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WVPCA Weekly Outlook
A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare
June 11, 2021
In This Issue...
WVPCA News - Emergency Management News - Outreach and Enrollment News - State News - National News - Funding Opportunities
Upcoming Training Opportunities - What We're Reading
News Flash!
Which US vaccine plans actually helped hard-hit communities?
Read the entire article from MIT Technology Review here.

Biden doubles down on U.S. efforts to get more Americans vaccinated by the Fourth of July
Read the entire article from CNBC here.
AZARA ACADEMY Webinar Series Announced
Ready to take your Azara DRVS utilization to the next level? Want to learn more about maximizing the Azara tools for performance improvements? Need to refresh your knowledge of the basic concepts DRVS? If so, please join the West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) and Azara Healthcare for the exciting AZARA ACADEMY webinar series. During these ninety minute webinars, health centers will have the opportunity to learn more about Azara DRVS, digging deeper into functionality and tools. Azara DRVS experts will demonstrate how DRVS can be leveraged for value based initiatives, care management, efficient patient visit planning, quality improvement, and other important functions and uses.  

Each webinar will have a separate registration (links included) for the upcoming sessions:

Here are just a few of the topics to be covered:
  • Leveraging clinical, payer and HIE data to improve your performance.
  • Exploring the continuum of care management tools to support population health and PCMH.
  • DRVS Patient Visit Planning Best Practices
  • Implementation of the Care Management Passport amongst the Care Team
  • Development and optimization of scorecards and dashboards
  • How to use DRVS to track patients with chronic conditions
  • Overview of Social Determinants of Health in DRVS  

Click below for details of the webinar series.

After attending these sessions health centers will have the opportunity to schedule their NO-COST ninety-minute WVPCA AZARA ACADEMY Learning Lab session hosted by an Azara Coach. The Learning Lab will offer hands on training to assist the health center in further exploring the topics covered in the DRVS Academy sessions within their own organization. Please contact the WVPCA for more details.

Target Audience: All levels of DRVS users including but not limited to: CHC Leadership, Clinical Managers, Quality and Care Management Staff, Nurses, IT/EHR Managers, Behavioral Health and School Based Health Directors.

This event is intended for Community Health Center Staff at no cost for participants.
Application Now Live for NEW Organizations Wishing to Join the Certified Application Counselor Designated Organization (CDO) Program
Any organization operating in a Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) state seeking to provide certified application counselor (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 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 an 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.

For additional questions, contact us at CACQuestions@cms.hhs.gov.
COVID-19 Cases Hit Lowest Point
in U.S. Since Pandemic Began
The U.S. has brought new coronavirus infections down to the lowest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began. Nearly every week for the past 56 weeks, Axios has tracked the change — more often than not, the increase — in new COVID-19 infections. The U.S. averaged roughly 16,500 new cases per day over the past week, a 30% improvement over the week before. New cases declined in 43 states and held steady in the other seven. 
Unused Johnson & Johnson Covid Doses Are Piling Up as FDA Waits to See if Shelf Life Can Be Extended
States are encouraged to hold on to hundreds of thousands of soon-to-expire covid vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson, given the possibility that additional data will show the shots are viable beyond their expiration date at month’s end.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told state officials during a White House call Tuesday that they could store expired doses until new data shows whether the vaccines are safe to use, according to multiple state officials.

State health officials have strenuously warned vaccine administrators against using expired doses. Now, though, the FDA appears optimistic that the Johnson & Johnson expiration dates — which begin to kick in later this month — could be extended, according to state officials who were on the call.

The federal government has delivered 21.4 million doses of the company’s vaccine to states, but just more than half — 11.2 million — have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The quantity is a fraction of shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech’s covid vaccine, which are approaching 200 million doses, as well as Moderna’s shot, which stands at more than 150 million doses.

As demand for vaccination has dwindled across the nation, state officials have stepped up public pleas for holdouts to get a shot. They’ve held discussions with the Biden administration about how to avert a glut of J&J doses — hundreds of thousands at a minimum — from going to waste.

West Virginia has more than 20,000 doses of J&J’s vaccine on hand but little backlog of other covid vaccines, said state covid czar Dr. Clay Marsh. Officials offered the excess to other states, but there were no takers. Marsh said they approached the federal government about sending the unused doses to countries that need it, but have learned the logistics are challenging.
CDC Releases Considerations for Planning School-Located Vaccination Clinics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published guidance for planning and implementing vaccination clinics at schools for any routinely recommended vaccines, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. The considerations include information on planning, clinic days, legal issues related to minors, and modifiable communications templates. 
State News
Highmark West Virginia Announces $18 Million Investment to Improve Community Health
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has announced an $18 million investment to launch the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health. The newly formed Fund is an extension of the health plan’s Foundation, supporting its mission to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in West Virginia.

The Highmark WV Charitable Fund will award major grants to organizations and initiatives throughout the region that target and improve health outcomes in priority health areas, including community health; family health; access to care; service delivery systems; chronic disease; and oral health.
HPV Vaccination Leadership Forum
Please plan to attend the virtual Ohio/West Virginia HPV Vaccination Leadership Forum on Thursday, June 24th from 9am-11am. Join colleagues in Ohio and West Virginia for a virtual learning session about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted HPV vaccination rates. Gain tools and resources that will help you improve vaccination rates in your local community.

The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) is accredited by the Ohio State Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Ohio AAP designates this live activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. West Virginia providers are also eligible for CME credit. This forum is open to anyone with an interest in HPV vaccination.

If you have any questions contact Shauna Shafer at shauna.shafer@cancer.org.
2021 West Virginia Addiction Conference
Save the Date: October 28-29, 2021
Appalachian Addiction and Prescription Drug Abuse Conference:
Pain and Addiction Best Practices and Proper Prescribing
2-Day Virtual Event!
National News
June is LGBTQ Pride Month 
A research study conducted by the Williams Institute, a division of the UCLA School of Law, found that West Virginia has the highest population of adolescents ages 13-17 that identify as transgender.

Those who identify as LGBTQ have unique health and wellness needs and many report difficulty with accessing high quality, empathic healthcare. 

There is much discussion in healthcare today about health equity, diversity, and inclusivity that apply to those that are in the LGBTQ community. It is important that health center providers and staff understand the health and wellness needs of LGBTQ persons. Below are various resources to share with health center staff to prepare them to care for this often marginalized population. 

The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute, provides educational programs, resources, consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all sexual gender minority (LGBTQIA+) people. Resources can be accessed on their website.

CDC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health: People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are members of every community. They are diverse, come from all walks of life, and include people of all races and ethnicities, all ages, all socioeconomic statuses, and from all parts of the country. The perspectives and needs of LGBT people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities. You can access CDC resources on their website.

Ten Things: Creating Inclusive Health Care Environments for LGBTQ People: This resource contains slides from a presentation by the Fenway Institute funded by HRSA.

The American Academy of Pediatrics: Resources for parents and providers.

For more information, please contact Emma White RN, Clinical Quality Improvement Coordinator at emma.white@wvpca.org.
Funding and Financial Opportunities
HRSA Announces $50 Million in Funding to Optimize Use of Virtual Care in Health Centers
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced the availability of up to $50 million for HRSA-funded health centers to further efforts to advance virtual care. This competitive, one-time funding opportunity will support health centers in optimizing the use of virtual care to increase access and improve clinical quality for medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

Application Due Date:
  • Friday, July 16, 11:59 p.m. ET in Grants.gov 
  • Tuesday, August 17, 5 p.m. ET in HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) 

Visit the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Optimizing Virtual Care technical assistance (TA) webpage for the Notice of Funding Opportunity, pre-recorded TA webinar, and other resources.
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.
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, June 17, 2021
3:00 - 4:00 PM ET
Telehealth and PrEP/HIV Care Outcomes 
This webinar is hosted by The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), a HRSA-funded NTTAP. Participants of this training will learn about the current research in telehealth and PrEP/HIV care outcomes, including PrEP @ Home and considerations for the administration and management of PrEP during COVID-19.

Additionally, training participants will explore the topic of PrEP program implementation in a health center setting, including best practices for systems of care and improving adherence.

Friday, June 11, 2021
1:00 PM ET
Capital Project Financing Sources for Rural Health Centers
This webinar session is specifically designed for rural health centers looking to learn more about the various avenues of financing available for capital projects, including USDA, New Markets Tax Credits, and the HRSA Loan Guarantee Program. Capital Link will highlight a recent case study of a rural health center that has successfully completed a capital development project in order to provide insight into the facility expansion process.

Participants will also be joined by staff from a rural health center who will share their experiences with planning, financing, and completing a capital project.

Thursday, June 24, 2021
2:00 PM ET 
Maternal Health Webinar Series: Substance Use Disorder and Pregnancy
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA), Office of Regional Operations (ORO) in Regions 5, 6, and 7 invite you to a webinar on Substance Use Disorder and Pregnancy. This webinar is part of ORO Regions 5, 6, and 7’s Maternal Health Webinar Series. The series’ goal is to highlight innovations and promising practices as well as resources to promote and further maternal health and well-being across the lifespan.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
12:00 PM 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, 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.