Health Safety Net Legislative Day 2019 - Register Now!

The 2019 General Assembly Session is about to begin! Your participation in Health Safety Net Legislative Day on Wednesday, January 16th is important! For details and to register, click here.

New Eligibility Rules for Medicaid Coverage Began January 1!

Over 400,000 Virginians became eligible for new health coverage under new Medicaid eligibility criteria January 1, 2019. The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), and the Cover Virginia Call Center (CVCC) have made every effort to ease the application and enrollment process for the new coverage. Thanks to them, and the hard work of other community organizations, more than 200,000 newly eligible Virginians have already enrolled in Medicaid! Read about one creative approach to reach newly-eligible adults here.

Want to Know More About the New Coverage? Come to a SignUpNow Training!

SignUpNow teaches the "ins and outs" of the eligibility requirements, application procedures, and post-enrollment information for Virginia's state-sponsored health insurance programs:
  • New adult coverage
  • Programs for children and pregnant women
  • Plan First
  • Low Income Families with Children (LIFC) program                    
Been to SignUpNow before? This year's workshops will cover important information about the new health coverage, as well as updates to other state-sponsored health insurance programs ( Medicaid/FAMIS ). Please, join us!
SignUpNow workshops are FREE. Seating is limited, so register early! Workshop specifics and online registration are available on the SignUpNow website.

Meet the "Integration Innovators"

Did you miss December's Tooth Talk Roundtable? Three health safety net organizations from across the state shared their unique approaches to oral health integration:
  • At GoochlandCares, all staff participate in trauma-informed care training. Medical and dental providers hold a daily morning huddle together to review their patents for the day and continuously "cross-check" and follow-up on patients shared among medical, dental, and behavioral health providers. Co-location allows for easy warm hand-offs from dental to behavioral health and/or medical departments. GoochlandCares' next integration step is instituting behavioral health screenings (which are already done for all medical patients) for every dental patient later this year.

  • Neighborhood Health recently ran a successful pilot program to place a dental hygienist and assistant within its pediatric practice to provide oral health assessments and apply fluoride varnish to patients during medical appointments. The hygienist also provides oral health education, conducts caries risk assessments, and schedules follow-up dental appointments. Due to its success, this pilot program has since expanded to additional Neighborhood Health practices!

  • Every new staff member at the Community Health Center of the New River Valley receives training on integration. Cross-directional warm hand-offs among medical, dental, and behavioral health departments are facilitated with the help of call buttons that page on-call providers. As a result, patients receive whatever care they need, regardless of the type of appointment they came for.
How are you implementing oral health integration? To share your experiences and lessons learned, or to learn more about what other health safety net organizations are doing, contact Ally Singer Wright.

Want to Learn About the Oral Health Benefits Offered by Some Medicaid Managed Care Organizations?

The Virginia Oral Health Coalition has put together a Provider FAQ document to walk you through the benefits available under Medallion 4.0 and Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC+).

Positive Patient Outcomes from Behavioral Health Integration!

Defeating the Deadly Double: Depression and Diabetes (DDD ), a special VHCF initiative designed to reduce depression in diabetic patients has demonstrated great success in its first 8 months. The five participating health safety net (HSN) organizations have reviewed and adjusted their protocols, workflows, and procedures to better identify diabetic patients with depression and treat both diseases. They are:
  • Blue Ridge Medical Center
  • Central Virginia Health Services
  • CrossOver Healthcare Ministry
  • Neighborhood Health
  • New Horizons Healthcare
Formal patient enrollment began in April and the results from the first 8 months are impressive. As of November 30, 2018:  
  • 112 (20%) of the 559 DDD patients showed a decrease in their PHQ-9 scores;
  • 184 (33%) DDD patients showed a decrease in HbA1c (with an average decrease of 1.5 points per patient);
  • 219 (39%) DDD patients lost a combined total of 1,676 pounds (an average of more than 7 pounds per patient); and
  • 221 (40%) DDD patients decreased their BMI, with an average decrease of 2.8 points per patient.
The DDD initiative concludes in February 2020. Stay tuned for more exciting results!
Announcing Health Safety Net Grant Recipients
The Virginia Health Care Foundation has awarded $772,341 in grants, effective January 1, 2019, to the following organizations:
  • $148,400 to Community Health Center of the New River Valley to hire a full-time dentist
  • $100,000 to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to support the salary of a full-time dentist
  • $99,840 to New Horizons Healthcare to hire a full-time Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner
  • $126,563 to Rockbridge Area Health Center to underwrite the salary of a full-time dentist
  • $91,688 to Harrisonburg Community Health Center to support the salary of a full-time dentist
  • $68,625 to Northern Virginia Dental Clinic to underwrite the salaries of two part-time dentists, a part-time hygienist, and a full-time dental assistant
  • $56,714 to ChildSavers to support the salaries of two full-time clinicians and a part-time psychiatrist
  • $30,830 to Richmond City Health District to support the salaries of a part-time Nurse Practitioner and part-time Registered Nurse
  • $24,435 to CrossOver Healthcare Ministry to underwrite the salary of a part-time Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • $17,147 to Augusta Regional Clinic to support the salaries of a part-time endodontist and a part-time dental assistant
  • $8,099 to Ledwith-Lewis Free Clinic to underwrite the salary of a part-time Nurse Practitioner

What We're Reading

A Free Clinic Builds "Bridges to Health" by Treating the Whole Patient - This article from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shares how a rural clinic addressed its patients' complex health and social needs successfully - and cut emergency room use and costs drastically.

The Trauma Informed Care Implementation Resource Center , from the Center for Health Care Strategies, features practical resources for becoming a trauma informed organization, including resources on how to take the first steps, lead and communicate about the process, invest in a trauma informed workforce, create a safe physical and emotional environment, engage patients in a meaningful way, and identify and treat trauma.

Medicaid expansion means critical role for Virginia's free clinics , an op-ed by Linda Wilkinson, the Executive Director of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, highlights the importance of continued access to health safety net services for the 300,000 remaining uninsured Virginians who will not be eligible for Medicaid expansion.

Upcoming VHCF Trainings/Meetings
  • Trainings on how to use The Pharmacy Connection
Beginner Trainings

January 8, 2019  10:00AM-1:00PM-Online
Advanced Trainings

January 10, 2019  1:00PM-3:00PM-Online

March 13, 2019  1:00PM-3:00PM-Online
For additional training dates or more information click here or contact Lisa HuestonTPC Coordinator, at (804) 828-5803.
Don't Forget About the Professional Development Funds Available to You!
The Virginia Dental Association Foundation recently utilized Professional Development Funds to help cover the costs for a staff member to attend a non-profit management course. Are you (or a staff member) considering taking advantage of learning opportunities? VHCF has a variety of informational resources to help you and your staff meet your goals. Check out some of our resources for providers here! Don't see what you are looking for? Let us know!

VHCF also offers funding for capacity building, including:
  • Up to $3,500 to underwrite the development of a new strategic plan
  • Up to $650 per organization per year to pay for professional development opportunities that enhance the skills or knowledge of health safety net staff or board members
Contact a Program Officer at (804) 828-5804 to learn more.
Does your clinic have any innovative programs or creative solutions to share?
We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Cat Hulburt or Andrea Lancaster.