NAO Update
Provided as a NAO member benefit
October 21, 2013

1. From the Executive Director's Temporary Office in the Dining Room

Washington, D.C. Update (This is a repeat of the Member Alert that went out Thursday, October 17th in case you did not see it)
Wednesday, October 16, 2013, the President signed legislation passed by Congress last night to reopen the government

The agreement includes a continuing resolution (CR) which will keep the government funded at current, post-sequestration fiscal year (FY) 2013 levels through January 15, 2014--the date FY 2014 sequestration cuts are scheduled to take place. As you recall, The AHEC Program is funded for the current fiscal year: FY14; the one we are currently in and are appropriated to $28.211 million for this year's activities. Please remember; the previous fiscal year supports the fiscal year we are currently in, so FY13 federal funds support FY14 activities, and so on for future fiscal years. The NAO Public Policy Leadership

While not addressing sequestration directly in the legislation, House and Senate leaders have agreed to hold a bicameral conference to determine long-term spending and budgetary issues, including matters related to FY 2014. This conference is to

The debt ceiling has been raised through February 7, 2014, at which time Congress will have the option to affirmatively vote to not increase the debt ceiling. This is substantially different from the current situation in which Congress must affirmatively vote to increase the debt ceiling. Should Congress vote to stop a debt ceiling increase, the president

The agreement also includes provisions which will require income verification for individuals receiving subsidies for health

Back pay for furloughed federal workers is included in the package.

Match Data Analysis from the AAFP's Medical Education Division
The AAFP's Medical Education Division has analyzed numbers from the latest National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), commonly referred to as the Match. In two companion articles published in Family Medicine in October, authors concluded that even though the number of family medicine residency programs and the number of U.S. medical students entering family medicine continue to tick upward, neither trend has been strong enough to increase the nation's primary care workforce to the overall 40% level recommended by graduate medical education policy experts. Please click here to take a look at the article, which highlights some interesting themes and trends.

Interesting Ideas from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Click here for a thought-provoking article and series of videos from the "Physician Network on Health Care Costs Consensus Themes and Recommendations.” Take a look; I'm eager to hear your thoughts.

Have a great week, and I'm thrilled that our partners at HRSA and elsewhere in the Federal Government are back to work!

2. From A-TrACC
A New Tool for AHEC Centers. A-TrACC Webinar 401T-A,B,C: Field Guide Spreadsheets
A-TrACC has developed Excel spreadsheets that center staff can use to organize and aggregate data collected with the A-TrACC Field Guide forms. Participants will learn how to use the spreadsheets for their own reporting and evaluation needs and how to organize the data required for HRSA biannual reporting. The spreadsheets will be presented in three sessions. Center program coordinators should register for the session most relevant to their AHEC work.

  • Session A: CBSE Field Guide Spreadsheets for CBSE Coordinators

Thursday, Nov. 7, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register

  • Session B: CE/PES Field Guide Spreadsheets for CE Coordinators

Thursday, Nov. 14, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register

  • Session C: HCPP Field Guide Spreadsheets for HCPP Coordinators

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 3 to 4 pm Eastern: Register

Health Professionals and the Health Insurance Marketplace
Reminder: A-TrACC is collecting information on what AHECs are doing to provide information and/or CE to health professionals about the Health Insurance Marketplace. If your AHEC has done anything related to this and you haven’t responded already, please do. Email by the end of October. Describe any promising practices you are using for outreach to health professionals and attach examples of tools.

A-TrACC is developing curricula and identifying resources for AHECs to use in a CE and outreach effort to help health professionals better understand the Health Insurance Marketplace. Assessing what AHECs are doing already is the first step in this project. Thank you for your help.

3. Reminder: Take the ERC Survey
The External Relations Committee (ERC) of the National AHEC Organization (NAO) is charged with establishing guidelines and principles for prioritizing NAO relationships with external organizations, coupled with managing and evaluating external relations operations. ERC has compiled a listing of 31 organizations and collaborative initiative workgroups for which we are either tracking, developing and overseeing formal agreements or monitoring workgroups, etc.

However, before moving forward, ERC deemed it necessary to gather information on the relationships of the NAO network AHEC Program Offices and regional AHECs with any of the ERC prioritized organizations or workgroup initiatives. As a member of NAO, your input is very valuable to us. ERC wants to hear from you.

The information ascertained from the survey will be shared with NAO Board Members during the NAO Board Meeting in November. This information will be helpful to us as we advance the strategic planning process.

Click here to get to the survey.

4. Plan on the Joining Forces Wellness Week 2013 Webinar Series November 11-15, 2013
Registration now open! The AAMC is pleased to host Joining Forces Wellness Week (JFWW) November 11-15, 2013. Our cornerstone event is a webinar series highlighting the health and wellness concerns of military service members, veterans, and their families. We are delighted to offer the perspectives of presenters from across the country on these important issues and invite your school to participate in all or part of the series. View the most current schedule.

You may register for the entire series or selected days. Please note that some days offer both a webinar lecture presentation and a patient demonstration. When you sign up for those days, you'll be able to see both, but you may choose to attend either session if your schedule does not permit both. If you would like to register for the webinar series, or individual sessions, please register here. We encourage schools to register as a group, rather than as individuals, as our available registrations are limited. Once you register, you will be sent reminders closer to the webinar date. If you are unable participate, the webinars will be available later each day through the AAMC Joining Forces Web site.

Questions? Program: Anita Navarro, (202) 741-0997, or Marcy Sutherland, (202) 828-0251, Logistics: Chanel Ricks,, 202-828-0892

5. Together Rx Access Informs You of Top Five Questions about the Marketplace
Through, we also connect those you serve with resources about the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Affordable Care Act, individual pharmaceutical company patient assistance programs, and other patient assistance resources.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is OPEN

Together Rx Access compiled a list of the top five questions about the Marketplace that you may be asked by those you serve. Your responses to these questions will help individuals make informed decisions about their health coverage needs.

What is the Marketplace in my state?
All health plans are provided by private insurance companies, but depending on where individuals live, the Health Insurance Marketplace may be run by their state or the federal government. Encourage your patients and community members to learn what marketplace is available in their state by visiting

How do I enroll?
In four easy steps, your patients and community members can enroll in a health plan that is best for them and their family. At, or through their state’s marketplace, they will:

  • Create an account – provide basic information and set-up an account with a password.
  • Apply – enter information such as household size and income.
  • Pick a plan – review all plans available and compare them side-by-side.
  • Enroll – select the plan that meets their needs. Coverage starts as early as January 1, 2014.

Where can I find help enrolling?
In your local community, trained individuals (called “navigators”) are available to answer questions about coverage options and to help people enroll in a health plan. Encourage individuals to visit to find a navigator in their area. They can also call the Marketplace Help Center at 1-800-318-2596. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer assistance. Another option is the online chat at

What if I have a pre-existing condition?
As part of the Affordable Care Act, individuals cannot be denied health insurance if they have a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies cannot charge more for coverage or refuse treatment because of a prior health condition. The only EXCEPTIONS are “grandfathered” plans that individuals may have purchased for themselves (rather than through an employer) before the Affordable Care Act was signed on March 23, 2010. The insurance company should inform individuals if they have a “grandfathered” plan.

When does my health coverage start?
If your patients or community members enroll in a health plan and make their first premium payment before December 15, 2013, coverage begins January 1, 2014. If they enroll any other time during the open enrollment period, which is October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014, coverage begins after February 1, 2014. provides more information about enrollment and coverage dates.

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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