directors and NCHN staff hope you have realized the full benefit of your membership in 2011 and look forward to working with you to expand your member benefits and program offerings in 2012.

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

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

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




CCHA mapGetting Connected: Establishing North Carolina’s Newest Health Information Exchange
by Yvonne Hughes and Jim Burke, Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance

The Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange was established in 2010 as a means of electronically sharing medical information and services between hospitals, physician practices, and other providers in eastern North Carolina.  The project was created to enhance patient outcomes and physician collaboration by integrating regional health information systems.

After an extensive vendor selection process, CCHIE selected Medicity as the gateway for connecting its facilities. With the help of Medicity’s revolutionary iNexx system, physicians can more efficiently streamline the delivery of care process while enhancing communication among the patient’s care team.  For example, during a typical referral process, a physician must complete a referral form, fax it to the specialist, and then follow up with the specialist’s office to confirm they had received it. However, using iNexx, physicians can electronically send and track referrals, in addition to exchanging the patient’s care documentation.

CCHIE has seen very positive results in both its testing and current production phases.
During the first three days of testing, CCHIE was able to connect and transmit patient referrals between 10 previously unaffiliated practices.  After its official Go-Live in October 2011, it connected 5 unaffiliated hospitals with 17 unaffiliated physician practices.  In August, 2011, the first live patient referral was sent across the exchange grid.  Soon after, hospitals were successfully able to deliver results to participating physician practices.

CCHIE has been heralded across the North Carolina health care community.  In early 2011, CCHIE in conjunction with Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA), received an award from the prestigious Duke Endowment, a $1.46 million grant commending its efforts for expanding the HIE across eastern North Carolina.  With this endowment, CCHIE will add more than 140 physicians to the exchange by October 2012, primarily in rural, underserved areas of the state.

The HIE is planning continued expansion in 2012 and plans to have more than 300 physicians exchanging patient data by the end of next calendar year. 

For more information, contact:
Yvonne Hughes, MPA
Executive Director
Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance
(910) 332-8019 ph 
(910) 332-8042 fax

Employment Opportunities

Network Director: Prince of Wales Health Network
Location: Craig, AK

Community Health Manager at HCC of Lafayette County
Location: Lexington, MO




NRHA: President Obama signs two-month extension into law

December 23, 2011 (NRHA Blog) - President Obama signed the two-month payroll tax/Medicare extension into law after the House of Representatives officially passed the Senate extension bill Friday.

The measure, almost identical to a Senate-passed resolution, extends vital rural provisions for two months while congressional leaders work out a compromise for a year-long measure.

The Senate and House conference committees are expected to begin their work on funding the full-year tax cut/Medicare extensions after the New Year.

Join NRHA in continuing to advocate for the inclusion of all expiring rural provisions in any legislation at the Rural Health Policy Institute in Washington, DC. Attendees will learn firsthand about the development and implementation of health care policy at the federal level and meet with their members to discuss issues relevant to rural health care quality and access, including Medicare extenders. Click here to register.

Please continue to monitor this blog and NRHA’s congressional action kit for a full list of expiring provisions, updates and developments.

NRHA's 2012 Rural Health Awards
An awards event celebrating excellence in rural health

Nomination Deadline: February 8, 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 hope 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.




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.




Affordable Care Act helps 32 health systems improve care for patients, saving up to $1.1 billion
Leading health care providers will be Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations

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.


Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPRA) Performance Bonuses for FY 2011

December 28, 2011 (CMS Press Release) - The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) established “Performance Bonuses” for States to support the enrollment and retention of eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP.  Performance Bonuses provide additional federal funding for qualifying States that have taken specific steps to simplify Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment and renewal procedures and have also increased enrollment of children above a baseline level. 

The amount of the award correlates with the percentage increase in Medicaid enrollment above the baseline–the more children States enroll, the higher the bonus, and States that increase enrollment more than 10 percent above the baseline receive an even larger (“Tier 2”) bonus. The bonuses are awarded to qualifying States annually from FY 2009 – 2013. 

Fast Facts

  • More and more eligible children are enrolling in coverage.  CMS is awarding nearly $300 million in FY 2011 CHIPRA Performance Bonuses to 23 States in every region across the country.
  • The enrollment increases in the qualifying States ranged from 4 to 27 percent; and 16 of the 23 States had enrollment increases of more than 10 percent, qualifying them for a larger, “Tier 2,” bonus award.
  • All States that received a Performance Bonus in 2010 qualified again for 2011; seven of the States receiving bonuses this year are newly qualifying States.
  • States are continuing to improve their programs – five States now have six of the eight program features in place (the statute requires five strategies to qualify for a bonus). 


Obama Administration awards nearly $300 million to states for enrolling eligible children in health coverage (December 28, 2011, HHS News Release)
HHS to Pay $296M in Bonuses to States Meeting CHIP Targets (December 29, 2011, HealthLeaders Media)

Telemedicine requirements issued by accrediting body

December 20, 2011 (Telemedicine and e-Health News Alert) - The Joint Commission has issued final revisions to requirements related to credentialing and privileging of telemedicine practitioners in hospitals and critical-access hospitals. The standard requires licensed independent practitioners who are responsible for the care, treatment, and services of the patient via a telemedicine videoconference to have credentials and privileges at the originating site.


Doctor, nurse shortages unlikely, new research finds
by Lee Bowman

December 16, 2011 (ABC Action News) - Among the dire assumptions about the future of health care in the United States, one of the more persistent has been that the numbers of doctors and nurses are dwindling rapidly.

But several new reports released this fall suggest the shortfalls among key health workers may not be so great as once feared, at least on a national scale.


Rural Health Training Programs Spreading
by Alexandra Wilson Pecci

December 28, 2011 (HealthLeaders Media) - It's an oft-cited statistic: Only about 10% of physicians practice in rural areas, although nearly 25% of Americans live in rural areas. And though there are countless benefits to practicing in rural areas, provider recruitment and retention continues to be a challenge.

Rather than simply courting big-city providers and graduates, it's critical for rural communities and organizations to develop their own talent. Thankfully, that seems to be happening more and more often.




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.



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