Florida Sues HHS Over Planned End to Low Income Pool Hospital Funding Program

 

On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott instituted a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in an attempt to prevent a threatened end to an optional federal program, providing Florida and eight other states with hospital funds for low income people (LIP). (Rick Scott v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Case 3:15-cv- 00193-RS-CJK Document 1, filed 4/28/15). [More]

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HHS Proposes New Inpatient Hospital Payment Rules

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued proposed rules on April 17, 2015 to update its Medicare reimbursement methods under inpatient prospective payment systems for 3,400 acute care hospitals and 435 long term care hospitals. [More]

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House Representatives Introduce Student Privacy Bill

 

On April 29, 2015, House Republicans introduced a bipartisan bill, the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015, and according to a press release by its authors, the bill is designed to encourage technological innovation in education while preventing the misuse of students’ personally identifiable information (PII) by online service providers. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

U.S. Senate Finance Committee Writes to Governors on Foster Care Placements

 

On April 27, Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) authored a letter to all state governors seeking detailed information about the use of private for profit and not-for-profit providers for the state’s foster care populations. The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction of Title IV of the Social Security Act which includes federal foster care and adoption assistance. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Proposes New Rules on Medicare Nursing Facility Quality and Reimbursement

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed rules in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 to update its Medicare skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS) and quality reporting program (SNF QRP). The proposed rules would offer, on average, a 1.4 percent increase in SNF PPS rates for Federal fiscal year 2016 (October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016), a $500 million aggregate increase in Medicare payments as compared to FFY 2015. [More]

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HHS Releases Funding Opportunity Announcement for Navigator Grants

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on April 15, 2015 related to grants to support health insurance eligibility and enrollment “navigators” in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces/Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]

 

Senate Committee Passes NCLB Overhaul

 

On April 16, 2015, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) unanimously passed a bipartisan proposal to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). According to a Huffington Post article, Democrat and Republican committee members praised the 22 -0 vote as a “triumph of bipartisanship.” The proposal, called Every Child Achieves, would continue NCLB’s emphasis on testing, but give states flexibility in how schools are held accountable. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking of 2015 Passes the Senate

 

On April 22, the Senate passed S. Bill 178 that further supports last year’s legislation, P.L. 113-183 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act after being introduced in the Senate in January. Since the beginning of the 114th Congress began in January, six bills and numerous amendments have been introduced to further penalties, requirements, and guidance on addressing this growing national issue. [More]

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Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking of 2015 Passes the Senate

 

On April 22, the Senate passed S. Bill 178 that further supports last year’s legislation, P.L. 113-183 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act after being introduced in the Senate in January. Since the beginning of the 114th Congress began in January, six bills and numerous amendments have been introduced to further penalties, requirements, and guidance on addressing this growing national issue. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

ACF Requests Comments on Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System

 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced in February through the Federal Register that comments would be accepted on revisions to Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data information collected. AFCARS is the only data set that can provide comprehensive national information on a case-level basis from state child welfare agencies and tribal Title IV-E agencies. [More]

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