NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
March 4, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Desk

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a report late Friday which articulates how the sequestration cuts will impact each agency—or in some cases accounts within an agency—in the Department of Health and Human Services. Please click here to get to the report.

The above-mentioned report outlines the following reductions in HHS agencies:

A cut of $209 million
A cut of $365 million
A cut of $289 million
A cut of $1.553 billion
A cut of $168 million
A cut of $51 million to the Prevention and Public Health Fund
A 2% cut in Medicare reimbursements (there are more details but refer to the report)

The report does not articulate how individual programs within an agency will be impacted, but guidance from OMB does state "Agencies shall apply the same percentage reduction to all programs, projects, and activities within a budget account." It's not really clear what that means at this point in time, or how much flexibility each agency will have to apply cuts to individual programs. Certainly this will be the subject of a great deal of discussion during the next several days.

The House Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee is having a hearing on Tuesday of this week, and these kinds of questions will be explored thoroughly with the heads of NIH, CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA, and other Public Health Service agencies. We will provide a summary of this hearing once we learn more.

Discussions in recent days have raised doubts about how or if there will be any relief from sequestration in the upcoming consideration of the appropriations bill to fund the government for the remainder of the year once the current continuing resolution expires on March 27. The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to introduce a bill that would fund the government at the post-sequestration level, and the Senate Appropriation Committee is reportedly considering introducing a bill at the pre-sequestration level, but with a provision to account for sequestration if there is no relief.

This is as much information as we currently know, and we will keep you posted as this discussion unfolds.

Health Professions Network: Las Vegas Summit
I had the opportunity to present at and participate in the 2013 Health Professions Network Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada last week where allied health workforce issues were discussed. Once the Summit summary is completed I will share more details with you all. There was an opportunity to build on existing partnerships (HOSA; National Office of State Offices of Rural Health; Health Workforce Information Center, HRSA) as well as develop some new ones (American Hospital Association; Association of Academic Health Centers). Stay tuned for additional information.

A good read is Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us; click here to see it.

Have a great week and see many of you in just a few weeks at the NAO Spring Meeting!


2. Hurry! Register Now for the NAO Spring Conference April 9-12, 2013
The event will take place at the Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington, VA. Please click here to get registration details and to register. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

3. Mining HRSA Performance Measures
This 2-part webinar will help AHEC center staff recognize and use DATA THEY ALREADY COLLECT to evaluate program performance and communicate with stakeholders. With input from over 30 AHECers who participated in work groups in Nov/Dec/Jan, A-TrACC developed tools that identify key data elements, evaluation measurements, and communication strategies for HCPP, CBSE and CE/PES.

Session B: Digging Deeper into the Data Nuggets led by Amy Dunkak, Executive Director, Northeast Oregon AHEC, and Lori Millner, Ph.D., Executive Director, Texas AHEC East DFW Region.

March 19, 3 – 4 pm EST. Register

4. VMH Webinar 309T-A. AHECS & Health Centers: Working Together to Improve the Health of Underserved Communities and Vulnerable Populations – Caring for Veterans and their Families. Donald L. Weaver, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, NACHC, and Andrew Behrman, President & CEO, Florida Association CHCs, will present this webinar. They will discuss

  • the community-based structure of the family of health centers covered under Section 330 of the PHS Act;
  • resources for identifying health centers in your AHEC service region;
  • potential opportunities for AHEC/primary care associations/health center collaboration in general;
  • steps you can take to collaborate with health centers and PCAs to improve the health of veterans and their families, and
  • specific examples from AHEC/PCA/CHC collaborations in Florida on the AHEC Veterans Mental Health Project continuing education initiative.

March 28, 3 to 4 pm EST. Register

5. Webinar: Fostering and Expanding Peer Support Services for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families (SMVH) Wednesday, March 27, 2013; 1:00–2:30 p.m. (EST)
Peer support has been recognized as an important strategy in supporting the behavioral health needs of SMVF. Individuals with experience provide a bridge to services and help ease SMVF transition to their communities. Peers with military experience and experience with recovery from trauma, mental health, or addiction issues offer valuable knowledge and skills to assist others. This support can be provided through a variety of established peer models. Many states have already begun to bring their peer initiatives together across systems and now stakeholders must assess how best to work together. Coordinated systems of peer support services for SMVF can succeed with collaboration and consensus. This webinar will include discussions related to best practice resources and tools, how communities can build on commonalities, and the many roles peers play. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. To register in advance of the event, please click here. If you have any questions about your registration, please contact Michelle Cleary, Project Associate, at


Mission Statement: The National AHEC Organization supports and advances the AHEC Network to improve health by leading the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities.

©National AHEC Organization | 7044 S. 13th Street, Oak Creek, WI 53154 | 414-908-4953 x131|
Executive Director Rob Trachtenberg | 414-908-4953 |

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