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August 21, 2020
  WVPCA Weekly Outlook Newsletter
    A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare

Read the entire article from AP News here.

Community Health Centers Are Invaluable In The Fight Against The Coronavirus Pandemic       
Read the entire article from Forbes here.

Pharmacists can give childhood shots, U.S. officials say
Read the entire article from WSAZ News here.
 The National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness just released a new report inclusive of current data on vision testing and the social determinants of health and an expanded section on equity matters in vision. Access the report at of "Children's Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues 2nd Edition." 

During the month of August, the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health and the National Optometric Association ask you to help raise awareness of children's vision and eye health. Especially during the pandemic, while children are learning at home, parents and caregivers can their educational materials to help them observe possible vision problems and get eye care for their children when needed.
Since 1980, the Healthy People initiative has set goals and measurable objectives to improve health and well-being in the United States. The initiative's fifth edition, Healthy People 2030, builds on knowledge gained over the past 4 decades to address current and emerging public health priorities and challenges.

An interdisciplinary team of subject matter experts developed national health objectives and targets for the next 10 years. These objectives focus on the most high-impact public health issues, and reflect an increased focus on the social determinants of health - how the conditions where people live, work, and play affect their health and well-being.

By using Healthy People 2030 in your work, you can help improve health nationwide! Objectives are organized into intuitive topics so you can easily find data that's relevant to your work. And Healthy People 2030 provides evidence-based resources and tools you can use to set strategies for reaching Healthy People targets in your community, state, or organization. Start exploring Healthy People 2030 today!
 NACHC, in collaboration with BKD, has compiled a finance toolkit to help health center leaders through this difficult COVID-19 public health emergency and prepare them to come out stronger on the other side. Topics include cash flow planning, CARES Act guidance and remote work best practices.

This article on CARES Act funding and considerations for health center boards may also be of interest.
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In its attempt to enhance the efforts of state and local health officials, the CDC has made a number of resources available regarding contact tracing staff, COVID-19 staffing, the COVID Response Corps and the CDC Foundation. To access them, click here.
CDC also has updated its guidance regarding the following topics:
  • Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (here).
  • How to Report COVID-19 Laboratory Data (here).
  • Older Adults, which includes a number of graphics clinics could use to educate patients (here).
 With mounting evidence that some COVID-19 survivors face months, or possibly years, of debilitating complications, health care experts are beginning to study possible long-term costs. 

Bruce Lee, M.D., of the City University of New York estimated that if 20 percent of the U.S. population contracts the virus, the one-year post-hospitalization costs would be at least $50 billion, before factoring in longer-term care for lingering health problems.  Read more.

COVID-19 information on federal, state websites may be too complicated for public, study shows

Information on COVID-19 provided online by the White House, CDC and state health departments may be too complex for a general audience, a new study shows.

The CDC, American Medical Association and National Institutes of Health all recommend that medical information for the public be written at an eighth-grade reading level and no higher. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, includes an analysis of 137 web pages from federal and state sources. The researchers reviewed the web pages between April 1 and April 5.

Researchers found that federal communications about COVID-19 averaged just over an 11th-grade reading level.

They also found information shared when the COVID-19 pandemic began exceeded recommendations on the number of words in a sentence, word size and the use of difficult terms related to public health.
All 50 U.S. state governments provided COVID-19 information written above the eighth-grade reading level.

"The differences between eighth-grade and 11th-grade reading levels are crucial," said Joseph Dexter, PhD, senior study author and a fellow at Dartmouth's Neukom Institute for Computational Science in Hanover, N.H. "Text written at a higher grade level can place greater demands on the reader and cause people to miss key information."

As you know, information on coronavirus is changing daily.  The WVPCA is working with Federal, State, and local health officials in emergency preparedness activities as well as disseminating appropriate and current information to our Community Health Centers.  This includes up-to-date resources and policies to ensure the continued health and safety of the communities we serve.  

Guidance and resource information can be found on the WVPCA website here and coronavirus.gov.
Financial Management PEP Report Webinar 

Please join the WVPCA and Jonathan Chapman, Chief Project Officer of Capital Link for this interactive 90 minute webinar to discuss Financial Management Performance Evaluation Profile (PEP) Reports.

How do you assess your health center's performance by looking at financial metrics? Which metrics are important? What do the peer benchmarks in your Performance Evaluation Profiles tell you? Why is benchmarking even more important today?  WVPCA's member health centers are invited to join us in this webinar training to find out how benchmarking data influences performance analysis. In this session, WVPCA member health centers will learn how to assess their financial and operational performance using benchmarking and comparative metrics in the ever evolving FQHC business model.  

The WVPCA has worked with Capital Link to create individual health center Performance Evaluation Profile Reports.  These reports have been provided to each health center in preparation for this webinar.

  • What is important to measure?
  • How to use your PEP report data to establish a foundation for assessing COVID-19 impact and Value-Based Care.
  • Review of WV health center specifics - how we read results.
  • Moving forward with next steps - continued financial management training on September 15th to have a deeper dive discussion about the "Health Center of 2025" and Value Based Care.
Target Audience: CHC CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Board Members, CHC Financial and Operational Staff.

There is no cost for health centers for this training event.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 | 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Although federal guidance and local circumstances continue to evolve, NCQA is implementing the exceptions noted below for the March 1-September 30, 2020, time frame. This applies to all future surveys that include this look-back period. They will give updates as needed and when new information becomes available.  They suggest primary care practices consult and complete The Green Center's weekly COVID survey. While NCQA does not issue or manage this survey, they believe the information gathered is meaningful. The survey helps practices understand and report primary care's capacity to respond to COVID-19.

Practitioners Who Provide Care During a Public Health Emergency:
Organizations do not need to credential practitioners who are not part of their network or practice and are providing care to members/patients as part of a federal, state or local government emergency response team.

CMS 1135 Waivers for State Licensing:
CMS allows states to request a waiver that will temporarily allow out-of-state practitioners to provide services if they are licensed in another state. When credentialing these practitioners in a state that receives a waiver, NCQA will waive the requirement that the organization verify the license to practice for that state.

Health Care Organizations and Practices Whose Operations Are Affected:
NCQA understands that normal operations have been disrupted in many communities, which could affect organizations' ability to meet NCQA requirements. NCQA will be flexible in scoring organization performance during the March-September time frame. Organizations will need to provide documentation regarding the circumstances that interfered with meeting requirements.

Note: Recognition practices may show evidence from any time in the past year, so organizations may demonstrate that activities were routinely implemented before and after the March-September time frame.
Organizations with an upcoming survey or evaluation in 2020 should contact their Recognition account representative. NCQA will determine if additional accommodations (e.g., longer extensions, virtual surveys, shorter look-back periods) are necessary on a case-by-case basis. Please submit all other questions through My NCQA at my.ncqa.org.
Please contact Shannon Parker at Shannon.parker@wvpca.org should you have any questions.

Instagram Q&A for Parents: Childhood Vaccination - August 24, 2020 at 12:00pm EDT
CDC experts will provide near real-time answers to questions about staying up to date on childhood vaccines during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Tune into CDC's Instagram feed to join the conversation.

Additional resources to assist you with communicating to health care professionals, parents, and patients about immunizations during August and throughout the year can be found here.

The National School-Based Health Alliance's partner, the National Center for School Mental Health, is offering West Virginia 10 scholarships to participate in School Health Interdisciplinary Program Conference.  Included in the scholarship is up to 33 free CEU's. 
The School Health Interdisciplinary Program (SHIP) conference is a multi-faceted approach to continuing education. SHIP providers comprehensive training on coordinated school health. This conference focuses on topics vital to school professionals. SHIP is committed to advancing quality and sustainability in school health, with this year's theme of Addressing the Needs of the Whole Child: What Works in School Health and Wellness. Training will focus on helping school-based professionals understand core concepts in the school health field, including best practice strategies and policies.
The target audience for the conference includes: school nurses, school social workers, school psychologists, school-based health center staff, administrators, after-school program providers, alternative program staff, child advocates, health educators, school teachers and support staff, community and faith- based representatives, child serving agency staff, mental health practitioners, substance use providers, pediatricians, occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, pupil personnel workers, school counselors, school resource officers, social workers, and special educators.
Professional continuing education hours will be complimentary for counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers. The University of Maryland School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.
View the website  for more information on registration and the conference program
State NewsStateNews
WV Project ECHO Memory Health Opportunity

In collaboration with West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI), West Virginia University's Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI), and the Alzheimer's Association, WV Project ECHO will be launching a new ECHO project around Memory Health this fall. This project will provide an opportunity for primary care providers and others to present de-identified cases to a panel of experts (Hub) including (neurology, radiology, geriatrics, palliative care, nursing, social work), and receive mentoring in the management of memory health conditions such as Alzheimer's. These sessions also include didactic presentations on a variety of memory health topics including assessment of symptoms, routine care planning, and advanced care planning.

 These sessions will take place on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 4-5pm via Zoom starting on October 6th and will be offered at no cost to those who participate. The sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the WV Project ECHO YouTube page for additional viewing. WV Project ECHO will also offer 1 hour of general continuing medical education credits for all who participate.
If you are interested in participating please complete the participation agreement that outlines the project in more detail. The agreement is used for record-keeping purposes and once we have it returned we will then send the Zoom calendar invites. Please remember that one participation agreement covers all who are interested in attending from that organization.
Please contact Jay Mason at jdmason@hsc.wvu.edu or Mithra Mohtasham at mithra.mohtasham@hsc.wvu.edu if you have any questions.
National NewsNationalNews
Trump Signs More Executive Orders  

With negotiations on a fourth stimulus bill stalled, over the weekend President Trump signed several executive orders (EOs). The EOs extend the expired unemployment benefit but lower the additional payout from $600 a week to $400, direct the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of employee-side Social Security payroll taxes through the end of 2020 for Americans earning less than about $100,000 annually, defer student loan payments through the end of the year and minimize evictions. 

Reports indicate that the Democrat leaders have offered to lower their $3 trillion request by $1 trillion but want full unemployment at $600/week and additional money for states and local municipalities. Both the House and Senate stimulus proposals include $7.6 billion in supplemental funding for Community Health Centers.
New "Catch-Up to Get Ahead" Campaign to Promote Childhood Immunizations

In support of National Immunization Awareness Month, HRSA urges health centers and health care providers to "catch-up to get ahead" on childhood immunizations. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to alarming declines in well-child visits and routine immunization rates. This raises the risk for outbreaks and further strain on our nation's health care system.

To increase childhood immunization rates, HHS is coordinating the "Catch-Up to Get Ahead" effort. We encourage health centers to improve access to essential immunization services by:
  • Extending hours (e.g., on nights and weekends) specifically for the administration of catch-up vaccines.
  • Informing parents about the COVID-19 safety precautions and practices your health center has in place and encouraging them to bring in their children for vaccinations.
  •  Using social media messages and graphics from the Catch-Up to Get Ahead Toolkit in digital communication efforts. Be sure to use the hashtag #CatchUpGetAhead!
  • Communicating the importance of childhood immunizations. Watch this message from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
Join the Conversation: Let Us Know about Your "Catch-Up to Get Ahead" Efforts
Share how your health center is helping children in your community to catch up on their vaccines during National Immunization Awareness Month. Take these steps to tell us about your successes and innovative efforts to promote childhood vaccinations:
  • Provide a brief description of how your health center promoted vaccinations. You can even provide a photo of the staff involved (please include names of everyone in the picture). NOTE: Health center staff ONLY. Please do not include patients!
  • If you send a photo, please make sure each person featured in your photo has signed a HRSA Photo Release Form.
  • Send an email including the brief description and, if you choose, the photo and all photo releases to the Digest mailbox by Friday, September 4.
HRSA may share your photo or story in the Digest or on HRSA social media. Thank you for helping patients catch-up to get ahead!
Upcoming Training OpportunitiesUpcomingNationalTraining

HHS Telemedicine Hack (TM Hack) is a 10-week virtual, peer-to-peer learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers. Components of TM Hack include:
  • TeleECHO sessions.
  • Virtual "office hour" discussion panels.
  • Peer-to-peer learning between sessions facilitated via virtual discussion boards.
CME/CEU credits are available at no cost to participants. 

The series is in progress, but you can still get more information or register.


Join BPHC at this webinar and  discussion focused on a population-based framework for interpreting social determinants of health.  Participants will have a better understanding of the relative contribution of social determinants to the health status of patients served by health centers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 
1:00 PM EST

The title says it all. Head of the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Jim Macrae brings us up to date on the most recent health center news.  Save the following dates for these upcoming session:
 Thursday, September 15, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
*Access details coming soon 
 Thursday, October 1, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
*Access details coming soon 
FinancialAnchorFinancial and Funding Resources
HC Requests for Carryover of Unobligated Balances 

In recognition of the impact of COVID-19, HRSA will consider approving carryover of unobligated balances for any Health Center Program (H80) funding originating from more than one prior budget or project period-for example, unobligated balances from fiscal year (FY) 2018 that have already been carried over into FY 2019, and which your health center now needs for FY 2020 in-scope activities.
Note that any carryover funds, regardless of amount, must be used for the original approved purpose(s) of the award. In accordance with 45 CFR Part 75.403-405, you must use federal award funds only for allowable costs that are:
  • Consistent with the terms and conditions of the federal award and the Federal Cost Principles (45 CFR Part 75 Subpart E), including any supplemental award requirements (e.g., patient targets, FTE hiring and timelines);
  • Allocable to the purposes of the Health Center Program project; and
  • Reasonable.
See the  Health Center Program Carryover of Unobligated Balances Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional information. For specific questions about appropriate use of carryover funds, contact your Grants Management Specialist.
Provider Relief Fund: Applications Being Accepted 

HHS announced that eligible providers have another opportunity to submit their application for the Provider Relief Fund. Examples of eligible Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP/dental providers include:
  • Providers who did not receive an initial payment that totals approximately two percent of their annual patient revenue
  • Providers who did receive an initial payment but missed the June 3 deadline to submit their revenue information
  • Providers who were ineligible for prior General Distribution funds due to a change in ownership or because they did not have Medicare fee-for-service revenue in 2019
  • Providers who previously received Phase 1 General Distribution payment(s) but rejected and returned the funds and are now interested in reapplying
All eligible providers will only receive funding of up to two percent of their reported total revenue from patient care. The deadline for applying for funds is Aug. 28, 2020. For the latest information on the Provider Relief Fund Program, visit: hhs.gov/providerrelief. The full press release, can be found here
CommunityHealthCenterResourceCommunity 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.
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.
COVID-19 Resources for Health Centers
ECRI Institute 
Federally qualified health centers and free clinics are on the front line in testing and treating patients who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Use these resources to keep your staff and patients safe:
In addition, ECRI's COVID-19 Resource Center includes free resources addressing the provision of clinical care and managing the supply chain. Updated several times per week, highlights include:
Additional guidance is available directly from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), including:

Sherri Ferrell, MBA | Chief Executive Officer
Debra Boyd | Chief Financial/Chief Operations Officer
Staci Arnold, MBA | Data Service & Integration Specialist
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
Amanda West | Staff Accountant
Emma White, RN | Clinical Quality Improvement Coordinator 
Paula Beasley | Education and Communications Coordinator 
To sign up to receive the WVPCA Weekly Newsletter, click HERE
West Virginia Primary Care Association
  1700 MacCorkle Ave. Charleston, WV 25314| (304) 346-0032 | WWW.WVPCA.ORG
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.