1. From the Executive Director's Desk
HHS Strategic Plan FY 2014-2018 Draft for Public Comment: Every four years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks input from
our Department's stakeholders as HHS updates their strategic plan, which is a document describing the Department's work to address complex, multifaceted, and
ever-evolving health and human service issues.
HHS is inviting you to review and comment on the draft HHS Strategic Plan for FY 2014-2018, which may be found at
http://go.usa.gov/Db4Y. HHS is taking comments through Tuesday, October 15, 2013 and the NAO Public
Policy Leadership Team and I strongly encourage all AHECs to weigh in with the note below. Please note that the plan is organized into four goals:
health care; research and innovation; public health and human services; and management—and that there are supporting objectives under each goal.
- "A skilled primary care workforce in sufficient numbers, is essential to delivering the care to be provided to the 7 million newly covered citizens through the
Health Insurance Marketplace. AHECs are designed, and were authorized in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, to develop the primary care workforce and are doing just that
in communities across the nation. Everyday AHECs are turning out doctors, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other primary care
professionals who are trained in new models of care such as Patient Centered Medical Homes, and team-based care, thereby assuring access to care
where care is needed. The essential work of AHEC cuts across Goal 1 objectives and strategies, for there must be a continuous supply of health
professionals to provide the health care behind the Health Insurance Marketplace."
Legislative & Appropriations Update
The House has proposed a continuing resolution (CR) for the next few months to avoid a government shutdown. They have worked on a piece of legislation which
proposes lower amounts than the current fiscal year level and defunds the ACA. They did not vote on this legislation because it has been difficult to get the
votes together, especially as Democrats want to maintain funding at current fiscal year levels. Simultaneously, the debt ceiling looms ahead shortly. Our efforts
in Congress are not done; please continue reaching out to your legislators (especially House members) about current activities
in which your AHEC Program/Center is involved.
We've made some significant changes to NAO recently, as you are likely aware; some structural/cosmetic and one significant change having to do with organizational
finances. The website has been updated and changed considerably, including the use of a new mapping system to locate AHEC Programs and Centers; we've added the executive
director's blog (which I need to update more regularly, I know!); we've enhanced the NAO social media presence, primarily on Facebook, and increased the number of items
we believe important in this weekly update; and, perhaps most importantly, we have raised dues for member AHECs, effective 10/1/13. I believe these changes add value to you
as NAO members; and, in a way, are just the beginning. I would love to get your feedback on what you think of these changes and your ideas on how to strengthen our national
network. Please feel free to e-mail or call me with any feedback or ideas you may have; I look forward to hearing from you!
The YouToons Are Back...
"The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act." Here's a quick resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation
that may help you understand and explain the health insurance changes that will be effective in just over one week.
http://kff.org/health-reform/video/youtoons-obamacare-video/. It's worth a look.
Have a great week, and as an FYI, I will be out of the office from this Thursday (September 26) through Tuesday of next week (October 1).
2. From A-TrACC
VMH Webinar 317: VMH Advances! EVERY AHEC should attend this webinar celebrating the outstanding success of the Veterans Mental Health Project.
Leaders from HRSA, NAO and AHEC Centers and will highlight the project's impact, share plans for its advancement and discuss potential opportunities for AHECs in other
national initiatives. Register now!
Tuesday, September 24, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register
Did We Make It????
Attend the VMH Advances! Webinar and find out!
3. NAO Data Collection: Data Needed by November 1, 2013
It's NAO data collection time! While HRSA has been busy revamping our federal data reporting requirements, CORE has been working to determine exactly what data we need to
collect to tell the AHEC story ourselves. Most items in the data request will be the same or similar to what you have seen in previous years, but a few things are new.
We know that some of you may not be able to provide everything. All we ask is that you fill in as much of the request as you can and look at ways you can potentially
collect this data in the future.
This year we will not be collecting usual CORE Excel file or copies of your BHPr report. Instead, we have created a web-based data collection tool
(www.scahec.net/CORE) that you can use to directly input your state's data. In order to use the site, you will first need a
password. Please send an e-mail with: 1) whatever password you would like to use; 2) your name; and 3) your AHEC's name to CORE Co-Chair, Steve Boulanger, at
email@example.com so he can grant you access as soon as possible.
Once collected, this data will be used in the aggregate for the NAO Annual Report, requests from policy makers, and requests from our NAO leadership.
As always, thanks for your help in making this successful. The deadline for submitting the Annual Data Request is November 1, 2013.
4. The First National Conference on Academic Detailing to be Held in Boston November 7-8, 2013
This conference is designed for those interested in improving clinical decision-making. Health systems leaders, clinicians, researchers, managers, and administrators are
invited to attend. Click here for more details.
5. HIV-Related Course: Online CME/CE Activity
Click here for an online CME/CE activity that will provide an overview of evidence-based recommendations for
routine HIV screening and treatment of newly diagnosed patients; discuss risk assessment and long-term treatment planning; and outline barriers and clinical practice
issues that impact the proper management of HIV.