Two community health centers in the Dakotas achieve PCMH level recognition
The National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCHM) Recognition is the most widely used way to transform primary care practices into medical homes.
There are three levels of recognition. Level 1 status is achieved by complying with at least 5 of the 10 elements. Level 2 and 3 are awarded based on scores and compliance on all 10 "must-pass” elements. Horizon Health Care, Inc. and Valley Community Health Centers have each received PCMH recognition for level 2 and level 3 respectively.
According to NCQA, "The patient-centered medical home is a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into "what patients want it to be. Medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patients’ and providers’ experience of care.”
Bowbells health center open for business
The Bowbells Clinic now associated with Northland Community Health Center, has reopened. Physician Assistant Shelley Bartow-Kalmbach is pleased to be able to continue to provide medical care for the community. The clinic, previously operated by St. Luke’s Hospital in Crosby, is located on Main Street.
Aberdeen health center to open Jan. 13
The new Aberdeen Health Center will begin seeing patients on Jan. 13. The new center, part of the Horizon Health Care, Inc. network, is located in the Johnson Professional Building. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (605) 725-3900.
New Yankton community health center to open in February
allPOINTS Health Services has set the date of Feb. 24 as the goal to begin seeing patients at their new access point in Yankton, S.D. The community health center will be located on the third floor of the Avera Professional Offices Pavilion at 409 Summit Street.
The team of providers at the clinic will offer primary and preventive medical, mental/behavioral health and dental health services.
Grand Forks community health center opening mid-April
Valley Community Health Centers’ newest clinic site located in the Deaconess Building in downtown Grand Forks is scheduled to open mid-April. The site is expected to serve more than 2,000 people in its first year.
Family HealthCare provides information for Health Services Committee
Samantha Kundinger, chief business development officer, at Family HealthCare in Fargo provided information regarding dental care at the North Dakota interim Health Services Committee on Jan. 8. Kundinger discussed Family HealthCare’s dental services and the challenges they, and other community health centers, experience in providing safety net care.
The Health Services Committee is studying how to improve access to dental services and ways to address dental service provider shortages in North Dakota.
North Dakota responding to Medicaid expansion
North Dakotans can apply for Medicaid coverage using multiple methods including online, phone or paper. Assistance with enrollment and eligibility is provided by certified application counselors and navigators located throughout the state.
Information on how to contact navigators and certified application counselors for assistance is available at Find Local Help: HealthCare.gov.
Individuals in North Dakota with questions regarding Medicaid eligibility can call 1-855-794-7308.
Additional resources and information are available at the following websites:
Apply for Medicaid in North Dakota
County Social Service Locations
Medicaid Expansion in North Dakota
FAQs about North Dakota Medicaid Expansion
Public comment opportunity for ND Medicaid Expansion Quality Strategy Plan
The North Dakota Department of Human Services Medical Services Division is seeking public comment on the draft N.D. Medicaid Expansion Quality Strategy Plan.The comprehensive plan incorporates monitoring and improvement processes to ensure the delivery of quality health care and services to recipients in the Medicaid Expansion program.
Individuals can review the draft plan on the department’s website at www.nd.gov/dhs/info/pubs/docs/medicaid/draft-quality-strategy-plan.pdf. A copy of the plan can also be obtained by calling 701-328-2321, toll free 800-755-2604, or ND Relay TTY 800-366-6888.
Written comments about the N.D. Medicaid Expansion Quality Strategy Plan will be accepted until 5 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. They can be sent by mail to Sue Burns, Medical Services Division, N.D. Department of Human Services, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325, Bismarck, ND 58505-0250, fax 701-328-1544, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expanded enrollment assistance funds for health centers
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $58 million in grant funds to health centers across the nation to expand assistance for enrolling Americans in the health insurance marketplace.
Community health center organizations in North Dakota received nearly $500,000 while South Dakota centers received almost $900,000 to continue and increase statewide outreach and enrollment efforts.
November Marketplace enrollments quadruple
The number of persons who successfully selected a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace significantly increased in November. In November there were more than 250,000 enrollees in state and federal Marketplaces. The number of enrollees in the federal Marketplace was more than four times greater than the number reported in October according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
By the end of November, nearly 1.2 million Americans have selected a health plan or completed the eligibility process.
Contract ends for HealthCare.gov information technology company
CGI Federal will not receive an extension on their 12-month information technology contract with the government for the development of HealthCare.gov. Although the performance of the site has improved considerably from the initial launch, a plan for transition to another contractor is underway.
Loan repayment available for licensed providers
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is now accepting applications for the FY 2014 Loan Repayment Program. The program is intended for licensed primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health providers serving communities with limited access to health care.
Application criteria and information can be found on the NHSC website. The deadline for submission is March 20.
ACA funds tagged for mental health and substance abuse expansion
Community health centers will have the opportunity to establish or expand behavioral health and substance abuse services through funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Approximately 200 existing health centers nationwide will benefit from the $50 million awards.
NACHC delivers 45,000 signatures to the White House
The "Fix the Health Center Funding Cliff’ campaign culminated in the delivery of over 45,000 petition signatures to the White House. Petition collection will continue in 2014 in efforts to avoid a 70% reduction in health center funding in the FY 2015 budget.
Health Centers still subject to sequestration cuts
The recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 does not repeal sequestration. Although health centers were impacted by sequestration in FY2013, funding increases were able to protect health centers from reductions to their grants.
Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 discretionary funds will be safe from sequestration, but the Health Center Trust Fund will be subject to cuts. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) indicated the Trust Fund will likely face a maximum cut of 2% (per the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings cap specific to health centers). Homeless and public housing Trust Funds are separated out and subject to a larger cut, but those reductions would be to planned increases.
Useful Links and Resources
Uniform Data System Update
HRSA has recently announced changes to reporting in the 2014 Uniform Data System (UDS). Details on the changes can be found on this HRSA Program Assistance Letter.Additional information about these changes will be highlighted in the 2014 UDS Manual later this year.
2013 Kids Count fact book online
The South Dakota KIDS COUNT project is part of a network of projects supported and coordinated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Data and information are collected and published about the demographics, health, education, economic and safety of children.
The full report can be found at www.sdkidscount.org