NCHN e-News: December 1, 2015


 Join us in Oklahoma City, OK  April 18 - 21, 2016 
We will be introducing a mobile event app at this year's conference.  No more need to carry around a conference brochure. Search and find leaders from your geographic or service area. Receive alerts of any program changes.  Access presentations and take notes during sessions.  All this and many other features to enhance  your conference experience as well as increase and improve networking opportunities! Yes, we will still provide a printed brochure for your comfort in this transition.  We will host trainings prior to the conference so you can familiarize yourself with the app prior to arriving in Oklahoma City.

Executive Roundtable

Executive Roundtable Call:   Strategic Thinking for Rural Networks

Friday, December 18 @ 1:00 PM ET; 12:00 PM CT; 11:00 AM MT; 10:00 AM PT; 9:00 AM AKST 

The NCHN ER (Executive Roundtable) calls are your opportunity to connect with your peers across the country. The calls are facilitated by Mary Kay Chess, Ph.D., and provide an hour each month for you to explore opportunities and challenges of managing a successful health network.  

Strategic thinking, planning and implementation is an on-going process. The changes in our rural communities are surprisingly rapid and the need to be proactive is a shared responsibility between the network board or advisers and the network leader. We are going to consider and discuss the entire spectrum of setting strategic direction in rural healthcare networks. We realize that most of the networks represented on our NCHN ER calls offer slightly different products and services. We'll be curious to learn, why these services or products? What helped you make your decisions? Have you pivoted lately and why? This interactive session will allow leaders to share promising practices from networks across the United States. Come to this meeting with examples of strategic thinking, goal setting and strategic planning, project and communication implementation, and evaluation approaches. Despite the uniqueness of each network, there will be excellent resources to share in this dialogue. Join us on December 18th. You'll walk away with some different considerations for the new year. 

If you have a suggestions for future ER calls please email Rebecca at

NCHN Quarterly Informational Call - Monday, December 7 @ 2:00 PM ET; 1:00 PM CT; 12:00 PM MT; 11:00 AM PT; 10:00 AM AKST   Note the CHANGE IN DATE!

NCHN – National Rural Accountable Care Consortium’s Practice Transformation Network Opportunity
Please join us to learn more about the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium's Practice Transformation Network opportunity. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has awarded the Consortium $31 million to assist 525 rural health systems to get ready for value-based payments. CMMI will fund the entire population health infrastructure including 24/7 Nurse Advice Lines for rural providers to set up their Medicare-billable care coordination program and provide training and assistance to redesign their practices to address gaps in care and maximize quality scores in preparation for value-based payments. Networks who sign up their sites will get reimbursed $500 per Tax ID number that enters the program. Please join us to learn more about this program.  Speaker – Lynn Barr, MPH, Chief Transformation Officer, National Rural ACO.   Watch you inbox for call in details. 

Special Informational Call – “Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Application Process”
Thursday, December 3 @ 1:00 PM ET; 12:00 PM CT; 11:00 AM MT; 10:00 AM PT; 9:00 AM AKST 

We are pleased to provide a call with Amber Berrian, MPH, Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Coordinator to discuss the application process for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program. Please join us on Thursday, December 3 @ 1:00 PM ET. Please watch your inbox for information on how to participate. This is a special call for NCHN members. 

The HRSA RHNDP program is a funding opportunity to help small rural health care providers and health care service organizations align resources and strategies to address challenges more effectively as a group. Previously funded projects supported workforce retention and recruitment, behavioral health, telehealth, care coordination and health information technology.  Recognizing that 57 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, for the first time, communities with emergency medical services and a hospital that has closed or is at risk of closing are encouraged to apply.  The deadline to apply is Friday, January 8th, 2016. 

 We hope you can join us!  

Upcoming Events

  • 2016 Conference Planning Committee Call: December 1, 2015 @ 11:00 AM ET
  • HRSA TA Call on Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Guidance: December 2, 2015 @ 2:00 PM ET 
  • Special Call for NCHN Members on HRSA TA Call on Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Guidance : December 3, 2015 @ 1:00 PM ET
  • NCHN Quarterly Informational Call – NRACO Funding Opportunity: December 7, 2015 @ 2:00 PM ET 
  • 2016 Conference Planning Committee Call: December 15, 2015 @ 11:00 AM ET
  • Executive Committee Call: December 15, 2015 @ 4:00 PM ET
  • ER Call for Network Leaders: December 18, 2015 @ 1:00 PM ET 
  • 2016 Conference Planning Committee Call: January 5, 2016 @ 11:00 AM ET 
  • 2016 Conference Planning Committee Call: January 19, 2016 @ 11:00 AM ET
  • Executive Committee Call: December 19, 2016 @ 4:00 PM ET

Member News

Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri (HCC) - MO
Read how this NCHN member from MO has used intentional collaboration to improve the health of its service area in this article featured in the Rural Assistance Center's  "
Rural Monitor." 

Funding News & Announcements

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
This announcement solicits applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Oral Health Service Expansion (OHSE) funding.  The purpose of this supplemental funding opportunity is to increase access to oral health care services and improve oral health outcomes for Health Center Program patients.  Please click
here for more information.

This announcement solicits applications for a two-year FY 2016 Nurse Education, Practice, Quality, and Retention-Interprofessional Collaborative Practice:  Behavioral Health Integration (NEPQR-IPCP:BHI) program to integrate interprofessional and collaborative models of behavioral health services into routine nurse-led primary care delivered in vulnerable and/or underserved/rural populations.  Please click
here for more information.

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. 
The SDS program promotes diversity in the health professions and nursing workforce.  Up to $650,000 per year will go to eligible schools for awarding scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Rural providers focusing on growing their own can help pair local students with partner educational institutions that apply for this funding. For health care training programs that serve rural communities, the funding provides a good opportunity to build academic-community partnerships and address long-standing workforce challenges in rural communities.  The deadline to apply is Monday, January 25th
. Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students.   
Training Opportunities

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services  (CMS)
The PQRS program has developed into a concern for many rural providers associated with Rural Health Clinics. Although the PQRS program doesn't directly subtract from Rural Health Clinic (RHC) payments, it does from Medicare Part B billing. This session sponsored by CMS would be a good place to ask questions about the program and its impact on RHCs. This webinar is on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 1:30 pm ET.

To Register: Visit MLN Connects Event Registration. Space may be limited, register early.

During this call, find out how the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule impacts Medicare Quality Reporting Programs. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Take Advantage of Your NCHN Membership!

Would you like additional review and editing assistance before submitting your next federal proposal? Through your NCHN membership, you have access to discounted rates on professional grant review services. To learn more, click here.

Pathfinder - is a new, free, interactive website, offered by where users have access to an extensive list of resources of professional development opportunities. This website is designed to help you develop your career path as a grants professional. Our library provides profiles on top quality resources in the area of grant research, writing, and management, as well as strategic planning.  Please visit us by clicking the pathfinder link above.

Your NCHN membership provides a significant subscription discount to Contact Linda with questions or to place an order.

We are happy to once again offer the benefits of the HCAHPS Breakthrough Webinar Seriesâ„¢  Take advantage of this dynamic leadership education series, beginning November 17, 2015. Each webinar is focused on one HCAHPS domain and is crafted to provide participants with a step by step actionable blueprint to sustainably improve their patient experience scores. Recordings are available for viewing for one year from the date of the webinar. To order please contact Linda.
Here’s how the HCAHPS Breakthroughâ„¢ – Webinar Series works: 
  •  The content has been designed to provide an engaging, educational, how-to roadmap that will captivate the imagination of attendees to successfully drive positive      behavioral change at every level.
  •  Each webinar includes a downloadable Learning Guide that features priority best practice tools, LEAN friendly SOP checklists, and critical implementation skills.
  •  As a value-added bonus, every hospital team will receive a complimentary one hour customized Coaching Call with authors Brian Lee, CSP.
  •  Participants who miss any of the scheduled webinar series, or wish to revisit or share the content with other employees, can access the HCAHPS Breakthroughâ„¢  Library for three months following the final webinar.
  •  A mid-year National Symposium on HCAHPS Sustainability, will take place on February 8-10, 2016, at the Annual HealthCare Service Excellence Conference, at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ. (A conference within a conference.)

Member to Member Business Partner 
NCHN Member to Member Business Partner Program 
NCHN members interested in marketing products and/or services they have developed may apply for participation in the NCHN Member to Member Business Partner Program (MMBPP). Participation is available to any dues paying NCHN member desiring to share their products or services with other NCHN members. Qualifications to participate in the MMBPP:
•    Must be a NCHN voting member in good standing
•    Must have products or services available from the network for NCHN
     members to evaluate and purchase
•    Application must be approved by NCHN Board of Directors 
To download the application please click 
apply here.
For questions please contact Rebecca 

National News

National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC)
NARHC has created a google map of all the RHCs in the country that may be useful to you or your members.  Feel free to share.
You can check it out here:
There is also a searchable version here:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 
Health care law results in $2.4 billion in consumer rebates on premiums since 2011. CMS released a new report today showing that consumers have received more than $2.4 billion premium rebates  since 2011 because the Affordable Care Act requires that health insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care.  For 2014 alone, over 5.5 million consumers received nearly $470 million in rebates, for an average of $129 per family. Those rebates are in addition to improvements in quality and affordability savings consumers have received as the share of insurance companies in compliance with the requirements has increased
.  Press Release

RAC Changes Name to Rural Health Information Hub
Starting on December 1, 2015 the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) will be changing its name to the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub). The RHIhub website will continue to provide information, resources, and assistance to rural communities across the country. With the launch of the name change on December 1, 2015 the website will also be changing. If you have RAC bookmarked, be sure to change the new page to

HRSA Seeking Nominations to Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages (ACICBL).
Specifically, HRSA is requesting nominations for voting members of the ACICBL representing: Area Health Education Centers, Education and Training Relating to Geriatrics, Rural Interdisciplinary Training, Allied Health, Podiatry, Chiropractic, Psychology, and Social Work.
Read more 

 The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Rural Health, Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee.
The Department of Veteran Affairs is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee.  The committee advises the VA Secretary on ways to improve and enhance access to healthcare services for enrolled Veterans in rural areas, identifies barriers to providing services and makes recommendations to address them.  Nominations must be received no later than 5:00 pm EST on Tuesday, December 15thVeterans Rural Health Advisory Committee.
NCHN is a national professional membership organization comprised exclusively of health networks, alliances, and/or network stakeholders dedicated to supporting the success of health networks. Its mission is to support and strengthen health network. Network members include some of the of most longstanding and established networks in the country, as well as some of the most recently formed networks. Find out more online at

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