TC wins IV&V contract in California


PCG Technology Consulting (TC) was recently awarded a twenty-eight month contract to provide Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) services to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) for the California Appeals Case Management System (ACMS) project. The ACMS supports the CDSS State Hearings Division (SHD), which is responsible for ensuring due process for individuals who wish to appeal administrative decisions pertaining to benefits for California public assistance programs, including Child Welfare, Covered California (Affordable Care Act), and Medi-Cal. [More]


HHS issues 2016 Exchange enrollment data


On November 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued data on the first week of the 2016 open enrollment period (November 1, 2015 – November 7, 2015) for qualified health plans (QHPs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This initial “snapshot” shows that 3,180,777 persons visited the website, 1,153,270 persons completed their eligibility applications, and 543,098 eligible persons selected a QHP in the first week. [More]


Conference committee begins negotiations for ESEA rewrite


On November 18, 2015, Education Week reported that U.S. Senators and House members participated in a conference committee meeting on that date to begin reconciliation of two bills aimed at rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). [More]

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New York designs capitated Medicare/Medicaid plan for persons with developmental disabilities


The New York State Department of Health (DOH), the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) formally agreed on November 5, 2015 to implement an innovative demonstration project integrating Medicare and Medicaid services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Service integration will be achieved through a capitated managed care organization (MCO). [More]


New NCEE study finds problems with RTI


According to a November 2015 study, Response to Intervention (RTI) has a negative impact on some students struggling with reading. The study, by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), found that some first graders that were provided reading interventions fared worse than students who did not receive such interventions; special education students who received interventions performed even more poorly. [More]

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GAO releases report on efforts to keep children in family-based care


On November 9, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an in-depth report addressing the use of congregate care for children in the foster care system. Defined differently in most states, congregate care, in its simplest form (when referring to the foster care system), is care that is not family-based (e.g. group homes, residential treatment facilities, etc.). [More]


California wins preliminary approval of Medi-Cal 2020


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a letter to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on October 31, 2015 outlining agreement, in principle, regarding California’s new, five-year Medicaid delivery system reform demonstration waiver proposal, entitled “Medi-Cal 2020.” [More]


NCTQ report finds changes in state teacher evaluation policies


In a November 4, 2015 press release, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) announced the release of its report on the status of teacher and principal evaluation policies in every state, including the District of Columbia. According to the press release, the report reflects a surge in state policies that require teacher evaluations to be partly based on student achievement and growth. [More]

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HHS finalizes rules on Medicaid payment reviews


On November 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rules in the Federal Register on Medicaid payment reviews. The finalized rules require states perform data analyses to determine whether Medicaid payment rates will sufficiently enlist enough providers to ensure that health care is available to Medicaid recipients in the state. [More]


New budget legislation contains provider Medicare cuts


Congress passed new budget legislation, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314), which the President signed into law on Monday, November 2, 2015 before the November 3rd debt ceiling deadline. The legislation raises the federal debt limit through March 2017 and contains or maintains certain Medicare cuts for providers. [More]