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NCHN eNews
November 8, 2011 ONLY 9 days until National Rural Health Day
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. First and foremost, we are trying to complete the NCHN Member Directory for 2012. Please take a moment to view your network and complete any missing information. At present, this is far from complete! It will be much more useful to all members once all networks have a description. Networks are great resources for each other, and we want to facilitate your connections as much as possible. Please help us do that.

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.







NRHD November 17, 2011

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Board of Directors Call
Monday, November 14 @ 2:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, November 15 @ 1:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, November 16 @ 11:00 AM

National Rural Health Day
Thursday, November 17, 2011

NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community Session
Friday, November 18 @ 11:00 AM ET

2012 Annual Conference Planning Committee
Monday, November 21 @ 2:00 PM ET

NCHN Offices Closed for Thanksgiving
Thursday and Friday, November 24 & 25

NCHN Quarterly Membership Call
Business Plans for Networks
Monday, December 12 @ 2:00 PM ET



From the Forum

There are no new posts this week.


A woman lives in a skyscraper thirty-six floors high and served by several elevators which stop at each floor going up and down. Each morning she leaves her apartment and goes to one of the elevators. Whichever one she takes is three times more likely to be going up than down. Why?



Please Help Us Complete the NCHN Member Directory

Please take a look at the current NCHN Member Directory (pdf), review your contact information, and submit a description and photo for your primary contact. Email Christy with submissions or updates.

You may also revise or submit your Member Profile on the NCHN website.




ED Opening at North Country Health Consortium

Application deadline: November 23, 2011

The Northern NH Area Health Education Center/North Country Health Consortium is seeking a highly experienced leader to become its Executive Director. The ideal candidate will have an appropriate Masters Degree in public health, health systems administration, or similar.

AHEC/NCHC is a workforce education development center and vertical network of not for profit organizations. The Executive Director will lead innovative collaboration to improve health access to a regional population in the rural White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire.

Highly qualified candidates should submit letters of interest and curriculum vitae to the Chair of the Search Committee, Edward D Shanshala II, by email at Ed.Shanshala@ACHS-Inc.Org or by mail to 25 Mount Eustis Road, Littleton, New Hampshire 03561.




MedAssets Newsletter: October 2011

MedAssets, NCHN Silver Level Partner, has released its October 2011 newsletter.

It includes Industry Insights, Client Spotlight on the Transition to Reimbursement Reform, a Case Study, Expert Advice on Bundled Payment Solutions, Solution Spotlight (ICD-10 Transition, and more), Best Practice Center, and much more.


GrantStation Reminder

GrantStation offers nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies the opportunity to identify potential funding sources for their programs or projects as well as the resources to mentor these organizations through the grantseeking process. GrantStation provides access to searchable databases of private grantmakers that accept inquiries and proposals from a variety of organizations; federal deadlines, which are updated daily; links to state agency grant announcements; and a constantly growing database of international grantmakers.

GrantStation offers annual subscriptions to NCHN Members and their members at a significantly reduced rate. The normal price for an annual subscription is $599. NCHN Members can get full access for just $50/year. That is a $549 savings.

To subscribe to GrantStation ($50/year for full access to the website and search tools) or to be subscribed to GrantStation Insider weekly (FREE), contact Christy at


Sandi Durick elected to lead NRHA starting in 2013
Pierre, South Dakota

November 7, 2011 (The Republic) - A national association that advocates on rural health issues has named a Pierre woman as its next president.

Sandi Durick will serve as president-elect of the National Rural Health Association starting Jan. 1. She will take over as president in 2013. More than 20,000 people belong to the nonprofit organization that provides leadership on rural issues.




An AFFORDABLE CARE ACT and Behavioral Health Conference Call

Hosted By the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Tuesday, November 8, at 3:00 pm ET

Phone: 866-705-5077
Passcode: 6149465

Please send any questions you may have to

Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Final Rule Learning Session

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services invite you to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Final Rule Learning Session

November 10, 2011 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM CT
Chicago, IL
Tickets: Free

Hear from CMS experts about the recently released Final Rule regarding Accountable Care Organizations, which will help providers offer higher quality, more coordinated and patient-centered care and get rewarded for it.

Please join us for an in-person meeting on Thursday, November 10th, to discuss the final rule that includes new incentives for providers to work together through Accountable Care Organizations when caring for people with Medicare. There are also new tools to help doctors and other health care providers improve the quality of care for all patients.

This meeting is intended to help you understand what CMS wants to achieve through the various ACO models, and we welcome your questions in advance. Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible.

Submitting Questions
Please submit your questions in advance to by Wednesday, November 9th.


NOSORH Webinar: Introduction to Federal Workforce Programs that Affect Rural America

November 15, 2011 @ 2:00 PM EST


  • To increase the familiarity of rural health care providers and SORHs regarding selected Federal workforce funding opportunities outside of ORHP
  • Provide Web sites and contact information for additional information
  • To discuss a few non-HHS funding opportunities that may also be in interest to a rural audience


Emergency Alert System (EAS) Nationwide Test - November 9

On November 9, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time the Federal Communications Commission and FEMA will conduct the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). An announcement will come on every TV and radio channel indicating that there is an emergency. This will only be a test and you do not need to take any action. The purpose of this test is to find out how well the EAS can alert the public about dangers to life and property in the event of an actual emergency.


HRSA Health IT & Quality Webinar

“Tips For Overcoming the Gray Areas of Meaningful Use Stage 1 for Safety Net Providers”

November 18, 2011 @ 2:00 PM EST


Achieving Compliance with the Joint Commission’s Staffing Effectiveness Requirements
Offered by Concerro

November 29, 2011 @ 1:00 PM ET

Does your hospital have adequate staffing? Join Concerro for a complimentary staffing management webcast as the Joint Commission discusses how to ensure your facility is staffed effectively to provide quality patient care.

Attendees will learn valuable information on updated regulations around staffing effectiveness and how to identify whether or not your hospital has adequate staffing.
During this webcast you will learn how to:

  • Describe the Joint Commission’s staffing effectiveness approach
  • Identify one strategy to use in your organization’s effectiveness compliance activities
  • Apply updates to regulations to comply with what surveyors are looking for




Members of Congress sign bipartisan letter to protect rural hospitals
from the NRHA Blog

November 3, 2011 (Rural Health Voices) - The National Rural Health Association would like to applaud the 43 Members of Congress who signed on to a bipartisan letter from Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) urging the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to protect rural hospitals from devastating cuts.

Those Members of Congress are: Leonard Boswell (D-IA); Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Reid Ribble (R-WI);Ben Chandler (D-KY); Larry Kissell (D-NC); Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX); John Olver (D-MA); Bob Filner (D-CA); Peter Welch (D-VT); Sean Duffy (R-WI); Nick Rahall (D-WV); Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV); Tim Huelskamp (R-KS); Peter DeFazio (D-OR); David McKinley (R-WV); Maurice Hinchey (D-NY); Sam Graves (R-MO); Dave Loebsack (D-IA); Glenn Thompson (R-PA); Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA); Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Richard Hanna (R-CA); Bill Shuster (R-PA); Bill Owens (D-NY); Bill Flores (R-TX); Tom Petri (R-WI); Donald Manzullo (R-IL); Dan Boren (D-OK); Lynn Jenkins (R-KS); Shelley Berkley (D-NV); Alan Nunnelee (R-MS); Tom Cole (R-OK); Mike Thompson (D-CA); Steve King (R-IA); Mike Michaud (D-ME); Bruce Braley (D-IA); Bill Huizenga (R-MI); John Yarmuth (D-KY); Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Tom Latham (R-IA).

» Click here to access NRHA’s congressional action kit

ONC Extends Temporary EHR Certification Program
by Joseph Goedert

November 3, 2011 (HealthData Management) - National Health Information Technology Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, M.D., has delayed implementation of the permanent electronic health records meaningful use certification program until at least the summer of 2012.

The permanent program was scheduled to start in January 2012, but existing rules give ONC the authority to move the date if the program isn't ready. Six companies have been accredited to conduct certifications under the temporary program, but ONC does not envision having sufficient numbers of certification entities selected and ready for the permanent program until next summer, according to a notice published Nov. 3.


From the MLN: “Accountable Care Organizations: What Providers Need to Know” Fact Sheet Available
CMS Medicare FFS Provider e-News

November 3, 2011 - The new “Accountable Care Organizations: What Providers Need to Know” Fact Sheet (ICN 907406) is designed to provide education on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program.  It includes a definition of an ACO, and information on how to participate in an ACO, how shared savings will work, how this program is aligned with other quality initiatives, and how ACOs help doctors coordinate care.


Statement from Secretary Sebelius on National Native American Heritage Month

November 7, 2011 (HHS News Release) - This month we celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, to honor American Indians and Alaska Natives who have contributed a great deal to our country. I recently had the opportunity to visit Indian Country in Alaska and I can say first hand that Native Americans are passionate, determined people who play a momentous role in enriching the spirit of our Nation.

They are among some of America's most significant authors, artists, scientists, and political leaders. And they have fought to protect this country as members of our Armed Forces. Native Americans have long demonstrated their commitment to advancing the common goals of this Nation, and we honor their resolve in the face of years of marginalization and broken promises.


CMS Adopts Policy and Payment Changes for Outpatient Care in Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Centers

November 2, 2011 ( | News & Events) - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a final rule with comment period (final rule) that will update payment policies and payment rates for services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) beginning Jan. 1, 2012. In addition to establishing payment rates for calendar year (CY) 2012, the final rule expands the measures to be reported under the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program, creates a new quality reporting program for ASCs, and strengthens the Hospital Value-based Purchasing (Hospital VBP) program that will affect payments to hospitals for inpatient stays beginning Oct. 1 2012.

CMS projects that total payments to more than 4,000 hospitals – which includes general acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, inpatient psychiatric facilities, long-term acute care hospitals, children’s hospitals, and cancer hospitals – paid under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) in CY 2012 will be approximately $41.1 billion. CMS also projects that payments to approximately 5,000 Medicare-participating ASCs paid under the ASC Payment System will be approximately $3.5 billion for CY 2012.


Hospitals Fall Short On Meaningful Use
by Nicole Lewis, InformationWeek

November 3, 2011 ( - While more hospitals say they meet stage 1 of the electronic health record incentive program, 53% say they still aren't ready, finds study.

There's good news and bad news in the latest research from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The good news is that from February to September 2011 there has been a 16% increase (from 25% to 41%) in the number of eligible hospitals saying that they are likely to meet criteria for stage 1 of Meaningful Use. The bad news is that 53% of hospitals say they cannot meet 10 or more of the 14 core requirements set out in stage 1.

The survey, Summary of Meaningful Use Readiness, reflects that hospitals increasingly recognize the need to adopt health IT, but also face many challenges as they attempt to transition from paper-based medical charts to digitized medical records.

"This is a big mountain ... there are more hospitals getting up the mountain today than there were last winter, so that is the success," John Hoyt, HIMSS executive VP of organizational services, told InformationWeek Healthcare. "[However] the issue still remains: who has not started up the mountain yet? Is there some common attribute among them? The answer is small, rural, and critical access hospitals."


Learn Sarver Heart Center's Continuous Chest Compression CPR
University of Arizona - College of Medicine

Every three days, more Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest than the number who died in the 9-11 attacks. You can lessen this recurring loss by learning Continuous Chest Compression CPR, a hands-only CPR method that doubles a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. It’s easy and does not require mouth-to-mouth contact, making it more likely bystanders will try to help, and it was developed at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

"This video is worth sharing," said Gordon A. Ewy, MD, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and one of the research pioneers who developed this method.




ORHP Funding Announcement: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program

The Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2012 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program (announcement number: HRSA-12-083). ORHP’s Outreach Program supports projects that demonstrate effective models of outreach and service delivery through collaboration, adoption of an evidence-based or promising practice model, demonstration of health outcomes, replicability and sustainability. Proposed projects will have an outcomes-oriented approach that will enhance and sustain the delivery of effective health care in rural communities by tracking specific health indicators that will demonstrate the impact of their project at the end of their grant period. They will be based on evidence-based or promising practice models in order to avoid “reinventing the wheel” and demonstrate health status improvement in rural communities. Proposed Outreach projects can take the framework of an evidence-based or promising practice model and tailor it to their community’s need and organization.

Applicants may propose funding for up to three (3) years from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015. The maximum award is up to $150,000 per year. We expect to fund approximately 80 grantees.

Closing Date: November 22, 2011

TA Call
A technical assistance call was held on September 29, 2011 (Thursday). The call was recorded and available for playback. To access the playback, please call: 1-800-229-6331. It will be available until November 22, 2011.

For further questions on this funding opportunity, please contact the program coordinator, Kathryn Umali, 301-443-7444,

Need help writing your Outreach Program application?
Contact your State Of-fice of Rural Health (SORH) for grant-writing resources. Please visit: to find your SORH contact information. A webinar about evidence-based/promising practice mod-els and evaluation will be posted on starting October 7, 2011.




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