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WVPCA Weekly Outlook
A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare
December 18, 2020
In This Issue...
Emergency Management News - WVPCA News - O/E
State News - National News - Funding Opportunities
Season's Greetings
The Weekly Outlook will be taking a two week break for the holidays. We will resume our regular publication on January 8, 2021. WVPCA wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
News Flash!
Nearly 80% of W.Va. teachers want vaccine, early survey results show
Read the entire article from WCHS News here.

As W.Va. outpaces the nation on nursing home vaccinations, hard-hit facilities cheer with relief
Read the entire article here MetroNews here.

Wearing a used mask could be worse than no mask amid COVID-19: study
Read the entire article from New York Post here.

Some states say Pfizer vaccine allotments cut for next week
Read the entire article from WVNews here.
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Nearly Half of Community Health Center Patients Qualify for Phase One COVID-19 Vaccinations
For more than five decades, the nation’s community health centers have been a key part of broad scale immunization programs and will play an essential role in COVID-19 vaccination efforts. In a new analysis, researchers from the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative estimate that nearly half of all patients served by FQHCs qualify for phase one COVID-19 immunizations, following health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities and other essential workers, under priority guidelines established by the CDC.

Health centers are uniquely positioned to reach deeply impoverished, disproportionately minority populations that face elevated health risks for COVID-19. Because of their deep roots in the community, health center clinicians are well positioned to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy concerns in historically underserved populations that may not trust the medical establishment, the researchers said. Targeting the highest-risk people and communities for COVID-19 vaccines and ensuring that they are effectively reached is a national public health priority, making FQHCs absolutely essential to a successful vaccine strategy, and funding support for health centers ever more crucial.
WVPCA News
Intersection of Diabetes Self-Management
and Behavioral Health Interventions Webinar
Please join the WVPCA for Intersection of Diabetes Self-Management and Behavioral Health Interventions on Thursday, January 28, 2021 presented by Nell Stuart. This webinar will provide participants a greater understanding of diabetes and the progression with the emotional and psychological challenges that patients encounter in their treatment of this chronic disease. Clinicians will understand the disease in order to provide more effective behavioral health therapy including how to incorporate motivational interviewing to improve self-management by the patient. 

Our subject matter expert is Nell Stuart, MS, RD, LD, CDE who brings with her extensive knowledge regarding Diabetes Care. Nell earned a Master of Science in Nutrition from Tufts University in 1995 and became a Registered Dietician. She was Acting Chief of Nutrition and Food Service at a VA Medical Center for 4 years before completing her training to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) in 1999. She worked as the CDE, Nutrition Coordinator, and Insulin Pump Trainer at St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate.

Following this webinar, participants will:
  • Describe three (3) diabetes self-management expectations likely to contribute stress for the patient.
  • Describe three (3) (or become famliar with) interviewing techniques to decrease anxiety level of the patient.
  • Identify the times in the diabetes progression timeline most likely to cause confusion and/or anxiety for the patient and provider.

Target Audience: BH Directors, Therapists, and BH Care Managers.

Registration closes on January 27th at 12:00 PM EST.
Why Is the Pandemic So Hard on Young People?
COVID is taking its’ toll on everyone in many different ways. One group that is having a very difficult time is young people. Research is suggesting that this group are more anxious, stressed and more depressed than any other age as we continue coping with the effects of COVID. We often learn our coping skills as we go through those difficult times in life, but for many young people, they may have not had those really challenging times, therefore COVID is impacting them more than the older generations. Learn more about ways to improve young people’s ability to cope with these challenging times.
Consumers May Need Your Help to Retain Financial Help
IMPORTANT: If you have assisted any consumers who received financial help for Marketplace coverage in 2019 and filed their 2019 tax return with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8962, they will need to update their Marketplace application for 2021 as soon as possible. If they have not done so already, they will also need to attest to filing and reconciling their 2019 premium tax credit by checking the box that says, “Yes, I reconciled premium tax credits for past years.”  

  • Why this may have happened: Their income may be too high to qualify for help in 2021, they chose not to allow HealthCare.gov to check tax data at renewal time, or IRS tax filing data indicates that they didn’t file federal income taxes using Form 8962 to reconcile their premium tax credit for a past year.

Consumers should finish their application as outlined above to ensure they retain applicable financial help.

While assisters may not help consumers file their taxes unless they are a licensed tax professional, they can inform consumers of the following: 

  1. Consumers should file a tax return using Form 8962 to reconcile any premium tax credits they received in 2019 or earlier, if they haven’t already done so. They can visit gov/taxes or IRS.gov/aca to learn more about reconciling tax credits they have received to lower the amount they paid for monthly premiums.
  2. As outlined above, once consumers have filed their 2019 taxes and reconciled their premium tax credits, they must check the “Yes, I reconciled premium tax credits for past years” box in their Marketplace application – even if the IRS hasn’t processed their 2019 return yet.
State News
Health Care Leaders Signed Open Letter to
West Virginians Supporting COVID Vaccine
Proud to join with over 25 health leaders from across our Mountain State in this open letter to West Virginians regarding the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. Each of us must continue to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the public health tools we have available, and vaccination is likely our strongest tool yet.

Sherri Ferrell, CEO of the WVPCA, joined fellow medical and public health experts in an open letter to West Virginians about the COVID-19 vaccine. A safe, quality, and effective COVID-19 vaccine is coming to West Virginia soon. We take our duty to protect our patients and our communities very seriously. We will continue to do our part to end the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated ourselves and encouraging our patients, friends, and neighbors to do the same when the vaccine is available to them.
National News
NACHC, PACHC Press Congress for Financial Relief, Stability 
As the pandemic rages on, Congress continues to discuss the possibility of a fourth stimulus package. In addition, the deadline to approve an annual government funding package is today. In response, PACHC, along with NACHC and the other PCAs across the nation, reached out to our respective Members of Congress this week to emphasize the need for support of FQHCs now and into the future. The request includes an increase in the official coronavirus emergency funding ask from $7.6B to $10.77B and a 5-year reauthorization of the Community Health Center Fund.
CMS Proposes New Rules to Address Prior Authorization and Reduce Burden on Patients and Providers
On December 10, under President Trump’s leadership, CMS issued a proposed rule that would improve the electronic exchange of health care data among payers, providers, and patients and streamline processes related to prior authorization to reduce burden on providers and patients. By both increasing data flow and reducing burden, this proposed rule would give providers more time to focus on their patients and provide better quality care.

For More Information:
HP-ET Initiative: Readiness to Train Assessment Tool (RTAT)
HRSA’s Health Professions Education and Training (HP-ET) Initiative will use the Readiness to Train Assessment Tool (RTAT™) developed by Community Health Center (CHC), Inc., to help health centers assess and improve their readiness to engage in health professions training programs. 

The HRSA HP-ET Initiative will enhance health centers’ capabilities to recruit, develop, and retain their workforce by exposing health and allied health professions students, trainees, and residents to education and training programs conducted at health centers. 

Every staff person in a health center has the expertise to offer valuable input. Every person is invited to complete an initial set of questions in this survey about the topic of general readiness to engage in health professions training. This is a very important topic as we plan for the future of workforce 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 up to three different health professions training programs. For those of you who want to proceed with these sections, we have provided a drop-down list of programs to choose from. You will see that we have included 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 survey results are compiled, the WVPCA can help you develop a targeted strategic workforce plan that will include health professions trainings and pipeline programs that can meet the needs of your community, 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.
Medicare Modifies Telehealth Payment
Currently, during the public health emergency (PHE), FQHCs and other distant site telehealth providers may bill Medicare for certain telehealth services using audio-only telephone and CMS expanded the telehealth codes for the duration of the PHE to include telephonic E/M services (CPT 99441-99443). CMS sought comment on whether/how CMS should continue coverage of audio-only telephonic E/M services after the PHE and NACHC recommended that CMS continue to recognize these services as telehealth services.

Instead, CMS finalized its proposal to eliminate those codes as telehealth codes and instead add a new G-code to the “virtual communication services” bundles payment to include an 11-21 minute medical discussion via audio-only phone (G2252), not limited to the PHE “Category 3 telehealth services.” Category 3 services are those that were added to the Medicare telehealth code list during the PHE for which there is likely to be clinical benefit when furnished via telehealth, but for which there isn’t yet evidence available to make them a permanent addition. CMS will now recognize these services on the telehealth list until the end of the calendar year in which the PHE ends. Examples include certain psychological and neuropsychological testing and physical and occupational therapy services.
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality (HITEQ) Highlights: SAMHSA 42 CFR Part 2 Revised: Key Points for Health Centers on Rule Changes, What They Mean, and Health IT Considerations 
New guidelines from SAMHSA released in July 2020 are designed to improve coordination of care for patients in treatment for substance disorder, while protecting confidentiality against unauthorized disclosure and use of patient information. Join this webinar on changes to SAMHSA’s 42 CFR Part 2 rule (Part 2) which protects individuals receiving substance use disorder treatment by defining privacy and security requirements for written, electronic and verbal information. This webinar will feature expert presenters from the University of New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice and the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information to present on the new final Part 2 rule and future changes in the CARES Act, including what has changed, what has not changed, what this means for health centers in regard to consents and disclosures, and the implications for care coordination. This presentation will also address privacy considerations for tele-behavioral health and exceptions during the state of emergency waiver. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Assessing Your Community Using the UDS Mapper
Attendees of this session will learn how to leverage the UDS Mapper tool to further understand the communities and populations you serve. 

The UDS Mapper is a collaboration between the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and is part of the HealthLandscape online mapping platform. 

 Tuesday, January 5, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET 
SAVE THE DATE:
Today with Macrea
The HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care will provide health center program updates in “Today with Macrae”.

 Thursday, January 21, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET 
Funding Opportunities
SHF Spring 2021 Grant Cycle Deadline
Sisters Health Foundation Spring 2021 grant cycle for the Basic Needs/Direct Service Grants Program and the Responsive Grants Program is open for submissions! For organizations interested in submitting to the Basic Needs/Direct Service Grants Program, please contact Sr. Molly Bauer to see if your request is a good fit. Organizations interested in the Responsive Grants Program can submit a letter of inquiry without prior consultation. 

Submissions are due by midnight of January 20, 2021. For more information on the grants programs, priority areas, and eligibility, visit SHF website. 
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.
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
New Online: Dental Risk Management Toolkit
Dental practitioners have relied on their own skills and knowledge to protect patients from risks and prevent harm associated with everyday dental treatment.
However, while in its early stages, the addition of formal patient safety approaches in dental practice has supplied another approach to improving care delivery.
 
Patient safety, including a culture of safety and safe and reliable processes, should supplement risk management in dental settings.
The Dental Toolkit, now available on the Clinical Risk Management Program website, includes resources to help risk and safety leaders protect patients and employees, ensure compliance with federal and state laws, and implement and foster a culture of safety in dental settings.
 
Key resources include:
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.
New Online: Dental Risk Management Toolkit
Let ECRI help you find your own path to increase your risk management know-how in three easy steps:
1. Take a short quiz to assess your level of risk management experience.
2. Identify the topics you'd like to learn more about or focus on.
3. Select focused resources relevant to your risk management experience level and interests.
New Online This Month
Risk & Safety E-News
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
Josh 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.