Thursday, July 31, 2014

Apply for Newest Health Disparities Leadership Program

The National Council is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the2014-2015 Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program. Selected participants will join a highly-competitive 12-month leadership program comprised of mid-level managers from diverse ethnic backgrounds who currently work at community mental health and addiction provider organizations. Through participation, you will gain knowledge and skills to lead effective initiatives to improve health outcomes for the diverse populations you serve.
The National Council is committed to doing our part to foster a diverse mental health and addictions workforce, inclusive of development opportunities for emerging leaders within community behavioral health organizations. As such, we are pleased to continue to offer this program at no cost for applicants from member organizations, including all program activities (webinars, coaching, etc.), and all travel and hotel expenses for in-person meetings.
From October 2014 through September 2015, the Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program includes three in-person meetings in which participants will engage in a robust learning forum to enhance their management and leadership skills and knowledge regarding change strategies to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes. During the first meeting, participants will begin developing a customized “stretch project” that directly relates to your organization’s strategic priorities and your own leadership goals.
Individuals are eligible for the Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program if they are a “middle manager” at a community mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, or recovery setting. Middle manager is defined as being an intermediate supervisor who has direct reports and reports to others within the organization. Applicants do not need to be clinicians, but must have the ability to directly influence practices to address health disparities.
For consideration, please complete the online application form by 5:00pm EDT on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014. Questions about the application can be sent to Adam Swanson, Policy Associate, Policy and Practice Improvement. We will make every effort to select participants from provider organizations in varying states serving diverse communities.

In addition to in-person meetings, participants will engage in bimonthly webinars, monthly 1:1 calls with faculty trained in professional coaching, and peer-to-peer support through monthly calls and social media. All program activities support implementation of stretch projects, and the final in-person meeting highlights participants’ successes and promotes sustainability. 
Participants acquire knowledge and skills on a variety of topics including: adaptive leadership techniques, managing system change, building collaborations and working in teams, developing shared goals, change management, and conflict resolution.  In addition, you will define your own professional growth and development goals and receive individualized support through coaching and peer-to-peer activities.
This program is only open to National Council members; if you are accepted into the program without membership, your organization must join the National Council prior to the program introduction webinar on October 14, 2014.
For more information about the Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program, please contact Mohini Venkatesh, Vice President, Practice Improvement, at (202)684-3730 or

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CMS Office of Minority Health Webinar: An Overview of Coverage to Care

The CMS Office of Minority Health invites you to the next: 
Disparities Dialogue
An Overview of Coverage to Care
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
12-1 pm EDT 
Given by Cara James, PhD
Director of the CMS Office of Minority Health 

Coverage to Care (C2C) is designed to help answer questions that people may have about their new health coverage, and to help make the most of their new benefits, including taking full advantage of primary care and preventive services. It also seeks to give health care providers the tools they need to promote patient engagement. For more information about C2C, visit

Annual CDC Report from National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities released its annual report for FY 2013,
Improving the Health of People with Disabilities.  It contains good data, links and info-graphics.

HHS Offers Evidence-Based Materials for Conversations About Brain Health

The Brain Health Resource, recently released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is a new set of materials that highlights what people can do to help keep their brains functioning best as they age. The materials are intended to facilitate conversations on brain health and consist of:

  • PowerPoint presentation that teaches older adults and their caregivers how to reduce risks related to brain health;
  • An accompanying Educator Guide that provides additional information for presenters to share with audiences;
  • one-page handout for older adults and caregivers called Brain Health as You Age: You Can Make a Difference; and
  • supplementary handoutBrain Health as You Age: Key Facts and Resources, that includes basic information and resources for the topics covered in the presentation.

These resources provide ready-made materials that public health officials can use to promote brain health – as a stand-alone effort and/or by integrating the messages into existing relevant public health efforts. In addition, local public health officials should consider partnering with their local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to present and distribute this material at places such as local senior centers. For more information on the materials or how to use them, please contact Jane Tilly with the Administration for Community Living (ACL)

HHS Study shows impact of ACA by State

The Department of Health and Human Services' Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, "estimating that 10.3 million uninsured adults gained health care coverage following the first open enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplace.  The report examines trends in insurance before and after the open enrollment period and finds greater gains among those states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act."  Click: For more information.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Healthcare coverage options if you lose your job

If you lose your job and are no longer covered through your employer, you may be able to find affordable health coverage in the Marketplace.

Here are some important things to know about job loss and health coverage:

Marketplace health coverage. If you lose your job-based insurance for any reason, you can buy a private health insurance plan in the Marketplace. This is true even if you leave your job outside of Open Enrollment. When you apply for Marketplace coverage, you’ll also learn if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

COBRA coverage. If you have COBRA coverage you can keep it. In some cases, you can buy Marketplace coverage instead. If COBRA ends outside of Open Enrollment, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

The Team

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to Become a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Organization Webinar

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services welcome you to join a webinar on Wednesday, July 23, on how you can become a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) organization in a state with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace or a State Partnership Marketplace. If you are interested in becoming a CAC organization but were previously determined to be ineligible, we encourage you to attend the webinar to receive clarification on eligibility requirements. We also encourage you to submit questions in advance regarding the CAC program to

What: How to Become a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Organization Webinar for Champions for Coverage

Who should attend:
 Primarily for organizations who have joined the Champions for Coverage program and National Stakeholders and organizations interested in learning more about becoming a Certified Application Counselor organization to assist with Marketplace Enrollment. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at 2 pm EDT 

Webinar link:
Participant Number: 1-800-837-1935 Conference ID: 54119588

**Due to high expected call volume, please dial in and log on at least 10 minutes before the call to avoid delays in joining the webinar. 
For more information on the Certified Application Counselor (CAC) program and basic eligibility criteria, visit:

Please feel free to forward this invitation to interested organizations in your community. We look forward to seeing you there!
 -CMS Office of Communications, Partner Relations Group

Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 things immigrant families need to know about the Marketplace

Affordable coverage options are available in the Health Insurance Marketplace for immigrant families. If you’ve recently moved to the United States and had a change in your immigration status, here are some things you should know about Marketplace coverage:

1. In order to buy private health insurance through the Marketplace, you must be a U.S. citizen or be lawfully present in the United States. See a list of immigration statuses that qualify for Marketplace coverage.

2. If you recently gained U.S. citizenship or had a change in your immigration status, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. See if you can enroll in a Marketplace health plan outside Open Enrollment.

3. If you’re a lawfully present immigrant, you can buy private health insurance in the Marketplace. You may be eligible for lower costs on monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs based on your income. If you make less than $11,490 ($23,550 for a family of 4) and you aren’t eligible for Medicaid, you may still qualify for lower costs on coverage.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance On Pregnancy Discrimination And Related Issues

Fact Sheet for Small Businesses and Question and Answer Document Also Released

Lactation as a covered pregnancy-related medical condition

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Monday, July 14 issued Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, along with a question and answer document about the guidance and a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses.  The Enforcement Guidance, Q&A document, and Fact Sheet will be available on the  EEOC's website.

This is the first comprehensive update of the Commission's guidance on the subject of discrimination against pregnant workers since the 1983 publication of a Compliance Manual chapter on the subject.  This guidance supersedes that document and incorporates significant developments in the law during the past 30 years.

In addition to addressing the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the guidance discusses the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2008, to individuals who have pregnancy-related disabilities.

"Pregnancy is not a justification for excluding women from jobs that they are qualified to perform, and it cannot be a basis for denying employment or treating women less favorably than co-workers similar in their ability or inability to work," said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.  "This guidance will aid employers, job seekers, and workers in complying with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Americans with Disabilities Act, and thus advance EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan priority of addressing the emerging issue of the interaction between these two anti-discrimination statutes."

Much of the analysis in the enforcement guidance is an update of longstanding EEOC policy.  The guidance sets out the fundamental PDA requirements that an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions must be treated the same as other persons similar in their ability or inability to work.  The guidance also explains how the ADA's definition of "disability" might apply to workers with impairments related to pregnancy.

Among other issues, the guidance discusses:
  • The fact that the PDA covers not only current pregnancy, but discrimination based on past pregnancy and a woman's potential to become pregnant;
  • Lactation as a covered pregnancy-related medical condition;
  • The circumstances under which employers may have to provide light duty for pregnant workers;
  • Issues related to leave for pregnancy and for medical conditions related to pregnancy;
  • The PDA's prohibition against requiring pregnant workers who are able to do their jobs to take leave;
  • The requirement that parental leave (which is distinct from medical leave associated with childbearing or recovering from childbirth) be provided to similarly situated men and women on the same terms;
  • When employers may have to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related impairments under the ADA and the types of accommodations that may be necessary; and
  • Best practices for employers to avoid unlawful discrimination against pregnant workers.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A new report shows ACA not leading to new patient visits

A new report shows that over the first five months of 2014 there has not been an uptick in new patient visits to physicians compared to 2013. The report outlines possible reasons for the trend, including the newly insured being unfamiliar with the health care system and even the winter weather, among other possibilities.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Free Mammograms for Wasatch and Summit County Female Residents only

Lugar/place: La Clinica de la Gente/People’s Health Clinic 650 Round Valley Drive Park City, UT

Contacto/Contact: Vicky Fuentes - 801-487-4143/

Requisitos; tener por lo menos 40 años de edad, prueba de residencia en Heber o Park City, no seguro.
Requirements: at least 40 years of age, proof of residency in Heber or Park City, no insurance.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Some Utah Babies More Likely to Die Than Others: New Study Seeks to Better Understand Disparities in Infant Mortality

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Data collected by the Utah Department of Health in recent years confirm that African Americans and Pacific Islander babies are significantly more likely to die before their first birthday than other babies in Utah. The Office of Health Disparities (OHD) is working together with these communities to raise awareness of infant mortality and to develop effective interventions to promote healthy pregnancies.
             The Office of Health Disparities in collaboration with the Maternal and Infant Health  Program and the Office of Home Visiting, conducted the African American and Pacific Islander Postnatal Interview Study, Utah’s first ever qualitative study with African American and Pacific Islander mothers who had experienced an adverse birth outcome, such as the loss of a baby, preterm birth, or low birth weight. This study notably focused on identifying social determinants of health – factors such as the environment, social dynamics, and access to healthcare – that may affect mothers and their unborn babies during pregnancy.
            Participants described conditions in their lives during and before pregnancy such as unsafe living conditions, financial difficulties, relationships problems, encounters with racism and other stressors. Most of these women had unplanned pregnancies, were significantly less likely to receive prenatal care and were overweight or obese. Lydia Afualo Muavesi of the Children’s Service Society applauds the study for “looking at all the other issues that can affect a pregnancy – like housing and paying bills and domestic situations – and not just eating healthy and exercising.”

            The report provides specific recommendations for healthcare providers, public health agencies, and community organizations that work with African American and Pacific Islander women and families. Study results and more information on health disparities are available online through the OHD ( 

Media Contact
Jake Fitisemanu
Office of Health Disparities
Outreach Coordinator

(385) 315 0220

Poll finds health most common major stressful event in Americans’ lives last year

A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) poll released today that examines the role of stress in Americans’ lives finds that about half of the public (49%) reported that they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year. Nearly half (43%) reported that the most stressful experiences related to health.
More than half of those who experienced a great deal of stress in the past month say too many overall responsibilities and financial problems were contributors (54% and 53% respectively). More than a third of those with a great deal of stress say the contributors include their own health problems (38%) and health problems of family members (37%).
“It is not widely recognized how many Americans have a major stressful event over the course of a year, or how often health problems are the cause,” says Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at HSPH.
“Stress touches everyone. Unfortunately, many of those feeling the most stress get trapped in cycles that can be very unhealthy. If we are going to build a culture of health in America, one big step we can take is recognizing the causes and effects not just of our own stress and the stress of those closest to us, but of others we encounter in our day-to-day lives. That recognition can go a long way in helping us create healthier environments in our homes, workplaces and communities,” says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 9: Webinar in Spanish: Got Covered. Now What?

Conseguí Seguro Médico. ¿Y Ahora Qué? 
Los Centros de Servicios de Medicare & Medicaid y la Oficina de Salud de las Minorías del Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos de los Estados Unidos les invita a un seminario educativo vía Internet, en español, sobre cómo utilizar su nueva cobertura y el Mercado de Seguros Médicos.
Este seminario le ayudará a entender mejor como funciona el seguro médico, como usted puede usar su cobertura, y compartiremos recursos para mejorar los conocimientos sobre los seguros médicos. También proveeremos información reciente relacionada con al Mercado de Seguros Médicos.
Qué:  Sitio Web: Cómo Utilizar el Seguro Médico Para Una Vida Saludable
Quién:  Organizaciones comunitarias que sirven a la comunidad Hispana
Cuándo:  Miércoles, 9 de Julio del 2014 a las 2 pm ET (11 am PT)
Audio/Teléfono:     Número Gratis: 1(888)-455-1840
                               Número de Conferencia: PW7052714
                               Número de Audiencia: 9529414

Sitio Web:   
No se requiere registrarse antes - solo haga clic unos 10 minutos antes.                                   
El seminario será grabado y disponible por 30 días, hasta el 8-AUG-2014. Para escuchar:
Si tiene preguntas sobre este seminario informativo póngase en contacto con CMS en  
¡Nuevo! Recursos De la Cobertura al Cuidado de Su  Salud, incluye una guía completa del cuidado de salud, posters, serie de videos, guías de conversación, glosarios y  mucho mas sobre el seguro médico disponible, en inglés y español,
¡Esperamos que pueda participar! 

Got Covered. Now What? 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) invite you to join us for a webinar on health insurance literacy and the Marketplace.
The webinar will help you to better understand how health insurance works, how to use your coverage, and share health insurance literacy resources.  A brief update on the Health Insurance Marketplace will also be provided.
What:  Webinar: Utilizing Your Health Insurance for a Healthier Life 
Who Should Attend:  Community-based organizations serving Latinos
When:  Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 2 pm ET (11 am PT)
Dial-in number: 1(888)-455-1840
Conference number: PW7052714
Audience passcode: 9529414
No registration required. Please join us 10 minutes early.
Participants can join the event directly at:
This meeting will be recorded and you may access the Net replay of this call at:
This recording will be available for 30 days, ending August 8, 2014.            
New! From Coverage to Care resources including health insurance literacy tools and videos are available (in English and Spanish) at
For questions about health insurance literacy and other Marketplace partner resources, contact  
We look forward to your participation!

Health care basics for small businesses

Health care continues to be an important issue for small business owners. The Small Business Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and Small Business Majority are committed to helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series.

The Affordable Care Act 101 in Spanish takes place every other Tuesday at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT. Use this registration link to sign up for today's webinar.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New Medicaid Cards Coming this Month

Beginning this month, the Utah Department of Health will issue new wallet-sized plastic Medicaid cards to Medicaid and Primary Care Network (PCN) members.  The new card replaces the current color-coded, full sheet of paper that shows the member’s eligibility each month. The new card will be used whenever the member is eligible for Medicaid.

The wallet-sized cards will not have eligibility information listed on them. Instead, they will have the member’s name, Medicaid ID number, and date of birth.  The back of the card has helpful contact information and websites for both providers and members.

Before providing services, providers will be able to use a new online tool to verify if their patient is eligible for Medicaid.  The Eligibility Lookup Tool is a website that allows a provider to electronically view a member’s Medicaid eligibility, plan enrollment, and co-pay information. 

More information about the new Medicaid card and helpful tools are available on the Medicaid website.

USDA ‘Smart Snacks’ Rule Takes Effect

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s updated nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, stores and a la carte lines took effect today. The new standards will result in more fruits and vegetables, along with items containing more whole grains, being served as snacks, with limits on the amount of fat, added sugar, and sodium.