NCHN e-News: June 2, 2015

Don't Forget to Register for NCHN's Annual Conference
at the 2015 Rural Health Summit in Portland, Oregon. 

Please Click the Logos to Register and Reserve Your Room
September 1-2, 2015
The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services met May 27-29 in Slade, KY at the Natural Bridge State Park. On Wednesday, May 27 the committee examined the issue of an increasing difference between life expectancy among the urban and rural populations of the United States. NCHN Executive Director, Rebecca Davis attended the meeting on Wednesday, May 27 and gave public comment at the end of the day, including inviting committee members to the 2015 Rural Summit in Portland, OR.  On Thursday, May 28, the committee broke into subcommittees and one group visited with Associate Member – Kentucky State Office of Rural Health in Hazard, KY



Executive RoundtableExecutive Roundtable Call: Network Leadership & Resiliency 

Tuesday, June 16th @ 12:00 PM ET; 11:00 AM CT; 10:00 AM MT; 9:00 AM PT; and 8:00 AM AKST

Join your colleagues for our June Executive Roundtable (ER Call for Network Leaders).  We will examine how to best support resiliency in diverse Networks. In May, we considered features and tools contributing to a thoughtful and engaged movement through the inevitable transition processes confronting Network Leaders and Boards.   Networks with two months or twenty years of traction potentially build greater sustainability and tolerance for successful transitions through building resiliency.  Join Rebecca Davis and Mary Kay Chess and explore: 
•     What are the features of resiliency in networks?
•     What is the nature of resilient network leaders?
•     Where should conversations be held in support of resiliency?
•     When is it time to begin building this experience in the Network?

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, June 16 @ 12:00 PM ET.  You should be receiving an email with call in details in your inbox.  

NCHN Leadership Learning Community Call: Change

Friday, June 26, 2015 @ 12:00 PM ET 

There is a great deal of chatter in the workplace around change:  creating sustainable change, leveraging incremental changes and avoiding change at costs.  The truth is, all these goals and challenges are right, for a unique and situation and a particular time.  The last time we met, we explored goal setting and, each of you created 1-2 personal leadership goals for the next 30 days.  We'll take time to explore your progress.  Then, we'll move into a conversation about change.  There is an art and a science to change.  It needs support and often, a project plan might be helpful.  There are stages and pilots to consider.  And, the personal leadership goals you set gain additional traction when you take time to explore your relationship to the art and science of change.  We look forward to seeing you on Friday, June 26. Enjoy the progress on meeting your goals!  Rebecca & Mary Kay “Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” -Walter Anderson - See more at:

Upcoming Events

  • Conference Planning Committee: June 4, 2015 @ 3:00 PM ET
  • NCHN Quarterly Informational Call: June 15 @ 2:00 PM ET  â€“  TBA – Details will be sent out via ReadyTalk invitation
  • Executive Roundtable (ER) for Network Leaders: June 16, 2015 @ 12:00 PM ET
  • Conference Planning Committee Call: June 18, 2015 @ 4:00 PM ET
  • NCHN Leadership Learning Community Call: June 26, 2015 @ 12:00 PM ET
  • Executive Roundtable (ER) for Network Leaders: June 16, 2015 @ 12:00 PM ET
  • NCHN Board Retreat: July 19-21, 2015
  • NCHN Leadership Learning Community Call (final call): June 26, 2015 @ 12:00 PM ET

Member News

Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network - IL
CONGRATULATIONS Pat Schou!!!!  A champion for rural healthcare throughout the state and nation, ICAHN Executive Director Pat Schou received the National Rural Health Association’s highest honor, its President’s Award, during ceremonies held recently in Philadelphia, PA, and attended by more than 400 healthcare leaders. To read the full article please click here.

Sunflower Health Network - KS
Sunflower Health Network, Inc., Implements OffSite’s Virtual CD for Patients’ Diagnostic Images. Virtual CD takes the burning out of the process and introduces a method by which physicians are given a secure URL that can be used to gain access to the medical images. Virtual CD is the state of art solution that allows movement of DICOM data across artificial barriers set by proprietary EMR and HIE vendors.  To read the full article please click here. 

Western Healthcare Alliance - CO
Congratulations to the following WHA member hospitals who received high star ratings according to the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report based on the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) national survey. Over 3,500 hospitals in the United States were ranked based on reported patients’ ratings on 11 measures including communication about medicines, doctor communication,discharge information, hospital cleanliness, overall hospital rating and more. 
• Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen
• Gunnison Valley Hospital, Gunnison
• Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, Salida
• Montrose Memorial Hospital, Montrose
• St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, Grand Junction
• Southwest Health System, Cortez
• Vail Valley Medical Center, Vail
• Valley View Hospital, Glenwood Springs
• Yampa Valley Medical Center, Steamboat Springs

Associate Member News

National Rural Health Resource Center:  
The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference, "Partnerships in Progress", invites rural health stakeholders to discover the promising partnerships and reform happening in health care and rural communitiesFor more information please click here.

Kentucky Office of Rural Health: 
Center of Excellence in Rural Health: The Center’s mission is “to improve the health of rural Kentuckians through education, research, service, and community engagement.” To help accomplish this mission, the Center continues to provide quality educational opportunities. In all, there are nearly 400 graduates from the Center’s academic programs, which are focused on curbing the health personnel shortages within rural Kentucky.

Wayne County Hospital Named Top 20 CAH for Quality
The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) announced the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States in four different categories. The announcement indicated Wayne County Hospital, in Monticello, KY as a Top 20 CAH in the Quality Index category. The Quality Index category ranks hospitals based on their Hospital Compare data in five categories for the quality of care that they provide to their patients. Please join us in congratulating Wayne County Hospital for their wonderful recognition of the great care they provide to people in their communities!  To view the written announcement for all Top 20 CAHs please click

Funding News & Announcements

Rural Child Poverty Telehealth Network Grant Program 
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the Rural Child Poverty Telehealth Network Grant Program (RCP-TNGP). The three year pilot program will award up to 3 grants for a total annual investment of $975,000 in FY15 to support RCP-TNGP. To learn more about applying for the FY15 Rural Child Poverty Telehealth Network Grant Program (RCP-TNGP), please visit and look under the "application package" tab. Application deadline is June 22, 2015.  

Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants
On Monday, May 22, USDA began accepting applications for its Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants, a program that “provides increased access to education, training and health care resources in rural areas.  The deadline to apply is July 6th. To get more information on requirements and detailed guidance on submitting a successful application, attend one of two webinars hosted by the Rural Utilities Service on June 4th and June 10th.

HRSA to support rural hospitals in areas of persistent poverty
The Small Rural Hospital Transitions Project assists small rural hospitals in bridging gaps between the current health care system and the newly emerging system of health care delivery and payment. On-site technical assistance is provided to small rural hospitals with fewer than 50 staffed beds residing in persistent poverty areas of the country.  Click here for more information.

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. is an online tool used to find funding opportunities offered by government entities, as well as private foundations.  Your NCHN membership provides a significant subscription discount. Click the link above to view the GrantStation website. Contact Linda with questions or to place a order.

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.  Questions?  Contact

National News

FY 2016 Medicare payment rates for Acute Care Hospital and Long-Term Care Hospitals
CMS has published a correction to its proposed rule outlining FY 2016 Medicare payment rates for Acute Care Hospital and Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs).  Among other changes, this Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule would update quality reporting  measures and increase total payments to hospitals by 0.3% compared to FY 2015.  Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until June 16.  Note that when originally published the comment deadline was June 29, although this deadline has not yet been updated on For further information and supporting data, see the Medicare FY 2016 IPPS proposed rule homepage.

Rural Stakeholder Feedback Sought
Feedback from rural stakeholders is essential to understanding the role small providers can play in delivery system reform and demonstrating value. Your comments are requested on the HHS funded, consensus-based committee work on Performance Measurement for Low-Volume Providers, led by the National Quality Forum (NQF). The draft report will be available for 30 days beginning June 1, 2015, at If you are interested in learning more about the NQF consensus process and the NQF commenting process, FORHP is hosting a webinar with representatives from NQF on Friday, June 5, 2:00pm EDT. It will be about 20 minutes of discussion from NQF and time for Q&A. We’ll send a link to the recorded session in future announcements. To join, go to with call in number 888-790-3523 and passcode: 3010058 

Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Managed Care
On May 26, 2015, CMS released the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Managed Care proposed regulation.  This proposed rule modernizes Medicaid managed care regulations that have not been revised since 2002.  The rule seeks to strengthen actuarial soundness and align the requirements with other major sources of health insurance coverage, such as with Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace. The proposed rule also changes the definition of rural currently used by the Medicaid program to that used by the Medicare Advantage program.  This is important because, in those areas deemed rural, if there is only one managed care plan offered, the state must either seek a waiver with certain requirements (such as provider choice) or allow fee for service payments outside of the managed care plan.  Even under a waiver, the enrollee must have access to providers outside the plan's network if the plan does not have the right provider in-network.

FORHP’s Rural Health Value Program Webinar
FORHP’s Rural Health Value program will hold a webinar on Monday June 22nd at 2:00pm EDT to talk about the newly developed Rural Taxonomy of Population and Health-Resource Characteristics.  This tool can help identify similar rural places (in terms of demographics, socioeconomics, and availability of health care resources) across the United States so that these communities can learn from one another to develop strategies, adopt innovations, form learning collaboratives, and more.  This webinar will briefly explain how the tool was developed and show participants how the tool can be used by policy makers and rural communities.    No registration is required.  To join, go to, using dial-In #888-950-9404 and participant Code 4550932.

Nonprofit Hospitals Facing Increased Scrutiny
In the past, NPQ has raised questions about how nonprofit hospitals are managed and how they justify their nonprofit status. A report posted on HealthcareDIVE suggests that these hospitals are coming under increased scrutiny, including by those who suggest that they should not maintain that status. Full article click here.

Rural Assistance Center
NCHN partners with the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) to share rural health network best practices and successful models from our members on their new Rural Models and Innovation Hub. For more details about this partnership and to submit a model through NCHN please, email Linda.
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 networks through collaboration, networking,  leadership development and education. 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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