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NCHN eNews
July 17, 2012
This issue's highlights:
  • NCHN News: Reserve your Room for the 2012 Leadership Summit
  • NCHN News: Call for Success Stories
  • NCHN News: New NCHN Website
  • Partner News: WebImpakt, NCHN's Website Developer, Joins NCHN as a Business Partner
  • National News: HRSA Announcement: Area Resource File Updated
  • Funding: Affordable Care Act (ACA): Health Center Controlled Networks
  • Funding: Public voting for the Rural Digital Grants Program is open

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Reserve your Room for the 2012 Leadership Summit

The 2012 NCHN Leadership Summit will be held in Kansas City on September 25th. The deadline to make your hotel reservations to receive the discounted NCHN rate is August 31, 2012.

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

$125.00/night + tax (single/double)

Reservation Deadline
August 31, 2012

» 2012 NCHN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT (agenda and registration materials will be posted soon - see also the Call for Mini-Presentations)

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

This network:
• has 16 member organizations
• has programs in Group Health Insurance, Group Purchasing, Equipment Maintenance, Physician Recruitment, and Advocacy
• was a prior recipient of the NCHN Network of the Year and American College of Healthcare Executives Regent's Award
• has an Executive Director who serves on the NCHN Board


Call for Success Stories

NCHN collects best practice models, success stories, and lesson learned to share with network leaders. These examples of the work that health networks are doing across the country also submitted for posting on the Rural Assistance Center Website. The example you submit could be a huge success your network enjoyed and celebrated or it could be a project you tried and it didn’t go so well – any activity, project, new program, etc.,  that you have implemented, expanded or tried and decided not to pursue since last year (January 2011 – June 2012) can be submitted.  

So, please think about the past year and share some best practice models, success stories, and/or lessons learned!  This is a great opportunity to not only distribute information widely about the great work NCHN members are doing, but it will also add to the public body of knowledge about health networks.  The models will be shared through NCHN’s website, as well as on the Rural Assistance Center’s site. 

If you haven’t visited NCHN’s networking section on the RAC website, you can view them here.

Take a look at some of the previous Success and Lessons Learned stories posted by NCHN members and add your 2011-2012 stories today!  Thanks in advance for your assistance with this project, which is designed to expand our collective networking knowledge and experience!  Every NCHN member is encouraged to submit a story for 2011-2012 --- even if you have submitted a story before, please submit a new one!  Info about a new project/activity/program your network may have worked on since January 2011 is sought. 

The NCHN Program Development Committee has assumed management of this NCHN project and the committee members challenge you to submit your story today – all success stories received by August 1, 2012 will be included in a drawing for a $15.00 gift card. 

If you have questions about this project, please contact Rebecca Davis at or by calling 970-712-0732. 

Thank you for your participation in this project!

2012 Program Development Committee Members


New NCHN Website

The new NCHN website went live on Tuesday, July 10th. All network members should have received an email last week which included their new login credentials and an incentive to complete their network profiles. Those who complete their profile by Wednesday, July 18th, will receive a $10 credit toward a 2013 Conference Registration. And those who were on the last quarterly membership call have a chance to win a 50% discount on their 2013 conference registration.

You can go to the NCHN Member Map to view network profiles. For members who are logged in, we will also be adding a link to View All Members so that you can view the list of network members, rather than clicking on the map or specialization. Keep an eye out for this in the next week or so.

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


July Coffee/Tea Chat with Dr. Chess

Date: July 18, 2012 @ 12:00 PM ET

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 online forum, under Coffee/Tea Chats section. 

Upcoming NCHN Calls & Events

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

Business Partners Committee Call
Wednesday, July 25 @ 1:00 PM ET

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

RHNR Consulting Task Force Call
[changed from July 25th to] Wednesday, August 1 @ 12:00 PM ET

Dues Structure Task Force Call
Tuesday, August 14 @ 12:30 PM ET

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

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




Member Newsletters

  • There is no new member news this week.




WebImpaktWebImpakt, NCHN's Website Developer, Joins NCHN as a Business Partner

We are pleased to announce WebImpakt as NCHN's newest business partner.

From 2011 through July 2012, NCHN has worked with WebImpakt on the development and launch of our new site. We are delighted with the result and hope that you use it to its fullest. If you have been thinking of redesigning your website or need a new one, get in touch with Debbie Comeau for details about NCHN's partnership with WebImpakt.

About WebImpakt
Equipped with a multi-disciplinary team of Healthcare IT experts, Web Impakt Medical offers our clients innovative and robust software development expertise as well as a keenly focused knowledge of the healthcare industry and its many processes and standards. Our highly unique and specialized knowledge allows us to problem-solve, innovate, develop and integrate solutions as if we were a natural extension of your team.

We provide medical website design and development, search engine optimization, online marketing and reputation management. We do so by orchestrating medical strength website technology, expertise, and a strategy based on your specific needs. Our highly specialized marketing team can provide your facility with unparalleled website design and online marketing to bring your facility more patients.

Web Impakt Medical also offers a suite of hospital management products that can provide your medical facility custom software to help your operations run more smoothly.




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.


CMS Webinar: The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative for Primary Care Practitioners

July 19, 2012 | 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM ET

The purpose of this webinar is to introduce the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative to the primary care provider community, particularly eligible practices located in the seven selected markets. The webinar will focus on the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative’s service delivery model, including the 5 Comprehensive Primary Care functions, and the milestones participating practices will need to achieve in the first year. The process for applying will also be covered, including information about the application itself. This webinar will be recorded and posted after the event.


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.


Agrisafe Webinar

Topic: Personal Protection Equipment for Agricultural Producers

Webinar: July 31, 2012 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM CDT

Recommendations for head to toe protection will be discussed and demonstrated using various types of personal protective equipment (coveralls, aprons, safety glasses, goggles, gloves & hearing protection).

Limited space available.




HRSA Announcement: Area Resource File Updated

July 10, 2012 ( > Online Library > News) - HRSA announces that the 2011-2012 version of the Area Resource File (ARF) has been updated.

Established in 1975, the ARF is a health resource information database used extensively by researchers, planners and policy makers to obtain data on all counties in the United States.

Updates include: health workforce (e.g., physicians by specialty, dentists, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives); health professions shortage areas; health facilities (e.g., hospitals, rural health clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, nursing facilities); health expenditures (e.g., hospital facilities expenditures, Medicare Advantage payment rates); demographics (e.g., population by race, poverty, income, health insurance, and Medicaid eligibles); and more.


New AHRQ Handbook Helps Practices Implement Interactive Preventive Health Records

July 16, 2012 (AHRQ email) - A new handbook from AHRQ offers practical guidance on the implementation of interactive preventive health records (IPHRs). Based on the lessons learned from implementation using EHRs from 3 different vendors at 14 different practices,An Interactive Preventive Care Record: A Handbook for Using Patient-Centered Personal Health Records to Promote Prevention provides practical steps for healthcare professionals to follow when integrating IPHRs as components of electronic health records.

In an article, Randomized Trial of an Interactive Preventive Health Record to Enhance the Delivery of Recommended Care, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, the authors found that IPHR users were more likely to be up-to-date on all preventive services compared with nonusers, especially in the areas of screening tests and immunizations. The study findings showed that an IPHR and similar systems can improve important patient outcomes, such as the delivery of evidence-based preventive care. Researchers recommend that attention is needed to ensure future personal health records can deliver higher levels of functionality, similar to the IPHR, and that a greater number of patients and clinicians actively use the systems.


OMB Comment Request: Survey on Rural Community Wealth and Health Care Provision

July 10, 2012 (The Federal Register)

Title: Survey on Rural Community Wealth and Health Care Provision

The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology

Comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), OIRA_Submission@OMB.EOP.GOV or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.


More than 16 million people with Medicare get free preventive services in 2012

July 10, 2012 (HHS News Release) - The Affordable Care Act – the new health care law – helped over 16 million people with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first six months of 2012, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.  This includes 1.35 million who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act.  In 2011, 32.5 million people in Medicare received one or more preventive benefits free of charge.


Palliative Care Challenged by Physician Shortage
by John Cantlupe

July 13, 2012 (HealthLeaders Media) - In the past decade, medical schools have significantly increased their emphasis on palliative care education, but there is a shortage of palliative care physicians. While there is about one cardiologist for every 71 people experiencing a heart attack and one oncologist for every 141 newly diagnosed cancer patients, there is only one palliative care physician for every 1,200 people living with a serious or life-threatening illness, according to the Center to Advance Palliative Care.


Voters sick of health care debate
by Halimah Abdullah

July 12, 2012 (CNN) - Thomas Dean is sick of all the congressional bickering over the health care law.

Sure, the small town doctor understands the law's technical nuances and what's at stake for the millions of people covered by President Barack Obama's biggest policy achievement.

Sure, he knows the law has its problems and that House Republicans are pushing -- for the 33rd time -- to repeal what has become known as "Obamacare," or parts of it.


'Most Wired' hospitals named for 2012
by Mike Milliard

July 10, 2012 (HealthcareIT News) - The 2012 installment of the "Health Care’s Most Wired" survey finds hospitals nationwide leveraging health information technology in new and envelope-pushing ways.

As they deploy IT to improve care and address inefficiencies, hospitals are also concerned with protecting patient data, optimizing patient flow and improving staff communications, according to Hospitals & Health Networks, which polled some 1,570 hospitals for the survey, conducted in partnership with McKesson, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the American Hospital Association.


Community health centers compare well with private practices, researcher finds
by Mandy Erickson

July 10, 2012 (Standford School of Medicine News) - Government-funded community health centers, which serve low-income and uninsured patients, provide better care than do private practices, a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine has found. Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and colleagues at University of California-San Francisco looked at the actions physicians took when patients visited private practices versus the actions that were taken at community health centers, also referred to as Federally Qualified Health Centers and FQHC Look-Alikes, both of which receive government support.


Lacking money, insurance or dentists, oral health takes a back seat, and rural is barely on the bus

July 13, 2012 (The Rural Blog) - Dental disease is the largest unmet health need in the U.S. among both children and adults, according to the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign. The worst-off are the poor, the young, the old, and those in rural America, reports Margot Sanger-Katz in the National Journal.

Dental disease is among the most common reasons that children miss school. It’s the most common medical reason that soldiers can’t deploy. It is a leading cause of emergency-room visits in several states. For proponents of a freer health care market, who want patients to be motivated by financial incentives to shop around and avoid “unnecessary” care, the dental system offers a glimpse of how such a system might work. And research shows that poor oral health can lead to disease elsewhere in the body.


Oregon Medicaid Waiver Includes Boost For Rural Health
by Chris Lehman

July 9, 2012 (OPB news) - A new federal waiver for Oregon includes a provision aimed at luring doctors to small towns. The state won final approval Monday from the Obama administration for plans to move ahead with big changes in health care.

The federal waiver is good for five years, and it was expected. It removes one of the last regulatory hurdles for Oregon to overhaul the way it delivers health care to low income people.


ICD10-CM/PCS Workgroup
Seeking Nominations: Federal Register Notice Extended

July 13, 2012 (AHRQ email) - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has published a notice in the Federal Register [FR DOC# 2012-16734] seeking nominations for members of workgroups on ICD-10-CM/PCS Conversion of Quality Indicators (QIs). The text of the notice, including workgroup selection criteria and specific activities, may be found at This notice is being extended to provide the greatest opportunity for participation.

Deadline for submissions: July 22, 2012.



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.


Public voting for the Rural Digital Grants Program is open
National Rural Assembly

Last month, rural organizations from across the country submitted applications for the Rural Digital Advocacy Grants Program, which provides $10,000 mini-grants to rural policy networks to apply digital tools in their advocacy work.  Thirteen eligible projects are now being reviewed by a grant selection committee, who will make the final award determinations. 

However, the proposal that receives the most public votes between today and Thursday, July 19, will also be awarded grant funding to implement the project.   

Take some time to look through the thirteen project proposals. They present a broad selection of rural advocacy efforts across the country.  

Your vote matters.



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