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March 19, 2020
  WVPCA Weekly Outlook Newsletter
    A Newsletter on Community Centered Healthcare

Read the entire article, originally from WVMetroNews  here.

Why outbreaks like coronavirus
spread exponentially, and
how to "flatten the curve"
Read the entire article, originally from Washington Post  here.

While communities wait for COVID-19 testing, Clendenin has worked to get ahead 
Read the entire article, originally from Charleston Gazette - Mail  here.

IRS to delay the April 15 tax payment deadline by 90 days
Read the entire article, originally from USA Today  here.

Second case of COVID-19 confirmed in W.Va.         
Read the entire article, originally from  WSAZ  here.

Rural America Isn't Ready for a Pandemic  
Read the entire article, originally from The Atlantic  here.
Protective Gear Bound for  Fighting Covid-19
Direct Relief is shipping 250,000 N95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to as many as 1,000 community health centers and free clinics in all 50 U.S. states that are playing a critical frontline role as Covid-19 spreads.

"Direct Relief is doing everything it can to bolster the front lines of the country's health safety net and workforce because they do the best job communicating public health information to millions of people, and the best job keeping people healthy and out of hospitals," said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief's President and CEO. "Both roles are even more critical now to reduce Covid-19 transmission and minimize the number of patients who become severely ill from the virus and require hospitalization."

The vast network of Federally Qualified Health Centers is the largest primary care system in the United States, serving more than 29 million (1 in 11) U.S. residents, including 1 in 3 individuals living in poverty, 1 in 5 Medicaid beneficiaries, 1 in 5 rural Americans and 1 in 9 children.

"Free and Charitable Clinics are on the front lines providing access to health care and battling Covid-19 for over 2 million patients in communities throughout the U.S.," said Nicole Lamoureux, President and CEO of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. "In the face of this pandemic, our member organizations are challenged with dwindling resources and limited access to personal protective equipment for their staff and volunteers. This donation will allow clinics to continue the important work of providing health care to the uninsured and combating Covid-19, while ensuring their staff, volunteers and patients are safe in this uncertain time."

Read entire article here.

Apply for assistance here.
COVID-19 Updates for Health Centers

HRSA is working to keep health centers and Health Center Program partners updated on the latest information regarding COVID-19. The Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Resources for Health Centers webpage now includes:
The National Health Care for the Homeless Council, a HRSA-funded National Cooperative Agreement (NCA), published "COVID-19 & the HCH Community: Needed Policy Responses for a High-Risk Group." 

The Mental Health America National Organization has   compiled a range of resources and information here for those who might be looking for mental health information and resources related to COVID-19, isolution, anxiety, stress and more.    


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.
Practical Tips for Your Health Center

"The best offense is a good defense, but a bad defense is offensive."- Gene Wolfe

One of the best ways to mitigate the spread of an infectious respiratory illness is to cover your cough and practice cough hygiene. The following is from the CDC which has evidence-based, practical tips you can implement in your health center right away to decrease the likelihood of the spread of influenza or other infectious respiratory diseases.  For more information click here .  

To prevent the transmission of all respiratory infections in healthcare settings, including influenza, the following infection control measures should be implemented at the first point of contact with a potentially infected person. They should be incorporated into infection control practices as one component of Standard Precautions.

1. Visual Alerts
Post visual alerts (in appropriate languages) at the entrance to outpatient facilities (e.g., emergency departments, physician offices, outpatient clinics) instructing patients and persons who accompany them (e.g., family, friends) to inform healthcare personnel of symptoms of a respiratory infection when they first register for care and to practice Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette.

2. Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette
The following measures to contain respiratory secretions are recommended for all individuals with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Use in the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use;
  • Perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
Healthcare facilities should ensure the availability of materials for adhering to Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette in waiting areas for patients and visitors.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal.
  • Provide conveniently located dispensers of alcohol-based hand rub; where sinks are available, ensure that supplies for hand washing (i.e., soap, disposable towels) are consistently available.
3. Masking and Separation of Persons with Respiratory Symptoms
During periods of increased respiratory infection activity in the community (e.g., when there is increased absenteeism in schools and work settings and increased medical office visits by persons complaining of respiratory illness), offer masks to persons who are coughing. Either procedure masks (i.e., with ear loops) or surgical masks (i.e., with ties) may be used to contain respiratory secretions (respirators such as N-95 or above are not necessary for this purpose). When space and chair availability permit, encourage coughing persons to sit at least three feet away from others in common waiting areas. Some facilities may find it logistically easier to institute this recommendation year-round.

4. Droplet Precautions
Advise healthcare personnel to observe Droplet Precautions (i.e., wearing a surgical or procedure mask for close contact), in addition to Standard Precautions, when examining a patient with symptoms of a respiratory infection, particularly if fever is present. These precautions should be maintained until it is determined that the cause of symptoms is not an infectious agent that requires Droplet Precautions .
DXC - West Virginia Medicaid Enrollment/Billing Training

The WVPCA has been working with DXC/Medicaid to identify improvements needed for health center provider enrollment processing.  A first step is to provide training to ensure everyone involved in the process has accurate and timely information.  With this in mind, please join the WVPCA and DXC/WV Medicaid for a webinar to discuss the portal application, provider enrollment, maintenance, and more. 

Upon Conclusion of this session, participants will gain an understanding of:
  • Registering for a portal account (portal application)
  • Types of enrollment
  • Actions available
  • Description of actions
  • Difference in full maintenance and limited maintenance
  • Provider type/Specialty type
  • Limited maintenance history
  • DXC contact information
Target Audience: CEO, CFO, COO, Billing Managers and staff.

Information and registration can be found  here.

Registration closes on March 23 at 12:00 PM EST.
Ending the HIV Epidemic Bootcamp for Health Centers 

The West Virginia Primary Care Association, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers,  and the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center have created a six-part, 12:00 pm Wednesday webinar series  in April for Community Health Centers.

Health centers have an integral role in the national Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. Participants will learn more about:
  • HIV Routine Testing; Implementation of Routine Testing
  • Importance of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • 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. Learn more and register here .  Continuing education credits will be provided.
State NewsStateNews
State Health Officer Provides COVID-19 Video

Dr. Cathy Slemp, State Health Officer and Commissioner for DHHR's Bureau for Public Health, provides an overview of actions including social distancing that can help slow down or prevent spread of COVID-19.  Watch the video here.
The United Way is here to help!

#WV211 is ready to help people facing difficulties. Their resource navigators can help connect individuals and families with food pantries, health care services, tax prep assistance, utility and eviction prevention assistance and more. Those seeking help should dail 2-1-1 or visit wv211.org.
Dail 2-1-1 or text your Zip Code to 898-211 today, help is available 24/7. 

WV 211 is a program of the United Ways of West Virginia.
As the country is embracing the fluid situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is sensitive to our employees' and providers' health and well-being. As a result, the in-person Provider Workshops planned for March 30th - April 9th have been cancelled. The WV DHHR, Bureau for Medical Services (Medicaid) and WV Children's Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP) and its contractors, DXC Technology, KEPRO, and the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are dedicated to providing needed information during this time and will make the workshop materials available electronically as soon as it is feasible.
The West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources and West Virginia University's Office of Health Affairs invites you to a COMMUNITY MEETING for people and families affected by Substance Use Disorder or Mental Health Issues.
 POSTPONED - Wednesday March 18, 2020 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center -  200 Armory Drive, Beckley, WV 
Please contact Jenny Lancaster at jenny@helpandhopewv.org for additional information.


Congratulations to Monongahela Valley Association for achieving NCQA PCMH Recognition for their Fairmont Clinic, Pediatric Center and Shinnston Medical Center. Job well done!
 Announcing 2017 Standards Training 
The West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA), the District of Columbia Primary Care Association (DCPCA), and the Mid-Atlantic Community Health Centers (MACHC) and are excited to provide our members with the National Committee on Quality Assurance's (NCQA)  Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) 2017 Standards Training Tuesday, July 14 - Thursday, July 16, 2020. The training will be conducted in-person by NCQA's own expert staff members. Our PCAs have worked collaboratively to bring this special training opportunity to our members.
During this 2 ½-day training, we are offering two classes: Introduction to PCMH 2017: Foundational Concepts of the Medical Home (1½ days) and Advanced PCMH 2017: Mastering the Medical Home Transformation (1 day). Both these classes are an essential component to understanding all the components of the new PCMH 2017 standards and earning the official NCQA PCMH "Certified Content Expert" designation. For those who do not intend to pursue certification, the training is extremely valuable for implementing PCMH, earning PCMH 2017 recognition and sustaining PCMH status through annual reporting.  
This training is being offered to WVPCA, DCPCA, MACHC and at a  greatly-reduced cost of only  $200 per person. For comparison, similar trainings administered by other entities normally costs almost $2,000. We recommend you send 1-3 key people from your health center to the training. Breakfast, lunch, and continuing education are included as part of the registration fee.
Please see the "HRSA-Supported NCQA PCMH Training Fact Sheet" for additional information about this training such as training description, agenda, Continuing Education Credit, and benefits of PCMH.
WVPCA members please use the coupon code: WVPCA2020
We ask that all WVPCA members register before Thursday April 30th 2020, as we want to ensure that all PCA members are registered before we share this training invitation to non-members.
Additional details on registration:  
  • If staying overnight, the Kellogg Conference Hotel will be offering a special rate of $139  for registrants. In order to obtain the special $139 discounted rate, you will need to call the Kellogg Conference Hotel directly at  (202) 651-6000 and request the rate using DCPCA as a group code. Overnight parking will be available for $40 a night and daily parking will be free for all attendees.
  • Two weeks before the training you will receive a welcome email from NCQA with instructions on how to complete NCQA's portion of your registration for the training. This message will contain links and information directing you to register with NCQA's system in order to receive the training's e-materials, evaluation and certificate distributions. COMPLETE your registration for the training by following the links to NCQA's website and register in their system. There are no additional fees associated with registering on NCQA's system. They will only use the information to manage the training's e-materials, evaluation and certificate distributions.
  • Several weeks before your training date, NCQA will send out a welcome email that contains all PowerPoint presentations from both training which include the 2017 standard for this training. It is the responsibility of each register to download and/or print out these materials prior to the training. No training materials will be made available during these trainings.
National NewsNationalNews
  NACHC's Chief Medical Officer on C-SPAN 

NACHC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronald Yee, spoke with C-SPAN Washington Journal host John McArdle about the role of Community Health Centers   as frontline responders to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Watch the interview here.
 Flu Has Sickened 36 Million, CDC Says
The CDC estimates flu has caused 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to the agency's most recent FluView report.  

Things to know:
1. The overall flu hospitalization rate increased to 61.6 per 100,000 population for the week ending March 7. The CDC has received 17,889 reports of lab-confirmed flu hospitalizations since Oct. 1, 2019.
2. The national flu and pneumonia mortality rate was 7.1 percent, which sits below the epidemic threshold of 7.3 percent. The agency confirmed eight additional pediatric flu deaths in the week ending March 7, bringing the total to 144 for the 2019-20 flu season.
3. The agency confirmed eight additional pediatric flu deaths in the week ending March 7, bringing the total to 144 for the 2019-20 flu season.
4. The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu and the percentage of outpatient visits for flu-like illness have steadily decreased for the past month.
6. Forty-one states experienced high flu-like illness activity, two states experienced moderate activity and four states had low activity. Arizona, Florida and Wyoming reported minimal activity.
Community Health Centers 10 Years After the Affordable Care Act
A new issue brief, "Community Health Centers Ten Years After the Affordable Care Act: A Decade of Progress and the Challenges Ahead" finds that the combination of several provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have supported health centers serving nearly 46% more patients over the past decade. Researchers at the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative, based at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, found the ACA facilitated the rapid growth of community health centers, allowing them to reach millions of new patients nationwide. This expansion of accessible, community-based health care represents one of the law's greatest achievements, concludes this new research report.

Upcoming Training OpportunitiesUpcomingNationalTraining

The host is the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Centers: WV Regional Partner. This conference intends to inform medical providers of vulnerable counties in West Virginia regarding the rapid transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases, importance of identifying people with HIV, discussions of the AIDS Crisis of the past and Intimate Partner Violence. Also, included will be faculty discussing issues surrounding the opioid epidemic. 

The yearly goals of this conference are to enhance health care providers' knowledge base regarding the provision of health care for those with HIV and to augment improved patient outcomes for the HIV positive individual.
Target Audience: Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, advance practice nurses, social work and ancillary team members.

Friday, April 24, 2020
Stonewall Conference Center
940 Resort Drive, Roanoke, WV 
7:30 AM - 4:00 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.

Health centers are currently engaged in unprecedented efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.   In order to reach patients efficiently and effectively, many health centers are exploring new ways to provide care to patients. For example, these services may include telehealth visits with non-health center patients, mobile testing of at-risk community members, and requests to participate in ER diversion programs. However, it is not always clear what will be covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). 

In this complimentary webinar, we will explore FTCA coverage for various COVID-19 activities and discuss how you can best ensure malpractice liability protection for your health center and staff members in these unusual times.

  FTCA Coverage & COVID 19
Friday, March 20, 2020 | 1:00 PM ET

On March 6, 2020, the  Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law, making $8.3 billion in emergency funding available for federal agencies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in this total is $100 million in new funds to help community health centers prevent, prepare for, and respond to the new virus.

In addition to funding, the Act also introduces enhanced flexibility relating to the use of telehealth. For example, it provides a waiver of certain Medicare telehealth legal requirements. As for Medicaid, states may use their flexibility in managing the program to increase access to services through telehealth-during the emergency, or on a permanent basis. This is all in addition to the   Program Assistance Letter (PAL) released in January by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) regarding telehealth and its relationship to the scope of project under a community health center's Public Health Service Act grant.

In this complimentary webinar, we will describe the new telehealth flexibilities in the Appropriations Act and PAL 2020-01, discuss the President's recent  national emergency declaration, and explain the broader impact of each on health centers.

Coronavirus Appropriations Act of 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020 |3:00 PM ET
Funding OpportunityFundingOpportunity

WVPCA in partnership with Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease is excited to bring a grant opportunity to School-Based Health Centers once again, to improve the health of students while decreasing the risk of obesity and diabetes. School-Based Health Centers, in collaboration with their school are encouraged to implement the Rethink Your Drink (RYD) campaign prior to the end of this school year. 

This grant will provide approximately $2000 for each SBH site to engage students in improving their health through the RYD. A health center can adopt an RYD plan for implementation at multiple sites with funding being provided accordingly (each SBHC site receiving $2000). Community Health Centers that received funding in the Fall 2019 are eligible for more funding for other School-Based Health sites.   

For grant requirements and application, please contact John Kennedy at john.kennedy@wvpca.org     

Deadline for applications is March 20, 2020.
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.
ECRI Institute 
The  ECRI Institute  offers numerous policy templates that can be used as guidance consistent with the needs of community health centers. To take a look at their library of policy templates, click  here .

If you are not an ECRI member, creating a free account before accessing these materials is required. ECRI Institute resources are provided for free on behalf of HRSA.

To Access Policies: 
  • From the main page, click on the clinical risk management link on the left hand side of the page
  • Click sample policies and tools listed under tool-kits on left side of page
Click on the + sign to access individual templates.

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
Warne Dawkins, MBA | Health Data Analyst
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.