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NCHN eNews
July 10, 2012
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New NCHN Website to Go Live Today

The new NCHN website will go live today (Tuesday, July 10th).

Today all NCHN members will receive an email with their new login and a more in-depth introduction to the site. Most importantly, the new site is designed to allow our members to add content to the site.

The new site is an online collaboration tool for NCHN Members. You can log in to share documents, post your news, and enter an enhanced profile for your network, including your history, programs, specializations, staff, etc.

Member surveys show that the greatest benefit to NCHN membership is the ability to network with other members. The new site is designed to allow you to share news and resources in real time... without emailing us to share them. For example, documents that you post as public will be posted on the home page and in the Documents section; and articles and newsletters you post will be automatically added to the Member News page. Additionally, the member map now includes links to expanded profiles. You can share as much information about your network as you would like.

The biggest issue with making the site more interactive and user authored  – i.e.., both the biggest risk and also the biggest area of opportunity – is that its end value is directly proportional to how much users actually use it. We all know that Facebook, for example, is a great tool for staying in touch with our friends. However, if your friends never log in to update you, it’s not a useful tool for sharing news. With the NCHN site, the ability to connect is there, but its potential use value is minimized if you don’t log in and add information about your network, add your news, etc.

Our hope is that when you receive your login, you will log in, check out the new resources, and update your network profile so that when other networks want to find out who is doing a Wellness program or launching a Telemedicine program, etc., they will find you and your network.

If you have any questions about the new site, please contact Christy.

» Live yet? VISIT


A man in a restaurant asked a waiter for a juice glass, a dinner plate, water, a match, and a lemon wedge. The man poured enough water onto the plate to cover it. "If you can get the water on the plate into this glass without touching or moving this plate, I will give you $100," the man said. "You can use the match and lemon to do this."

A few minutes later, the waiter walked away with $100 in his pocket. How did the waiter get the water into the glass?


July Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Chess

Many of you have network leaders and stakeholders significant distances from your "hub".  And, with the summer weather it is an excellent time to connect personally with these board members and key community stakeholders.  During July’s Coffee and Tea chat, we'll focus on examining:

Key strategic reasons for traveling to the "home base" of network board/community members. Reasons include and are not limited to:

  1. Updates - Local current "events"
  2. Trending - what emerges as "issues" throughout the state?
  3. Sustainability - connecting in "person" adds value in building retention Key areas of inquiry during these meetings.

Reasons include and are not limited to:

  1. What is top of mind for this CEO/Network Board member over the next year?
  2. What has her/his Board asked for in their strategic plan?
  3. What (administrative or clinical) strategic options are envisioned for the network? Over 3 months, over 6 and over 12?

As you think about your own time constraints and multiple demands, what creative approach to making the best use of "windshield time" can emerge as you talk over opportunities and constraints with your colleagues.  Grab your iced coffee or tea and join us on Wednesday, July 18th!  As of course, we will also save time for what is top of mind for you, so if you have a question or need input on a challenge, or want to share a success, please plan to do so!  Call in details were distributed in a Save the Date notice and are also posted on the NCHN on-line forum, under Coffee/Tea Chats section. 

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

Dues Structure Task Force Call
Tuesday, July 10 @ 12:30 PM

RHNR Consulting Task Force Call
Wednesday, July 11 @ 12:00 PM
Wednesday, July 25 @ 12:00 PM ET

Executive Committee Call
Monday, July 16 @ 2:00 PM ET

Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Chess
Wednesday, July 18 @ 12:00 PM ET

2012 Leadership Summit Committee Call
Monday, July 23 @ 3:00 PM ET

Program Development Committee Call
Tuesday, July 24 @ 1:00 PM ET

2013 Conference Planning Committee Call
Tuesday, July 24 @ 2:00 PM ET

2013 Awards Committee Call
Tuesday, July 31 @ 12:30 PM ET

2012 Leadership Summit
Tuesday, September 25
Reservations and Agenda available soon




Member Newsletters

  • There is no new member news this week



NRHA brings quality and clinical innovations to Seattle

Connect and collaborate with colleagues from across the country July 18-20 in Seattle for NRHA's 7th annual Rural Quality and Clinical Conference. This interactive event is designed for quality and performance improvement coordinators, researchers, students, hospital administrators, and doctors and nurses practicing on the front lines of rural health care.



Take Action Webinar Series: Focus on What's Important
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

July 10, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM CT

Once you’ve accounted for your community’s needs and resources, you will need to decide which problem(s) to tackle. Without focus, all issues seem equally important. Taking time to set priorities will ensure that you direct your community’s valuable and limited resources to the most important issues. Learn about guidance, tools and resources for focusing your community’s efforts and resources on the most important issues to achieve the greatest impact on health.


SCOTUS, Health Reform and The Prevention Fund: The Road Ahead for Public Health and Community Prevention

Webinar: July 12, 2012 | 2:30 - 4:00 PM EDT


The Medical Home Experience: Care Coordination and the Patient's Role in Shared Decision Making and Team Communication
Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative

Webinar: July 12, 2012 | 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET

In this webinar, we will explore the definition of the care team and care coordination as well as the key elements of care coordination within the PCMH. We will also talk about the patient’s perspective by reviewing Christine Bechtel’s research on patients and the delivery system as a whole – its challenges and potential solutions – including care coordination and the medical home.


NRHA Rural Quality and Clinical Conference

July 18 - 20, 2012
Seattle, WA

NRHA’s Rural Quality and Clinical Conference is an interactive conference for quality improvement coordinators, performance improvement coordinators, rural clinicians, quality improvement organizations, and nurses practicing on the front lines of rural health care.


HRSA Health IT & Quality Webinar

Topic: "Using Data for Evidence Based Quality Improvement"

Webinar: July 20, 2012 @ 2:00 PM ET


NRHA's March for Rural Hospitals

July 30 - 31, 2012
Wasington, D.C.

NRHA is hosting this free education and advocacy event.

Join experts in D.C. to learn how to save Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDHs) and the Low-Volume Hospital (LVH) program, and take this important message to Capitol Hill:

If congressional action is not taken by Oct. 1, millions of dollars in reimbursements to these facilities will be lost, hospital services will be reduced, and rural hospital doors will close.




HHS Announces 89 New Accountable Care Organizations

July 9, 2012 (CMS News Release) - Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today, that as of July 1, 89 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) began serving 1.2 million people with Medicare in 40 states and Washington, D.C.  ACOs are organizations formed by groups of doctors and other health care providers that have agreed to work together to coordinate care for people with Medicare. 

These 89 new ACOs have entered into agreements with CMS, taking responsibility for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare in return for the opportunity to share in savings realized through high-quality, well-coordinated care.


IRS to Tax-Exempt Hospitals: Go Easier on Medical Debt Collection
by Connie Prater

July 5, 2012 (FOX Business) - A little-noticed provision of the health care reform law could help millions of people avoid staggering medical bills, liens on their homes and debt collection calls.

In passing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress directed the Internal Revenue Service to draft rules to flesh out a portion of law, spelling out the consumer protections for those receiving charitable care at nonprofit hospitals. The agency complied, issuing its detailed proposal a few days before last week's favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirmed the bulk of the law as constitutional.


CMS Proposed Rule Would Increase Payment to Family Physicians by 7 Percent

July 6, 2012 (CMS News Release) - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a proposed rule that would increase payments to family physicians by approximately 7 percent and other practitioners providing primary care services between 3 and 5 percent. The increase in payment to family practitioners is part of the proposed rule that would update payment policies and rates under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2013. Under the MPFS, Medicare pays more than 1 million physicians and nonphysician practitioners that provide vital health services to Medicare beneficiaries.


How safe is your hospital?
Our new Ratings find that some are riskier than others

August 2012 (Consumer Reports Magazine) - Hospitals should be places you go to get better, but too often the opposite happens. Infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical harm contribute to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients a year, according to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Another 1.4 million are seriously hurt by their hospital care. And those figures apply only to Medicare patients. What happens to other people is less clear because most hospital errors go unreported and hospitals report on only a fraction of things that can go wrong.


Proposed EHB Rule Draws Few Comments
by Margaret Dick Tocknell

July 9, 2012 (HealthLeaders Media) - The latest effort by the Department of Health and Human Services to establish requirements for essential health benefits drew fewer than 30 comments from interested parties during the proposed rule's 30-day comment period, which ended July 4.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires HHS to define EHBs. These are 10 categories of service that must be offered beginning in 2014 by health insurance exchanges, as well as individual and small group health insurance policies.


Like It or Not, Facebook and Friends Can Be Used to Influence Health Behavior

July 5, 2012 (ScienceDaily) - Most people call it the "art" of persuasion, but public health researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) are trying to pinpoint the "science" behind social influence.

They hope a better understanding of human interactions -- both face-to-face and online -- can help prevent disease and promote general health. Whether the goal is to curb smoking at a local school or to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases within a community, it is important to understand the social structure of the group and the dynamics of influence at play, says Thomas W. Valente, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.


Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the signing of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act

July 9, 2012 (HHS News Release) - Today, the President signed into law S. 3187, the “Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.”  This legislation, which passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, will help speed safe and effective medical products to patients and maintain our Nation’s role as a leader in biomedical innovation.

S. 3187 is the culmination of the work of the administration and Congress, in partnership with patients, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, the clinical community, and other stakeholders, to provide the Food and Drug Administration with the tools needed to continue to bring drugs and devices to market safely and quickly and promote innovation in the biomedical industry, and to help secure the jobs supported by drug and device development.


Family doctor recognized for being ‘rural health hero’
by Brianne Fleming

July 9, 2012 ( - Dr. Russell Miller is seen around town a lot - from volunteering in the community to making house calls to his patients. Those are a few of the reasons he was chosen by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health for the 2011 Rural Health Hero of the Year Award. "It's a chance to represent health care workers in rural areas," he said. "There are a lot of rewards and good things about being in a rural area."


Georgia health care in limbo
by Misty Williams and Carrie Teegardin

July 8, 2012 (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) - Georgia hospitals were depending on the health care law to ease the burden of treating hundreds of thousands of uninsured patients each year for free. But that relief may never come.

While upholding the law, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled states could reject the massive expansion of the Medicaid program that is a cornerstone of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For hospitals, not expanding the health program for poor and low-income Georgians would mean having to treat almost as many uninsured patients as ever while facing significant cuts to their reimbursements.


eHealth Initiative urges feds to reconsider HIE regs
by Diana Manos

July 6, 2012 (HealthcareIT News) - The eHealth Initiative (eHI) has concerns that the proposed regulations for health information exchange could unintentionally stifle innovation and hinder the growth of data exchange.

In a letter submitted this week to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as part of a public comment period, eHI expressed concern that ONC is attempting to overregulate an activity that is still evolving.




Aetna Foundation Grants

Purpose: The Aetna Foundation promotes wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care. The foundation works to improve the quality and delivery of health services and to drive improved health status for the American public. Grants are awarded in the areas of obesity, racial and ethnic health care equity, and integrated health care.

Grants will be made only to nonprofit organizations with evidence of IRS 501[c](3) designation or de facto tax-exempt status.

The number of grants and total dollars awarded will depend upon the quantity and quality of applications received. National grants range from $50,000 to $250,000, including 15% for indirect costs. Regional grants range from $25,000 to $50,000, including 15% for indirect costs.

National applicants must submit a formal letter of inquiry. Following an inquiry review, applicants will be contacted for additional information, declined, or invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposal application deadlines will be provided with notification that a letter of inquiry has been accepted.

Full proposals will be accepted in quarterly cycles with submission closing dates of:

  • February 15
  • May 15
  • August 15
  • November 15



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