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The Partnership Center Newsletter

August 14, 2013 Edition

In this issue, you will find…


Dear Partners:

On August 28, 1963 – nearly 50 years ago – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told our country about his dream for the future. It was a future where individuals and families would have the freedom and opportunity to pursue and fulfill their individual dreams.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law Medicare and Medicaid, which was a transformational step for a better future for many Americans.

Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are making another giant leap to securing the future and well-being of millions of Americans. This well-being will be based on having the peace of mind that comes from having affordable and accessible health insurance. The new Health Insurance Marketplaces open for enrollment in every state on October 1st, giving individuals, families, and small business owners a simple, convenient way to find coverage that fits their budget. With a single application, people will be able to see and compare all their coverage options. There will also be tax credits that can save people money on their premiums right away. And as President Obama has said from the start, Americans who like the coverage they currently have can keep it – and the law will give them a better value for that coverage by improving benefits and protections.  In addition, the Affordable Care Act makes a tremendous investment in health centers, which play a vital role in helping Americans across the country access quality care and which we recognize during this National Health Center Week.

Here are seven steps faith and community leaders like you can take to help connect members of your congregations and communities to the care they need:

  • Tell young adults in your communities and congregations about www.healthcare.gov and how they can get health coverage to fit their needs and budget.


As always, please feel free to email us at Partnerships@hhs.gov or call us at 202-358-3595 to let us know how we can support your work.
 

Sincerely,

Acacia Bamberg Salatti, Acting Director
Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Featured Update:
HHS Launches Health Insurance Marketplace Educational Tools

HHS has kicked off the Health Insurance Marketplace education effort with a new, consumer-focused HealthCare.gov website and a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week consumer call center to help prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign people up for health insurance. The new tools will help Americans understand their choices and select the coverage that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1. The HHS Partnership Center will offer a tour of the re-launched website and take questions on August 20 at 2:00 pm ET. To RSVP, see below.

HealthCare.gov is the website used to enroll in health insurance, called the Health Insurance Marketplace. Americans may now access new educational information and get ready for open enrollment this fall. Consumers can now create an account and, by October, will be able to complete an online application and shop for qualified health plans. The website is built with a responsive design so that consumers may access it from their desktops, smart-phones, and other mobile devices. The website now includes web chat functionality to support additional consumer inquiries.  For Spanish speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov is also updated to match www.HealthCare.gov’s new consumer focus.

Customer service representatives are available for assistance via a toll-free number at 1-800-318-2596 and hearing impaired callers using TTY/TDD technology can dial 1-855-889-4325 for assistance. The call center provides educational information and, beginning Oct. 1, 2013, will assist consumers with application completion and plan selection. In addition to English and Spanish, the call center provides assistance in more than 150 languages through an interpretation and translation service.

Tools and resources to tell others about the Health Insurance Marketplace is available at http://marketplace.cms.gov.  This website provides fact sheets, articles, videos, Power Point presentations, widgets and badges, and upcoming stakeholder engagement sessions.  The website also includes frequently asked questions, the applications for health insurance coverage, and information on the Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, other Assisters and Educators. Individuals can sign up to receive updates on the implementation of the health care law on the website as well. Many of these resources are available in Spanish and other languages.

HHS is on target for open enrollment in the Marketplace, which begins Oct. 1, 2013, and other key milestones approaching in the months ahead. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.


My Account Tool Now Available on HealthCare.gov

Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins on October 1, but in the meantime you can create a Health Insurance Marketplace account on HealthCare.gov to get ready.

How to create your Health Insurance Marketplace account

Get started in 3 easy steps:

  1. Provide some basic information like your name, address, and email address
  2. Choose a user name and password
  3. Create security questions for added protection

You won’t be able to start your application for Marketplace insurance until October 1. But by creating an account now you’ll be one step closer to applying for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace, comparing plans side-by-side, and enrolling in a plan.

Remember that you can apply for coverage and enroll as soon as October 1, 2013.

After you’ve set up your account, make sure to tell your family and friends to set up an account too. And don’t forget to connect with us on social media.

Questions? Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.


Faith-Based and Community Organizations Assist With Health Insurance Enrollment as Certified Application Counselor Organizations

Faith-based and community organizations can help millions of Americans get enrolled in health insurance starting on October 1. If your organization is interested in training your staff and volunteers to assist people in applying for health insurance coverage through the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (including a State Partnership Marketplace), you can apply to be a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) organization. CAC organizations provide services for free, there is no federal funding for CACs. To learn what kind of Marketplace is operating in your state, click here: https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state/. For more information on the CAC program, go here: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/partner-with-us.html.

Applications are now available for interested organizations to complete at http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/cac.html.


Community Health Centers to Assist with Health Insurance Enrollment

On July 10, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced $150 million in grant awards to 1,159 health centers across the nation to enroll uninsured Americans in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act.  With these funds, health centers are expected to hire an additional 2,900 outreach and eligibility assistance workers to assist millions of people nationwide with enrollment into health coverage. The awards were issued in all 50 states. Nationally, community health centers serve 21 million patients annually.

These centers will now be places where individuals and families receive affordable, quality care and help with the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The centers will determine eligibility in private and public health insurance, determine what financial help they are eligible for, and enroll them in health insurance.

To read the press release for the grants, visit here: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/07/20130710a.html

To see the full list of awards by state, visit here: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/outreachandenrollment/

To learn more about what health centers do and to find one in your community, look here: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/


Become a Champion for Coverage Organization

Become a “Champion for Coverage” and help make sure all Americans can get the health care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. National and state organizations can become Champions for Coverage.

To take advantage of the new, online Health Insurance Marketplace, millions of uninsured Americans need to know about it and sign up.  We need help from the public and private sectors to let people know about these new benefits and get them enrolled.  

Ways your organization can be a Champion for Coverage:

  1. Send your partners/members/customers to the official consumer sources to learn about the Marketplace and get coverage:
  2. Send an email to your network about the Marketplace.
  3. Post the HealthCare.gov and/or CuidadoDeSalud.gov widget on your website.
  4. Hang posters and/or give out fact sheets and brochures about the Marketplace.
  5. Host a conference call, webinar, or another educational event about the Marketplace.
  6. Include a story about the Marketplace in your organizational newsletter or other publication.
  7. Record and send out a public service announcement about the Marketplace.
  8. Have your staff/members learn about the Marketplace in educational sessions.
  9. Connect with your partners/members/customers through official Marketplace social media channels to share their stories:
  10. Provide space for enrollment sessions or fairs (ideally, with computers so people can check out the Marketplace online).

Resources to help Champions for Coverage can be found at http://marketplace.cms.gov.

How can my organization become a “Champion for Coverage?” First, take action – post the Marketplace widget, send an email message, or more.  If you're interested in being publically recognized as an official “Champion for Coverage,”organization, fill out our online form. Once we get your information, we’ll follow up with you. If you have questions, send an email to champion@cms.hhs.gov.


Hospital Health Systems Strive to Meet the Health Needs of the Newly Insured

By Heidi Christensen, Associate Director for Community Engagement, HHS Partnership Center

As more Americans gain insurance benefits for the first time as a result of the Affordable Care Act, many hospital systems are working together to ensure access to the health care services.  In coordination with HHS Partnership Center and the Health Systems Learning Group (HSLG),* hospital health system professionals have created strategies that they hope will meet the new influx and address many of the obstacles to accessing quality care.  Their findings are detailed in a newly released monograph presented at a senior leadership meeting entitled, “Strategic Investment in Shared Outcomes: Transformative Partnerships between Health Systems and Communities” (Executive Summary).

The ACA includes numerous provisions and incentives that aim to broaden access to care such as expanding the capacity of community health centers, investing in prevention strategies and encouraging community-wide efforts to reduce the impact of chronic disease.

Over the last two years, the White House Office and HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships have been coordinating the Health Systems Learning Group (HSLG).  The group is an active learning collaborative representing 43 institutions (including over 450 non-profit hospitals) that are seizing the opportunity to take up the ACA’s call to address the health of the communities they serve.  As a result, these systems are developing innovative practices that link clinical services to community providers, improving community health improvement activities occurring outside the hospital walls.

Working together on a voluntary basis, participants have been engaged in a “learn-in-the open” approach – sharing the promising practices that engage community partners in prevention strategies, remove obstacles to care (“social determinants,” such as community violence, unemployment, lack of access to healthy and affordable food), boost the capacity of medical homes and community care providers, and formalize networks of community liaisons that can bridge health providers to the neighborhood where patients live, work, play and pray.

As the HSLG monograph states, “The ACA goals to improve access, improve quality, and reduce costs can only be achieved through the shared ownership for health among hospitals, providers, and the full spectrum of stakeholders and sectors.”

*The Center for Excellence at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (COE MLH) serves as the Secretariat and its Foundation as the fiscal agent for the Health Systems Learning Group, with in-kind support from the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  It is funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and by the contributions of participating health systems. 


Let Your Voice Be Heard: the HHS Office for Civil Rights Now Accepting Comments on ACA Non-Discrimination Regulations

On August 1, 2013, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. This landmark civil rights provision makes it illegal to single out people because of their race, color, national origin, sex (including gender), age, or disability in most health programs (such as hospitals and clinics). The purpose of the RFI is to obtain information that will assist OCR in drafting the regulation. The RFI is particularly important because Section 1557 allots federal ruling jurisdiction over several new provisions made possible by the Affordable Care Act including the new health insurance marketplaces.

The RFI calls on all agencies and advocates for all communities to share their ideas and comments on a range of access and discrimination issues including but not limited to access and provisions for those with limited English proficiency, access to health care programs and activities, and technological barriers posed to certain groups. The Department will be welcoming feedback from consumers, health care providers, and other interested members of the public until September 30, 2013. Let your community’s voice be heard.

For more information, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/1557inforequest_.html

Submit comments:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=HHS_FRDOC_0001-0512


Obama administration launches one-stop-shop website to educate business owners about the Affordable Care Act


The Obama administration today launched Business.USA.gov/healthcare, a one-stop-shop website that will provide employers of all sizes educational materials on how the Affordable Care Act may affect businesses and help them compete.  The site includes a wizard tool that is tailored based on size and location, so businesses can learn how the law helps them provide affordable coverage options to their employees while still meeting their bottom line.  The site will act as a user-friendly hub that connects employers to informational content on tax credits and other provisions of the law from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Treasury Department.   To learn more, please visit http://business.usa.gov.


Navigators Final Rule Released

On July 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a proposed rule outlining the standards for Navigators, the in-person assisters in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. State-based Marketplaces have the option of using this guidance or developing their own. The rule identifies training, conflict of interest standards, and standards for serving people with limited English proficiency and people with disabilities.  

Navigators and similar in-person assisters will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“If individuals request assistance and would like in-person assistance, navigators will be available nationwide when the marketplace opens. Navigators will be trained to play a vital role in fulfilling our commitment to help consumers learn about and apply for quality health insurance when open enrollment for consumers in the Marketplaces begins October 1,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. 

CMS will ensure that all consumers who need Marketplace customer service can receive it from trained professionals. Navigators will provide accurate and impartial assistance to consumers shopping for coverage in the new Marketplace, including consumers who are not familiar with health insurance, have limited English proficiency, or are living with a disability. Grant awards for Navigators in states with Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces will be awarded on August 15, 2013.

To learn more about helping consumers apply and enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace, visit: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Files/Downloads/marketplace-ways-to-help.pdf  

To access the final rule, visit: https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-17125.


Libraries Providing Information about the Health Insurance Marketplace

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced an initiative to get librarians ready to help people in every State learn about the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

This initiative will provide public libraries with information about the health care law and connect librarians with Navigators and Certified Application Counselors to help their patrons understand the options for enrollment in the health insurance through the Marketplace.

“Libraries across this country are a tremendous resource for people in their communities,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.  “People will likely turn to libraries to learn about the Marketplace, and we want to make sure that library staff has access to the tools and the information to respond to people who want to sign up and enroll for coverage on October 1.”

 “I am pleased that CMS is reaching out to the library community so that librarians are prepared to respond to questions about the Marketplace,” said Susan H. Hildreth, IMLS, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services.  “Public libraries are trusted sources for health information. We know that for millions of Americans, the nation’s 17,000 public libraries are the ‘go to’ place for information about health issues.”  The IMLS is primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.


Mentalhealth.gov Launched

Launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mentalhealth.gov is an online resource for people looking for information about mental health. SAMHSA has released a Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health to support communities interested in holding discussions about mental health. The Information Brief section is available for print and electronic download.


September is National Recovery Month – Recovery Month Toolkit Now Available Online

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has produced a 2013 Recovery Month Toolkit with new resources and current information on mental and substance use disorders. This year's kit includes infographics, which explain data visually and can be downloaded for use in your organization's communication efforts. The toolkit also contains a Targeted Outreach section for young adults, community leaders, health care providers, and families and caregivers of young people. An updated Resources directory, Fast Facts, and other materials help you work with media to promote your organization and your Recovery Month event.


National Vaccine Program Office’s SMS Health Reminder System

The National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has developed a Short Message System (SMS) to send text and audio messages to mobile phones and email addresses.  Health message reminder systems can help increase vaccination rates.  This system can be used by organizations to create and send health messages to their members, or to forward messages from NVPO to its members.

NVPO is now conducting a pilot test of the SMS Health Reminder System.  The following link for the “Magpi Messaging Video Introduction” is a video demonstration of how the system can be used:  https://vimeo.com/69047052.

NVPO suggests that, to start pre-testing:

  • a main contact person for your organization should register in the Magpi system; this person will send out messages for your organization
  • the main contact person should add some contacts into the system; the contacts will be people who will receive messages that your organization will send out
  • the main contact person could add and send the message above (or a message of your creation) as your organization’s first test message

If you would like to participate in pre-testing of this system, please contact S. Claire Slesinski at (202) 205-5317, Sandra.Slesinski@hhs.gov.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to hearing what your organization thinks about the NVPO SMS Health Reminder System.


Spotlight on Staff: Sylvia Griffin

Newsletter photograph of Sylvia GriffinMy name is Sylvia Griffin and I am the Executive Assistant for the HHS Partnership Center. My role in the Center is to support our Director and senior staff members by carrying out the day to day operations of the Center. A few of my responsibilities include reporting office activities and outcomes to the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, coordinating meetings with our faith-based and community partners, and organizing the Director’s travel. Most importantly, I make sure the all trains in the office run smoothly so that senior staff can work at their highest potential.

The highlight of working in this wonderful office is learning and engaging in partnerships with faith-based and community organizations. As an organizer in my own community, I am inspired to share the work of our office with my own place of worship and volunteer organizations. For example, I recently organized a conference on men’s health and coordinated an Affordable Care Act presentation for my church’s health leadership. From father engagement to reductions in health disparities, it is great to witness firsthand how beneficial our work can be to communities and congregations. 

My work at the HHS Partnership Center has heightened my understanding of the importance of public service and the impact of successful partnerships. I look forward to learning how we can build and strengthen partnerships with many more communities and faith-based leaders.

 

Upcoming Events


Interactive Webinars on the Health Care Law

The HHS Partnership Center continues to host a series of webinars for faith and community leaders. All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session.

To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred topic from the list below and submit the necessary information. Please click on the title of the webinar and fill out the registration form. After registering you will receive an e-mail confirmation containing information about joining the webinar. Please contact us at ACA101@hhs.gov  if you have problems registering or if you have any questions about the health care law. All webinars are one hour.

Please note that the first 1,000 people who join each webinar at the start time are able to attend. If there is significant interest in a webinar, we will do our best to schedule another session for the following month. If possible, please use your computer speakers to listen to the audio portion of the webinar.

 

National Webinars

Tuesday, August 20 at 2:00 pm ET –

Tour of the Newly Re-Launched HealthCare.gov and Q and A on the ACA

HealthCare.gov was recently re-launched to include new information on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Join us for a brief tour of the website, of other key websites on the Health Insurance Marketplace and a question and answer session. Please send any questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to August 20 at noon ET.

 

Thursday, August 22 at 1:00 pm ET –

Tour of the Newly Re-Launched CuidadoDeSalud.gov and Q and A on the ACA(In Spanish)

www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov was recently re-launched to include new information on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Join us for a brief tour of the website, of other key websites on the Health Insurance Marketplace and a question and answer session. Please send any questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to close of business on August 21.

 

Let’s Move Faith and Communities We Can! webinar: “Energize Our Families – Parent Program”

Wednesday, August 28, 1-3pm EDT


Empowering America's Grassroots

Grant Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Grants Forecast is a database of planned grant opportunities proposed by its agencies. Each Forecast record contains actual or estimated dates and funding levels for grants that the agency intends to award during the fiscal year. Forecast opportunities are subject to change based on enactment of congressional appropriations.

When funding is available and an agency is ready to accept applications, the agency will issue an official notice, known as a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), which will be available on how to apply. 


As always, the final section of our newsletter includes an updated grants listing that faith-based and community non-profits can pursue. All of these grant programs are competitive. It is important to review the funding announcement thoroughly to ensure that the grant opportunity is one that is appropriate to your organization’s mission, size, and scope.

 

Grants Listings

Title:Capacity Building Assistance for High-Impact HIV Prevention

Description:  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will institute Community High-Impact Prevention (CHIP), a new initiative to shift programmatic efforts of capacity building organizations to further maximize prevention impact to reduce HIV infections and related morbidity, mortality, and health disparities across the United States and its territories. The grant reflects CDC’s new direction for providing high quality capacity building assistance (CBA) services for health departments, community-based organizations (CBOs), and healthcare organizations to plan, implement, and sustain a high-impact approach to HIV prevention based on scientifically-proven, cost effective, and scalable interventions directed to populations who need it most.

Link to Full Announcement: Link to Full Announcement

Last day to Apply: August 22, 2013 (Letter of Intent Deadline); October 2, 2013 (Final Deadline)

Grant administered by the: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Title:2014 RSVP Competition

Description:  RSVP offers a diverse range of volunteer activities that serve communities to create measurable impact, benefit volunteers through the service experience, and create community capacity. Through this competition CNCS seeks to increase the impact of national service in 270 specific communities across the country. CNCS intends to fund RSVP grants that support volunteers 55 years and older serving in a diverse range of activities that meet specific community needs and that respond to National Performance Measures.

Link to Full Announcement: Link to Full Announcement

Last day to Apply: September 10, 2013

Grant administered by the: Cooperation for National and Community Service

 

Title: Academic-Community Partnership Conference Series

Description: The purpose of this grant opportunity is to bring together academic institutions/organizations and community organizations to identify opportunities for addressing health disparities through the use of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR).  The objectives of meetings conducted as part of this award will be to: (1) establish and/or enhance academic-community partnerships; (2) identify community-driven research priorities, and (3) develop long-term collaborative CBPR research agendas.

Eligibility: Non-profit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status are encouraged to apply.  The opportunity is also available to various governmental entities, local organizations, for-profit groups and small businesses.

Link to Full Announcement:Link to Full Announcement

Last Day to Apply: October 17, 2014

Grant is administered by the:National Institutes of Health