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Happy Holidays from NCHN


December 18, 2012 NCHN e-News LinkedInTwitterFacebook
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rebeccaFrom the Executive Director

Goodbye 2012!  Can you even believe how fast this year has flown?  My mother used to say, “The older you get the faster the time goes, just you wait and see.”  I certainly understand now what she was talking about, as it just seems like we were just starting 2012 and looking forward to the Annual Conference in Denver, where we co-located with NRHA.  Then we were working on the 2012 Leadership Summit for September in Kansas City and that has come and gone and the two Leadership Learning Communities are working together and utilizing their workbook to expand and sharpen their leadership skills. 

And Committees – man, have the NCHN committees been busy this year! We started the new committee year in May and their work continues through April 2013. Thank goodness the end of the year does not see the end of committee work, but does give each committee chair and its members the opportunity to review what has been accomplished during 2012 and plan how to best utilize the remaining four months of the committee year to meet all their goals and objectives.

As an organization, we have continued to grow and bring in new members throughout 2012 and anticipate even more members before the close of our fiscal year on April 30, 2013.  Why not make a resolution to support your Association and recruit a member between now and the 2013 Annual Educational Conference in New Orleans in April?  We have also experienced growth in our new Associate Membership Category – we are up to ten (10) Associate Members and very excited about the possible work we will be doing with this group. The Associate Member category also allows former Network Leaders the opportunity to stay connected to NCHN and its members, while continuing to share their network expertise and experience with current network leaders. 

Conference Planning Committee Call
Tuesday, Jan. 8 @ 2:00 PM ET

Special Topics: Call with Heman Marshall on Anti-Trust Laws and Issues Relevant to Health Networks
Monday, January 14, 2013 @ 2:00 PM ET  

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, Jan. 15 @ 1:00 PM ET

January Coffee/Tea Chat
Wednesday, Jan. 16 @ 10:30 AM ET

Business Partners Committee Call
Wednesday, Jan. 16 @ 1:30 PM ET

NCHN Board of Directors Call
Monday, Jan. 21 @ 2:00 PM ET

2013 Conference Planning Committee Call
Tuesday, Jan. 22 @ 2:00 PM ET


During 2012, the Business Partners Committee was established and has been reviewing our current partners and exploring options to bring new partners to NCHN.  If you have not reviewed the Business Partners page lately, that’s another item you can add to your resolution list of things to do to support NCHN in 2013 – you can access the Partners’ page here. I encourage each member to take a look at the programs, services, and products offered by our current partners and to share the info with your members. 
Looking ahead to 2013 and planning for after the holidays as we settle into January and February, here are some resolutions you may want to consider in support of your Association and your colleagues for 2013:

  • Exhibitors, sponsors, and advertisers for the 2013 Annual Educational Conference:
    We are looking to expand these opportunities for companies to interact with participants at the Annual Conference.  If you have suggestions for potential contacts in any of the three areas, please let Christy know.  She needs the company’s name, contact name, and email address so that she can follow-up and share an invitation to participate in our 2013 Conference. 
  • Nominations for the NCHN Board of Directors:
    We will have two Directors’ positions that will be available for election from the NCHN membership.  Please think about how you can serve your Association by submitting your name into consideration to serve as a NCHN Board Member.  The official call for candidates will be out in January. 
  • Participate in the monthly Coffee/Tea Chats with Dr. Chess:
    This is your hotline – the hotline for Network Leaders – once a month, you have the opportunity to call in and connect with your colleagues and discuss what is keeping you up at night!  Or share what you just accomplished. The calls are wonderful and the next one is on Wednesday, January 16 @ 10:30 AM ET. Plan to join us! 
  • Attend the 2013 NCHN Annual Educational Conference in New Orleans, April 16-19, 2013
    Details for hotel reservations are on the NCHN website. Make your reservation before the end of the year and check that off your list!   We anticipate that the NCHN block may sell out before the deadline date, so please make your reservations early to ensure you get the NCHN rate.  Also, right after the first of the year, the conference agenda and registration details will be up on the NCHN website. Register early and pay early to secure your space! 
  • 2013 NCHN Membership Dues Assessment
    NCHN has moved the fiscal year to May 1 – April 30; thus the 2013 Membership Dues Assessment process will not begin until March 2013.  The NCHN Board of Directors, after extensive study and discussion, voted to increase network organizational dues by 10% for each category of membership.  Details will be forthcoming in a special email to network leaders in mid-January, along with the new method of assessing dues for each network member.  
  • 2013 Committees
    It is not too early to think about how you can become more involved in the overall management of NCHN.  Each year, we reformat the various committees and are always looking for and welcome members to serve on committees.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to expand your connections with other network leaders across the country.  When the call for 2013-2014 Committees comes forth, please sign up for one! 

Winter in ColoradoI, along with Christy and Debbie and the Board of Directors and Officers, thank you for your service, dedication, and giving of your time, energy, and expertise to the Association and to each other.  We wish you a wonderful holiday season over the next couple of weeks. I hope you are able to connect with your family and friends, have safe travels, and encourage you to recharge your batteries, get some rest. We are here to support you as you lead your network into 2013! 

Rebecca J. Davis, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Holiday Schedule
Rebecca will be out from Wednesday, December 19, 2012 through Tuesday, January 1, 2013 and Christy will be off from Monday, December 24, 2012 through, Tuesday, January 1, 2013. NCHN offices will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. You will receive your next newsletter on Thursday, January 4.

Debra SimmonsNCHN Welcomes Associate Member Debra Simmons
Please join the NCHN Board of Directors in welcoming Debra Simmons (NH) as NCHN's newest associate member.

Debra Simmons’ thirty year career has primarily been in non-profit finance and administrative services. As the North Country Health Consortium’s Finance Director for ten years, Ms. Simmons directed its financial and organizational operations.  Currently, Ms. Simmons, works as a consultant with local businesses, non- profits, banks and individuals. Ms. Simmons expertise in developing business plans, financial forecasts, policies, and systems strengthens an organizations infrastructure resulting in sustainability and/or profitability.

Additionally, Ms. Simmons can provide technical assistance to help recruit and retain a quality workforce by developing and facilitating employee performance improvement programs. Ms. Simmons is a native of northern VT, and has lived in NH since 1994 and has been a resident in Whitefield, NH since 2002.


Grand County Rural Health Network in the news: Cancer related services now available through Rural Health (Dec. 14, 2012, Sky-Hi News)

RWHC's Eye on Health newsletter (January 2013) issue is online


Senators send letter on rural Medicare “Extenders” (Dec. 12, 2012, Rural Health Voices)

RWHC is pleased to announce that it’s Credentials Verification Organization, or CVO, has been recertified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for all 10 credentialing standards. (Nov. 28, 2012,



FCC Reforms Rural Health Care, Aims to Free Up Spectrum, Enhance 9-1-1 (Dec. 12, 2012,
The FCC today adopted reforms to the Universal Service program’s rural healthcare program, expanding the types of expenses that can be covered by the program but also imposing a $400 million cap on the program. In addition the commission set in motion a plan to allow wireless service providers to share 100 MHz of spectrum with government users who currently are the sole users of the spectrum.

Reducing Waste in Health Care (Dec. 13, 2012,
A third or more of what the US spends annually may be wasteful. How much could be pared back--and how--is a key question.

Non-Profit Hospitals May See Some Stability in 2013 (Dec. 13, 2012, Becker's Hospital Review)
Generally, non-profit hospital and health systems should expect stable finances next year, but maintaining profitability and reasonable expenses will be harder to do beyond 2013, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.

Rural Assistance Center Celebrates 10 Years of Service to Rural America (Dec. 12, 2012,
The Rural Assistance Center (RAC), a national information resource for rural health and human services, is celebrating 10 years of service to rural America. Since its launch in December 2002, RAC’s website,, has received over 6 million visits, and RAC staff members have responded to over 8,700 information requests from people across the country.

Facing Deadline, Most States Say No To Running Their Own Insurance Exchanges (Dec. 14, 2012, Kaiser Health News)
The Obama administration will have to build and operate online health insurance markets for more than 30 states, something few expected when the federal health law was approved in 2010.

Creating Rural Medical Workers (Dec. 14, 2012, Daily Yonder)
If we want health workers to go to underserved areas, we should quit training so many specialists and concentrate on educating medical generalists.

Hospital Medicare Funds Get Bipartisan Push (Dec. 12, 2012, HealthLeaders Media)
When last we looked in on the status of federal funding for Medicare-dependent and low-volume rural hospitals, a pre-election Congress was distracted and dithering before the Oct. 1 deadline.

New tools to help providers protect patient data in mobile devices (Dec. 12, 2012, HHS News Release)
Launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today, a new education initiative and set of online tools provide health care providers and organizations practical tips on ways to protect their patients’ protected health information when using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.


A National Web Conference on Practical Models to Improve Patient-Clinician Communication Using Health IT (Dec. 18, 2012 @ 2:30 PM ET, AHRQ)

2013 Changes in Medicare (Dec. 19, 2012 | 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 5:00 PM PST, National HIT)

2013-15 ORHP Rural Funding Opportunities (Jan. 7, 2013 @ 10:00 AM GMT, Center for Rural Health)

9th Annual 340B Coalition Winter Conference (Jan. 23 - 25, 2013, San Francisco, CA, The 340B Coalition)

Rural Health Policy Institute (Feb. 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., NRHA)


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