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WVPCA Weekly Outlook
A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare
March 19, 2021
In This Issue...
Emergency Management News - WVPCA News
Outreach and Enrollment News - State News - National News
Funding Opportunities - Upcoming Training Opportunities
What We're Reading
All Community Health Centers are Taking
Part in Weekly Community Vaccine Events

Bluestone Health Association Aided in Vaccinating Roughly 20% of Mercer County
About 15,000 people, which represents approximately 20 percent of Mercer County’s population, as of last Friday, received doses of vaccine against COVID-19.

Bluestone Health Care Association, Inc. and the Mercer County Health Department have been working over the last two weeks to get more people their first or second COVID-19 vaccinations. These vaccinations, administered the first week by the health department and the second week by Bluestone Health personnel, were by appointment at the Karen Preservati Center/Princeton Rescue Squad Training Center. The goal was to administer about 4,800 vaccinations.

Gov. Jim Justice recently encouraged more West Virginians to register for vaccinations. Residents can sign up online at vaccinate.wv.gov or call 1-833-734-0965.
News Flash!
Kroger will require masks until all frontline grocery workers can receive COVID-19 vaccine
Read the entire article from WOWKTV here.

Senate confirms Xavier Becerra as HHS secretary as U.S. tries to emerge from Covid crisis
Read the entire article from CNBC here.

West Virginia has slight increases in several COVID-19 categories
Read the entire article from WCHSTV here.
HRSA and CDC Expand CHC Vaccine Program 
During the first phase of the health center vaccine program, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) invited 250 health centers to participate and is now inviting an additional 700 health centers to join the program over the next 6 weeks. The next group includes those serving a high proportion of low income and minority patients, those providing services to rural populations, health centers operating Tribal/Urban Indian Health Programs, and/or health centers using mobile vans to deliver services. Please remember that health center responses to the Weekly HRSA/BPHC COVID-19 Survey are one element considered to determine which health centers are prepared to receive vaccinations.
Expanded Covid-19 Vaccine Eligibility
All essential workers 16 and over in West Virginia, as well as individuals with certain qualifying conditions, will now be eligible to receive a vaccine.

These additional conditions include: Asthma, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, immunosuppression, lung fibrosis, chronic obstructive lung disease, blood disorders, liver disease, neurological disorder, high blood pleasure and chronic infections from diseases like HIV. 
HHS Mask Distribution Program Update  
Consistent with President Biden’s national strategy to defeat COVID-19, the Department of Defense, in partnership with HHS, will deliver free masks to HRSA-supported health centers and Health Center Program look-alikes. The mask delivery timeframe has been updated to begin by late April. 

Health centers who want to opt out can still do so by contacting Health Center Program Support online or via phone at 877-464-4772, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday (except federal holidays). 
WVPBRN Announcement: New SUD Resource Available 
The State Opioid Response (SOR) team would like to increase awareness of a resource available to all SUD providers in West Virginia. Support from the WVU Medicine Center of Excellence for Addiction (COE); the key mission is to improve access to and the quality of addiction services in West Virginia, thereby decreasing the morbidity and mortality of opioid use disorder (OUD). 
The COE can conduct quality improvement evaluations (QIE) with facilities or organizations to enhance the services provided, this can achieve higher rates of treatment retention as well as ensure high quality of services. The COE facilitates SUD specific trainings utilizing SAMHSA materials, work to increase system efficiencies, and improve continuity of care state-wide for individuals as they transition between levels of care.
Topics that the COE may help with include: 
  • Clinical - prescriber role/case consults on typical or moderate complexity patients; Individual and Group psychotherapy topics and techniques; Psychotherapy documentation; Developing an MOUD treatment plan
  • Program Management - utilization of advanced practice professionals in MOUD (scope of practice, professional standards, regulation)
  • Administration - some coding, billing; state/federal policy; systems process & outcomes QI; technology; program development
Special Assister Coalition Meeting Scheduled
Both CMS and HHS released fact sheets on the American Rescue Plan and the Marketplace. Here are links to each fact sheet: CMS and HHS. Effective April 1, 2021 there are changes coming to the Marketplace.

The WVPCA is holding a special assister coalition meeting on March 25, 2021 at 10:00am via Zoom. This will provide an opportunity for Assisters and Stakeholders to come together and share strategies and ask questions.
Marketplace Special Enrollment Period Materials 
Marketplace Special Enrollment Period Materials: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the Health Insurance Marketplace from February 15 through May 15. Technical guidance from CMS describes the SEP and provides answers to frequently asked questions. CMS has created a partner toolkit with outreach and education materials on the SEP to share with your members and others in your community. The toolkit includes the following social media posts, images, ads, videos, and flyers.
State News
West Virginia Reaches 7-day Average Vaccine Administration of 10,000 Doses Per Day 
West Virginia is continuing to push its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, reaching an average of 10,000 doses administered per day over the weekend.

According to data from the state Department of Health and Human Resources, the state on Friday administered more than 22,000 vaccine doses. More than 25,000 doses were administered the day before.

Taking a seven-day average as of Friday (averaging administration for March 8-12) gives a rate of about 10,026 doses per day.
National News
Diabetes Alert Day is March 23
American Diabetes Association Diabetes Alert Day® is on March 23, 2021! Observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day “wake-up call” that focuses on the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of understanding your risk. We encourage you to find out if you—or someone you love—is at risk for type 2 diabetes by taking this quick and simple Diabetes Risk Test.

Did You Know?
  • Diabetes affects about 34.2 million Americans or about 10.5 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 adults living with diabetes, or 7.3 million Americans, are unaware that they have the disease.
  • Approximately 88 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
  • More than 84 percent of people living with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
  • About 50 percent of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that women develop when they are pregnant.
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”!
National Poison Prevention Week: March 21-27
Next week is National Poison Prevention Week. HRSA’s Poison Control Program encourages everyone to learn more about the dangers of unintentional poisonings and how to take the appropriate preventive measures. When in doubt, check it out! Call Poison Help at 800-222-1222 or visit HRSA’s Poison Help website

The site includes these and other helpful resources for health centers:
Funding and Financial Opportunities
School-Based Service Sites Health Center Program Service Expansion
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). Funding is available from HRSA to community health centers for new in-person and/or virtual sites in or on school grounds or expanding of an existing site. Twenty-five grants of $200,000 per year for two years will be awarded. The expansion can be for medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, substance use disorder, or enabling services. Deadline is April 2, 2021.
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
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 
Today with MACRAE: Health Center Program Updates
The HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care will provide health center program updates in “Today with Macrae”. Join Jim for more information about funding, the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, COVID-19 progress reporting, and more.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
A recent “60 Minutes” report focused on the threat posed by coronavirus variants. The report underscores why—even once vaccinated for COVID-19—it is prudent to follow recommended guidelines, such as mask wearing, social distancing and good hand washing. 

It is widely accepted that access to robust primary care is key to driving better quality outcomes and achieving lower health care costs. The Commonwealth Fund featured a new case study about how Costa Rica achieved just that through its primary care system. Costa Rica’s primary care system and its successes could be informative to the United States and other countries.

AcademyHealth and Milbank Memorial Fund partnered to produce an issue brief on how state Medicaid programs, including West Virginia’s, are treating opioid use disorder. According to the issue brief, Medicaid programs are utilizing two main approaches: 1. Implementation of health homes and 2. Warm handoffs and care transitions. 

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.
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.
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, PCMH-CCE | 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.