Member Spotlight
Health Centers Launch World AIDS Day
Activities to Promote Testing and Treatment
Mississippi CHCs commemorated World AIDS Day 2020 on December 1st. Aaron E. Henry Health Center hosted live social media events to promote testing and treatment, and provided refreshments (photo above, left). Mallory Community Health Center had staff dressed in red to call attention to the day (photo above, right). Mississippi has one of the highest incidence rates for HIV in the U.S. Health centers are an important link to HIV testing and linkage to care in communities.
National Influenza Vaccination Week
December 6-12, 2020
CHCAMS Promoting National Flu Vaccination Week on Social Media
CHCAMS Facebook is promoting flu vaccines at health centers by pointing users to the CHCAMS website to locate a community health center in their local area.
Coastal Family Health Promotes Flu Shots at Weekly Events in December
CFHC worked with local media to help promote flu vaccination. Check out the news story here.
Advocacy Center of Excellence (ACE)
Program Renewals
Health centers that have achieved ACE certifications need to renew certification every two years. CHCs that were due to renew at any point in 2020 must submit a renewal application by December 16 to maintain or upgrade their current status. You can email grassroots@nachc.org to determine which CHCs are due for renewal this year. Changes to the program will be coming in 2021 – stay tuned for updates!

Briefs
Mississippi State Department of Health
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs
Public Health Guidance
December 2, 2020
 
Due to the rapidly rising burden of COVID-19 cases, excessive hospitalizations, and the high risk of COVID-19 infection in the community, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is issuing the following Public Health Guidance.
All residents of Mississippi should avoid any social gathering that includes individuals outside of the nuclear family or household. MSDH recommends that Mississippians only participate in work, school, or other absolutely essential activities.
MSDH recommends that all Mississippians protect themselves and their families by avoiding public or social gatherings such as the following:
• Social events or parties
• Family gatherings outside of the household or nuclear family
• Weddings
• Funerals (other than close family and preferably outdoors)
• Sporting events
• In-person church services
 
Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH
State Health Officer
Vaccine Administration Interim Final Rule Published
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an interim final rule establishing vaccine-related coverage provisions for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and private insurance. The new interim final rule, published Nov. 6 in the Federal Register, states that providers can receive free vaccines from the federal government but will be prohibited from charging consumers for the administration. Under Medicare there would be no cost-sharing for COVID-19 vaccines. For individuals without health coverage, providers can be reimbursed through HRSA’s COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement Program. NACHC believes vaccine administration requirements could present costs to health centers and that state Maintenance of Effort requirements could adversely impact FQHC reimbursements and will be submitting comments. NACHC has written this memo in response to the rule. CMS issued toolkits aimed at State Medicaid Agencies, providers who will administer the vaccine, and health insurance plans. The deadline for comments on the rule is Jan. 4, 2021. For program Instruction click here
Guidance from NACHC on the Paycheck Protection Program
Health Centers who utilized the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and have loans exceeding $2 million should wait to apply for loan forgiveness. Per the Small Business Administration, you are required to do so. (See SBA instructions here.) NACHC recommends waiting in order to see how the SBA responds to public comments about the definition of “loan necessity” and whether Congress will get involved. Health centers are reminded they will have through at least the summer of 2021 to apply for forgiveness without paying any interest on their PPP loan. See NACHC’s letter to health centers here and their letter to the SBA here.
CHC COVID-19 Response Updates
All Mississippi CHCs continue with COVID-19 testing at open clinic locations, and some continue to offer testing at locations in the community with drive-thru events.
Source: HRSA as of 11-20-2020
Link to flyer.
Online Resources for Providers Planning to Give COVID-19 Vaccinations
The Mississippi State Department of Health has information available to those who plan to provide the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Visit the health department site here.
CMS Announces Medicare Coverage for Antibody Treatment
On Nov. 10, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare beneficiaries can now receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency (PHE). CMS’ coverage of monoclonal antibody infusions applies to Bamlanivimab, which received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 9. CMS anticipates that this monoclonal antibody product will initially be given to healthcare providers at no charge. Additionally, the monoclonal antibody infusion is expected to be covered when furnished to Medicaid beneficiaries, in accordance with the EUA, during this period, with limited exceptions. To view the Monoclonal Antibody COVID-19 Infusion Program Instruction click here
COVID-19 Clearninghouse
To access the CHCAMS COVID-19 Clearinghouse, please email Kathryn Rodenmeyer for the link.
Thank You for Completing
the RTAT Survey 
There is still time to fill out the survey. The RTAT survey is just one of the programs under the CHCAMS Health Professions Education and Training Initiative. The link for the survey is here.





New Dental Codes Reimbursement Procedures
The Division of Medicaid, in the Office of the Governor, will submit this proposed SPA to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) effective January 1, 2021, contingent upon approval from CMS, our Transmittal #20-0028.
 
The public notice can be viewed via this link.
Enrollment in the Healthcare Marketplace
Still Open for Your Patients
Please email mamorris@chcams.org for additional information.
340B Program Updates
A tool kit that addresses changes in the program is available. Please contact Kathryn Rodenmeyer for more information.
HRSA Puts 340B Dispute Resolution Final Rule in Motion
HRSA sent a final rule to create a binding administrative dispute resolution (ADR) process for the 340B program to the White House for approval. Congress, more than 10 years ago as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), required U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish a regulation establishing a binding 340B ADR system to replace 340B’s then 14-year-old, informal dispute resolution process. Congress wanted the job done in 180 days. HRSA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in Sept. 2010 and a proposed rule in Aug. 2016. The Trump administration withdrew the proposed rule, written by the Obama administration, in Aug. 2017, and HRSA never advanced a final rule, until now. HHS’ failure to do so and the impact of not having an ADR process in place to respond to the recent attacks on the 340B program are the basis of the NACHC 340B lawsuit. The final rule’s contents remain unknown for now, so it is unclear whether or how much the final rule differs from the proposed version HRSA sought comment on more than four years ago. 
CHCAMS Training Updates

Check your inbox for the
CHCAMS Training Newsletter each Wednesday.

To sign up for the training newsletter,
please contact Desiree Stinson.
CHCAMS Training Highlights
Register Now
Words Matter : Preparing Effective 
Communications for Diverse 
Communities During an Emergency 

Thursday, December 10, 2020
10 a.m. - noon CST

Audience: CEOs and Any Staff Who Work
in Emergency Preparedness,
Outreach and Enrollment, and Marketing/Communications

CHCAMS is offering a 2-hour training webinar that focuses on preparing for emergencies and crisis and how to best communicate with patients using culturally competent methods and tactics.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about getting your message out effectively with your current and future patients, especially during emergencies and crisis events.

Presenters: Chris Roby, CHCAMS and Scott MacKay, CONSTANT Associates
Preparing for an Office of Pharmacy Affairs
340B Audit
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
1 - 4 p.m.CST
The 340B Drug Discount Program is a complex but very beneficial program for Covered Entities (CEs) who are eligible to participate. The 340B programs allow for additional health center savings that CEs can use to fund and expand access to vital patient services, as well as providing low-cost medications to patients who otherwise may not have access to these necessary drugs. Health center 340B programs are operationalized in a variety of ways including in-house and contract pharmacies.

CHCAMS intends to provide to the health centers in Mississippi 340B Drug Discount Program education in the form of a targeted webinar focused on Preparing for an OPA 340B audit. The subject recommended in this proposal are based on information gathered from the PCA as well as JLHCS’ experience with 340B educational areas with the highest need.

Led by Judy Lapinski, PharmD
Topics include:
a.      Brief overview of current threats and risks impacting the 340b Drug Discount Program for health centers and patients
b.      Brief overview of options for mitigating negative effects of these actions
c.      Review of OPA 340B audit process prior to, while onsite, and post-audit
d.      Recommendations for preparing for OPA 340B audits
e.      Recommendations for on-site portion of the audit
f.       Recommendations for actions and responses post-audit

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Funding Opportunities
Grants with ongoing deadlines can be found here .
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