National Health Center Week, 2017 UDS Data Released, and More! HRSA PHC Digest

HRSA BPHC Primary Health Care Digest

August 14, 2018

National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week: YOU are America’s Health Care Heroes!
During National Health Center Week, we are proud to recognize the nation’s nearly 1,400 HRSA-funded health centers and the more than 220,000 hardworking, dedicated staff caring for more than 27 million people across the country. To the thousands of providers and staff who dedicate their lives to helping patients access quality health care, thank you for the difference you make in your communities.

Check out some of our exciting new materials about the Health Center Program:

Ready? Set. Release!
See the 2017 Health Center Program national-level grantee data from the Uniform Data System (UDS). HRSA-funded health centers served more than 27 million people – 1 in 12 nationwide – in 2017, and nearly all health centers demonstrated improvement on one or more clinical quality measures. Other data highlights include:

  • Nearly 90% of health centers provided mental health services, to more than 2 million patients;
  • Nearly 65,000 health center patients received medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services—a 75% increase over the previous year;
  • 67% of diabetic health center patients controlled their blood sugar level (HbA1c ˂ 9%), exceeding the national average of 57%;[i] and
  • 63% of hypertensive health center patients controlled their blood pressure, exceeding the national average of 57%.[ii]

[i] National Committee for Quality Assurance, The State of Health Care Quality. Diabetes Care (2016)
[ii] National Committee for Quality Assurance, The State of Health Care Quality. Controlling for High Blood Pressure (2016)

Did You Miss It?
Here are the most popular stories from the Digest in July:

Do you forward the Digest to others? Encourage them to subscribe

What's New

Service Area Competition (SAC) NOFO Released for May 1 Starts
HRSA released the fifth fiscal year (FY) 2019 SAC Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), HRSA-19-015, for service areas with a May 1, 2019, project period start date (current project period end date of April 30, 2019). Current award recipients should refer to box 6 of the most recent Notice of Award (NOA) to obtain their project period end date.

NOA Project Period End Date

Applications are due in by 11:59 p.m., ET on Tuesday, October 9, and in HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) by 5:00 p.m., ET on Wednesday, November 7. Technical assistance materials are available on the SAC Technical Assistance website.

Helpful Tips for Submitting Diabetes Action Plans
As a part of the HRSA Health Center Program Diabetes Quality Improvement Initiative, 2018 operational site visits and diabetes targeted technical assistance visits will include action planning relating to the UDS diabetes measure.

Make sure your health center staff register for Action Plan privileges in EHBs, which will allow them to access the Action Plan. Important tip: After reviewing the Plan, click “Mark as Complete” and then “Confirm and Send” to return the Plan to HRSA. See the Diabetes Action Plan User Guide for illustrations of the EHBs steps.

Once HRSA has approved your diabetes Action Plan, you can track progress, send quarterly progress notes for HRSA staff to review, and finally resolve the Action Plan finding after the three diabetes performance improvement actions have been achieved.

For assistance with the EHBs Action Plan module, please contact the BPHC Helpline online or by phone: 877-974-BPHC (2742) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays).

Rural Residency Planning and Development Program Technical Assistance
The FY 2018 Rural Residency Planning and Development – Technical Assistance (RRPD-TA) Cooperative Agreement funding opportunity is now open. The awardee will receive up to $800,000 to support one three-year award (up to $2.4 million over the project period). This cooperative agreement supports development of sustainable rural residencies through the Rural Residency Planning and Development (RRPD) program, which will be awarded in FY 2019. Apply by Wednesday, August 22; program start date is Sunday, September 30. Learn more or apply now.

28th Annual Midwest Stream Forum for Agricultural Worker Health
The National Center for Farmworker Health, a HRSA-funded National Cooperative Agreement (NCA), announces registration for the Midwest Stream Forum for Agricultural Worker Health, September 10-12. Educational sessions will be offered addressing critical HHS priorities, including diabetes prevention and treatment, childhood obesity, language access, the opioid epidemic, pesticide exposure, and social determinants of health, among many others. CEUs will be provided for Medical (CME), Nursing (CNE), Social Work (SW), and Texas Community Health Workers (CHW). Register here—early bird registration ends on Thursday, August 24. 

CMS Proposed Rule on Physician Fee Schedule
CMS issued a Federal Register Notice last month seeking comment on the proposed rule that addresses changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies. The proposed changes seek to ensure that payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services, as well as changes in the statute. The proposed rule is open for comments until Monday, September 10. Learn more.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Update
USPSTF released a final recommendation statement on screening for atrial fibrillation with electrocardiography (ECG). The Task Force found insufficient evidence on screening for atrial fibrillation with ECG to prevent strokes. View the recommendation and the evidence on which it is based.


Webinar Recording Available: Diabetes Performance Improvement and Action Plans
HRSA recently hosted a webinar on diabetes performance improvement and action planning. Watch the webinar recording. Health center colleagues shared how they prepared for the root cause analysis discussion of their UDS diabetes measure at recent site visits and their performance improvement action plan. The webinar featured presentations from Lorain County Health & Dentistry (Ohio) and Share Our Selves (California).

Million Hearts® Focus on Health Centers
This National Health Center Week, CDC’s Million Hearts campaign is focusing on health centers! Read Caring for Underserved Populations to learn what steps two 2017 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champions, Lorain County Health & Dentistry and North Hudson Community Action Corporation, took to achieve blood pressure control rates over 75%.

The Million Hearts campaign is also sharing the National Association of Community Health Centers’ self-measured blood pressure monitoring videos. You can download them from the Million Hearts® Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring site to display in your health center’s waiting room.

Telehealth: Free Resources for Community and Migrant Health Centers in Rural Areas
The National Advisory Council on Migrant Health urges health centers that serve migrant and seasonal agricultural workers to expand their telehealth and telemedicine programs. Telehealth offers an avenue towards bridging the gap of inequitable access to health care by enabling opportunities to deliver timely and remote primary and emergency care, and specialist consultations.

These resources provide health centers technical assistance, education, and information to support health care at a distance:

  • Telehealth Resource Centers
    Twelve HRSA-supported regional centers provide expert and customizable technical assistance to organizations and individuals who are actively providing or interested in providing telehealth services to rural and/or underserved communities.

  • Remote Patient Monitoring Toolkit
    Introduction to the roles and responsibilities of various health center staff. Remote monitoring can help patients avoid unnecessary trips to the center.

MHP Salud Publications on Childhood Obesity and Social Determinants of Health
MHP Salud, a HRSA-funded NCA, produces La Esperanza—a bilingual newsletter dedicated to the work of Community Health Workers across the country. The summer edition (available in English and Spanish) addresses childhood obesity through family physical activity and includes resources such as the Niños Saludables Program Implementation Guide to promote healthy eating and living.

MHP Salud also produced “Community Health Workers and the Social Determinants of Health.” This publication presents general information on the social determinants of health (SDOH), available tools for data collection on SDOH, and the role that community health workers may play in implementing SDOH programs.

Register Now for TeamSTEPPS Online Course to Improve Safety and Quality in Office Settings
Registration is open for AHRQ’s TeamSTEPPS® patient safety training course. TeamSTEPPS for Office-Based Care is designed to enhance communication and teamwork skills among office-based professionals. Attendees may receive credit for quality improvement under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. Participants may begin pre-course work now and will earn free continuing education credits for completing the training modules. They will receive a Master Trainer certificate for completing course requirements. This course, which begins Wednesday, August 15 (tomorrow), and concludes Wednesday, December 12, is the final AHRQ-sponsored web-based course for this year.

Key Components of Integrated Care: Providing Services to Rural Populations Roundtable Discussion for Health Centers
The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) is hosting an interactive roundtable discussion on the key components of behavioral health integration, with a special focus on providing services to rural populations. Experts from the field will join the discussion: Jennifer Yturriondobeitia, MSW, Behavioral Health Programs Manager, and Amy Walters, PhD, Clinical Health Psychologist from St. Luke’s Health Partners.

Tuesday, August 14
3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Join the webinar the day of the session

Best Practices for Sustaining Behavioral Health Integration Models in Health Centers Using Health Information Technology
This CIHS webinar features subject matter experts in health information technology and technologies that support population health management and data aggregation from Clinica Family Health and Colorado Community Managed Care Network. Presenters will share best practices for health centers in streamlining and sustaining behavioral health workflows and maximizing their electronic health records to ensure comprehensive and accurate billing and coding.

Wednesday, August 22
3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
Join the webinar the day of the session

In case you missed it:
read last week’s Primary Health Care Digest.

Do you forward the Digest to others?
Encourage them to subscribe.

To learn more about HRSA and its programs:
sign up for the biweekly “HRSA eNews” newsletter.

Technical Assistance & Training


Visit the training calendar to learn details about or register for events.


Key Components of Integrated Care: Providing Services to Rural Populations Roundtable Discussion for Health Centers
Hosted by CIHS
Tuesday, August 14
3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Join the webinar the day of the session

Promoting CDC Tips from Former Smokers to Public Housing Residents
Hosted by the National Center for Health in Public Housing, a HRSA-funded NCA
Wednesday, August 15
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

The Role of the Social Determinants of Health in Promoting Health Equity
Hosted by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, a HRSA-funded NCA
Monday, August 20
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. ET
Register here


Management of the Patient with Hypertension During Emergencies: Experience of Puerto Rico During and After Hurricane María (in Spanish)
Hosted by Migrant Clinicians Network, a HRSA-funded NCA
Wednesday, August 22
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Best Practices for Sustaining Behavioral Health Integration Models in Health Centers Using Health Information Technology
Hosted by CIHS
Wednesday, August 22
3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
Join the webinar the day of the session