The Federal government is focused more on the Affordable Care Act Enrollment and Education about Selecting Healthcare Insurance – for those who have insurance, for those who will purchase insurance for the first time and for small businesses able to apply for more affordable health insurance options. A focus of the Enrollment are the new IRS tax credits for individuals and employers for purchasing insurance or pay penalties on your income tax. In addition, Medicaid expansion will focus more people’s attention in those states where it will occur – up to 138 percent over Federal poverty level. 

The new Marketplace, where many individuals and families who do not obtain health care insurance from their employer and are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare will be able to purchase healthcare insurance for the first time from HEALTH MARKETPLACES – either a State entity or a Federal entity (for those living in States that opted not to build their own).

The Marketplace is a one stop shopping place on a website or through the 1-800 phone number to compare health care insurance products that will be mandated to offer an essential benefits package plus more depending on costs. There will be comparative information based on deductibles, copays, coinsurance and premiums for the products. Persons using the Marketplaces will have to go to the private insurance companies of their choice to purchase insurance. It is expected that by being more transparent about costs and having side by side comparisons across companies, there will be more competition and affordable pricing.

However, we urge all young and healthy people to also participate so that the system becomes balanced and avoid insurance programs that are only filled with very sick beneficiaries that will drive the prices up.

NHMA has announced its “Covered Hispanics” Campaign --- and is working with its members and other health professional leaders with our Media Partners to increase media efforts to increase awareness of our communities to purchase health care insurance to be able to afford health care services, that will now include prevention services, behavioral services, and many other services. Not having insurance has been the number one reason for bankruptcy and financial crisis among families ---and for Latinos, they are the group with the largest percentage of people without health insurance, we need to encourage them to understand the incredible opportunity the ACA is bringing to them. 

NHMA “Covered Hispanics Campaign” ACA Regional Forums with The White House and ACA Health Marketplaces as well as our partners – Anthem Blue Cross, Empire BlueCross Blue Shield, Verizon Foundation, Aetna Foundation, The American Cancer Society to convene Six NHMA Regional ACA Forums to bring Federal and State Speakers to discuss the details about providers and other small businesses and Latinos, September 21 – October 12. These Forums are being led by the NHMA DC Office along with our new Region Chapters and Regional Steering Committees. Join us! www.nhmamd.org.

FEDERAL BUDGET CRISIS: lagging on to next year for any major changes:

The prospects for passing a stand-alone FY 2014 health spending bill before Oct. 1 are dim. The most likely scenario will be for the House and Senate to negotiate a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown. It is possible that we will see different proposals from each chamber with regards to the length of the CR — which could be anywhere from 30-days to six-months — and funding level, which could be either a straight-line extension of the FY 2013 level of $988 billion for discretionary spending or lowering the spending level to the FY 2014 sequestration cap of $967 billion. 

Congressional TriCaucus Announces their Minority Health Bill this month:

NHMA is one of 325 organizations to support the Congressional Tri-Caucus applauding their leadership to eliminate racial and ethnical health disparities and their intent to introduce the Health Equity and Accountability Act to the 113th Congress.  Thanks to the Latinas for Reproductive Health for leading the coalition this year to support our minority Congresspersons. 

Farm Bill update and SNAP disastrous cuts voted for by Republican Congressmen/women:

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives slashed nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP formerly called Food Stamps), by $40 billion over 10 years. This would double the cuts contained in the original farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee, which was later defeated on the House floor in June. After failing to pass a complete five-year farm bill reauthorization earlier this summer, the House removed the nutrition section of the farm bill and passed a stripped-down reauthorization containing only the agriculture provisions. Earlier this spring, the U.S. Senate passed a full farm bill reauthorization that contains $4.5 billion in cuts to nutrition programs, including SNAP over the same time period. The Senate and House are expected to name members to a Conference Committee to debate the differences in the two bills next month.

NHMA supported the National Hispanic Media Coalition Letter to FCC advocating for retention of the FCC’s Lifeline program, which subsidizes telephone service for the poor. Without telephone service, folks cannot access educational and occupational opportunities and they have a difficult time connecting with health care, child care, emergency services and other necessities. Moreover, telephones help our families stay connected to one another. September included the National Lifeline Week. 

NHMA submitted Letter of Support for California - bill number “SB-598 Biosimilars” that was approved by the Appropriations Committee of the California State Assembly and another letter to the Governor this week.  SB-598 will establish a process requiring pharmacies to inform physicians that a biosimilar medicine has been substituted for the prescription they have written for their patient. This notice will ensure that doctors have a complete medical history record for their patients.

Biologic medications are very complex drugs made from living cells which aggressively attack life-threatening diseases in ways that conventional chemical-based pharmaceuticals cannot. Reproductions of these biologic medications - referred to as biosimilars - are now in development and are expected to be approved by the FDA for use in the United States.  Senate Bill 598 protects the safety of patients by establishing a process by which FDA approved interchangeable biosimilar drugs can be substituted for brand-name biologics at the pharmacy 

The State Senate has already approved SB-598, and two Assembly Committees have passed this bill – the Assembly Health Committee, and the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Committee.  SB-598 has received broad support from the medical community and patient advocacy groups.

NHMA Program Update

“Covered Hispanics Campaign” starts in August with NHMA Media Team being deployed to be work with NHMA Association and Media Partners who met at Conference this spring to meet the NHMA and National Hispanic Health Professional Leadership Network (National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Hispanic Dental Association, Latino Caucus of APHA, Pas for Latino Health, National Forum for Latino Health Executives,  NY Association of Hispanic Health Executives, and medical societies and other Latino Leaders.  If you need Spokespersons to discuss ACA for Latinos in media – contact NHMA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The National Hispanic Medical Association urges all Latinos with and without healthcare insurance to consider reviewing your options if your employer doesn’t offer healthcare insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace Website www.healthcare.gov.

When you use the Health Insurance Marketplace starting October 1, you’ll fill out an application and see all of the health plans available in your area. You’ll find out if you can get lower costs for healthcare insurance.  How you save, and how much you save, depends on several things, including family size and income.

You may be able to get lower costs on your monthly premiums when you enroll in a private healthcare insurance plan. You may qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs (copayments, coinsurance, deductibles).  You or your child may get free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP).

Don’t wait—create your Marketplace account today. And when open enrollment starts on October 1, complete the Marketplace application and find out how much you can save!

You can apply for healthcare insurance starting on October 1st to March 31st.  Healthcare Insurance coverage starts as early as January 1, 2014.

Questions? Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Affordable Care Act provides a new tax credit to help you afford health coverage purchased through the Marketplace. Advance payments of the tax credit can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs. If you qualify, you may choose how much advance credit payments to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount. If the amount of advance credit payments you get for the year is less than the tax credit you're due, you’ll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return. If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return.

The amount you save depends on your family size and how much money your family earns. In general, if your income falls within the following ranges you'll qualify to save money on your premiums in 2014. The lower your income within these ranges, the more you'll save. (The amounts below are based on 2013 numbers and are likely to be slightly higher in 2014.)

  • $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
  • $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of 4

NHMA Leadership Fellowship – Washington, DC Institute planned to bring the Class of 2013 to DC for a week to meet Federal Leaders, White House and Congress Leaders and learn how to work with key stakeholders, think tanks, and advocates who shape Latino health policies. They will attend the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Gala and NHMA ACA Forum and Reception along with the Board of Directors, NHMA October 3rd.

GE-NHMA Hispanic Health Professional Student Leadership and Mentorship Program starts in Los Angeles with a great group of student leaders meeting their NHMA mentors from across California.  There will be 50 students mentored and provided with Leadership lectures on the ACA and health disparities issues, attend a preceptorship in community healthcare and public health, and attend the NHMA Annual Conference in March 2014.

National Hispanic Health Foundation of NHMA --- Scholarship Galas: Nov. 21 in Los Angeles; Dec. 5th in New York – Awardees include Chelsea Clinton, Dr. Henri Ford of USC Keck Medical School, Dr. Diana Bonta, Trustee of Annie Casey Foundation, Dr. Gary Butts of Icahn Mt. Sinai Medical School, Monica Lozano of ImpreMedia, Castulo De La Rocha of Alta Med Health Services.  We invite you to join us at the Galas or contribute your donation to the NHHF Scholarship Fund for 20 medical, dental, nursing, public health and policy students committed to improving Hispanic health. Go to: www.nhmafoundation.org. Contributions are tax deductible.

NHMA Council of Residents Mentoring Program continues to build with the NHMA Regional Forums – residents are encouraged to request a mentor from NHMA Program Officer, John Aguilar- jThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NHMA Portal being revised – we hope to have it LIVE next month with over 4000 fact sheets and videos in English and Spanish, resources, research information, fellowships, calendar of events for NHMA Partners and Regional Chapters.


“Covered Hispanics Campaign” Media Efforts are growing this month to help increase awareness of our community to enroll in health care insurance under the ACA Marketplaces: 

Kathy Flores, MD – Radio Bilingue, National Radio Show and Noticias MundoFox, Los Angeles

Flavia Mercado, MD – North Carolina Radio – Southeast U.S.

Victoria Sorlie, MD – Latina Style Business Conference in San Jose, CA and Noticias MundoFox, Los Angeles

Judy Flores, MD – UNIVISION TV Townhall, NYC


Elena Rios, MD – Impacto Latino and CNN Latino at a Lunch Event in NYC for business leaders, MundoFox interview at the White House, NBC Latino website interview, Enroll America speaker to national reporters, AARP Webinar

ImpreMedia, Telemundo, CNN Espanol, CNN Latino, NBC Latino, Hispanic Link, National Association of Hispanic Publications, Fusion are the partners 

Miguel Fernández, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FACMT, FACCT has been appointed by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Toxicology Program under the NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Also, he is now a full Professor in the newest academic Department of Emergency Medicine (EM) in the US at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. We have a newly accredited residency program in Emergency Medicine and we're looking for new faculty as well as medical students who would like to match in EM.

Gonzalo Paz-Soldan, MD, FAAP, CPE has accepted a position in Massachusetts to be the new Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Reliant Medical Group (www.reliantmedicalgroup.org) in Worcester, Mass.  Reliant Medical Group is the largest physician multispecialty group in central Mass. Dr Paz-Soldan is currently Medical Director Arlington Pediatric Center until November. 

On August 2013, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health newspaper article, “Big City, Big Data” presented a profile on an NHMA Leadership Fellow – Oxiris Barbot, MD was appointed Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City on July 7, 2010. As the City's primary health official, Barbot leads the Mayor's comprehensive health policy agenda, Healthy Baltimore 2015, which articulates 10 priority areas and indicators for action to improve the health outcomes for all residents.

Judy Flores, MD and Alicia Noelle Jones, M.Sc., Director, CAPP-PREP ABLE,Transitioning Teens into Healthy and Successful Adulthoods – held a successful program at the Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn – Dr. Rios honored to serve as a speaker to inspire the high school students to consider health care jobs and careers ---some were interested in becoming physicians.

Mexican American/Hispanic Physician Association Women of the Year Awards – Rios attends as guest speaker to inform the audience about the importance of leadership for healthcare institutions and improving health and NHMA efforts.


Association of American Medical Colleges Announces:

The AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) is sponsoring a webinar titled, “Publishing the Results of Scholarly Work in Medical Education: The Art of Writing and Getting Published,” on Wednesday, September 25, 2:00 – 3:00 P.M. ET. The webinar will include an overview of the review and publication processes and focus on techniques for writing clear, concise, and interesting articles. It will include a discussion of the essential components of scholarly articles, research reports, and other publications. Webinar leaders will share insights on best practices for submitting content to Academic Medicine and MedEdPORTAL and will present common reasons for rejected submissions. Additional topics that will be discussed include working revising a submission, interacting with editors, adhering to publication ethics guidelines, and understanding the peer-review process.

With support from the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. Matthew Davis is launching a free nationwide course on health policy open to medical students (as well as students from other health professions programs), on the Coursera open online curriculum platform. The six-week course, entitled "Understanding and Improving the US Healthcare System," is intended to engage learner “to think about how they can play a role in improving the system at the individual level -- as patients, healthcare providers, and/or in other capacities.” The course launches on October 7. https://www.coursera.org/course/ushealthcare 

Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child 

You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?  

Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. One example of the great impact that vaccines can have is the elimination of polio in the United States. Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States. 

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. From January through July 2013, more than 11,000 cases of whooping cough were reported, with cases in every state. Last year was a record year, with over 41,000 cases reported, the most since 1955. There were also 18 deaths reported in 2012, most of which were among babies younger than 3 months old. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized.  This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.

Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. To find out more about the VFC program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/ or ask your child’s health care professional.

Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.

For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

This document can be found on the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/

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