CMS releases final Market Stabilization Rule

On April 13, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Market Stabilization Rule. The final rule is aimed at stabilizing the individual and small group markets by tightening enrollment standards and providing increased flexibility related to standards for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs), as outlined in detail below. The final rule also seeks to provide greater deference to state regulation of health insurance. [More]

GAO examines telehealth in federal programs

On April 14, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report to Congress on coverage and payment rules for telehealth and remote patient monitoring under Medicare, state Medicaid programs, and health care programs operated by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). The report examines rules across those agencies’ programs and outlines recent initiatives to improve care for high-risk patients. [More]

U.S. Supreme Court rejects West Virginia’s challenge to Obama administration’s decision not to enforce certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

On Monday, April 17, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up West Virginia’s challenge to the decision by the Obama administration not to enforce certain mandates of the ACA following the cancellation of millions of plans by insurance companies in 2013. (West Virginia, Ex Rel. Morrisey v. Dept. of H & HS, 16-721, 4/17/17). [More]

Making a positive impact

At PCG, we take Kidonomics seriously. All the research shows that making strategic investments in early childhood can pay big dividends in school, in the workplace, and throughout life. We were thrilled to talk about it at the Institute for Emerging Issues Focus Forum in February and SXSWedu in March, but even more pleased to back up those words with tangible actions. [More]

PCG sponsors LAUSD Focus Awards

For the past two years, Dr. Brenda Manuel of the Los Angeles Unified School District has joined PCG at a special session on community engagement during the iconic SXSWedu conference in Austin, TX. As she did last year, Dr. Manuel spoke about the Village Movement Mentoring Program where students are connected with members of the community who can serve as guides and cheerleaders for them, and then are expected to take the lessons they learn and mentor their classmates. [More]

Rural Areas – Sometimes It’s the Distance, Not the Journey

Providing services to children and families has always been a challenging and complex problem. Through agencies, these services are often contracted to local providers. Distance, travel, and method of transportation have always been a further complicating factor, especially in rural areas. As an Indiana governor suggested – “identify a problem, fix a problem, don’t embrace it.” [More]

Where the Research Meets the Road

Researchers know more about the brain development of young children than ever before. What should that mean for public policy? Some facts: After birth, new connections are made across neurons in babies’ brains at the rate of 700 to 1,000 per second. Three-quarters of young children who experience five or more types trauma measured by the Adverse Childhood Experiences test (ACEs) experience developmental delays. One in four young children live at or below the federal poverty level. Living in poverty can create biomechanical changes in the brain functioning of both children and adults, negatively impacting physical and mental health and executive functioning. Brain scientists know more now than ever before about what happens inside the heads of children during their first years of life, as well as what sorts of inputs help to facilitate desired outcomes. Still, translating this new knowledge into effective public policy often proves to be challenging. [More]

In North Carolina, Students@Work See PCG At Work

Just what it is “an education consultant” does all day isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to explain to an 8th grade student.

But when Janetta Nelson and a dozen of her classmates from the Walter G. Byers Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina, came to visit Public Consulting Group’s (PCG) office there recently, Janetta quickly figured it out. “They help kids,’’ Janetta explained after spending a day at PCG as part of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) Students@Work initiative. “They help solve problems with the schools, and they show the people in Raleigh who make the tests how to review the data,” Janetta added. [More]

The Importance of Forecasting Market Demand

As States continue to face constrained budgets, it is incumbent upon agency leadership to fine-tune their short- and long-term budgeting processes. PCG has found that forecasting market demand is a way state leaders to accurately allocate scarce government resources. Market forecasting makes a strong case for fiscal support because it relies heavily on a data driven decision making. It also offers state leaders a strategy that is non-partisan, and a level of transparency that appeals to both constituents and legislators. Ultimately, forecasting market demand ensures that the commitment of public funds will benefit the broader community. [More]

Administration for Children and Families releases 2015 Maltreatment Report

Each year, the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF’s) Children’s Bureau releases a report with the latest data available on an analysis of child abuse and neglect information collected from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories. Known as the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), this data and analysis program was established by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in 1988. The first NCANDS report was based on data for 1990 and since then NCANDS has been reported annually, with the Children’s Bureau collecting and analyzing the data in its “Child Maltreatment” report submitted to Congress each year. The 2015 Child Maltreatment Report was released at the end of January 2017 and reflects data reported for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015. [More]