Updates from your ACE team
How does your facility cater to the 29 million patients expected to utilize community health centers this year in addition to the possible incoming cases of the Coronavirus?

This newsletter, we're focusing on your growing patient base through encompassing the services your community requires; such as epidemics like the Coronavirus. Having a one-stop-shop facility where patients can see their primary care physician and their specialist, get their blood drawn and their prescription filled exceeds patient needs and requirements. This newsletter also presents you an important 340B update from CMS on how to watch whether or not you're double dipping your discount and HRSA's recommendations and best practices on implementing telehealth.
A healthy patient means a happy practice
In November 2019, "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released two reports that compare health issues between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. The research found that the gap in the percentages of preventable deaths between rural and urban counties widened over the eight-year study period for cancer, heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease, remained relatively stable for stroke and decreased for unintentional injuries." Click HERE for the research and its findings.

Today, health centers provide more preventative services than other primary care providers and have expanded the types of services available to patients. Is your facility a one-stop-shop where patients can see their primary care physician and their specialist - pulmonology, oncology, infectious disease, cardiology, psychiatry - get their blood drawn and their prescription filled without leaving the building? According to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), 1 in 12 patients, will utilize a community health center in 2020. Do you help them get to the facility, have the appropriate provider for their issue or treat them remotely through telehealth?

We understand that providing quality patient care is sometimes easier said than done. Our experts can help you analyze your patient population to provide it the best care.
No double dipping!
Let's talk about 340B pharmacy... and its rebates... and who gets them.

After some of the misunderstandings concerning the interplay between states and 340B covered entities, CMS released some guidance to states on 340B duplicate discounts. The confusion comes from the plausible situation of when "a Medicaid [patient] is prescribed a drug that is going to be dispensed from a 340B covered entity (or an affiliated pharmacy), does the State Medicaid plan get the rebate or does the covered entity get the opportunity to acquire the drug at the 340B discount?" That's a great question that somehow doesn't have an answer. According to "the statue, the manufacturer doesn't have to pay twice: either the State gets the rebate or the covered entity gets the discount. Unless a State steps in to assert the right to claim the rebate, the State and covered entity work it out between themselves."

How many of the 29 million patients projected to utilize a FQHC this year are going to require 340B prescriptions? Do you have a clear process in place for declaring to Medicaid which 340B drugs were dispensed to acquire the rebate?
Media watch and other useful info
Are you ready for the new wave of medicine, telehealth? Have you considered the benefits and challenges of telehealth before jumping to use it to offer your patients convenient, quality healthcare?

On January 27, 2020, HRSA released a Program Assistance Letter (PAL): Telehealth and Health Center Scope of Project. The letter outlines a few of the challenges FQHCs should debate prior to implementing telehealth. The PAL also offers FQHCs clarity on how to use and document telehealth within the project. The letter does not discuss every aspect of telehealth because it is constantly changing.

Interested in telehealth, but not sure where to start with its implementation or how to make it work for your patients, providers and practice? Houston Methodist Senior VP and COO are talking Direct-To-Consumer Telehealth June 3-5, 2020. Don't miss the $500 savings before February 27, 2020.

When was the last time you spoke with Congress about what you do and its importance? NACHC is urging the FQHC community to take action and speak with the Members of Congress to pass long term funding!

In efforts to offer more "treatment options [that] allow for an integrated medical approach" and combat America's opioid crisis, Medicare will now cover acupuncture to treat chronic lower back pain.