CHIP funding crisis remains unresolved

Congressional authorization of federal funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which Nine million children depend on, expired on September 30, 2017. States are now operating CHIP on carryover and redistribution payments from prior years. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that at least one state will exhaust such funding in November 2017 and most will by March 2018. [More]

American Hospital Association files lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services

On November 13, 2017, the American Hospital Association (AHS) and associated entities filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging certain provisions of a final rule issued on November 1, 2017 by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which would reduce by nearly 30% Medicare outpatient reimbursements to certain public and not-for-profit hospitals and clinics for prescription drugs purchased on a discounted basis under section 340B of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act. [More]

Office of Inspector General (OIG) releases audits on multiple states

Congress requested the OIG conduct audits regarding the proper reporting, investigation, and resolution of allegations or referrals of abuse and neglect of children in the foster care system. In recent months, the OIG of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released audits completed on aspects of child welfare agency requirements in California, New York, and Texas. When a child welfare agency is fully operational and claims Title IV-E, a federal requirement for the agency is to ensure that all allegations and referrals of child abuse and neglect are properly reported, investigated, and resolved. This requirement refers to both allegations of the child’s original home as well as of a foster home or placement following removal; however, children in foster care were the focus of these OIG audits in California, New York, and Texas. [More]

CBO releases report on bipartisan ACA stabilization plan

On October 25, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, which is now under consideration within the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The new legislation would offer additional flexibility under the state innovation waiver process, appropriate funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), require some insurers to pay rebates on premiums for 2018, allow more individuals to purchase high-deductible plans, and require Federal support for outreach and enrollment activities. [More]

Foster care payments now required for approved temporary kinship placements in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee

On October 10, 2017, the Supreme Court denied a petition to hear a child welfare case about kinship placements decided in January 2017 in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Circuit Court ruled on January 27, 2017, that kinship foster families are entitled to the same foster care maintenance payments as unrelated foster parents. D.O., et al. v. Glisson, No. 16-5461 (6th Cir. Jan. 27, 2017). The court’s ruling primarily rests on provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 U.S.C. § 1983), the Adoption and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (also known as the Child Welfare Act, CWA or Title IV-E of the Social Security Act codified in 42 U.S.C. § 672), and Supreme Court cases that have collectively interpreted these two statutes to confer a private right to foster care maintenance payments that is enforceable by foster parents regardless of whether the foster parents are related or unrelated to the child(ren). [More]

Recent Federal health policy developments

There were several significant health policy developments at the Federal level this month, including a Presidential Executive Order, the announcement that the administration will no longer fund Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs) and the release of the bipartisan effort to stabilize health insurance markets known as the Alexander-Murray bill. In follow-up to our post on these developments earlier this month, below, we share further updates and details regarding these developments, and share our analysis of their potential impacts. [More]

Insights from the annual National Academy for State Health Policy (#NASHPCONF17)

PCG subject matter experts were in Portland, Oregon last week at the 30th annual #NASHPCONF17. With a focus on guiding state policy makers though the changing health policy landscape, #NASHPCONF17 provided a break from the day to day, reactionary work to adjust to federal policy. The conference served as an opportunity for state health policy leaders to learn from their colleagues and collaborate on problem solving the tough issues facing health policy; rising prescription drug costs, the opioid epidemic, providing affordable health care and measuring and improving public health. [More]

PCG Continues Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria

Boston, MA, October 24, 2017 - Public Consulting Group (PCG), in continuing a long, unwavering tradition of commitment to the people and places it serves, has donated $133,931 to relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria. This figure includes personal donations by staff as well as a matching contribution from the company itself. In all, 372 employees voluntarily contributed to organizations conducting relief efforts. [More]

Major Health Policy Developments coming out of the Federal Administration

While Congressional efforts to change or repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to be stalled, the federal administration announced two significant health policy developments at the end of last week – an Executive Order aimed at promoting access to plans not subject to the full range of ACA protections as well as the decision to stop making cost-sharing reduction payments immediately. [More]