DHHS Grants IA, KY Health Care Insurers Added Time to Meet MLR Rule

According to recent media reports, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has granted health insurance companies in Iowa extra time to comply with the health reform law’s medical-loss-ratio (MLR) rule, “but not as much time as the Iowa Insurance Division requested.” DHHS’ Center for Consumer Information and Oversight Director Steve Larsen, in a letter to the Iowa Insurance Division, laid out a timetable for compliance that calls for Iowa insurers to spend 67% of premiums on medical care this year, 75% in 2012, and 80% in 2013. [More]

GAO Releases Report on Health Policy Research

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study on July 26 entitled, “Value in Heath Care – Key Information for Policymakers to Assess Efforts to Improve Quality While Reducing Costs.” This study was conducted at the request of Senator Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, over the period April 2009 – July 2011. It is relevant to policymakers and analysts at all levels of government as well as managed care and provider organizations. [More]

A New Report Reflects on the Education of Students with Learning Disabilities

Despite some disturbing findings, a July 27, 2011 report concludes that early intervention strategies may be reducing the number of students identified as having learning disabilities. The biennial report, The State of Learning Disabilities, published by the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), describes the nature and history of learning disabilities in the U.S. as well as statistical trends from 2000 through 2009. [More]

A New Report Raises Concerns About School Discipline

In a July 19, 2011 press release the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center announced that the results of its six-year study on disciplinary actions involving nearly 1 million students in Texas public secondary schools revealed that nearly 60 percent of the 7th through 12th graders had been subjected to at least one school suspension or expulsion. [More]

A Controversial Report Finds Flaws in Student Teacher Programs

A July 21, 2011 report by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) concludes that student teaching programs in the U.S. have major flaws. Institutions of higher education provide teacher preparation programs that include a student teaching component that places a teacher candidate in an actual classroom over a period of time to provide classroom instruction under the supervision and guidance of a mentor teacher. [More]

CMS Releases CO-OP Rules

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed rules on July 20 on the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) provisions under section 1322 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1322 authorizes up to $3.8 billion in federal loans to foster the creation of consumer-governed private non-profit health insurance issuers that will offer qualified health plan coverage through health insurance exchanges by January 2014. [More]

ACF Announces $150 million Grants for Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Assistance on July 20 announced the availability of funding for four discretionary grant awards totaling $150 million for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grants. These grants will go to help fathers meet their parenting and financial responsibilities to their children and assist married couples or those considering marriage in building strong relationships with each other and their children. [More]

ACF Requests Comments on Evaluation of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention

On July 8, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), which oversees adolescent pregnancy prevention evaluation efforts, along with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Administration for Children and Families (ACF) requested comments on information collection activities for adolescent pregnancy prevention evaluation. [More]