Legislative, Regulatory and Program Updates

On November 18, 2009 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent notice to Congress that CMS is withdrawing its proposed rule on rehabilitative services (CMS Rule 2261‐P). Among other things, the proposed rule was intended to redefine rehabilitative services to exclude Medicaid reimbursement for the direct and administrative costs of rehabilitative services that are intrinsic elements of education programs. [More]

Top 10 Things to Know as you submit your Planning APD for HIT Planning

On Friday, November 13, PCG Health and Human Services hosted a Webinar entitled, “Ten Things You Need to Know to Maximize Federal Participation for Health Information Exchange (HIE) Funding.” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funding for state Medicaid programs to plan and implement health information exchanges (HIEs) is now available at the 90 percent level. [More]

Child Welfare Training Reimbursement

ACF has published policy questions to the Child Welfare Policy Manual (CWPM) 8.1H Title IV-E, Administrative Functions/Costs, Training that highlight sections of Fostering Connections for Success and Increase Adoptions Act which address changes in Title IV-E Training reimbursement. Since the signing of Public Law 101-239 in December 1989, states with approved plans have been entitled to claim 75 percent reimbursement for the training of personnel employed or preparing for employment by the state agency. [More]

USDE Sets the Final Requirements for the "Race to the Top" Competition

After receiving more than 1,000 public comments on its draft requirements for the competitive "Race to the Top" grants, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) published its final requirements in the Federal Register on November 12. Although the final requirements reflect some new flexibility in response to some of the comments received, the standards remain stringent for receiving a grant from the $4 billion Race to the Top fund, which was established by the 2009 stimulus bill. [More]

Congressional Watch

Yesterday, the Subcommittee of Healthy Families and Communities held a hearing in support of the re-authorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) grant. National experts who have implemented provisions of the CAPTA - the Basic State grants, the Community Based Prevention grants and the Research and Demonstration grants - attended and spoke. [More]

CMS Hosts National Children's Health Insurance Summit in Chicago

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted its National Children's Health Insurance Summit in Chicago on November 4 - 6 in Chicago. The purpose of the summit was to provide a forum for states, agencies, and organizations to share strategies for increasing the enrollment and retention of children in Medicaid and the Children's Health insurance Program (CHIP). [More]

States' Roles in Federal Health Care Reform

The latest versions of health care reform legislation in the U.S. House (H.R. 3962) and Senate (S. 1796) continue to show that states will be in the forefront of implementation of reform within broad federal requirements. The House could pass H.R. 3962 as soon as November 7. Senate action on S. 1796 is uncertain but may occur by December 15. [More]

House Democrats Unveil $894 Billion Healthcare Reform Package

On October 29, House Democrats unveiled the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), a 1,990-page bill that blends and updates three versions of previous bills passed by House committees. The $894 billion healthcare reform package will cover 96 percent of Americans; and, according to a news release by the Committee on Ways and Means, is fully paid for. At the unveiling of the bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted that the bill would immediately close the so-called "donut-hole" in Medicare Part D. [More]