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WVPCA Weekly Outlook
A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare
January 29, 2021
In This Issue...
Emergency Management News - WVPCA News
School Based Health Corner - What We're Reading - State News
National News - Funding Opportunities
COVID-19 Vaccines Were Made Available to
Residents on the West Side of Charleston
FamilyCare Medical Assistant Briana Thomas gives a COVID-19 vaccination.
Cabin Creek Health Systems, Josh O'Dell-NP, gives a COVID-19 vaccination.
Hundreds of COVID-19 vaccines were made available this week to residents on the West Side of Charleston at the Salvation Army, off Tennessee Avenue.

The vaccinations were by appointment to those 65 and older, and distributed through a collaboration with Cabin Creek Health Systems, FamilyCare Health Centers, HOPE Community Development Corporation, Partnership of African American Churches, the United Way of Central West Virginia, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, and WVU School of Medicine.

The Rev. Matthew Watts, with Grace Bible Church, said Thursday’s event was significant given the difficulties across the country in gaining the trust of historically oppressed Black communities to take the vaccine, and also in ensuring equal access among minority populations for vaccinations.

“This could be the single-largest concentration of African Americans participating in getting vaccines that they’ve had in this area,” Watts said. “It’s just showing that if the vaccine is made available, and the community leaders are allowed to help recruit people to get appointments, there are many African Americans who will agree to get the vaccination.”
News Flash!
How West Virginia became a US leader in vaccine rollout
Read the entire article from The New York Times here.

South Carolina Reports 1st Known U.S. Cases Of Variant From South Africa
Read the entire article from NPR here.

CDC: Schools are safe with precautions
Read the entire article from WCHS here.

Community Health Centers are ready to vaccinate the vulnerable against COVID-19, but crave certainty
Read the entire article from U.S. News here.
COVID Vaccination Sites and Form 5
HRSA has updated its COVID-19 FAQ page to offer direction on how health centers should reflect vaccination sites on Form 5. HRSA directs health centers to record vaccination sites on Form 5B as a service site if all these conditions are met: 
  • Health center encounters are generated by documenting in the patients’ face-to-face contacts between patients and providers;
  • Providers exercise independent judgment in the provision of services to the patient;
  • Services are provided directly by or on behalf of the grantee, whose governing board retains control and authority over the provision of the services at the location; and
  • Services are provided on a regularly scheduled basis. However, there is no minimum number of hours per week that services must be available at an individual site. 

On the other hand, if health centers provide vaccinations at a location that is not an approved service site, such activity should be documented on Form 5C: Other Activities/Locations.
Biden Administration Warns Fully Meeting Vaccine Demand Could Take 'Months'
Members of the White House COVID-19 task force on Wednesday said the administration has reached its initial target of averaging 1 million vaccinations a day but warned it could take months before everyone who wants a vaccine can get one.

In the first of the Biden administration's promised regular updates on the nation's pandemic response, Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the task force, said 47 million doses have been distributed to states and long-term care facilities. But only 24 million have been administered, while an estimated 3.4 million people have received their second dose.

An average of 1.1 million vaccinations a day have been conducted since Jan. 21, according to figures presented by the response team. The daily vaccination rate declined over the past two days, averaging more than 845,000 doses from Jan. 25 through Jan. 26.

Slavitt said 1 million vaccinations a day represented reaching the "floor, not the ceiling" in terms of the administration's effort.

But the administration's push is constrained by vaccine supply and how quickly providers can administer doses received, Slavitt said.

"Any stockpile that may have existed previously no longer exists," Slavitt said. "Our practice is to maintain a rolling inventory of two to three days of supply that we can use to supplement any shortfalls in production and to ensure that we are making deliveries as committed."
School Based Health Care Awareness Month
Every February, the school-based health care community celebrates National School-Based Health Center Awareness Month—an opportunity to recognize the success and raise awareness about how school-based health centers (SBHCs) are revolutionizing the way children and adolescents access health care services.

We want to hear about how you celebrate National School-Based Health Center Awareness Month! Tell us (or show us!) what you did for awareness month. Email your story to us at events@wvpca.org and remember to include detailed information of who and what is in your pictures and videos! With your permission, we’ll use your story in future publications.
2021 Special Enrollment Period in
Response to the COVID-19 Emergency

In accordance with the Executive Order issued today by President Biden, the Department announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which has left millions of Americans facing uncertainty and exceptional circumstances while millions of Americans have experienced new health problems during the pandemic. This SEP will allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces served by the HealthCare.gov platform to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage. Beginning February 15, 2021 and through May 15, 2021, these Marketplaces will operationalize functionality to make this SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) operating their own platform have the opportunity to take similar action within their states.

“The Department is committed to ensuring that we deploy every available resource during the Public Health Emergency. This Special Enrollment Period will ensure that more individuals and families have access to quality, affordable health coverage during this unprecedented time,” said HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published research this week that found little evidence of COVID-19 transmission in schools, especially when basic protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing, as well as good ventilation, were used. Researchers authored an opinion piece in JAMA summarizing CDC and other research that may help guide policymakers and state/local school boards. 

The Daily Yonder reported that many Americans may live in a nonmetropolitan instead of a metropolitan county as soon as 2023 due to an eleventh-hour change by the Trump administration. The Office of Management and Budget under former President Trump proposed adjusting the population threshold for metropolitan areas from 50,000 to 100,000 people. This would, for example, classify every West Virginia county in the Northern Panhandle as nonmetropolitan, as well as populated counties such as Monongalia and Wood. The recommendation is out for public comment. It is not known if the Biden administration will accept the recommendation.

The public’s interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccination has improved markedly in recent weeks, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found. Now almost half of American adults (47%) have been vaccinated or want to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, up from about a third of American adults in December 2020.

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
WV-SOR Workshop Series: SMART Recovery
WV-SOR Worship Series SMART Recovery to be held on February 3, 2021 at 1PM. This Workshop will provide an overview of SMART Recovery support group meetings. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. The SMART approach is secular and science-based, using cognitive behavioral therapy and non-confrontational motivational methods.

Presenter: David Koss, SMART Recovery
Multiple Funding Opportunities to Reduce Prevalence of Diabetes from Marshall University
The Marshall University Division of Community Health is pleased to announce multiple funding opportunities available for healthcare systems and diabetes/health coalitions to improve health disparities in West Virginia by reducing the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease through chronic disease prevention and self-management education programs. 

The following funding opportunities are available:
1.    $2,500 value - Increase access to and participation in the National Diabetes Prevention Program through incentives and marketing materials. 
2.     $10,000 – Increase access to and participation in evidence-based programs for community-based organizations and diabetes-health coalitions on healthy eating, physical activity, chronic disease prevention and self-management education programs.
3.     $10,000 - Increase access to and participation in Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring Programs (SMBP) by providing technical assistance and funding to healthcare systems to establish SMBP monitoring programs.
4.     $10,000 - Increase access to and participation in Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Programs (DSMES) by providing technical assistance and financial support to healthcare systems to establish new programs.

Please contact Regina Knox at knoxr@marshall.edu or Shelia Plogger at splogger@ marshall.edu for more information and any questions.
National News
Biden Signs Executive Orders and Freezes Rule Affecting Community Health Center’s 340B Drug Discounts
President Joe Biden has signed a flurry of executive orders, actions and memorandums aimed at rapidly addressing the coronavirus pandemic and dismantling many of President Donald Trump's policies.

The 30 executive actions Biden has taken in the first days of his administration include halting funding for the construction of Trump's border wall, reversing Trump's travel ban targeting largely Muslim countries, imposing a mask mandate on federal property, ramping up vaccination supplies and requiring international travelers to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to traveling to the US.

The Biden administration implemented a regulatory rule freeze affecting all federal agency rules that had not gone into effect as of Jan. 20, 2021. At its core, the regulatory rule freeze requires all pending final rules to be delayed at least 60 days in order for the Biden administration to review and opine on the necessity and scope of affected rules. During this delay period, the administration may review, revise, and possibly rescind federal administrative rules.

Pursuant to the regulatory rule freeze, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has frozen a final rule that would have blocked community health centers (i.e., federally qualified health centers) from receiving future grant funding unless the health centers provided a complete pass-through of 340B discounts on insulin and epi-pens to low-income patients (the 340B Insulin Pass-Through Rule). 

At the time, NACHC said, "The 340B program is critical for health centers’ ability to make medications affordable for patients, and to generate savings that are used to expand access to other services. Previously, most health centers were unable to afford to provide their patients with access to discounted drugs. NACHC estimates that 10 million low-income patients will suffer reduced access to health center services and affordable medicine unless HHS acts now to protect the program."
Uniform Data System 2020 Reporting Season Underway
The Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting period for calendar year 2020 is now underway. All HRSA-funded health centers are required to submit complete and accurate UDS reports by Monday, February 15.

Upon successful submission, they will assign your UDS report to a UDS reviewer who will work with you throughout March to finalize your data submission. They will not allow changes after Wednesday, March 31.

The 2020 UDS Manual and other resources are available on HRSA’s website to help you complete an accurate report. The manual includes an introduction to the UDS, instructions for completing each of the tables, and information on how to submit the UDS through EHBs.
Have You Taken the RTAT? Time is Running Out!
The WVPCA invites you to complete the Readiness to Train Assessment Tool (RTAT) survey before February 28, 2021. This survey tool was developed to assess organizational readiness to implement Health Professions Training (HPT) programs in health centers across the country and is strongly encouraged by HRSA. 
Every FQHC and FQHC look alike in the country is being invited to participate—make sure YOUR health center’s input is included!
So far, we have had a 55% completion rate among WV CHC’s! Thanks to all those who have completed the survey and to those who have not, please do so before the survey closes!
Every staff person is invited to complete an initial set of questions about general readiness to engage in health professions training. In addition, if you feel you can comment on your health center’s readiness to engage in one or more specific health professions training program(s), we welcome you to continue on and share your opinions on a wide range of programs, from medical assistant or dental assistant training, to NP and PA students, to postgraduate residents and fellows in multiple disciplines—and more.  
Once the survey results are compiled, the WVPCA can help you develop a workforce plan to include health professions trainings and/or pipeline programs, as well as offering T/TA to help you achieve your workforce goals.

Please contact Shannon Parker, WVPCA Director of Health Center Operations at Shannon.parker@wvpca.org should you have any questions or concerns.
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy  
This is one of two sessions HRSA’s Office of Regional Operations (ORO) will host relating to vaccine confidence. It is specific to Phases 1A and 1B of the rollout (a future session will focus on Phases 1C and 1D).

Wednesday, February 3, 2021
1:00 - 2:15 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. Follow-ups will include a FAQ and links to additional resources.

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

Submit your questions in advance to Klaepke@nachc.com.
Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Behavioral Health Patients and Staff 
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced behavioral health programs to alter many of the traditional tools of behavioral healthcare delivery at a time when such services within community health centers are in high demand. 

As we hope and plan for a post-pandemic future, these key values and strategies must be at the core of our efforts: The patient is at the center, the integrated primary and behavioral health workforce is the foundation of our system, and the way forward must incorporate a serious appreciation of the resources required to rebuild and enhance these systems to support patients.

 Tuesday, February 9, 2021
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM ET 
Today with MACRAE
The HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care will provide health center program updates in “Today with Macrae”.

 Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET 

Access details coming soon
Funding and Financial Opportunities
Integrated Substance Use Disorder Training Program
The Integrated Substance Use Disorder Training Program (ISTP) program will integrate mental health and substance use treatment services in primary care settings. Grantees will train practicing professionals to provide addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services in underserved communities. Practicing professionals include the following disciplines: nurse practitioners, physician assistants, health service psychologists, and social workers. Approximately $6.5 million will be available in FY 2021 to fund two grantees. The application deadline is Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
Fiscal Year 2021 Ending the HIV Epidemic - Primary Care HIV Prevention Funding Now Available
HRSA released the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Ending the HIV Epidemic - Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (HRSA-21-092). HRSA will invest approximately $83 million in health centers located in the 57 geographic locations identified by Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, with the goal of increasing the number of health centers in the geographic locations that are focused on HIV prevention.

FY 2021 PCHP will support expanding HIV prevention services that decrease the risk of HIV transmission, focusing on supporting access to and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Health centers with service delivery sites in the geographic locations that did not receive FY 2020 PCHP funding will be eligible to apply. Technical assistance (TA) resources are available on the PCHP TA webpage.

FY 2021 PCHP applications are due in:
Grants.gov: Tuesday, February 2, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET).
• HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks: Monday, March 1, 2021 (5:00 p.m. ET).
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 | 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.