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August 28, 2020
  WVPCA Weekly Outlook Newsletter
    A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare

First Case of COVID-19 Reinfection Confirmed      
Read the entire article from MEDPAGE TODAY here.

Pharmacists can give childhood shots, U.S. officials say
Read the entire article from WSAZ News here.
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. 

It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. Learn more and get resources.
 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults in the United States self-reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19 during the last week of June 2020. 

Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers and unpaid adult caregivers stated having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use and elevated suicidal ideation. Mental health disorders and substance abuse issues continue to be on the rise. Read more on the June 2020 report.
 HRSA reports that prescribing and providing access to at-home COVID-19 self-swab specimen collection kits to established health center patients is an available component of a health center's general primary care for its patients when used consistent with FDA clearance, approval or authorization.  HRSA recommends that health centers follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines on the tests.
What Concerns U.S. Safety Net Health Care Providers Now

PPE remains an issue, as staffing shortages and tech-based limitations on telehealth place additional strain on the health care system.

Testing. Staffing. Telehealth. Across the country, safety net providers are reporting similar concerns as they face the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

To get a sense of what challenges health care providers around the nation are confronting, Direct Relief recently went right to the source. The organization held a series of calls with health care associations, serving a total of 11.9 million patients, in a number of states and Puerto Rico.

During these talks, consistent themes emerged from clinics set in vastly different locales. Notably, safety net health centers reported concerns with staffing, testing, PPE availability, and telehealth.

Most health centers who responded to a Direct Relief questionnaire, totaling 44 clinics, also reported an uptick in the number of patients they are currently seeing, and that they have seen marked increases in patients, both existing and new, who have lost their health insurance due to losing their jobs.

Both Federally Qualified Health Centers and charitable clinics reported challenges related to staffing. Staff members have been infected by the pandemic, and many have had difficulties meeting childcare needs. Many clinics also reported pervasive fatigue amongst staff members as the pandemic drags on.

To read more from Direct Relief click here.

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.
Registration Information Coming Soon

Please join the WVPCA as we have developed an insightful educational line up of speakers for the Virtual CHC Leadership Forum 2020: Sharpening Our Vision.  

Please join us September 14-15 from the comfort of anywhere with wifi, without missing any insightful information or impactful resources. 

Monday, September 14, 2020 and Tuesday, September 15, 2020
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.

As we prepare to release the 2021 Assister Certification Training, the 2020 Assister Certification Training that is hosted on the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS), will be taken offline at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, August 28, 2020.  During this "go-dark" period, assisters will not be able to access the certification training.  We anticipate that the 2021 Assister Certification Training will be available later this summer. 

Assisters who need to take the current training before the 2021 training is available should complete the 2020 Assister Certification training prior to its removal on Friday, August 28th.

Please note: this is training for assisters in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, and assisters in State-based Marketplace  or State-based Marketplace using the Federal platform should follow their state's training and certification requirements.
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.
West Virginia Sues CVS, Walmart for Role in Opioid Epidemic

West Virginia's attorney general filed lawsuits Tuesday against Walmart and CVS, alleging the companies helped create the state's devastating opioid epidemic. The lawsuits claim that the companies should remediate what has become a public health and financial crisis. Read more.
National NewsNationalNews
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.


Learn about the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF's) Final Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Recommendations and PrEP implementation guidelines, as well as resources from The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, a HRSA-funded NTTAP. Experts will share the latest guidelines and recommendations for HIV screening and PrEP prescribing practices for HIV-negative patients that may be at risk for contracting HIV.

Thursday, September 17, 2020 
2:00 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 17, 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.
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 
Ruby Piscopo, CAC | Outreach & Enrollment 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.