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May 1, 2020
  WVPCA Weekly Outlook Newsletter
    A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare

Report: Harm reduction restrictions helped fuel Cabell County HIV outbreak
Read the entire article from Charleston Gazette-Mail   here.

Sheetz to thank first responders, health care workers in WV, elsewhere, with free coffee
Read the entire article from  WVNews  here.

Read the entire article from WVNews   here.  

The US reopening is coming, but 'normal' is still a ways off
Read the entire article from the WVNews    here.

WV stay-at-home order to become safer-at-home advisory
Read the entire article from WV Gazette here. 

Feds OK fix to Medicare billing issues at WV senators' urging
Read the entire article from the WV Gazette    here.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice unveils plan to reopen state: "West Virginia Strong - The Comeback" 
Jim Justice unveiled his comprehensive plan to reopen various aspects of the state and its economy, putting West Virginia on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan is called "West Virginia Strong - The Comeback" and allows businesses in certain sectors to reopen in phases over the next six weeks if the rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the state remains low.  

As the reopening process gets underway, West Virginians should continue to practice good social distancing, maintaining at least six feet of separation between each other.

Additionally, people are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings in public where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. 

The Governor's Stay At Home order will remain in place until lifted at a later date.

Individuals are also required to continue following all county health department regulations and businesses are encouraged to continue allowing employees to telework if possible.  Read more here.
Coronavirus may linger in air in patient bathrooms, medical staff areas, study finds

The new coronavirus can potentially be spread via fine airborne particles and may linger in patients toilet areas, medical staff areas and areas prone to crowding, a new study shows.

The study, published in Nature, examined the presence of the new coronavirus' genetic material in fine airborne particles, or aerosols, in different areas of two Wuhan hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak in February and March.
Researchers found the concentration of the virus' genetic material in aerosols detected in isolation wards and ventilated patient rooms was very low. But it was high in the patients' toilet areas, as well as two public areas prone to crowding.

They also found that some medical staff areas initially had high concentrations of the virus' genetic material in aerosols, but these levels decreased until the virus was undetectable after rigorous sanitization procedures were implemented.

But, they said, the novel coronavirus "may have the potential to be transmitted via aerosols," and room ventilation, open space, sanitization of protective gear and proper use and disinfection of toilet areas can limit the concentration of the virus' genetic material in aerosols.


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.
Announcing HRSA's National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Programs 

HRSA's National Health Service Corps (NHSC) has extended the application deadline for all three loan repayment programs to Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET.:
Eligible clinicians providing primary medical, dental, or behavioral health care services or evidence-based SUD treatment can qualify for loan repayment up to $50,000 for the NHSC LRP, up to $75,000 for the NHSC SUD Workforce LRP, and up to $100,000 for the Rural Community LRP. Learn more about eligible disciplines, site types, and service commitment.
2017 Standards Training Update
Please be aware that due to COVID-19, the Kellogg Conference Hotel will not be opening back up for conferences until after August 1, 2020.  We are currently working with HRSA/NCQA to determine next steps.  We will communicate the plan as soon as we can. 
If you have paid, you will be given a full refund.  There is a possibility that this will be offered virtually, however that is just one option on the table at this point.  We apologize for any inconvenience and will be in touch very soon!

State NewsStateNews
Ending the HIV Epidemic: Boot Camp for Community Health Centers Wednesday Webinar Series

The West Virginia Primary Care Association, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers, and the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center have created this six-part webinar series for Community Health Centers who have an integral role in Ending the HIV Epidemic. Participants will hear from fellow Community Health Centers and clinic leaders for a strategy-gathering information exchange to learn more about HIV Routine Testing, Implementation of Routine Testing, Importance of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and how to access funding for PrEP. The webinars will be an hour in length and will include Q&A as well as audience interaction via polling.
Wednesday June 3, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm ET
Vital Role of Community Health Centers in Ending the HIV Epidemic

Wednesday June 10, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm ET
HIV Routine Testing: Why It's Important

Wednesday June 17, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm ET
Implementation of HIV Routine Testing in your Community Health Center

Wednesday June 24, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm ET
Importance of PrEP in Primary Care - A Rural Clinic's Perspective

Wednesday July 8, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm ET
Importance of PrEP in Primary Care - An Urban Clinic's Perspective

Wednesday July 15, 2020, 12:00-1:00pm ET
Accessing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP): Billing and Coding

Register here.   Please refer to the event's registration page for credit information.
National NewsNationalNews
"Stimulus Package 3.5" Adds Funds to CARES Act

This week, Congress passed another $484 billion stimulus package to add funds to provisions of the CARES Act, the third stimulus package. This package is not the "phase 4" stimulus package; however, health centers may potentially benefit from some of the additional funding given to select programs. The bill:
  • Adds an additional $322 million to the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Adds another $75 billion to the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund, $30 billion of which was already dispersed to providers based on Medicare billings with the next distribution expected to happen April 24.
  • The bill also includes $25 billion for testing, $385 million of which is targeted to FQHCs and RHCs

Stimulus Package 4 to Assist with Effects of COVID-19

Congress is not expected back until May but is already discussing a fourth stimulus package to assist healthcare providers and others with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. NACHC is asking $73.2 billion for health centers, including $7.6 billion in emergency funding to assist with the impact of COVID-19 and $41.9 billion over five years for Health Center Program Fund reauthorization.
Closed hospitals received part of $50B bailout    

Some closed hospitals received grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and are trying to return the funds to HHS. 

The CARES Act, signed by President Donald Trump, included a $100 billion emergency fund to reimburse hospitals and other healthcare providers for expenses or lost revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first $30 billion of $50 billion in general grant funds was delivered between April 10 and April 17 based on historical share of Medicare revenue.

When the first slice of funding was sent, Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services said it received $3.5 million in grants for two closed hospitals: Fairmont (W.Va.) Regional Medical Center and Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.Va. 

The hospitals did not request the grants and are working with HHS to return the money to the federal government, an attorney for Alecto told Times West Virginian

Alecto is also seeking information from HHS about whether it's entitled to any of the funds sent for Fairmont Regional Medical Center. HHS distributed the grants based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements, and Fairmont Regional remained open until March 19, 2020. 

HHS has begun distributing the remaining $20 billion in general grant funds. The agency is also sending $10 billion to hospitals in the states hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and another $10 billion to rural hospitals and clinics.
Deadline Extensions

Applications for medical malpractice coverage under the FTCA  are open in EHBs. We've extended the completion deadline to Monday, July 13.

HRSA guidance for both new applications (deeming) and renewal of existing coverage (redeeming) for health center staff is available in Program Assistance Letter (PAL) 2020-02

Details about coverage for health center volunteer health professionals are available in PAL 2020-03. The HRSA website has more details about the application process, including a recorded TA webinar.

Empowerment and Self-Management of Diabetes: The Role of Pharmacists in Diabetes Care

The National Center for Health in Public Housing, a HRSA-funded NCA, presents a learning collaborative for pharmacists. It will equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to provide effective, evidence-based diabetes care in Health Center settings. Learn more or register now.

Budget Period 
Progress Reports

In order to provide flexibility as health centers focus on the COVID-19 crisis, HRSA is extending the deadline of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Budget Period Progress Report (BPR) non-competing continuation for award recipients with a September 1, 2020, budget period start date (5-H80-20-007). 

Submissions are now due in EHBs by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 1. TA materials are available on the BPR TA webpage


Apply Now to the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

Medical and dental school students, do you want to provide care where you're needed most? We will support you by paying your tuition, fees, and other educational costs and by providing you a living stipend. 

In exchange, you agree to serve at least two years at National Health Service Corps-approved sites in underserved rural, urban, and tribal communities.  Applications are now due Friday, May 15. Learn more .
Upcoming Training OpportunitiesUpcomingNationalTraining

Join HRSA for a presentation on the changes to the calendar year 2020 Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting. (The reporting window will be open Friday, January 1, 2021, to Monday, February 15, 2021.) We will provide an overview of the changes and a question and answer session.

Key reporting changes include:
  • Addition of HIV screening measure (CMS349v2);
  • Addition of prescription for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10 codes and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes; and
  • Revision of Appendix D to capture information on prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and social determinants of health.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Many upcoming 
trainings and events 
have been canceled 
or postponed due  to the COVID-19 emergency.
  It  is best  to  call 
ahead or check 
with the organizer's 
websites and 
contacts  to 
verify the status 
of ALL events 
and trainings

Please join Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Administration for Community Living, Veterans Health Administration, and National Coalition on Mental Health,and Aging for this webinar.

Thursday, May 7, 2020 |1:00 PM ET

COVID-19: A Clinic's Experience Incorporating Emergency Management Framework for Pandemic Response

In this webinar,learn how one medical clinic incorporated the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Incident Command System framework to efficiently and effectively handle staff communications, resource management, and patient care.

Thursday, May 7, 2020 | 2:00 PM ET
Register here

Using the Health Center Dental Dashboard for Tracking, Measuring and Improvement

Join this webinar to learn about The Health Center Dashboard. The Health Center Dental Dashboard serves as a resource for what to measure to monitor performance in a dental setting, and includes 15 measures to drive operational, financial and clinical improvements over a period of time. One (1) Continuing Dental Education (CDE) credit will be offered.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 1:00PM ET
FinancialAnchorFinancial and Funding Resources
Additional CMS Changes for Telehealth 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced through a  press release  and updated COVID-19 Waivers Summary Document and provider-specific factsheets  additional expansions in telehealth policy to address needs related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. CCHP has updated its Federal Telehealth Policy and FQHC/RHC factsheets to reflect these new policies. One of the five stated goals of the changes is to increase access to telehealth for Medicare patients so that they can access care safely from their homes.
The major telehealth changes in Medicare include the following:
  • All health care professionals that are eligible to bill Medicare will be allowed to be reimbursed for telehealth-delivered services, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists. Previously these practitioners had been excluded from Medicare reimbursement for telehealth delivered services. Hospitals will also be able to furnish certain services remotely provided by hospital-based practitioners to Medicare patients registered as hospital outpatients (including those at home).
  • Hospitals can qualify for the originating site facility fee for telehealth services furnished by hospital-based practitioners to Medicare patients registered as hospital outpatients when the patient is at home.
  • CMS is waiving the requirement for use of video technology for interactive telecommunications system for certain services. This only applies to codes for audio-only telephone evaluation and management services and behavioral health counseling and education services. Other codes still require live video interaction. A list of eligible codes and whether or not they qualify for audio-only is available HERE. FQHCs and RHCs will also be able to bill these codes, although special billing requirements apply for these entities.
  • CMS is increasing the payment amount for telephone visits to match payments for similar office and outpatient visits.
  • There will be an expedited process to review services that can be furnished via telehealth and added to CMS' eligible telehealth list, as opposed to the usual process which takes almost a year.

Other topics addressed include increased flexibilities for Medicare Shared Savings ACOs, new Medicaid and Medicare rules aimed at expanding COVID-19 diagnostic testing, increasing hospital and workforce capacity and decreasing administrative burdens. To read more about the changes, see CMS' summary of their waivers and the most recent press release.


CMS also updated several of their provider-specific factsheets, which are listed below:
CMS also made changes to their Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Matters guidance document to Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics addressing changes to telehealth billing requirements and providing for additional flexibilities for audio-only telephone. To learn more about these changes, see CCH's factsheet on FQHCs/RHCs acting as distant site providers in Medicare, which has been updated based on the most recent changes.
Visit CCHP's website for more information on these changes.
Capital Link COVID-19 Funding & Financing Resources

Capital Link has added a COVID-19 Resources page to their website with a collection of organizations and lenders that are providing funding for health centers in immediate need of financial assistance. Their upcoming webinars and learning collaborative sessions  that are scheduled over the next few weeks will include information that is tailored to the current circumstances health centers are currently experiencing in this pandemic, in-line with resources and guidance from NACHC and HRSA. 
WVCTSI announces COVID-19 funding opportunity 

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute has released a request for applications (RFA) for research projects related to enhancing understanding of this public health crisis.
The Pop-Up COVID-19 funding opportunity will provide up to $30,000 for projects that show significant scientific merit and will enhance the understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding received must be utilized within a 12-month project period. Detailed instructions, eligibility information, and a complete RFA can be found on the Pop-Up COVID-19 funding opportunity webpage.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 21, 2020. Questions related to this funding opportunity should be directed to Camille Charlier, MS, WVCTSI pilot grant program coordinator, at ccharlie@hsc.wvu.edu.

USDA Announces Second Application Window for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program Funding

The USDA Rural Development announced a second application window for funding under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program due to the current public health emergency. This program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications. Apply by Monday, July 13.
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.