Brian Sandoval


Richard Whitley, MS


Cody L. Phinney, MPH


Tracey D. Green, MD

Chief Medical Officer

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In This Issue


The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers financial support to primary care providers. It also helps health care sites in underserved communities recruit and retain providers.


What is the National Health Service Corps?


NHSC Students to Service Program


NHSC Scholarship Program


NHSC Loan Repayment Program (LRP)


What is a NHSC Site?


How to find a NHSC Site


Meet some NHSC Members


The NURSE Corps provides scholarships and loan repayment for nursing education for those dedicated to treating the underserved.

Nevada Primary Care Office Newsletter
Holiday 2015 Edition
December/Vol. XIII
National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program Application Cycle Opens on January 19, 2016

The NHSC Loan Repayment Program offers medical, dental and behavioral health providers up to $50,000 in exchange for two-years of service at an NHSC site. Applications open on January 19, 2016. Nevada has over 100 NHSC sites!  Sign up online to get notified when the application opens.
NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program Applications Open in January 2016

If you are a licensed registered nurse, the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program can help you pay off 60% of nursing student loans in just two years at select health professional shortage areas. The application cycle opens in January 2016. More information can be found here. Additional site types are now eligible for the program, so check out your options online.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Funds Support  Nevada Health Sciences and Public Safety Initiatives

The state has allocated over $3,000,000 for career and technical education (CTE) support. These funds are made available to each school district and include competitive and non-competitive funds. School districts can work in conjunction with healthcare sites and providers to support the training and recruitment of high school students into CTE programs of study that support health sciences professional development through health science internships, job shadowing, or high school health professional training programs. There are already nursing assistant, EMT, and pharmacy practice secondary training programs in some of our districts. More information can be found here. To identify your district's CTE program coordinator or for more information, contact Randi Hunewill at or at (775) 687-7284.
Recruitment and Retention Strategies Survey
The Primary Care Office is collaborating with the Primary Care Association to conduct training with safety net providers on recruitment and retention. The link below goes to a brief survey to gage interest in different types of training.  Please take a moment to complete this survey.  Thank you!
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Pocket Guide

The ACA Pocket Guide for Providers includes resources that providers can share with their patients during this open enrollment period to help them get covered. It also outlines what services are considered essential health benefits included in all Marketplace health insurance plans and what preventive services must be covered at no cost by in-network providers. 
Increasing Telehealth Technology in Nevada's Rural Communities: What do we need to know?

Deborah-Loesch Griffin, Ph.D., Director, Rural Nevada Health Network, recently met with Joan Hall, Executive Director, Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, to discuss the benefits of AB292. The highlights below are from a longer article that is available at this link , under Resources/Publications.
What is AB292?
This piece of legislation clarifies the definition of telehealth and mandates that insurance companies recognize telehealth the same as they do an in person visit, without requiring prior authorization.   As Joan clarifies, "this is coverage parity, not payment parity." Although insurance companies are mandated to pay, the payment itself will be a negotiating point with insurance companies.
Some requirements for using and billing telehealth services include that the provider at the distant site have a Nevada license and those at the originating site must be credentialed. Physician reciprocity for those licensed in other states is still a sticking point. Two bills that would have made this possible didn't pass the legislature.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The originating site and providers maintain the ongoing relationship and treatment needs of the telehealth patient. Because telehealth facilitates the patient AND physician or mental health professional's connection with specialists, the patient can be better served in their home community. The outcome is reduction in both costly transportation and potentially inappropriate ER visits.
The originating site typically gets $25 reimbursement from Medicare for the attendant's time and the use of telehealth technologies. Several health professionals currently serve in this role: Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Medical Assistants among them. Their time is only partially covered under this reimbursement scheme.
Is telehealth worth it? Should we do it? "Ethically, yes," Joan says. Telehealth is a critical component of the rural healthcare delivery system, and as Joan reminds us, "the originating site still gets ancillary services benefits" while the patient gets their health needs met where they live.

Nevada Instant Atlas

The Nevada Instant Atlas provides online access to important data on Nevada's 17 counties. This data is compiled from over 50 sources and includes information on population, demographic characteristics, social and economic characteristics, health insurance coverage, healthcare workforce, and healthcare resources. It is an interactive and user-friendly database created by the Office of Statewide Initiatives for public policy makers, health care professionals, rural health advocates, and the general public.
Nevada State Loan Repayment Program

Medical, dental, and behavioral health providers of many disciplines can get educational loan repayment through the State Loan Repayment Program. This program is different from the federal National Health Service Corps loan repayment program because the application cycle is open throughout the year and the site requirements are more flexible.  In exchange for loan repayment funds, each candidate agrees to serve in a medically underserved community for typically two years. Contact Keith Clark with any program-related questions.
New Auto-HPSA Scores for Nevada Safety Net Sites

The following sites just received new or updated HPSA designations that are more competitive for National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program applications. Below are their new scores. If you qualify for an auto-HPSA score or would like to increase your current score, contact Scott Jones at the Primary Care Office
Elko Health Center
Fort McDermitt Tribal Health Center
Washoe Tribal Health Center-Gardnerville Health Center
Nevada Urban Indians
Fallon Health Center
Searchlight Healthcare
Hope Christian Health Center

Where do snowmen keep their money?

In a snow bank.