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ACNM Policy Update - 1/15/2014

1.  CMS to Hold 1/16 Conference Call for Healthcare Providers
2.  HRSA to Hold Calls on Nurse Loan Repayment



1.  CMS to Hold 1/16 Conference Call for Healthcare Providers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a conference call open to the healthcare provider community to discuss health plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  The agency will provide brief updates on these plans and entertain questions that have been submitted in advance to partnership@cms.hhs.gov   

Call Details
Date:   Thursday, January 16, 2014 Time:  1:00 p.m. EASTERN time. 
Participant Line:       855 258-3677
Conference ID:         34470517 

CMS has made available a list of all plans and their customer service numbers in this
database.  Fact sheets and educational materials for patients are available here.


2.  HRSA to Hold Calls on Nurse Loan Repayment

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has indicated that the agency will hold two open conference calls to provide technical assistance to individuals wishing to apply to the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment program.

Call Details
Dates:
January 30, 2014 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., ET
February 13, 2014 from 8:00 - 9:30 p.m., ET 

HRSA has not yet announced the dial in number or passcode for the calls, but has indicated that this information will be posted here as soon as it is available.  Applications must be submitted through the NURSE Corps Program Portal no later than 7:30 p.m. ET on February 27, 2014. 

Background
Under this program, registered nurses (including advanced practice registered nurses and nursing faculty) can have 60 percent of their unpaid nursing student loans paid off in just 2 years and an additional 25 percent of the original balance for an optional third year. 

In return, NURSE Corps members fulfill a service obligation at one of thousands of eligible nonprofit hospitals, clinics, nursing schools and other facilities located in designated mental health or primary medical care Health Professional Shortage Areas across the U.S. To identify such areas, click here.   

To be eligible, you must:
-- be a licensed registered nurse (nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses are encouraged to apply) or nurse faculty,
-- have completed your training (diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate).  Your education must be from an accredited school of nursing located in a U.S. State.  Note that ACME is identified by HRSA as a recognized accrediting agency for midwifery programs,
-- be employed full time (at least 32 hours per week) at an eligible critical shortage facility.  HRSA identifies such facilities in its Application and Program Guidance, and
-- be a U.S. citizen (born or naturalized) or National and Lawful Permanent Resident. 

Funding preference is based on your financial need and the facility where you work.  Last year, in FY 2013, the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program received over 4,300 eligible applications and made 500 initial awards to RNs working at Critical Shortage Facilities and over 125 initial awards to nurse faculty working at accredited eligible schools of nursing, awarding a total of $38 million. 

The application includes a contract that obligates participants to serve 2 years at the critical shortage facility. If a participant in the program does not fulfill that obligation, they face significant financial consequences. 

The program is expected to be competitive and applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early, as it typically takes a few weeks to complete.   

If you have questions about this program, or other issues related to midwifery education, please contact Elaine Germano, ACNMs Senior Education Policy Adviser at egermano@acnm.org or 240 485-1845.

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