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NCHN eNews
June 7, 2011
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. This week, we are pleased to announce a new member - Gorge Health Connect (OR). We are also excited to share that NRHA CEO Alan Morgan is in the running for Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare for 2011. You can vote for him here. Elsewhere, please note the next quarterly membership call, upcoming events, and national news. Have a great week!

As always, if you have news to share or have feedback, please email us.







New Member

Please join the Board in welcoming Gorge Health Connect (The Dalles, OR) and Brian Ahier as an NCHN Member.

GHC was organized in 2010. Its purpose is Health Information Exchange (HIE) and its mission is to improve the consumer experience, enhance provider efficiency, and improve clinical outcomes via a secure, apolitical, value-based information exchange solution.

Brian Ahier, President
Ph: 541-298-1188

Vote NRHA CEO Alan Morgan into the top 100 most influential people in health care

For the sixth time, NRHA CEO Alan Morgan is in the running for Modern Healthcare magazine's "100 most influential people in health care" competition. More than 414,000 nominations were received, and the ballot of 300 candidates is based on those nominations.

Alan spoke during the closing session of the 2011 NCHN Annual Conference this year in Scottsdale. Alan and NRHA have been key supporters of NCHN and we hope you will take a moment to support him!

» VOTE FOR ALAN (Deadline: June 24, 2011)

From the Forum

There are no new Topics posted this week. Have a question for the members?


Painting Competition
At a recent painting competition, Eileen's rendition of a Constable was not last. Jenny only just managed to avoid last place and came third. The lady who painted a Monet was very successful and took first place. Ada beat the lady who painted the Taylor and the lady who painted the Van Gogh beat Vera. Can you determine who painted what and who won?


Quarterly Membership Call

“Is it a Bull You Need to Consider Riding? – ‘Accountable Care Organizations’ --- The latest since Scottsdale!”

Monday, June 13 @ 12:30 – 1:30 PM ET

Heman A. Marshall, III, Principal, Woods Rogers, PLC, Roanoke, Virginia, will provide a follow-up to his presentation in Scottsdale on the Affordable Care Act’s provision related to the formation of Accountable Care Organizations. Mr. Marshall will lead a discussion with network leaders regarding the latest information about this proposed program that will assist them in their role of providing the latest and most up to-date information to their members.

There is no charge for the call, but registration is required. Please email Debbie at if you plan to be on the call. You will receive instructions via email. Please feel free to share this information with your network members. If they would like to participate they need to pre-register with Debbie.



No new member news this week! If you have network news, send it to for inclusion in the next newsletter.



NRHA's Quality and Clinical Conference: Network and explore quality clinical care, as well as the Black Hills

July 20 - 22, 2011
Rapid City, SD

Make time to network with your colleagues at NRHA’s Quality and Clinical Conference July 20-22 in Rapid City, S.D. This interactive event is designed specifically for quality and performance improvement coordinators, researchers, hospital administrators, and doctors and nurses practicing on the front lines of rural health care.

Last year's attendees said the variety of topics presented was "excellent," and they loved the "real-world examples" of successful rural health care collaborations between hospitals and other organizations.

The sixth annual event will feature:

  • telehealth and quality innovations and solutions
  • a tour and hands-on demonstration of a mobile health unit that serves rural populations 
  • a keynote address from Mark Levine, MD, chief medical officer at the Denver Region Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • the impact ACOs may have on rural hospitals, post-acute care and physician providers


Webinar: A rapid, serial, multi-marker approach for managing acute coronary syndrome in the emergency department

June 9, 2011
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

Upon completion of the program, the attendee will be able to:

  • Review the history of ACS biomarkers
  • Outline current guidelines for the diagnosis of chest pain patients
  • Discuss the data supporting various strategies for the rapid triage of chest pain patients

This program is acceptable for up to 1 credit hour by P.A.C.E. Alere is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. Program.


Webinar: The Joint Commission Hospital Standards for Emergency Management and the Survey Process

June 28, 2011 @ 1:00 PM ET

Is your hospital prepared for the next Joint Commission survey? These surveys are now unannounced, rather than planned, as they were in the past. When the surveyors come through your hospital’s door, key managers, directors, or members of the administrative staff may not be on site that day. The focus of accreditation is shifting from preparing for the "exam" to continuously using the standards as a means to achieve and maintain excellent operational systems, and deriving significant internal benefits.
Join our complimentary webcast presented by the Joint Commission to:
·         Review key Joint Commission Emergency Management Standards
·         Get suggestions to help your hospital meet these standards
·         Identify best practices
·         Learn what to expect during the survey process

David Dagenais, BS, SASHE, CHFM, CHSP
Life Safety Code Specialist
Mr. Dagenais has been a Joint Commission Life Safety Code Specialist since 2010 and is trained under the Accreditation Manual for Hospitals.


SNHPA Webinar: Rural/Free-Standing Cancer Hospital - Orphan Drug Discount Prohibition Proposed Regulation

June 8, 2011
1:00 - 2:15 PM ET

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) barred rural and free-standing cancer hospitals new to 340B from obtaining discounts on orphan drugs, which are often used to treat cancer and other serious diseases and conditions. They also include blood factor product used to treat bleeding disorders and expensive IVIG therapies. The orphan drug restriction does not impact DSH or children’s hospitals. SNHPA has been working diligently to address this problematic policy. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on May 20 published a long-awaited proposed regulation on this matter. We are writing to invite you to participate in a webinar on Wednesday, June 8 from 1:00-2:15 PM (Eastern) to summarize the guidance and to get your input on the regulation and its impact on your hospital. SNHPA will submit comments to HRSA and will be asking our members to also comment. The proposed regulation would limit the prohibition on 340B pricing "to uses for the rare disease or condition for which the orphan drug was designated." Rural and cancer hospitals would be free to purchase an orphan drug at its 340B price if the drug is used for a non-orphan indication. The hospitals would have to put in place "tracking and recordkeeping requirements to demonstrate compliance with the limits on the use of orphan drugs.” We will address these requirements during the webinar and are eager to get your input.

The webinar is free for members and corporate partners and $50 for prospective member hospitals. Registration is required for all attendees. To register, click here for more information. The deadline is June 7th.


SNHPA Webinar: Rural/Free-Standing Cancer Hospital - Orphan Drug Discount Prohibition Proposed Regulation

June 9, 2011
1:00 - 2:30 PM ET

The Affordable Care Act, which was enacted by Congress over a year ago, included a number of important provisions pertaining to the 340B drug discount program. Indeed, perhaps your hospital is now eligible for 340B thanks to this legislation. However, there are many new developments in 340B, developments which have significant implications for every hospital in this federal program. The government is expected to publish guidance imminently that is likely to restrict the patient populations and clinics eligible for 340B discounts. There are also efforts by Medicaid and other programs to reduce reimbursement to 340B providers. Finally, new regulations defining the scope of the orphan drug discount prohibition for newly eligible rural and free-standing cancer hospitals have just been issued by the government.

Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access (SNHPA), a non-profit membership organization that represents over 700 hospitals nationwide enrolled in 340B, is working hard to address these and other challenges. We encourage you to attend a complimentary webinar on Thursday, June 9 from 1:00-2:30 PM (Eastern Time) where you can learn about how your hospital can engage in SNHPA’s advocacy efforts, and how we can support you in reducing your hospital’s drug costs and ensuring compliance with this complex and dynamic federal program. You will also learn about SNHPA’s efforts aimed at extending 340B to the inpatient setting and lifting the orphan drug discount ban.

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

This event is free for hospitals, but registration is required.




National Rural Health Day - November 17th

NOSORH Selects, Partners Endorse November 17 as First National Rural Health Day

Mark your calendars – the first National Rural Health Day will be Thursday, November 17!
National Rural Health Day is the major piece of a new NOSORH campaign to recognize and celebrate the Power of Rural! Our hope is to make National Rural Health Day an annual event that highlights rural communities as wonderful places to live and work; increases awareness of rural healthrelated issues; and promotes the efforts of SORHs and NOSORH in addressing those issues.

NOSORH recently met with several of its closest rural partners to seek their feedback regarding National Rural Health Day. The National Rural Health Association, Rural Recruitment
and Retention Network, National Cooperative of Health Networks and Office of Rural Health Policy
provided suggestions for refining the proposed key messages and indicated a willingness to encourage their members and partners to join the celebration as well.

Stay tuned for more information and resources throughout the summer and at the NOSORH Annual Meeting in September. In the meantime, NOSORH is asking SORHs to be prepared to:
• Share the news – tell your partners, media contacts, etc. (NOSORH will provide a fact sheet and generic media releases)
• Seek gubernatorial/legislative proclamations (NOSORH will provide template)
• Put the National Rural Health Day logo on your website
• Celebrate on November 17 (which could be as simple as answering your phones by saying “Happy
National Rural Health Day”)

» For more information, contact NOSORH Communications Coordinator Bill Hessert or Communications Committee Co-chair Karen Madden

Fact Sheet: Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers

May 6, 2011 (CMS News Release) - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes the unique needs and challenges of rural communities and the importance of rural providers in assuring access to health care. Critical access hospitals (CAHs), federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and rural health clinics (RHCs) play an important role in the nation’s health care delivery system by serving as safety net providers of primary care and other health care services in rural and other underserved areas and for low-income beneficiaries. On March 31, 2011, CMS released proposed new rules to help doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers better coordinate care for Medicare patients through Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The proposed rule includes four specific provisions designed to increase rural participation in the Medicare Shared Savings program.


AHRQ: New Resources to Care for Community-Dwelling Patients During Emergency Events

Two new resources from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality can help emergency planners and responders ensure that community-dwelling patients receive appropriate care during a mass casualty event (MCE).

Community-dwelling patients with daily health care needs may not be directly affected by a mass casualty event but if that event disrupts their usual care routine, they may still be at risk. Lacking a usual source of care, these patients are more likely to seek care at hospitals already overburdened with mass casualties.

The "Home Health Patient Assessment Tool: Preparing for Emergency Triage," reviews existing patient categorization tools and presents a new model patient risk assessment tool. The new tool will allow home care agencies, hospitals, and emergency planners to anticipate the needs of community-dwelling patients and assess who might be most at risk of hospitalization if their traditional home support services are disrupted during an emergency. » Access the report tool...

The compendium of resources available in "Data Sources for the At-Risk Community-Dwelling Patient Population," provides a summary of each data resource, including its strengths and limitations for estimating the numbers of community-dwelling patients at risk during an MCE, as well as any areas of overlap with other data resources. » Read the report...


Approximately $40 million in Affordable Care Act funds for statewide chronic disease prevention programs

June 7, 2011 (HHS News Release) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the availability of approximately $40 million to strengthen and better coordinate activities within state and territorial health departments aimed at preventing chronic diseases and promoting health. Created by the Affordable Care Act, this initiative targets the nation’s five leading chronic disease-related causes of death and disability: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis.

“Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year, and they account for about three-fourths of the more than $2.5 trillion our nation spends annually on medical care,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Fortunately, many chronic diseases are preventable, and these new resources will assist states and territories in the implementation of proven prevention and wellness programs that will save lives and lower health care costs for all Americans.”




MultiPlan to Award $30,000 in Grants to Rural Hospitals

MultiPlan is accepting applications for its 2011 Rural Health Outreach Grant.

The grant is available to rural hospitals participating in one or more of MultiPlan's healthcare provider networks including PHCS, MultiPlan, Beech Street, HealthEOS and Texas True Choice. An application for the grant is posted in the Providers section of MultiPlan's website at Completed applications must be received by July 29, 2011. Grant recipients will be announced in September.  





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