Compliance Corner March 2024

NACHC Statement Regarding the March 8 Congressional Funding Bill

March 4, 2024: A package of funding bills that extends and increases funding for Community Health Centers has been introduced with bipartisan support. The health center funding runs through the end of 2024. 

Following is the statement of NACHC President and CEO, Dr. Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP:

“On behalf of 1,487 Community Health Centers, which serve over 31.5 million or 1 in 11 people across our country, we applaud the bipartisan leadership for extending and increasing funding for our nation’s largest primary care system and making key investments in the National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program,” said Dr. Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

“Health centers face significant challenges due to increased costs, a shortage of health care workers, and substantial changes in Medicaid enrollment, and this level of funding represents the largest increase in many years. It will help support the greater access for health center patients in rural, urban, island, and frontier communities, and support the next generation of primary care clinicians and their teams. We urge Congress to adopt the Consolidated Appropriations Act and look forward to working with both sides of the aisle to build on this funding in a robust longer-term health package before the end of the year.”

Source: NACHC


New Health Center Program GeoCare Navigator

HRSA recently launched the Health Center Program GeoCare Navigator. This mapping tool is tailored to Health Center Program needs. You can use it to generate service area maps for applications or for change in scope requests. You can use it to evaluate geographic reach, penetration, and growth of the Health Center Program and its relationship to other federally linked health resources. This tool replaces the Uniform Data System (UDS) Mapper, which will sunset in March, 2024.  

Find a user guide and introductory video in the “Resources” dropdown. Submit questions via the BPHC Contact Form (Health Center Data and Research > Health Center Program GeoCare Navigator).

Source: HRSA


Newly Released: State Medicaid and CHIP Telehealth Toolkit

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released this updated toolkit. It serves as a consolidated and comprehensive compilation of telehealth policies, including related flexibilities and requirements, for states to consider when using telehealth to deliver Medicaid and CHIP benefits and services. The toolkit also includes information about:

  • Telehealth platforms
  • Billing best practices
  • Best practices from states during and after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
  • Strategies to promote the delivery of accessible and culturally competent care via telehealth, including using telehealth in schools
  • Strategies for telehealth in value-based care
  • Evaluation strategies to understand how telehealth affects quality, outcomes, and cost
  • Strategies for communicating, training, and providing resources on telehealth for providers and for beneficiaries.

Use the toolkit to help deliver Medicaid and CHIP benefits and services.

Source: HRSA


NACHC Selected for US Department of Energy Award Negotiation for up to $57 Million

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), Capital Link, Collective Energy, and Clean Energy Group are one of 17 projects selected for award negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) for Energy Improvements in Remote or Rural Areas (ERA). The award negotiation of up to $57 million will go towards strengthening the energy resilience of Community Health Centers in the rural Southeast so they can continue delivering vital services during power outages.

46 million Americans live in rural areas and face numerous health inequities when compared to people who live in urban centers. In 2022, rural areas of the Southeast experienced 474 weather-related power outages–the highest number of any other US region. With a changing climate, extreme weather events are only expected to increase, leading to more power outages that can significantly harm human health by exacerbating emergency room visits, injuries, mental health issues, consumption of unsafe food and water, and limiting abilities to charge medical devices.

Says Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP, President and CEO of NACHC, “Weather related power outages shut down critical health services at health centers, increasing the risk of avoidable hospitalizations and financial hardship for low-income residents. Our CHARGE Partnership brings unique skills needed to develop resilient clean energy solutions to health centers. The ERA funding is a game-changer for building resilience in rural areas where health disparities, generational poverty, historic discrimination, and environmental justice intersect.”

Read NACHC’s full Press Release here.

Source:  NACHC


ECV Project Period End Date and Next Steps

HRSA’s Expanding COVID-19 Vaccination (ECV) award ended on December 31, 2023, unless you received a project period extension.

If your health center did not, or will not, receive a project period extension:

  • The ECV final report will be available in HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) beginning Friday, March 1.
  • The ECV final report is due to HRSA by Saturday, March 30.
  • HRSA will soon share technical assistance (TA) resources on the ECV TA webpage to help you understand what is expected in this report.

Reminder: Health centers have 90 days to draw down funds for any expenditures obligated prior to the project period end date. If your health center needs more time to complete approved ECV award activities, contact your Grants Management Specialist or Investment Oversight Advisor as soon as possible to request a project period extension.

Source: HRSA


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated annually in March, and encourages discussions related to screening for colorectal cancer. We all know that screening is key for reducing the prevalence and severity of disease. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for 45- to 75-year-olds. People at an increased risk should talk to their doctor about when and how to get screened.

Plan to join HRSA’s webinar where you will learn from health centers that received Accelerating Cancer Screening funding. They’ll share their innovative approaches to increasing colorectal cancer screening.

Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening in Health Centers

Wednesday, March 20

1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Registration page

Source:  HRSA


Apply to be a 2024 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion!

Million Hearts is a national initiative led by CDC and CMS. Since the start of its Hypertension Control Challenge a decade ago, 63 of the 167 Hypertension Control Champions were HRSA-funded health centers. Join your colleagues by applying to be a 2024 champion — the application is now open and is due by Friday, April 5.

Visit the Partners and Progress dropdown menu on the Million Hearts website to:

  • See eligibility criteria and apply
  • Read success stories from past champions
  • Find toolkits that make it easy for you to deliver heart health messages to your community

The Tools and Protocols section of the site includes evidence-based tools your health center can use to improve patients’ blood pressure control.

Source: HRSA

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