Not displaying correctly? View this email in your web browser... Miss an issue? View the archives...
NCHN eNews
September 20, 2011
Dear NCHN Members and Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of the NCHN Weekly Digest. At this time next week, we will be joining some of you in Kansas City for the 1st Annual Leadership Summit. In conjunction with the Summit, we are excited to announce a new program, the NCHN Leadership Learning Community. Read on to find out more. In national news, NRHA has posted a blog entry regarding rural hospital funding cuts.

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

2011 NCHN Leadership Summit

It's almost here! NCHN's 1st Leadership Summit. If you have not registered and you are planning to attend, register online today. Also check out the new Leadership Learning Community announcement below. This will be offered in conjunction with the Leadership Summit.

Date: September 27, 2011
Location: Hyatt Regency Crown Center
2345 McGee
Kansas City, MO

According to Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, the first know use of the word “Transform” was in the 14th century.  Transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function. A little creativity can transform an ordinary meal into a special event.  One synonym of transform is “metamorphose” – which suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power! 

Join us in Kansas City for a “metamorphosing” experience!

Registration Fees
$175 for NCHN Members
$275 for non-Members


From the Forum

There are no new posts this week.



A man wanted to encrypt his password but he needed to do it in a way so that he could remember it. His password is 7 characters long. The password consists of letters and numbers only (no symbols like ! or <). In order to remember it he wrote down "You force heaven to be empty." Can you guess what his password is?



NCHN Announces New Learning Community

NCHN is pleased to announce that in conjunction with the 2011 Leadership Summit, we are implementing the “NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community". This program is devoted to Network Leaders’ Personal Leadership and Development.  The new community will be kicked off at the “Extraordinary Leaders Transforms Networks” Summit on September 27, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. 

NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community was developed exclusively for Network Leaders by a former network leader and NCHN member, Dr. Mary Kay Chess. The program will be piloted during 2011-2012 with NCHN members that participate in the 2011 NCHN Leadership Summit. The face-to-face Summit meeting will continue with virtual sessions on leadership skills and a final face-to-face meeting during the 2012 NCHN Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. 

The NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community will meet six (6) times over the next seven (7) months, September 2011 – April 2012, to discuss topics ranging from change and change tools to board development and accountability.  Participation for NCHN members in good standing is at no charge. Members must complete an application of interest and attend the 2011 NCHN Leadership Summit to be a participant in the program.  Attendance in all virtual meetings and the April 2012 face-to-face community meeting is required to earn a Certificate of Participation.  The time commitment to the program is approximately twelve (12) hours of direct engagement the NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community and individual time to complete the assigned activities in the Network Leadership Transformation Workbook.  Additional details about the new program, along with an application form will be emailed to NCHN members later today.  If you have questions about the program please email   

If you are unable to participate in the 2011 Leadership Summit and the NCHN Transformer Leadership Learning Community, NCHN also offers the following Learning Communities that provide opportunities for network leaders to expand their leadership learning and networking opportunities:

  • Coffee/Tea Chats – held once a month as a one-hour phone conversation on the business accountabilities of network leaders. The topics are suggested by members and range from strategic planning to the design of new business lines and products. NCHN Members are free to choose their level of participation and most leaders choose to attend each month as resources and best practices are widely shared among the participants in the chats.  There is no charge for NCHN members in good standing.
  • Executive Coaching Program – Training for NCHN members that are willing to donate their time and expertise is held five times a year to prepare NCHN members to support new and emerging network leaders through targeted coaching encounters.  This approach to coaching also serves as an additional leadership model and approach to managing networks. Executive Coaches are strongly encouraged to attend all five session and to provide coaching for at least one coachee. NCHN provides an assessment of the coachee’ s needs and matches these needs with appropriate leaders from the NCHN membership.  Participating in the Executive Coaching Program, as either a coach or a coachee is at no charge to NCHN members in good standing. 
  • Annual Educational Conference – NCHN offers a two and half day educational conference each spring.  The agenda is developed and managed by NCHN members to ensure that the current needs and challenges of network leaders are met.  Sessions include both NCHN members sharing their expertise and leaders across the health care spectrum. Conference participants continually report that it is the best conference they have participated in in terms of meeting and networking with their peers and learning from each other.  The next conference will be held April 15 – 18, 2012 in Denver, CO.
  • On-Line Discussion Forum – NCHN offers NCHN members access to a free on-line discussion forum. The forum can be used to post questions, start a discussion about a hot topic, and/or share best practices and lessons learned.

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Leadership Summit Committee Call
Tuesday, September 20 @ 11:00 AM ET

Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, September 21 @ 11:00 AM ET

The Coffee/Tea Chat topic for September, 21 call is:  Fall Focus - What is needed to "wrap up" 2011?  

At this session, we'll have an opportunity to discuss approaches and options for "wrap up".  What does it mean to review each quarter of 2011 in terms of:
  • Connecting with stakeholders,
  • Meeting strategic targets,
  • Supporting board performance,
  • Learning from unanticipated outcomes; and
  • Moving forward into 2011?

Please bring tools and approaches that have worked well in the past to the call.  We'll see you on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM ET.  Call in details are posted on the NCHN on-line forum in the Members Only Section under Coffee/Tea Chat. 

1st NCHN Leadership Summit
Tuesday, September 27
Hyatt Regency Crown Center: Kansas City, MO

Executive Committee Call
Monday, October 17 @ 2:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, October 18 @ 1:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, October 19 @ 11:00 AM ET




The Healthcare Coalition of Lafayette County: Latest News


September 15, 2011 - The HCC of Lafayette County has been awarded a Health Center Planning Grant. More information about the grant is available online.

The HCC is hiring for a full time HIT Manager. Resumes with references should be sent to or before Friday, September 23rd, 2011.  Resumes may also be mailed to HCC or faxed to 660.259.9019.

SUMMARY: The HIT Network Manager will be responsible for the day to day operations of the HIT Network and participating members. 

Target start date is October 17, 2011.  Salary range is +/-$40,000 per year plus benefits.





Direct Care News: Pennsylvania Home Care Workers Address Sympathetic Politician

Home care workers had the full attention of Representative Tim Murphy on September 2, at a meeting hosted by DCA and From the Heart Companion Services in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. 

"I was very pleased that Representative Murphy came and listened to us. I really was," says From the Heart owner Janis Durick. "He already had an attentive ear and was willing to help us with some of the things that we needed, but I figure the comments from all the direct care workers made him that much more open to what we do. Each one is different, and their clients are different." 

Durick got the idea of inviting Rep. Murphy to a listening session after meeting with some of his staff during a DCA visit to Capitol Hill. The staff were very welcoming, she says, assuring her that Rep. Murphy would be interested to learn more about direct care worker issues. 




Complimentary Webinar on 340B for Prospective Members (SNHPA)

September 20, 2011
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET

The federal 340B drug discount program, once a relatively obscure program impacting a small number of health care providers, has grown significantly over the past few years. More hospitals are becoming aware of 340B and how it can help them reduce costs at a time of major budget shortfalls and higher amounts of uncompensated care. As the program grows in size, so does the amount of scrutiny from drug companies and the government over how hospitals are utilizing this program.

In the coming months, 340B hospitals will face several new challenges. In September, Congress will issue its first ever report on the program, which is expected to call for increased oversight due to concerns over alleged drug diversion. There are also efforts by Medicaid, insurers and other payors to reduce reimbursement to 340B providers. 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. In addition, new regulations defining the patients and clinics eligible for discounts are expected shortly.

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


Impact of ICD-10 on Safety Net Providers

September 23, 2011
2:00 - 3:30 PM EST
Offered by HRSA

Are you aware that there are ICD-10 conversion activities that need be completed by January 1? Do you understand how ICD-10 will impact you?

This webinar will provide technical assistance and examples of how safety net providers from various settings have begun planning to comply with the health industry’s conversion to a greatly expanded and fundamentally new coding system for the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10).

As a prerequisite to ICD-10 compliance, healthcare organizations are also required to adopt updated electronic transaction standards, known as HIPAA 5010, by January 1, 2012. Failure to address this issue in a timely manner may lead to an inability to bill Medicaid and Medicare. Providers who have not begun the planning and budgeting process need to become more proactive and work with their billing and health information technology providers/managers to assess where their operations stand relative to the ICD-10 final rule. Developing strategic plans and taking action now will help to mitigate late-stage rushes for compliance during the last months of this year.

Webinar presenters will discuss the ramifications of failing to meet compliance deadlines, and highlight ICD-10 resources that are available to safety net providers. In addition, they will touch on the strategies to avoid implementation bottlenecks.


The Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series 2011

October 5, 2011 @ 3:00 PM ET

This webinar will examine the relevance of preparedness and the follow-up efforts to support recovery – Maryann Robinson, SAMHSA, will offer key considerations and resources that support preparedness, response and recovery. Dr. Joyce Osofsky, LRTSC, will share best practices in their work providing crisis services for underserved youth and families in rural Louisiana. The Oil Spill Distress campaign’s coordinated efforts to provide on the ground supports to children and families coping with disaster-related stress will be highlighted and will include steps rural schools and local community organizations can take to support those after a disaster.


Hear from CEO of National Rural Health Association at 10/5 Healthcare Spotlight Series

October 5, 2011
Lexington, KY
Presented by Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman

Alan Morgan, MPA, Chief Executive Officer, National Rural Health Association
Speaking on the pressing issues for the delivery of rural health today. Topics will include:

- Workforce Delivery
- Pressure to Network with Other Organizations
- IT Requirements and Innovation and IT
- Telemedicine
- Regulatory Hurdles


ICAHN's 11th Annual CAH Workshop

October 20, 2011
Springfield, IL

As the healthcare system continues its reform journey, awareness and positioning become paramount to not just surviving, but doing so in a manner to provide your rural communities the quality care and services they need and deserve. Organizational and physician alignment, affiliation, accountable care, debt refinancing/restructuring, and quality initiatives will all play a role in how you approach the future of your facility.


National Rural Health Day - SAVE THE DATE!

November 17, 2011

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) invites all rural stakeholders to join the inaugural National Rural Health Day celebration on Thursday, November 17. NOSORH partners planning to recognize this special occasion include:

  • State Offices of Rural Health
  • National Rural Health Association
  • Rural Recruitment and Retention Network
  • National Cooperative of Health Networks
  • Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

How you celebrate is up to you — just be sure to celebrate!




From NRHA: White House deficit proposal puts rural hospitals at risk

Rural patients’ access to care is in jeopardy.

September 19, 2011 (NRHA email) - Today President Obama called for $6 billion in cuts over 10 years to rural hospitals, claiming that the proposal eliminates “higher than necessary reimbursement.”

Higher than necessary reimbursement? Currently, 41 percent of small rural hospitals, known as critical access hospitals (CAHs), operate at a financial loss. If the President’s proposal to cut billions in Medicare reimbursements hits these facilities, over half of CAHs would lose money. Such devastating cuts will cause rural hospital doors to close, resulting in loss of access to health care and needed rural jobs.

CAHs account for only 5 percent of Medicare hospital inpatient expenditures, yet they provide critical care and jobs – it’s a sound investment not a “higher than necessary reimbursement.”

The President’s proposal included changes to the following:

  • Reduce bad debt payments to 25 percent, down from the current 70 percent, for eligible providers. This would save $20 billion over 10 years.
  • Beginning in 2013, reduce the IME adjustment by 10 percent, saving $9 billion over 10 years.
  • FY 2013, end add-on payments for physicians and hospitals in frontier states.
  • Reduce CAH reimbursement to 100 percent of cost, down from the current 101 percent.
  • End CAH reimbursement for facilities located 10 miles or less from another hospital.
  • Strengthen the Independent Payment Advisory Board with more aggressive goals and additional enforcement tools.
  • Limit the use of provider taxes beginning in FY 2015, but not eliminate them entirely.
Congress created the special designation of a CAH in 1997 to prevent a flood of rural hospitals closures in the 1980s and 1990s. The CAH program is a safety net program that is working. Despite so many struggling financially, many rural hospitals doors are able to stay open solely because of the CAH program. These hospitals provide vital care for the millions of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens – rural seniors who are on average, poorer and sicker than urban or suburban seniors.

Rural economies depend on rural hospitals for jobs, economic growth and revenue production. Rural hospitals are often the largest or second largest employer in rural America. The average CAH supports more than 100 jobs and provides $5 million in wages, salaries and benefits to the local community.


Feds announce plans to launch 3 new telehealth resource centers

September 14, 2011 (HealthcareIT News) - The nation’s network of telehealth resource centers currently resembles an incomplete quilt, with nine centers covering parts of the country while leaving some rather conspicuous regions uncovered. This week, that quilt began to look a little more complete.

The U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration has awarded Regional Telehealth Resource Center grants of almost $1 million apiece to three organizations charged with launching centers based in Maine, Indiana and Virginia, creating public-private partnerships that will offer guidance and resources to those looking to enter this fast-growing segment of the healthcare network.


ONC seeking public participation in recently launched Query Health Initiative

September 19, 2011 (ONC Health IT email) - The focus of our nation's health care system is to improve the health of individuals and ultimately the health of the population as a whole.  In order to positively impact population health, we need to be able to evaluate and react to emerging health issues and trends. In recent years, the use of distributed queries has become a growing focus of health information technology. With this approach, data are shared in aggregate and without identifying individual information, thus maintaining patient privacy and security while allowing valuable health information to be collected for analysis.  This means that health care providers have an increased ability to proactively respond to disease outbreaks, understand the efficacy of drug treatments, and monitor health trends. This ability to understand large-scale health trends can contribute to reducing the cost of health care and most importantly, improving the health of our citizens.

Establishing standards and services for distributed population queries can increase the speed and lower the transaction costs for health care providers to analyze and apply important information. In this way, providers, consumers, researchers, and others can gain insight into many health issues including:

  • Prevention activities – Caregivers could have access to a larger pool of data that will enable them to prioritize prevention procedures, such as administration of flu vaccines for vulnerable populations.   
  • Health care research – Researchers and providers could compare the effectiveness of different treatments and medications in the treatment of high cholesterol and other long–term health conditions.
  • Disease outbreaks – Health care providers could monitor outbreaks of specific illnesses, such as the H1N1 virus, which  spread across the nation a couple of years ago.

ONC's vitally important Query Health initiative launched officially on September 5, 2011.  Query Health is a public-private collaboration chartered to establish standards and services for distributed population queries of electronic health records. 

ONC is seeking active participation from interested and engaged parties who have an interest in helping create these standards and services. By participating in the Query Health initiative, you will have the opportunity to affect the future of health care in a meaningful and impactful way.




HRSA: 340B Drug Pricing Program

The 340B Drug Pricing Program resulted from enactment of Public Law 102-585, the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, which is codified as Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act.  The 340B Drug Pricing Program is managed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA).  Section 340B limits the cost of covered outpatient drugs to certain federal grantees, federally-qualified health center look-alikes and qualified hospitals. Participation in the Program results in significant savings estimated to be 20% to 50% on the cost of pharmaceuticals for safety-net providers.  The purpose of the 340B Program is to enable these entities to stretch scarce federal resources, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.


2011 Supporting the Safety Net

Sponsored by Avon Foundation
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

The objective of these grants is to support institutions and organizations that care for uninsured, at-risk, low-income, and minority patients in their communities. Such institutions include: public hospitals, safety-net hospitals, community clinics, and cancer centers with a history of effectively navigating patients through the healthcare system and ensuring consistent, high quality care.

The emphasis of this initiative in 2011 is to support patient navigation programs or partial equipment support for safety net hospitals to enhance their breast cancer care to the medically underserved.

Eligibility: Nationwide
Public, community, and safety net hospitals and health care systems that provide breast care to low-income, at-risk, uninsured and underinsured individuals.

Applicants may request up to $125,000 total costs per year, for up to two years (thus, a maximum total grant of up to $250,000 total costs over two years).




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