Section: Spotlight Articles, July 2016
From the CEO's Desk
Kathy Wood-Dobbins, CEOThe Tennessee Primary Care Association (TPCA) appreciates the time and effort that the 3-Star Healthy Project Task Force has invested in exploring a way to extend health care access to more Tennesseans. As the Task Force has held hearings, Community Health Center leaders and clinicians have provided vital testimony. House Speaker Beth Harwell appointed the Task Force to develop a plan that could help the working poor and would also garner legislative support.

Most recently, the focus of the Task Force has been on a strategy to serve uninsured veterans and individuals with a behavioral health diagnosis. The 3-Star Healthy initiative will meet the comprehensive health needs of these two targeted populations. Based on the success of this model, the vision is to expand in order to include other Tennesseans living at or below 138 percent of poverty.Clinicians and other leaders of Tennessee health centers have testified before the Task Force about the services they provide and the need for providing a path to health insurance.
Five Tennessee CHCs Among Those Sharing More Than $260 Nationwide to Build and Renovate Facilities
(from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

On May 4, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced more than $260 million in funding to 290 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for facility renovation, expansion, or construction. Health centers will use this funding to increase their patient capacity and to provide additional comprehensive primary and preventive health services to medically underserved populations.

In Tennessee, Cherokee Health Systems, Maury Regional Hospital (Lewis County Health Center), Mercy Community Healthcare, Rural Health Services Consortium, and Neighborhood Health were awarded a combined total of more than $4.2 million, to serve a projected 8,140 additional patients.
New HHS Funding to Expand Oral Health Services
(from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced in June nearly $156 million in funding to support 420 health centers in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to increase access to integrated oral health care services and improve oral health outcomes.

Seven Tennessee health centers are sharing a combined award of almost $2.5 million: Cherokee Health Systems, Christ Community Health Services, Hope Family Health Services, Neighborhood Health, Three Rivers Community Health Group, Tri-State Community Health Center and Upper Cumberland Primary Care Project.

This funding enables health centers to expand integrated oral health care services and increase the number of patients served.
NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition Redesign
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is redesigning the PCMH Recognition program to offer greater flexibility, personalized service, a streamlined approach, ongoing improvement, and an alignment with changes in health care. Feedback from practices, policy makers, payers and other key stakeholders led to the redesign.

An Advisory Board, which included Deborah Murph of Cherokee Health Systems, recommended the elimination of recognition levels. Another recommended change is a movement away from the standards-elements-factors format to a set of Core criteria that must be met and a set of Additional criteria. Practices will be able to select the additional measures that are most relevant to their activities to the community and population served.
Survey on ACA: People Are Getting Care They Would Previously Have Gone Without
(from The Commonwealth Fund)

Sixty-one percent of people who have used health insurance obtained through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are getting care they previously would not have been able to afford or have access to, according to new Commonwealth Fund survey findings out today.

“Providing timely access to care is the fundamental purpose of insurance, and in this regard the law is working well for most people who are using their plans,” said Commonwealth Fund vice president Sara Collins, the lead author of the report.

Fielded between February and April of 2016, the survey finds that the ACA’s insurance expansions are providing coverage to many people who have been uninsured for a long time. But the law also appears to be helping people who recently lost job-based coverage and were experiencing a gap in health insurance.

Overall, 82 percent of adults with an ACA marketplace plan or new Medicaid coverage are somewhat or very satisfied with their coverage.

Click here to read the survey brief.
Nominate Your Stars for TPCA's Awards of Excellence
Is there someone on your staff or in your community who needs to be recognized for contributing to your center’s success? Nominate him or her for a TPCA Award of Excellence!

Each year, TPCA honors health center staff, board members, and community supporters for their exceptional gifts of time, effort and dedication to the community health movement. Nominations are being accepted now for the Awards of Excellence, to be presented at the 2016 Annual Leadership Conference. The awards will be presented at the Awards of Excellence Luncheon on Friday, September 30.

Award information and nomination forms for the following categories can be found on TPCA’s website.