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WVPCA Weekly Outlook
A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare
March 12, 2021
In This Issue...
Emergency Management News - WVPCA News - What We're Reading State News - National News - Funding Opportunities
All Community Health Centers are Taking
Part in Weekly Community Vaccine Events

MVA Health Centers and Marion County Health Department Held COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
MVA Health Centers and the Marion County Health Department held a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, and officials are reporting that a smoother vaccination process has worked out.

Susan Konya, director of nursing at MVA Health Centers, said that while the two entities held the clinics together, they are working from separate lists for vaccinations, with MVA Health Centers pulled from its 8,000 clients to administer shots.

While the vaccinations clinics themselves are always a stressful event, Konya said partnering with the health department makes it a lot easier.

“It’s a challenge during the pandemic, because not only is (Marion County Health Department administrator) Lloyd White running his health department with regular service, he’s now required to give COVID vaccines,” Konya said. “It’s the same thing with MVA. … The advantage is, when you work together, you can spread your staff out and you have more opportunity for your staff to get involved.
News Flash!
COVID-19 cases surge in some rural counties
Read the entire article from WOWKTV here.

Cabin Creek Health taking COVID-19 vaccines to the people
Read the entire article from Charleston Gazette Mail here.

West Virginia has had 168 previously unreported COVID-19 deaths, Gov. Justice says
Read the entire article from WCHSTV here.
At-Home Rapid Test Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization on Monday for a rapid at-home COVID-19 test that delivers results without the use of an outside laboratory. The QuickVue At-Home COVID-19 Test must be obtained via prescription and can be used by individuals 14 and older, or individuals eight and older as long as an adult collects the nasal swab sample. The test can be prescribed by a healthcare provider for individuals who are within six days of symptom onset.
CDC Launches Web Tool to Help Americans Find COVID-19 Vaccines
The scramble to secure a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is chaotic and fierce. There are not yet enough doses for everyone who is eligible and wants to get vaccinated. As frustration rises, the federal government has not offered much besides assurances that things will get better and appeals for calm. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with Boston Children's Hospital and Castlight Health, is launching a new tool that allows Americans to search for COVID-19 vaccine providers with stock of vaccine where they live. The tool, which builds on the existing VaccineFinder.org platform, will capture inventory data from vaccine providers around the country. 
WVPCA News
Patient Experience Survey Instructional Webinars
Please join Emma White and Pam Moore of the WVPCA for an informational webinar regarding how to implement a successful Patient Experience Survey. Participants will be provided detailed instructions on obtaining the correct sample size, helpful pointers, and answer any questions you may have. 

The WVPCA offers the Patient Experience Survey twice a year to participating health centers. The purpose of this survey program is three-fold:

  • To provide Community Health Centers with information and insight from patients’ viewpoints about services provided
  • Results are intended for use by management to design and track quality improvement
  • Meets certain HRSA reporting requirements towards PCMH recognition

By the end of the session participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the steps to obtain the correct number of surveys.
  2. Useful tips and pointers to have a successful survey.
  3. Understand data gathered and how to address changes, if needed.
  4. TARGET AUDIENCE: Any health center staff involved in the patient experience survey implementation.

To maximize participation for health center staff this training is being offered on two separate dates. You ONLY need to attend one:
Tuesday, March 16th at 10:15 – 11:00 AM registration information can be found here.
Wednesday, March 17th at 10:15 – 11:00 AM registration information can be found here.

This event is intended only for Community Health Center Staff.

Registration closes on the day before event at 12:00 PM EST.
Additional CHC's to Provide COVID-19 Vaccines
The WVPCA has released this statement on the COVID-19 vaccine allocation program, which allows certain eligible community health centers the ability to receive the COVID-19 vaccines directly. On March 11, nine (9) additional community health centers in West Virginia became eligible for the program. Health center eligibility was based on their operating in underserved communities that include people disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Social Determinants of Health Screening: Implementing a Workflow Webinar
Please join Rachel Merino, Chief of Staff at Valley Health Systems, and Crystal Hawkins from Cabin Creek Health Systems for a presentation and a discussion to assist health centers to improve SDoH screening and referral workflow on Thursday, March 18th from 12:30 to 1:45 PM. This is a great opportunity to learn first-hand from two West Virginia health centers that have successfully implemented SDoH screening into a standardized process within their organizations. The presenters will describe the implementation and workflow process and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. This webinar is a perfect learning opportunity no matter what stage of contemplation or implementation you are in. 1.5 Nursing CE available pending final approval. 

Participants will have the ability to:

  • Name at least 2 benefits of screening for social determinants of health.
  • Describe possible workflows that can be tested within their health center.
  • Name at least 3 free resources available to health centers to assist them with SDOH workflow planning.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Quality Improvement staff, Nursing staff, Care Management staff and anyone who may be involved with SDOH workflow.

This event is intended only for Community Health Center Staff.

Registration closes March 17, 2021, at Noon.
Solid Sign-ups for Biden's New ACA Coverage Offer
More than 200,000 people signed up for coverage in the first two weeks after President Joe Biden reopened HealthCare.gov as part of his coronavirus response, the government said Wednesday.

The solid start to the three-month special enrollment period indicates a pent-up demand for health insurance as the COVID-19 pandemic approaches the one-year mark and many people remain unemployed or unable to work as many hours as they did before the outbreak.

HealthCare.gov offers subsidized private health insurance under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, catering mainly to low- and moderate-income working people.  
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force revised its lung cancer screening recommendation for the first time in eight years. Lung cancer screening is now recommended for adults ages 50 to 80 who have a 20-pack per year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Lung cancer is the second most common, as well as deadliest, in the country. 

The coronavirus pandemic could lead to a surge in health care mergers and acquisitions due to weakened balance sheets of hospitals and other provider types. This will be bad for patients, authors argue in a new “Harvard Business Review” article. Consolidation of health care providers pre-pandemic has generally not led to promised efficiencies, cost reductions or better care coordination, they write.

COVID-19 infections and deaths are on the decline in rural versus urban areas in the last two weeks, according to a “Daily Yonder” article. The reason for these declines is unclear, but they highlight how rural areas, such as West Virginia, continue to lead in the pandemic response.

If you come across something worth sharing, please feel free to forward to Joshua Austin, WVPCA Policy and Communications Director at joshua.austin@wvpca.org.
State News
National News
March is National Nutrition Month
March is National Nutrition Month! The theme this year is Personalize Your Plate. There is no one-size-fits-all food pattern that works for everyone. The key is to create healthy and balanced habits that work long-term for you! 

To get started check out these USDA SNAP-Ed Connection resources:
American Rescue Plan Provides Resources
to Health Centers Fighting COVID-19
Congress has passed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan, which is on its way to President Biden’s desk for signature. In addition to providing stimulus checks for families, funding for schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs, the package includes much-needed relief for America’s Community Health Centers as they mark one year of fighting a deadly pandemic on the front lines of medically underserved and hard to reach communities. The legislation includes:
  • $7.6 billion in flexible emergency COVID-19 funding for Community Health Centers;
  • $800 million for the National Health Service Corps, $200 million for the Nurse Corps, and $330 million for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education programs, all of which support the health center workforce;
  • $7.6 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand the public health workforce;
  • $47.8 billion to HHS to implement a national testing strategy and contact tracing surveillance; and
  • $7.5 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccine administration and distribution, to be dispersed to support state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments, community vaccination centers, and mobile vaccination units.
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center Virtual Conference
The Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center will be going ALL VIRTUAL this year. They are committed to providing a great virtual experience and one way to do that is to break up the normally packed full days into smaller blocks of time across multiple days. The draft agenda is now available and will become even more detailed in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned – they will be sharing periodic updates about the innovative things they will be doing to make sure it’s not “just another Zoom meeting”!
President Biden Announces All Americans to be Eligible for Vaccinations by May 1, Puts the Nation on a Path to Get Closer to Normal by July 4th
In his prime time address, President Biden announced the next phase of the war-time effort to vaccinate the U.S. population, with the goal of getting the nation closer to normal by July 4th, Independence Day.

The President launched a new, comprehensive strategy to beat this pandemic on January 21, 2021. In the subsequent 7 weeks, we’ve delivered over 81 million vaccinations to Americans — today, more people are once again able to visit their loved ones. There is more work to do and today, the President is outlining the next phase of his whole of government strategy to put the pandemic behind us.

The President will announced that in the coming weeks, the Administration will:

Make every adult in the U.S. eligible for vaccination no later than May 1. Today, in the next phase of our vaccination effort, the President will announce that he will direct states, Tribes, and territories to make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine no later than May 1st. The White House COVID-19 Response Team has concluded that our accelerated vaccination efforts will enable prioritized vaccinations to be far enough along by end of April that all eligibility restrictions for vaccinations can be lifted by May 1st.

Once all Americans are eligible to be vaccinated, the Administration will ensure that every adult is actually able to get the vaccine by:

Increasing the number of places Americans can get vaccinated. With the resources available through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the Administration will ramp up efforts to create more places for people to get vaccinated, reaching the hardest-hit and hardest to reach populations.  
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center 2021 Award Nominations Deadline Extended
MATRC is seeking nominations that tell a compelling story of a telehealth program or project that has led to breaking down barriers to accessing quality care and/or addressing an unmet need that has led to improved health outcomes and/or quality of life. Examples of applications of telehealth include live interactive videoconferencing, store-and-forward, remote patient monitoring, as well as the use of mobile health apps, games and wearables.

To be eligible, the story must be about a telehealth program or project within the MATRC Service Area. This includes DC, DE, KY, MD, NC, NJ, PA, WV and VA. Awards will be announced and presented immediately following the Luncheon Keynote Address at the 2021 MATRC Telehealth Summit (http://matrcsummit.org/). Nominees need not be present to win.

Two awards will be given, one in each of two categories, as selected by a panel of judges. Each of the two winners will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize and free registration to the 2022 MATRC Telehealth Summit. Winners may also elect to donate the amount of their cash prize to the nonprofit of their choosing.
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Special Populations Roundtable - Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program 
Join several National Training and Technical Assistance Partner organizations for bi-weekly roundtable discussion around the COVID-19 vaccination rollout for special populations. Every other Friday, subject matter experts will convene to provide health centers with up-to-date information about the COVID vaccine and respond to cases and questions from health centers and other community partners.

Friday, March 26, 2021
1:00 PM EST
FTCA OFFICE HOURS
NACHC, in collaboration with Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell (FTLF), will be holding three virtual FTCA Office Hours to answer health center clinical leaders’ specific questions.

Topics covered include coverage for COVID-19 related activities, navigating telehealth, coverage for virtual services, issues related to COVID-19 vaccine delivery, deeming of volunteer health professionals, preparing for a virtual site visit, and risk management.

The most up-to-date FTCA FAQ is available here; go to “FTCA Requirements.” 

Submit your questions in advance to Klaepke@nachc.com.
Part of the COVID-19 and HIV Series Presented by the MAAETC: Community Health Centers: Safety Nets During a Pandemic for HIV/HCV Screening and Linkage to Care 
This webinar will describe the impact of the pandemic on HIV and HCV testing, diagnosis and linkage to care in clinical and community setting types and discuss ways CHCs used Telehealth to maintain patient linkage to care to care post diagnosis. Please join to learn from a geographically diverse group of CHCs how to maintain blood borne virus screening during these challenging times. This event is eligible for 1.5 credit hours.

Thursday, March 25, 2021
2:00 PM EST 
March 2021 Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
 
Join the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable to celebrate national achievements and to hear the latest state of the field updates.

Hear from Richard Wender, MD, and Robert Smith, PhD, NCCRT co-chairs; Lisa Richardson, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control; Rebecca Siegel, MPH, Senior Scientific Director, Surveillance Research, American Cancer Society; Folasade May, MD, PhD, MPhil, UCLA Health, our 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Awards grand prize honoree; and other special guests.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021
3:00 - 4:00 PM EST
Funding and Financial Opportunities
HRSA Released a First-of-its-Kind NOFO for SBSS
HRSA has released a first-of-its-kind Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Health Center Program Service Expansion - School-Based Service Sites (SBSS, HRSA-21-093). SBSS funding will increase the number of patients receiving services through new and expanded school-based service sites. For this funding opportunity, service expansion is defined as new or expanded general primary medical care, behavioral health (mental health and substance use disorder), oral health, vision, and/or enabling services provided to health center patients at school-based service sites provided face-to-face or virtually.

Technical assistance (TA) resources, including a webinar overview of the NOFO, are available on the SBSS TA webpage.

FY 2021 SBSS applications are due in:
  • Grants.gov: Monday, March 22 (11:59 p.m. EST).
  • HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks: Tuesday, April 20 (5:00 p.m. EST).
Community Health Center Resources
Jackson Kelly attorneys provide limited consultation to all members of the WVPCA at no charge, as part of the WVPCA contract. There is no limit to the number of calls which any member may make. All inquiries within the scope of professional competence of firm attorneys will be addressed. Inquiries which require expertise not available through the firm will be promptly identified and, when requested, Jackson Kelly will assist in referring the matter to accounting firms, insurance agents, or others as circumstances warrant.

All inquiries, responses and consultation services provided by the firm lawyers will be provided without additional charge beyond the retainer amount, except for matters which require formal opinions, representation of record in litigation, transactional work, e.g. the purchase or sale of real property, or matters which require continued representation, research or consultation beyond a single inquiry or document review.

Justin M. Harrison is a labor & employment lawyer with Jackson Kelly PLLC. He is available for consultation through a special retainer relationship with the WVPCA. Justin can be reached at 304.340.1358 and via email at justin.harrison@jacksonkelly.com.
ECRI Institute
Pandemic Operational Recovery Guide
Operational disruptions to ambulatory care during and after a pandemic are significant. These disruptions may change many aspects of care delivery in ways that impact providers, staff, and patients alike.
 
Care may be temporarily limited or delivered in nontraditional ways, and recovery of operations may represent a "new normal."
 
The Pandemic Operational Recovery Guide for Health Centers and Free Clinics was written to assist health centers and free clinics in identifying and minimizing risks as they recover from operational disruptions related to a pandemic.
 
The handbook contains links to tools as well as links to additional resources for a more comprehensive discussion of individual topics. Readers can refer to descriptive "Strategy" headings in each section, and consult the recommendations, tools, and resources that follow for more detailed information. Although some tools and resources focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, they can be adapted to respond to other public health emergencies.
Risk Management Manual for Health Centers Now Available!
The Risk Management Manual for Health Centers is now available on the ECRI Institute Clinical Risk Management Program website! Designed to support a proactive approach to risk management at health centers and free clinics, the Manual provides background, tips, and how-tos in a manageable format.
Specific areas that are covered include:
Risk Management Programs & Plans
Claims and Lawsuits
Role of the Risk Manager
Patient Grievances and Complaints
Communication with Patients
Credentialing and Privileging
Communication among Providers, Staff, and Community Partners
Tracking Systems for Diagnostic Tests, Referrals, and Hospitalizations

View an archived webinar that provides a guided tour of the Manual and key features. For access to the ECRI Institute Clinical Risk Management Program website or any other questions, email clinical_rm_program@ecri.org.
WVPCA Staff
Sherri Ferrell, MBA | Chief Executive Officer
Debra Boyd | Chief Financial/Chief Operations Officer
Staci Arnold, MBA | Data Service & Integration Specialist
Joshua Austin | Policy & Communications Director
Paula Beasley | Education & Communication Coordinator
Jennifer Boyd, PA-C, PCMH-CCE | Clinical Consultant
John Kennedy, MA | School-Based Health/Behavioral Health Coordinator
Pam Moore | Member Relations Coordinator
Shannon Parker, MBA, PCMH-CCE | Director of Health Center Operations
Ruby Piscopo | Outreach & Enrollment Coordinator
Amanda West | Staff Accountant
Emma White, RN | Clinical Quality Improvement Coordinator
To sign up to receive the WVPCA Weekly Newsletter:
1700 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, WV 25314
Phone: 304.346.0032
Toll Free: 1.877.WVA HLTH
This project is/was supported partially/fully by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U58CS06834 State and Regional Primary Care Associations. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.