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WVPCA Weekly Outlook
A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare
March 5, 2021
In This Issue...
Emergency Management News - WVPCA News - Outreach & Enrollment
School Based Health Corner - What We're Reading - State News
National News - Funding Opportunities
All Community Health Centers are Taking
Part in Weekly Community Vaccine Events

 See How Shenandoah Community Health is Showcasing True Dedication During Pandemic
Shenandoah has been a vital partnership throughout that stretch in testing and now vaccinating, playing its part throughout the week as well as providing whatever support the Berkeley-Morgan County Board of Health and Berkeley Medical has needed.

"In the beginning, I partnered with our local health department with arranging for community testing," Shenandoah director of nursing Staci Walsh said. "Our operations here at Shenandoah, we take care of our own patients by doing testing, and we screen people. But we knew it was bigger than just us, obviously.

"Partnering with the Health Department was part of our mission. All along we’ve partnered with them. If they’ve had an exposure at a nursing home, they’ve called us, ‘Do you have availability to go?’ We’d take our team. ‘We have a targeted population. Would you be able to take your team?’ We went on a Sunday and did a local church, set up outside and did testing then. It made sense as vaccinations then that we would just move kind of into that as well, continuing our community testing on a routine basis to help still meet the needs of that. We shut down our operations on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to run that, and if they have an outbreak somewhere, we partner with them. They call us, ‘Can you send your team to a mission’ or whatever."

And more recently, vaccinations have added a level of responsibility to the organization, continuing that mission of helping the community however needed.
News Flash!
Children's mental healthcare needs skyrocket during pandemic
Read the entire article from Modern Healthcare here.

Boy, 12, creates website to help elderly New Yorkers book vaccine appointments
Read the entire article from WSAZ here.
Johnson & Johnson’s One-dose Vaccine Cleared by FDA
The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways.

The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.
Direct Relief Commits $10 Million to Bolster COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts at CHCs
Direct Relief has announced that it will provide $10 million in grants to community health centers to cover ancillary costs related to their administration of Covid-19 vaccines nationwide.

The announcement follows the launch of The Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By allocating COVID-19 vaccines to community health centers, the program aims to help ensure those disproportionately affected by the virus receive equitable access to the vaccine.
WVPCA News
WV CHC Athena User Group: March Virtual Office Hours
Please join the West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) and athenahealth for virtual office hours on March 11, 2021 from 11:00 AM to Noon. During this one-hour webinar, participants will have the opportunity to discuss current system issues and future system considerations while partaking in peer-to-peer learning. Chris Perry, athenahealth Customer Service Manager and his team will be joining us to discuss a variety of topics to include: 

  • Spring Release
  • UDS Reflection
  • VAMS
  • COVID-19
  • SDOH
  • Patient Engagement & Remote Patient Monitoring

TARGET AUDIENCE: Administrative, Billing/Financial, Clinical, and Quality staff from CHCs who utilize Greenway.  

Registration closes March 10, 2021, at Noon.
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.  
For Some Teens, It’s Been a Year of Anxiety and Trips to the E.R
There is great concern regarding the long term effects of COVID-19 on children’s mental health. Years ago in the coalmines, they used canaries to signal danger was evident in the form of methane gas. Today, one indicator that many children are in danger is the number of Emergency Room visits by families that bring their adolescents there due to suicidal thinking. Rates of suicidal thinking and behaviors are up 25% from the same period last year.  
Independent physician practices continue to dwindle, according to a recent study published in “Health Affairs.” Between 2016 and 2018, 113 of 382 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas had more than half of their physicians affiliated with health systems.

The country and West Virginia particularly face an epidemic on top of a pandemic. Public health and addiction experts are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic and response will overshadow the continued need to focus on treating those with opioid use disorder and preventing overdose deaths.

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
West Virginia Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility 
West Virginia will enter into a new phase of COVID-19 vaccine prioritization, officials said Wednesday.

The state will lower the age for vaccine eligibility from 65 to 50, will begin vaccinating teachers and school service personnel ages 40 and up and will open up vaccinations to West Virginians with qualifying health conditions.

The state will expand vaccine eligibility while making efforts to offer vaccines to those age 65 and older who haven’t yet been inoculated, Gov. Jim Justice said.
National News
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, held in March each year, offers healthcare providers who care for patients with diseases of the colon and rectum a valuable opportunity to educate their community about these diseases and promote awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening, prevention, and treatment. These efforts may also provide a window into the profession and encourage others to consider careers in the field of colon and rectal surgery.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. If all adults 45 and older were screened for colorectal cancer we could avoid thousands of deaths each year and prevent many people from ever getting the disease.
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”!
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Learn More About the National Shortage Designation 2.0: Update Preview Auto-HPSA Portal
HRSA will conduct the National Shortage Designation Update (NSDU) 2.0, for all HPSAs (Geographic, Population, Other Facility and Automatically Designated Facility).

In the past, Auto-HPSA Facility points-of-contact (POCs) received their Update Previews via email. HRSA will begin releasing Update Previews via Auto-HPSA Portal accounts.

This training will provide participants information on:
  • How to access and view Update Preview results within the Auto-HSPA Portal,
  • How to submit a system data rescore request, and
  • The system data rescore review processes and timelines.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021
2:00 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.
HITEQ COVID-19 Vaccine Electronic Patient Engagement - CareMessage
Join HITEQ and CareMessage for a brief presentation followed by facilitated questions and discussion on their electronic patient engagement platform and the features within the platform that can assist health centers with COVID-19 vaccine communication and dissemination.

Thursday, March 11, 2021
1:00 PM EST 
SAVE THE DATE
Today with MACRAE
The HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care will provide health center program updates in “Today with Macrae”.

 Tuesday, March 23, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
Access details coming soon.
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
NACHC Releases 60+ Partner Letter on Medicare/Medicaid Vaccine Reimbursement
Due to the role the Biden administration has asked CHCs to play in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine, NACHC and 60+ advocacy organizations sent a letter calling on CMS to establish Medicare and Medicaid vaccine reimbursement policies that ensure health centers have the resources they need. NACHC will continue to advocate with CMS on this critical issue and is hopeful for progress soon. Please contact Vacheria Tutson at vtutson@nachc.org with further questions.
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.