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NCHN eNews
August 7, 2012
This issue's highlights:
  • NCHN News: 2012 Leadership Summit: Do Your Best and Link to the Rest
  • Member News: Tennessee Rural Partnership News
  • National News: Grants Technical Assistance Online: A One-Stop-Shop for Applicants
  • National News: CMS Issues Final Inpatient Payment Rule
  • National News: Making Federal Resources More Accessible for Rural Communities
  • Funding: Affordable Care Act (ACA): Health Center Controlled Networks

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2012 Leadership Summit: Do Your Best and Link to the Rest

The NCHN Leadership Summit is designed to build health network leadership capacity by bringing network leaders together to discuss leadership challenges and share leadership best practice models.  Through connections with their peers, network leaders will identify their individual leadership preferences and build facilitation skills to support the capacity of inclusive communication.  Participants of the 2012 Leadership Summit, Do Your Best and Link to the Rest, will have the opportunity to continue working together through the NCHN Leadership Learning Community.

September 25, 2012

Westin Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center
1 East Pershing Road
Kansas City, KS 64108

Hotel Reservations
NCHN rate: $125.00/night + tax (single/double)
August 31, 2012


How well do you know your fellow NCHN members? Can you identify this network?

Which network was founded in 2005, became a NCHN member in 2011, is comprised of 24 Critical Access Hospitals and offers the following programs and services (among others):

  • External Peer Review Program
  • Strategic Plan facilitation
  • Clinical, Operational, Financial and Patient Satisfaction Benchmark Program


Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

NCHN Orientation Call (Registration Required)
Wednesday, August 8 @ 3:00 PM ET (Register)
Thursday, September 6 @ 1:00 PM ET (Register)

Leadership Summit Committee Call
Monday, August 13 @ 3:00 PM ET

Dues Structure Task Force Call
Tuesday, August 14 @ 11:00 AM ET

Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Wednesday, August 15 @ 12:00 PM ET
Wednesday, September 12 @ 12:00 PM ET

Business Partner Committee Call
Wednesday, August 15 @ 1:00 PM ET

Board of Directors Call
Monday, August 20 @ 2:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, August 21 @ 1:00 PM ET
Tuesday, September 11 @ 1:00 PM ET

RHNR Consulting Task Force Call
Wednesday, August 22 @ 12:00 PM ET

2013 Conference Planning Committee Call
Tuesday, August 28 @ 2:00 PM ET
Tuesday, September 11 @ 2:00 PM ET

2012 Leadership Summit
Tuesday, September 25
Reserve your room by August 31st to receive the NCHN rate




Tennessee Rural Partnership News

August 3, 2012 - Together with St. Thomas Network Services we are building our “pipeline”.  An extraordinary effort has joined HOSA educators, law enforcement, firemen, emergency medical services, community college health instructors, health department officials, hospital administrators, , doctors, nurses and small business owners together, thereby producing a partnership tactically assembled to inform and demonstrate the need for health care professionals in rural and underserved areas.

Our partnership with St. Thomas allowed us to intentionally expose almost 200 middle and high school students to a Disaster Drill for several Tennessee rural counties (Maury, Lawrence, Wayne, Giles, Lewis, Hickman and Perry).  We served as a vendor and as a sponsor.  As a vendor, we sparked students’ interest in becoming a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant by offering them timely information regarding what next steps they should take.  We also encouraged better communication with their guidance counselors and facilitated the conversation regarding what course/track they need to start as early as middle school to prepare for going into the healthcare field. As a sponsor, we provided a nutritious lunch for the entire event. 

Additionally, the students had an opportunity to watch the movie Contagion.  They saw “art imitate life” on the big screen and then experienced the reality of what they had just seen by actively participating in a disaster drill.  Our partners masterfully recreated an event from the movie as an actual “incident” for the aforementioned Tennessee counties.  A mock lethal airborne virus that kills was placed on their clothing and the emergency medical professionals responded to simulate treatment and transport patients (students) to Crockett Hospital as a part of a multi-county disaster drill.

At the end of the day, they saw and heard first hand why not only doctors and nurses have significant value but, more importantly why all health care professionals on all levels are so crucial to the process of health care in their rural community.  They observed the “network” at work in their town and now have a memorable life experience that may influence their decision as they prepare to enter the workforce.
On May 11th after weeks of planning, our dream became reality in Lawrenceburg, TN.  This event was GREAT!

Please visit and click on our YouTube icon to watch the video of that day’s events.

Tselanie Stovall-Mitchell, Network and Quality Operations Manager
Tennessee Rural Partnership or 615-242-7872

NCHN Member News




NRHA marches for rural hospitals
by Erin Mahn

July 31, 2012 (Rural Health Voices) - The National Rural Health Association and representatives from over 200 hospitals and providers from across the country met in Washington this week to protect two critical Medicare programs that are set to expire.

We took our message to Capitol Hill: if congressional action is not taken by Oct. 1, millions of dollars in reimbursements to Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDHs) and Low Volume Hospitals (LVHs) will be lost, hospital services will be reduced, and rural hospital doors will close.


Paradigm Learning: NCHN Silver Level Business Partner
In the July 2012 issue of the NCHN e-News, we incorrectly listed the contact for Paradigm Learning. Please find the correction below.

Paradigm Learning designs business games and simulations that help healthcare providers better understand how their decisions impact bottom line results.

Most healthcare professionals see their job as caring for patients. For many of these professionals, the cost of that care is almost an afterthought. This engaging training experience enables them to realize that outstanding patient care and good business decision-making are not mutually exclusive.

Executives of NCHN member organizations may experience the learning at their location, at no charge, through a two-hour interactive demonstration. This allows members to see for themselves how the program works, what learning takes place and how cost savings can be realized through better informed decision making.

Tim Adler
Phone: (734) 663-8599



Regional Healthcare Law 101 Webinars
HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

August 7 @ 2:00 pm ET
New Jersey and New York (HHS Region 2) August 8, 11:00 am ET – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont (HHS Region 1)

August 8 @ 2:00 pm CT
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas (HHS Region 6)


The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment Workshop
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Live Webcast: August 8 - 9, 2012 | 8:00 AM ET

On August 8-9, 2012, the Institute of Medicine will hold a workshop on The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment.  The workshop will give perspectives on the potential for telehealth to serve geographically isolated individuals and extend the reach of scarce resources, while also emphasizing quality and value in the delivery of health care services.  Other topics to be covered include:

  • evolution of telehealth
  • current evidence base
  • technological developments
  • effects of public policies
  • role of the Department of Health and Human Services in promoting the use of telehealth

Registration is FREE.  


Take Action: Choose Effective Policies & Programs
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Webinar: August 14, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM CDT

Choosing effective policies and programs that work in real life will maximize your chances of success. Not every well-intentioned policy or program is effective. Taking the time to look for strategies that have been shown to effectively address particular problems or issues will be time well spent. Learn about guidance, tools and resources for selecting policies and programs to address priority issues.


CMS National Provider Call: Five New Medicare Preventive Services

Webinar: August 15, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET

Did you know that five new preventive services are now covered by Medicare? CMS experts will provide an overview of these preventive services covered by Medicare, when to perform them, who can perform each service, who is eligible, and how to code and bill for each service, followed by a question and answer session.

Target Audience: Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, health educators, registered dietitians, nutrition professionals, medical billers and coders, and other interested health care professionals

Registration closes at 12:00 p.m. ET on the day of the call, or when available space has been filled.


Using Data for Evidence Based Quality Improvement

Webinar: August 17, 2012 | 2:00 ET




Grants Technical Assistance Online: A One-Stop-Shop for Applicants

August 2, 2012 ( > Online Library > News) - Calling all grant applicants!

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces the launch of a new online technical assistance resource on The section contains webinars, application and submission guidance, as well as tips for writing successful proposals.

A large part of HRSA’s mission to increase access to health care is accomplished by awarding grants and cooperative agreements.


CMS Issues Final Inpatient Payment Rule
Final Rule Increases Payments to Hospitals, Strengthens Link to Quality Care

August 1, 2012 (CMS Press Release) - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a final rule that updates fiscal year (FY) 2013 Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), and builds on the Obama Administration’s work to slow growth in future health care costs by improving patient care.

The final rule also implements key elements of the Affordable Care Act’s hospital value-based purchasing and hospital readmissions reduction programs. The rule advances Administration efforts to tie Medicare payments to quality health care across the delivery system, with new quality reporting measures for general acute care hospitals in FY 2015 and FY 2016; new measures for long-term care hospitals in FY 2016, and new quality reporting programs for psychiatric hospitals and cancer hospitals. In addition, the rule establishes new reporting and other requirements for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program.  


Making Federal Resources More Accessible for Rural Communities
by Doug McKalip

July 30, 2012 (White House Rural Council) - Federal agencies often get requests from local governments and organizations—especially those in rural America—to make information about available grants and resources easier to access and understand. The HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communitiesand USDA have just released a publication that does that. Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities is a guide to programs from the four agencies that rural communities can use to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments, and enhance quality of life. It provides key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have put these programs into action to achieve their goals. With this menu of options, local leaders can more easily identify federal resources that support community planning, cost-effective infrastructure, economic development, brownfields revitalization, and other activities that are part of achieving sustainable communities. They can also see program eligibility and matching requirements at a glance.


HHS Launches $200M APRN Training Demo
by Margaret Dick Tocknell

July 31, 2012 (HealthLeaders Media) - Five hospitals will share as estimated $200 million in federal funding to help train additional advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday.


HHS grants to help veterans get jobs as physician assistants

August 2, 2012 (HHS News Release) - Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $2.3 million in grants to train primary care physician assistants (PAs) and help veterans transition from the military to civilian PA careers when they return home.


Skills, Wages and Rural America
by Bill Bishop

August 1, 2012 (The Daily Yonder) - Rural residents on average have lower incomes than those employed in the cities. Three economists have figured out why — at least in part.

The economists, working through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, conclude that the occupations found in rural areas require fewer skills than those found in the cities.


Obama Administration Announces $9 Million Investment in Rural Communities to Foster Job Creation and Innovation
Winners of the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge Will Strengthen Regional Industry Clusters and Rural Economies Across 12 States

August 1, 2012 (USDA News Release) - The Obama Administration today announced the winners of the multi-agency Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to spur job creation and economic growth in rural regions across the country.

Economic development partnerships and initiatives in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia will receive awards ranging from nearly $200,000 to over $1 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The winning projects will promote job creation, accelerate innovation and provide assistance to entrepreneurs and businesses in a wide range of industrial sectors, including advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, energy and natural resources, technology and tourism.


Hospital CEO: Court ruling puts rural residents at disadvantage

July 31, 2012 (Hannibal Courier-Post) - A Missouri Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday will put rural residents at a disadvantage when it comes to securing health care close to their home, according to Lynn Olson, president and CEO for Hannibal Regional Hospital.

“It really hurts Missourians,” he said. “Access to care in rural areas is already tough. Seniors and other people that can’t travel long distances, or it would be difficult to travel long distances, would be put at a further disadvantage and that is to me not the right policy for Missouri.”

By a 4-3 decision Tuesday, the high court said the 2005 “tort reform” law violated the right to a jury trial by capping noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases at $350,000. The limit had applied to lawsuits alleging health care providers were at fault for injuries or deaths.


HHS: Hospitals ignoring requirements to report errors
by Kelly Kennedy

July 23, 2012 (USA Today) - Hospitals are ignoring state regulations that require them to report cases in which medical care harmed a patient, making it almost impossible for health care providers to identify and fix preventable problems, a report to be released today by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general shows.


U.S. Officials Brace for Huge Task of Operating Health Exchanges
by Robert Pear

August 4, 2012 (The New York Times) - Obama administration officials are getting ready to set up and operate new health insurance markets in about half the states, where local officials appear unwilling or unable to do so.

The markets, known as exchanges, are a centerpiece of President Obama’s health care law, and running them will be a herculean task that federal officials never expected to perform. When Congress passed legislation to expand coverage two years ago, Mr. Obama and lawmakers assumed that every state would set up its own exchange, a place where people could shop for insurance and get subsidies to help defray the cost.




Affordable Care Act (ACA): Health Center Controlled Networks
Bureau of Primary Health Care

Purpose: The purpose of the Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCN) funding opportunity is to advance the adoption and implementation of Health Information Technology (HIT) and to support quality improvement in health centers throughout the United States and its territories. HCCN grants will support the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) and technology-enabled quality-improvement strategies in health centers.

Deadline: September 10, 2012

To be eligible, the applicant organization must:

  • Be a public or private non-profit organization, including tribal and community-based organizations.
  • Be either:
    • A practice management network (also referred to as a Health Center Controlled Network or HCCN) controlled by and acting on behalf of health centers funded under Section 330 of the PHS Act. The HCCN must be majority controlled and, as applicable, majority owned by such health centers. For the purposes of this FOA, the term “controlled” means to have the authority collectively to appoint a minimum of 51 percent of the HCCN’s board members; OR
    • A health center, funded for at least the two consecutive preceding years under Section 330 of the PHS Act, applying on behalf of a HCCN.



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