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January 8, 2014

LHIC News and Updates

Don't forget! Our next full LHIC meeting will be this Monday, January 13, 2014. As we got feedback that the North Laurel Community Center was inconvenient for many of you, this meeting will be held in the Health Department/Healthy Howard building at 8930 Standford Blvd., Columbia, MD, in the Executive Conference Room on the first floor. Please encourage other LHIC members to attend! We're in the midst of taking great strides as a coalition and we need high member attendance to make the changes you want to see.

Remember, we're now on
Facebook! Please "like" us and spread the word about the LHIC. Check the page for LHIC updates, local and national health news, as well as information about local events here in Howard County. If you have something you'd like to post on the page, email Alisha at

Maryland Health Exchange Updates

Connection Update, Friday, January 3, 2014

As expected, last week saw another record number of enrollments in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection. 
Highlights from this week's report
  • More than 115,000 Marylanders have created identity-verified accounts, and there have been more than 733,000 unique visitors to the website; 
  • Enrollments in qualified health plans increased to a total of 18,257 individuals; 
  • Counting Medicaid pre-enrollments, new Medicaid eligibles, and individuals who have selected qualified health plans for enrollment, as many as 152,000 Marylanders are on track for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. 
For more updates on ACA enrollment, see the full report and scroll down to the Access to Care section of this digest.

Howard County News
The Howard County Health Department is accepting new patients for the clinics providing Family Planning and Sexually Transmitted Infection services for women, teens, and men. Family Planning services include birth control options and IUD insertions, Pap and HPV screenings, and mammogram referrals. The services for STI screenings and treatments include those for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and syphilis. Appointments are readily available Monday through Friday, often same day appointments are available. The HCHD accepts Medical Assistance Plans and all MCO’s. If a patient does not have health insurance, services are provided on a sliding scale basis. Spanish speaking interpreters are always available on site and interpreters for other languages can be provided.

Please call 410-313-7500 to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Health in the News
Healthy Weight
Final Menu Labeling Rules Expected in February
Recent reports have indicated that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to issue final menu labeling standards for restaurants and vending machines in February. First proposed in April 2011 per a provision in the Affordable Care Act, the regulations would require certain chain restaurants and other food retailers to disclose calorie information on menus and menu boards. While final standards have been delayed on several previous occasions, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in November 2013 that final rules were expected “soon.” A recent study published in Preventing Chronic Disease found that menu labeling usage is associated with other healthy behaviors such as “adequately exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, and drinking less soda.

Behavioral Health
Mental Health First Aid Class Available in Illinois 
A innovative Mental Health first aid class is now available in Grundy County, Illinois. "[The class] is mental health first aid, which is the same basic concept. But, as opposed to cuts, scrapes and bruises, its for [aiding] people you may come across in our daily life who may be struggling with some type of mental issue and how to respond to that ... and how to keep yourself safe as well as providing as much help as you can for that individual.” The class is for everyone; all community members are welcome. The class aims to provide a wider base of individuals that are prepared to safely handle a mental health crisis.  To learn more about this new program, click here.

Access to Care
Marylanders enrollment in the Affordable Care Act
Marylanders who have enrolled in coverage that begins on January 1, 2014, are reminded that they must submit their first payment directly to their carrier, and the carrier must receive the payment, no later than January 15, 2014. Carrier-specific billing information can be found on the website. Carriers encourage electronic payments when possible. Failure to make timely payment could result in cancelled coverage. Consumers will receive a communication from their 
carrier within one to two weeks, and should follow instructions for paying their first invoice. 
The Maryland Health Connection also wants to remind consumers that if they are not seeking financial assistance, they may enroll in a plan directly through carriers.
A link on their website directs consumers to this option. They also may contact an insurance agent or insurance company directly. 

Upcoming Events 
Commission to Build a Healthier America
New Recommendations Release     FREE

January 13, 2014, 2:30 pm ET

Building on its original work from 2009—which helped advance a national movement to address non-medical factors that affect our health—the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America will release new recommendations on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. ET, during a live online event. During the event featuring Commission Co-Chairs Mark McClellan and Alice Rivlin, Commissioners will offer recommendations covering three key areas:
1. Prioritizing investments in America’s youngest children
2. Encouraging leaders in different sectors to work together to create communities where healthy decisions are possible.
3. Challenging health professionals and health care institutions to expand their focus from treating illness to helping people live healthy lives.

To sign up for this online event, click

Starting (and keeping!) a healthy, active lifestyle        $30
January 15 from 7-8:30pm
The Handelman’s Conference Center at 10280 Old Columbia Road #220 • Columbia • 21046
Capitalize on the New Years motivation to make changes in your daily life that will move you closer to your health and fitness goals than ever before. This class will include tips on how to set realistic goals, how to fit fitness into your busy life, ideas for small changes in how and what you eat that can make a big difference, and resources to help you along the way. Email or call 443-794-7187 for more information.

Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED             $55
January 9, 5:30 -9:00 p.m.  
Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD

Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. Click here to sign up.

Healthy Weight, Healthy You: Part 1: Looking to Lose Weight?     FREE
January 13, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  
Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD

Our certified nutritionist and registered dietitian will discuss physiology and health challenges that affect your weight. Learn to plan meals that taste great, provide balance in your diet, and promote health. .

Code G Webinar       FREE
January 22, 2014 1:00-2:00 pm
The Delmarva Foundation (DFMC) will be collaborating with the MD Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the DC Department of Health to conduct a webinar event entitled, "G Code Webinar; Cracking the Code; A strategy for Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Obesity Counseling." The webinar will include information on cardiovascular disease and obesity preventive services that provide additional reimbursement opportunities for primary care providers. 

Upcoming LHIC Events

Monday, 1/13/14
10 am - 12 noon

Next full membership LHIC meeting at 8930 Standford Blvd., Columbia, MD in the Executive Conference room 
Copyright © 2014 Howard County Health Department, All rights reserved.
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