CMMI Announces $666 Million in State Health Care Innovation Awards

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced on December 16, 2014 that it is authorizing $623 million in “model testing” awards to 11 states and $43 million in “model design” awards to 17 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia. CMMI has approved the awards under section 3021 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These “model testing” and “model design” awards complete “round two” in CMMI’s State Innovation Models (SIM) initiative. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

CMS Issues Final Rule Re: Hospital-Specific Limitation

 

In the December 3, 2014 Federal Register (79 Fed. Reg. 71679), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule authorizing a service-specific basis for defining the uninsured, for the purpose of determining the hospital-specific limitation on disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. Under section 1923(g) of the Social Security Act, DSH payments to hospitals are limited to the uncompensated costs of providing hospital services to individuals who are Medicaid eligible or have no health insurance (or other source of third party coverage) for the services furnished during the year. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

CMS Proposes Changes in Medicare ACO Rules

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed rules in the December 8, 2014 Federal Register on accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) under section 3022 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the MSSP, Medicare providers and suppliers that participate in a qualifying ACO receive traditional Medicare Part A and Part B fee-for-service payments, the ACO drives collaboration, and the ACO has an opportunity to earn “shared savings” bonus payments for each ACO “performance period” if it achieves MSSP savings targets and performance standards under quality measures for that period. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Ed Tech Vendor’s Sale of Student Records Highlights Privacy Protection Concerns

 

A December 9, 2014 Education Week article reports that millions of student records maintained by a K-12 education technology (Ed Tech) vendor were sold to other companies when the vendor went bankrupt. The student records included personally identifiable information (PII) such as students’ names, dates of birth, test scores, disabilities, home and email addresses, and phone numbers. According to the article, the vendor’s policy was to delete any records containing PII prior to any sale; however the data destruction did not occur because the bankrupt vendor no longer had employees to perform the work. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

ED Awards 18 Preschool Development Grants

 

In a December 10, 2014 press statement, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the award of preschool development grants to 18 states. The grant program is jointly administered by ED and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is intended to assist states in the development or expansion of high-quality preschool programs in regionally diverse communities. Out of 36 state applicants, 5 will receive development grants and 13 will receive expansion grants. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

OCR Provides Guidance on Avoiding Sex Discrimination in Single-Sex Classes

 

On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to K-12 schools that choose to implement single-sex classes. Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. ED regulations authorize schools to offer single-sex classes and extracurricular activities under specified circumstances. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

New Child Welfare White Paper by Judge James Payne Now Available

 

The latest in our whitepaper series by PCG Human Services’ Judge James Payne, “Beyond Quick Fixes: What Will It Really Take to Improve Child Welfare in America?” is now available. Click here to view paper No. 4 in the series: “Agency Priorities – Keep Focused and Don’t Get Lost in the Chaos!” [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

D.C. Circuit Decides Not to Proceed with En Banc Review of ACA Subsidies Case Pending U.S. Supreme Court Decision in KING V. BURWELL

 

On November 10, 2014, the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals agreed not to proceed with its en banc review of HALBIG v. BURWELL, 758 F.3d 390 (D.C. Cir. 2014), which had held that subsidies provided for under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were to be restricted to states which opted to establish their own Health Benefit Exchanges. [More]

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ED Promotes Technology in Personalized Learning

 

A November 19, 2014 U.S. Department of Education (ED) Dear Colleague Letter provides states and local education agencies with guidance on the use of federal funds to support digital personalized learning. Personalized learning can be described as shifting education from a teacher-centered model to a student-centered model that the teacher facilitates, often through the use of technology. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

Kaiser Reports on 2015 QHP Premium Changes

 

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (Kaiser) released on November 17, 2014 a report on changes in premiums for qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through Health Benefit Exchanges (Exchanges) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report shows modest increases in 2015 premiums, as compared with 2014, on average for all QHPs across all geographic rating areas in the United States. Premiums for “silver” level coverage (medium cost-sharing, medium premiums) will increase about two percent on average, while premiums for “bronze” level coverage (higher cost-sharing, lower premiums) will increase about four percent on average. [More]

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