Month: June 2012

Hawaii Health Connector’s Permanent Board

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Hawaii Health Connector

June 2012

The Connector’s Permanent Board

Confirmed by the Hawai‘i State Senate, the Hawai‘i Health Connector’s permanent board
will be seated on July 1, 2012. Board members are:
  • Cliff Alakai – Maui Medical Group
  • Clementina Ceria-Ulep, Ph.D., MSN, R.N. – Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE)
  • Joan Danieley – Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
  • Jennifer Diesman – Hawai‘i Medical Services Association
  • Kenneth Fink, MD – Hawai‘i Department of Human Services
  • Beth Giesting – Hawai‘i Office of the Governor
  • Michael Gleason – The Arc of Hilo
  • Robert Hirokawa, DC, DrPH, MPH – Hawai‘i Primary Care Association
  • Faye Kurren – Hawai‘i Dental Service
  • Kealii Lopez – Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs
  • Sherry Menor-McNamara – Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i
  • Gwen Rulona – UFCW Local 480
  • Christine Mai‘i Sakuda – Hawai‘i Health Information Exchange (HHIE)
  • Hardy Spoehr – Papa Ola Lōkahi
  • Edward Wang – Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

New Hires

We are pleased to welcome new staff to the Connector as we build our health insurance exchange. The Connector brings a diverse group of professionals together with the confidence, intelligence and courage needed to operate Hawai‘i’s Health Insurance Exchange. We have recently filled the positions of our chief operations officer, director of fiscal services and accounting, grants compliance manager, consumer relations manager and project coordinators.
Kevin Hause—Kevin has accepted the position of chief operations officer for the Connector. Before joining the Connector team Kevin was the vice president for a management-consulting firm where he worked globally on strategic marketing and product optimization. He is widely noted as an expert in leveraging emerging technologies for consumer media and commerce and has been quoted for publications by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily and Time Magazine. Kevin holds his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Vanderbilt University and his Masters in Business Administration from Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt.
Resty J. Cruz–Resty has accepted the position of director of fiscal services and accounting for the Connector. He comes to us with more than 30 years of experience as a director of finance and financial controller opening international hotels. His most recent post was in Hilton’s European headquarters in England as a regional finance controller, where he oversaw internal audits of hotels throughout Europe. His experience in training, developing, and managing global accounting departments and teams is most welcome as he establishes the accounting department and procedures for the Connector. Resty earned his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Guam and over the years has attended Cornell University’s Professional Development Programs.
Kathy Mitchell–Kathy has accepted the position of the grants compliance manager for the Connector. She has spent the last 19 years working with the State as a planning and contract specialist and is well versed in state procurement laws and administrative rules. Kathy is a graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Leaving state government and joining the connector is an exciting move for her. She explained, “The Connector is ground breaking and everyone [staff] are meeting for the first time to meet the aggressive timelines set forth in the Affordable Care Act.”
Dorene S. Davey–Dorene has accepted the position of policy analyst for the Connector. She previously worked in the legal field as a paralegal for a locally owned and operated law firm specializing in defense litigation. Most recently she worked with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as a research specialist for the Insurance Division. She has also worked as an IT consultant and was assigned to the USS Missouri. Dorene has a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in pre-law from the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa, along with a Masters of Science in Information Systems and a Certificate in Telecommunications Security from Hawai‘i Pacific University.
Roshan F. Rodriguez–Roshan has accepted the position of project coordinator for the Connector. She is responsible for managing aspects of the Connector’s establishment process to ensure that deadlines are met and final work products reflect all policies. Prior to joining the Connector, Roshan was a client relations director with a Washington, D.C. consulting firm providing services to Trinidad and Tobago. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Spanish from George Mason University. She is currently working on her Executive Master of Business Administration.
Emerald Kapi‘olani Adams—Emerald has accepted the position of the project coordinator for the Connector. She will be working closely with Roshan and Dorene to ensure our project deliverables are thoroughly researched and completed to meet our rigorous timeline requirements. She joins the team with a background in research having worked for several years in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. Most recently, she provided research support on native Hawaiian well-being and demography at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Scripps College in Claremont, California and a Master of Arts in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kanoelehua K. L. Renaud–Kanoelehua has accepted the position of consumer relations specialist for the Connector. She previously worked with the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE), the East-West Center’s President’s Office and the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau. She has a strong background in working with Native Hawaiian communities, collaborative partnerships and relationship building. She also brings her experience with the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Native Hawaiian Education Council. Kanoelehua graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies and has attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Professional Development Programs.

New Offices

The Connector has moved into our new office at 201 Merchant Street, Suite 1810 Honolulu, HI 96813. We feel fortunate to have found space that is centrally located and is easily accessible to our consumer stakeholders. Although we are still working with our card tables while we await furniture and equipment, we are enjoying the extra room.
Sneak peak: The vision for our office layout is one that facilitates the cross-functional collaboration required by our team. Our new home provides conference spaces available for committee meetings and future Connector related events.
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all of the staff at the Hawai‘i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs for being such gracious hosts during the early start-up of the Connector and throughout our transition into our new offices.

More States Work to Implement Health Care Law

Six more states are moving ahead with plans to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sibelius announced in May that Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington will receive more than $181 million in federal grants to help develop their state’s Insurance Exchange.
The Affordable Care Act stipulates that by January 1, 2014, all states must operate Insurance Exchanges like Hawai‘i’s Health Care Connector to help consumers and small businesses choose a private health insurance plan at competitive prices. To date, 34 states and the District of Columbia have received Establishment grants to fund their progress toward building Exchanges.
Read more…

New Federal Guidance for States

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has assigned the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) to oversee state-based Health Insurance Exchanges. The CCIIO recently released an Exchange Blueprint to provide states with guidance to set up health exchanges that offer a wide range of competitively priced private health insurance options.
States can choose from three flexible Exchange models with varying degrees of federal involvement in operations. Due to the unique features of Hawai‘i’s Prepaid Health Care Act, our state Legislature determined that Hawai‘i’s health insurance exchange should be developed locally. The Connector will operate under the State-based Exchange model with minimal federal involvement, ensuring that the Connector is “of Hawai‘i and for Hawai‘i.”
To receive HHS Approval or Conditional Approval, as well as reinsurance and risk adjustment programs, each state must complete and submit an Exchange Blueprint that documents how its Exchange meets all legal and operational requirements by January 1, 2013.

Hawai‘i First State to Make Health Declaration

On June 13, 2012 Governor Neil Abercrombie has issued a “declaration letter” to the U.S. Health and Human Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIOO) verifying that Hawai‘i is establishing a state-certified health insurance exchange, the Hawai‛i Health Connector.
In late May 2012, CCIIO issued a call for states to declare their intentions for the exchanges and how they will be structured. Hawai‘i is the first state in the nation to officially declare its intent, which is to develop a State-Based Insurance Exchange. Although some states are opting for a greater degree of federal facilitation and control of their exchanges, the Connector’s executive director Coral Andrews explained, “We’re very focused on establishing the exchange as State-Based, ensuring that the Connector is of Hawai‘i and for Hawai‘i.”
“Hawai‘i has already received two grants from the federal government to assist with planning and set up of the Connector,” stated State Healthcare Transformation Coordinator Beth Giesting. “The Hawai‘i Health Connector, a nonprofit partner with the state, will be crucial in moving Hawai‘i toward universal coverage, providing consumers clear, understandable information, and ensuring that all choices offer high quality care.”
Hawaii Health Connector  P.O. Box 3767 Honolulu HI 96812
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Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform Bill

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Supreme Court upholds health care reform bill
At 10 a.m. today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety (with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read). The Court could have struck down all or part of the bill as unconstitutional, but instead, upheld each of four distinct legal challenges.
What does the court’s decision mean to rural America?
Whether you support of oppose the health care bill, it is important to know that many provisions were included in the bill that benefit both the rural provider and patient. During the health reform debate, NRHA’s message was clear: Improve rural America’s access to health care providers by resolving the workforce shortage crisis in rural areas, and eliminate long-standing payment inequities for rural providers.
NRHA fought for and won key rural workforce and payment improvements in the bill.  Each of these decisions will remain intact in light of today’s decision.  However, complete funding for several of the provisions will likely continue to remain challenging. (Many programs “authorized” in the ACA, must actually be funded through a separate act of Congress.) For a complete list of the positive rural provisions in the ACA, click here.
The Supreme Court reviewed four separate legal issues based upon the four previous federal appellate court challenges. The four issues on which the court granted review and subsequently upheld today are:
• Whether the Anti-Injunction Act prevents challenges to the Affordable Care Act at this time (that is, is there legal “standing” to challenge a tax that hasn’t gone into effect yet);
• The constitutionality of the individual mandate, requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014;
• Whether the individual mandate is severable if it is found to be unconstitutional, or whether the entire Act would have to fail; and
• Whether the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program is constitutional.
The issues of the constitutionality and severability of the individual mandate attracted the most attention in the federal courts and among the public. Though three of the four federal appellate decisions upheld the mandate, many legal scholars are still surprised at today’s decision.
Implementation of health reform is already underway, especially through the regulatory process. Today’s decision will mean that rural providers must continue to be vigilant as preparations continue for the major provisions to go into effect in 2014. Expect continued push-back from Congress to repeal all or part of the bill, as well as efforts to de-fund key provisions.
Learn more during NRHA’s webinar today, get involved and stay tuned to NRHA online
NRHA will discuss further details of the Supreme Court ruling’s impact on rural America during a webinar from noon to 1 p.m. EST today (Thursday). Reserve your seat here.
And plan to attend the Rural Quality and Clinical Conference July 18-20 in Seattle, the March for Rural Hospitals July 30-31 in D.C. and the Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences in Kansas City Sept. 25-28 for in-depth analysis on how the health law will impact you and expert advice.
Stay tuned to NRHA’s blog and Facebook for further developments.
NRHA needs you. Join NRHA online today in the fight for access to quality health care or turn in this application by July 18 to save 20 percent. It’s likely to be your least expensive membership fee, and it certainly creates the biggest impact.
National Rural Health Association
521 E. 63rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110-3329
Phone – 816.756.3140 Fax – 816.756.3144
NRHA Services Corporation

Health Reform Update

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Health Reform Update

Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act in major victory for public health

This morning, in 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. The majority opinion was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and was joined by Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. The ruling represents a major victory for public health advocates who worked tirelessly over the past two years in support of the law.

“Today’s historic ruling by the nation’s highest court marks a significant milestone in our national efforts to improve the delivery and financing of health services in the U.S. and to promote health and wellness rather than disease treatment,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA in a statement released by the Association following the court’s decision.

For additional information about the court’s decision, visit the Supreme Court’s website or SCOTUSblog.

On Thursday, July 5, at 3 p.m. ET, APHA and other health partners will sponsor a webinar with leading health legal experts to discuss the implications of the court’s decision.

For background on key provisions in the ACA, including the Prevention and Public Health Fund, visit APHA’s health reform website. For an overview of the law as well as state-specific fact sheets on how your state is benefiting from the ACA, visit the Healthcare.gov website.

APHA releases prevention fund brief

In June, APHA’s Center for Public Health Policy released a new issue brief: The Prevention and Public Health Fund: A Critical Investment in our Nation’s Physical and Fiscal Health.

Created by the ACA, the Prevention and Public Health Fund is an investment in activities that can help communities improve health outcomes and help the U.S. decrease health care costs. The issue brief summarizes the need for and impact of prevention and public health funding, reviews the design and intentions of the Fund, and provides an update on how the Fund has been implemented and allocated to date.

 

Recipe For Volunteering

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Recipe For Volunteering

By Naznin Dhanani

2 cups of listening

1 teaspoon of trust

1 1/2 cups of kindness

1 teaspoon of honesty

2 cups of happiness

1 cup of responsibility

1 cup of patience & laughter

1 tablespoon of communication

1 tablespoon of compromise

1 dash of commitment

2 teaspoons of give and take

2 dashes of forgiveness

2 tablespoons of appreciation of each other

3/4 cup of tolerance

Method:

Combine listening, trust and kindness.  mix well. Add communication, honesty and compromise.  Blend. Cream happiness, commitment and responsibility until light and fluffy.  Sift together patience, give and take laughter.  Fold together gently.  Add dashes of forgiveness, to taste.  Top with appreciation and tolerance.

Results:

Remembering the essence of volunteering.

~reprinted from Hospice of Hilo’s newsletter April, 2010

Continuing Education & Training

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Continuing Education & Training

July, August, September, 2012

Schedule of Classes

Get the Training to Become a Better Manager!

  • Manage, Lead, and Unleash: 7 Habits for Managers

  • Time Management:  Proactive & Productive

  • Delegating for Results

  • Manage Effectively by Understanding Work Styles

Many more classes,  click on the link above to download the schedule or visit our website at

www.hawaii.hawaii.edu/ocet

July is UV Safety Month

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July is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to spread the word about sun, fun and UV safety to your family and to your community.  For myself, as a kid, summer meant being the first ones on the beach and the last ones to leave.  Back in the day, we hardly used any kind of protection from the sun, and expected to be going to bed that night with sunburns, but it was always worth it, for a few precious hours of perfect freedom in the ocean.  Now, with the rise of skin cancer rates rising in young adults,  I look back on those days and think, “If I only knew then, what I know now!” I sometimes look out the window on a cloudless blue day, and imagine packing a picnic lunch to spend a day at the beach , to recapture those carefree days, relaxing on the sand and soaking up some rays.  Fortunately, the “responsible” adult  in me, also causes me to take a step back and think:  “safety first.”

The sun emits 3 types of UV rays:  UVA, UVB and UVC rays.

UVA rays make up the majority of our sun exposure and are responsible for causing premature skin aging and wrinkling (bad for us, great for the anti-aging cosmetics industry!) and also contribute to skin cancer.

UVB rays are the cause of many skin cancers.  They also cause sunburns, cataracts and damage our immune system.

Last, but certainly not least, UVC rays are the most dangerous, but fortunately, these rays are blocked by the ozone layer and do not reach earth.

Not all sun exposure is dangerous, however.  In fact, some sun is actually necessary.  The sun is our primary source of Vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones.  Here are a few ways to protect yourself and your keiki from the sun’s rays:

  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.  Reapply every 2 hours when working or playing outdoors.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.  Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays.
  • Avoid sun exposure during the hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest- between 10a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.  Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Do not burn.  Sunburns significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
  • Seek shade.
  • Cover up by wearing a hat and clothes that are tightly woven, loose fitting and full-length.

Have a safe and fun summer!