Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2016 Update

The momentum of passing the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) legislation has slowed although a Continuing Resolution for extension of federal appropriations through December 9, 2016 was passed on September 28, 2016. Currently, the legislation (FPPSA) calls for the delay of the final step of Fostering Connections legislation implementation, which would de-link income standards with children age two and under for Title IV-E Adoption Assistance. [More]

Texas Supreme Court denies appeal of lower court decision refusing to prevent legislative cuts to Medicaid rates for certain children’s home services

On Friday, September 23, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a lower court decision, which held that certain providers and children’s advocacy groups lacked standing to invoke court jurisdiction in an attempt to prevent a state legislative $350 million Medicaid rate reduction for certain services to children with disabilities. [More]

GAO report examines cybersecurity under HHS programs

On September 26, 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released a report entitled “Electronic Heath Information: HHS Needs to Strengthen Security and Privacy Guidance and Oversight.” The report examines rapid increases from 2009 through 2015 in breaches of personal health information, culminating in 56 major breaches affecting 113,181,615 health records in 2015. [More]

Public Consulting Group Welcomes Alvin Crawford to Education Practice

Boston, MA. [September 26, 2016] -- Public Consulting Group (PCG) is pleased to announce the hiring of Alvin Crawford as General Manager in its Education practice. PCG's Education practice has thousands of clients in the United States and a growing client base internationally. Mr. Crawford will focus on creating new capabilities to bring to education clients as well as promoting PCG's current service portfolio to a wider set of customers; he will report directly to Grant Blair, who leads PCG's Education practice. [More]

New white paper explores implications of the Zika virus for human services agencies

During the past year, the mosquito-borne Zika virus has captured the world’s attention as news of babies born with abnormally small heads and neurological defects made headlines across the western hemisphere. Human service agencies, including early intervention, child care, early childhood, and public welfare agencies will be responsible for supporting and assisting individuals and children affected by Zika. However, many agencies do not know where to start preparations, how to predict impact and prevalence, or how to connect with existing public health preparations. [More]

Family First Prevention Services Act: Paying for What Works

Historically, the federal government’s support for child welfare services through the Title IV-E program has been limited to a single service: placement in foster care. With decades of research and experience, we now know that foster care is not the only – nor the best – solution for many children who have experienced maltreatment.

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) provides an opportunity for states and local communities to move towards more varied, proven interventions and services for children and families. It will also require many states to make significant changes in how they buy, manage, and fund services. Stakeholders are strongly encouraged to consider the benefits that will likely accrue to state systems, and to children and families, when considering the fiscal impact of the FFPSA. [More]

Summary of Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018

In follow-up to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) release of the Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2018 at the end of August, members of PCG’s Health team produced a summary of notable changes relative to Qualified Health Plan (QHP) certification and health insurance regulation. Regulators across the country are reviewing these provisions to understand the changes and how they will impact their regulation of health plans and the markets in their states. To better support states as they analyze the impact of the proposed regulations for 2018, we welcome you to share this comprehensive summary with colleagues, clients and others. [More]

CMS offers options for MACRA participation in 2017

On September 8, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare clinicians will be offered four options for participating in the pay-for-quality program to be launched on January 1, 2017 under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Eligible physicians and other clinicians electing any of the four options for 2017 will avoid negative payment adjustments that would otherwise apply under MACRA beginning in 2019. In addition, options two through four offer the opportunity to qualify for positive payment incentives beginning in 2019. The four options are described here. Additional details on the four options and many other MACRA implementation requirements will be available in a final regulation expected to be published on or about November 1, 2016. [More]

U.S. Supreme Court affirms ruling that ERISA preempts Vermont’s health reporting statute

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) preempts Vermont’s reporting statute, which requires health plans to report detailed claims and member health data to enable the state to track health care utilization, costs, and resource capability. The case citation is Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, 136 S. Ct. 936 (2016).
The six Justice majority decision authored by Justice Kennedy held that ERISA’s reporting and disclosure requirements for health plans are central to ERISA’s uniform system of plan administration and preempted the Vermont statutory reporting requirement despite the beneficial intent of the state’s statute. [More]