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WVPCA Weekly Outlook
A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare
May 21, 2021
In This Issue...
WVPCA News - Emergency Management News - Outreach and Enrollment - State News - National News - Funding Opportunities
Upcoming Training Opportunities - What We're Reading
News Flash!
COVID-19 metrics improving as state takes steps toward normalcy
Read the entire article from WVNews here.

West Virginia ranked sixth highest in teen pregnancy rates
Read the entire article from WOWK here.

West Virginia nutrition program to offer benefits boost
Read the entire article from WVNews here.
Ruf Selected as President of the West Virginia Primary Care Association Board of Directors
Eric Ruf, CEO of Barbour Community Health Association, has been appointed as president of the West Virginia Primary Care Association, a private, nonprofit membership association that represents safety-net health-care providers.

He succeeds John Schultz, CEO of New River Health Association.

When asked about his new role, Ruf said, “I’m very honored to be serving in this role for the next 2 years. Community health centers serve 1 in 4 West Virginians across the state and provide a full range of health services to all ages from all walks of life. Working closely with my peers, we wish to continue growing and spreading the message that everyone deserves quality health care in our home communities so that our friends and families can live long, productive lives.”
Emergency Preparedness Workshop Series
Please join the WVPCA and BOLDplanning, as we are excited to offer our members a four (4) part webinar series of Emergency and Continuity Planning (ECP) Workshops. Health centers and their staff play a key role in emergency preparedness efforts for all types of events, including natural or man-made disasters, pandemic outbreaks, or terrorist attacks. To further strengthen health center emergency preparedness, BOLDplanning experts will cover plan fundamentals along with specific details. Each workshop builds off the next.

Webinar Series includes:

Thursday, June 3, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Plan Basics: People, Places, and Things

Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Policies, Procedures, and Plan Activation

Thursday, June 17, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Reporting, Gap Analysis, and Plan Maintenance

Thursday, June 24, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Hazards and Risk Assessment

After attending these presentations health centers will have the opportunity to have a customized ECP consultation by a BOLDplanning expert free of charge!

Developing strong emergency preparedness plans are a critical part of effectively serving the community. The ECP is designed to help healthcare organizations of all types and sizes create practical and compliant plans. Providing you the tools, skills, and experience to develop these plans is a mission of the WVPCA. BOLDplanning is a market leader in developing preparedness plans for healthcare and is proud to be your partner.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Emergency Management Personnel

This event is intended only for Community Health Center Staff.
Registration closes on June 2, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST.
Data Report Shows Vulnerable Children and Teens Forgoing Mental Health Care During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Data recently released by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) highlights the continued impact the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) is having on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries and utilization of health services. The data show that, from March through October 2020, beneficiaries have foregone millions of primary, preventive, and mental health care visits due to the COVID-19 PHE, compared to the same time period in 2019. Although utilization rates for some treatments have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, mental health services show the slowest rebound. This decline in utilization is occurring at a time when preliminary evidence shows mental health conditions have worsened nationwide. The gap in service utilization due to the PHE, particularly for mental health services, may have a substantial impact on long-term health outcomes. Medicaid and CHIP-funded mental health services, in addition to primary and preventative services, cover the majority of children, people living in poverty, and those with special health care needs. Medicaid and CHIP also cover millions of racial and ethnic minorities.

The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign, a national outreach and enrollment initiative funded under the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) and the Affordable Care Act, has recently launched a Mental Health Initiative, which includes a digital video, print materials and social media graphics that promote mental health services, which are covered under Medicaid and CHIP.
Coming Soon: CDO Application Open Season
Any organization operating in a Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) state seeking to provide CAC enrollment assistance to consumers for Plan Year 2022 must apply to become a CDO and enter into an agreement with CMS.

CMS invites NEW applicant organizations who want to become a CDO for Plan Year 2022 to apply during CMS’s Open Season, running from June 1 through August 31, 2021.

CDOs are a vital component of the assister community. In the FFM, CDOs oversee certified application counselors (CACs), who are trained and able to help consumers seeking health coverage options through the Marketplace. For an overview of the CAC Program, visit the technical assistance page of Marketplace.CMS.gov.

IMPORTANT: This notification applies only to organizations operating in a FFM state, that do not currently have an active CMS-CDO agreement with CMS, who wish to become a CDO for Plan Year 2022. Organizations with an active CMS-CDO agreement should disregard this message. If you are unsure if your organization has an active CMS-CDO agreement with CMS, please contact us at CACQuestions@cms.hhs.gov.
CDC COVID-19 Updates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, including a section specific to rural health care, a vaccine locator by state, and COVID-19 Vaccination Trainings for new and experienced providers. NEW: Updated Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 vaccination, including new guidance for use in adolescents 12 and older. 
CDC Guidance for Those Fully Vaccinated
Share these CDC webpages with health center staff and patients to help them understand the latest CDC guidance for those who are fully vaccinated:
Internet access, income, education & more: What factors determine vaccination rates?
The reason some communities have low COVID-19 vaccination rates can't be entirely chalked up to vaccine hesitancy. Factors that determine an individual's access to vaccination play a role as well — namely Internet access, insurance status, income, household size and education.

Below are five sometimes-overlooked factors that keep Americans from getting vaccinated against COVID-19, per a GoodRx report.

  1. States with a higher proportion of households that lack reliable Internet access have lower vaccination rates. Americans have scheduled their vaccinations online for most of the country's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and the Internet is often necessary to find reputable information about vaccines and side effects.
  2. Even though COVID-19 vaccines are free, states with higher proportions of uninsured people have lower vaccination rates.
  3. States with lower median household incomes usually have lower vaccination rates.
  4. States with a higher proportion of single-parent households have lower vaccination rates.
  5. States with a lower proportion of residents with a bachelor’s degree have lower vaccination rates.
State News
HHS Determined Six Pharmaceutical Companies
Violate Program that Provides Affordable Medications for Low-income West Virginians
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has determined six pharmaceutical companies are violating the 340B Drug Pricing Program, which ensures access to medications for low-income West Virginians and Americans. 
“This determination by HHS is a step in the right direction for West Virginians who rely on the 340B program to access affordable medications through their healthcare providers,” said US Senator Joe Manchin. “These six companies blatantly violated the statutes they agreed to and have impacted many West Virginia families that were already struggling to find and pay for essential medications during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unacceptable that these companies implemented these policies in the first place, and I will continue fighting to ensure these companies return to providing low-income families with vital life-saving medicines.”
The 340B Drug Pricing Program was created in 1992 to mandate drug companies who participate in the Medicaid program provide discounted drugs to certain healthcare providers that serve vulnerable populations. The 340B program provides much needed savings to health providers to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, allowing more patients to access affordable medication. The savings are passed on to patients through low-cost drugs and expanded access to essential patient care.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, at least six drug companies have taken steps to deny access to discounted drugs for 340B covered entities that use contract pharmacies, which HHS has determined is in violation of the 340B statute. These actions are restricting access to medications, which have already been more difficult to purchase during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These changes are also negatively affecting West Virginia health centers and healthcare providers who rely on this program to provide vulnerable West Virginians with quality, affordable care.

“We are delighted that HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, through HRSA, has taken bold steps to stop the attack by pharmaceutical companies on the 340B program,” said Sherri Ferrell, CEO of the West Virginia Primary Care Association. “The undermining of the 340B program by pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers has taken its toll on West Virginia’s community health centers and their contract pharmacy partners. We are also thankful for the backing of the state’s Congressional delegation regarding the 340B program. The 340B program allows health centers to continue providing prescription drugs to those in need and to stretch scarce resources as far as possible to help the underserved.”
Stimulant Use Disorders and Contingency Management Presentation
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH) received a grant award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the State’s response to opioid use. The State Opioid Response Grant (SOR) funding was used to expand the availability of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) treatment and evidence-based services that identify and engage individuals in treatment and provide supports to help keep them in treatment and long-term recovery.

The intent of SOR funding is to reduce/prevent Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) related morbidity and mortality by expanding access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services. SOR funding is time limited and focuses on expanding West Virginia’s service delivery infrastructure, funding mechanisms, and relationships internal to the organization that will help sustain the system. Services are trauma informed and staffed by individuals with effective client engagement skills who are prepared to link individuals—or their loved ones—with Opioid Use Disorder to a full array of early intervention, treatment, and recovery resources.

Treatment is ultimately a decision between provider and patient; therefore, individuals must be able to make an informed decision. Increasing access to and retention in Treatment with Medication, an evidence-based treatment, using the three FDA-approved medications for OUD is a key factor in the opioid continuum of care. Implementation of evidence-based approaches, such as contingency management, is essential to individuals diagnosed with Stimulant Usage Disorder.

This presentation to be held on May 24, 2021 is to learn more about stimulant use disorders and contingency management. Please register to attend this presentation by Dr. Patrick Marshalek and Dr. Josh Carter.
National News
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month in America. Education, prevention and early detection can lower the new diagnoses and fatality rates of this horrible disease.

Did you know skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world? In the U.S., skin cancer kills two people every hour, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. One in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.

There are many types of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common. Melanoma is the deadliest. Your risk of melanoma doubles if you’ve had more than 5 sunburns in your life. Almost 200,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with melanoma in 2020.

Yet there’s hope: When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent. For all types of skin cancer, early treatment is highly effective and saves lives.
National Health Service Corps New Site Application Open, Inactive Sites May Apply
The 2021 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) new site application cycle is now open for eligible health care sites that have never been approved as NHSC sites. This year’s application is also open to formerly approved NHSC sites that have become inactive. Eligibility includes health care sites that provide outpatient, ambulatory and primary healthcare services (i.e., medical, dental, and behavioral health) in Health Professional Shortage Areas. Additional eligible site types include facilities providing general substance use disorder treatment, a medication-assisted treatment program, or an opioid treatment program. Applications are due at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 25. Click below to learn more about the NHSC new site application. 
Funding and Financial Opportunities
HHS Announces $1 Billion from American Rescue Plan for Construction and Renovation Projects
HHS has announced the availability of $1 billion for HRSA-Health Center Program funded health centers to support major construction and renovation projects across the country. The funding builds on President Biden’s commitment to ensuring equity in access to COVID-19 response efforts and high quality primary health care services.

Health centers that receive this funding will be able to use it for COVID-19 related capital needs and to construct new facilities, renovate and expand existing facilities, and purchase new equipment. Read the press release.

Applications are due in HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) by 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 24. Visit the American Rescue Plan funding for Health Center Construction and Capital Improvements technical assistance (TA) webpage for award submission guidance, information about upcoming question and answer sessions, and other resources.
PPP Application Deadline May 31
Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will be accepted through May 31, 2021. Health centers are eligible for First Draw PPP Loans if they have 500 or more employees but fewer than 500 employees per location. Existing PPP borrowers that did not receive loan forgiveness by December 27, 2020, can reapply for a First Draw PPP loan.

If borrowers previously returned some or all of their First Draw PPP loan funds, they may request to modify their First Draw PPP loan amount if they did not accept the full amount for which they were eligible. Second Draw PPP Loans are only available to entities that have received, plan to use, or have used the First Draw PPP loan for authorized uses in its entirety. Entities must have no more than 300 employees per location and demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. 
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Today with Macrae: Health Center Program Updates 
Join Jim to hear the latest information on funding, the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, and more.

Thursday, May 27, 2021
3:00 - 4:00 PM EST
Diabetes Prevention Across the Lifespan Webinar
This webinar will highlight the key takeaways from MHP Salud and HOP’s 2020-2021 article series: Diabetes Across the Lifespan. The facilitators will share expertise on utilizing community health workers to improve health outcomes, demonstrate opportunities for partnering with other community organizations, and showcase success stories from community health centers implementing innovative strategies around addressing diabetes.

Thursday, May 27, 2021
2:00 PM EST
Social Determinants of Health Community of Practice 
This community of practice offers a deep dive into the myriad of social and economic factors that contribute to health outcomes. Participants will discuss strategies and resources they can employ to identify and screen for social determinants of health (SDOH), as well as ways to mitigate their impact.

Participants can earn 1.5 CE credits for each session they attend, with a maximum of 9 CEs for participation in all six sessions. Register now for the series, which starts in June.

Starts June 8, 2021
2:30 PM EST 
The Importance of Recognizing and Responding to Toxic Stress in Primary Care Settings
This webinar will provide an overview of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and their relationship to Toxic Stress, including models explaining their impact on chronic health conditions. Presenters will review the importance of recognizing a history of toxic stress and responding to patients with a trauma informed approach in primary care settings.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
2:00 PM EST
The Trevor Project released its annual survey on the mental health of LGBTQ youth in the United States. The results show that the majority of those surveyed report poor mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, 70% of youth surveyed stated that their mental health was poor always or most of the time during the pandemic. 

Will your staff be splitting time remotely and in-office now that most of them are fully vaccinated against COVID-19? There is likely a need to re-establish ground rules for communication. The “Harvard Business Review” has a timely article by Erica Dhawan, an expert on 21st century teamwork and collaboration, on how to do just that.
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.