CMS proposes new bundled payment models

On July 25, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new episode payment models (EPMs) for three acute care conditions that are very common among aged Medicare beneficiaries: acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass, and hip/femur fractures. The first two EPMs would apply in 98 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) throughout the United States that would be randomly selected. The third would apply in 67 designated MSAs. Each of the EPMs would be tied to critical quality of care metrics validated by distinguished organizations such as the National Quality Foundation (NQF). [More]

#PCGCares: Boston completes its first “30…for Thirty Years” effort!

Earlier this summer, the Boston office kicked off their first “30…for Thirty Years” initiative in recognition of PCG’s 30th anniversary. Employees were tasked with helping to collect at least 30 pounds of travel-sized toiletries for the Pine Street Inn, an organization dedicated to ending homeless in Boston. This ‘30’ challenge offered the perfect opportunity for colleagues to put any saved hotel toiletries—from traveling to client sites, conferences and other PCG offices—to good use and help those in need. More than 1,600 homeless men and women from the Boston area are helped everyday by the Pine Street Inn and toiletries are one of the greatest needs. [More]

#PCGCares: Tennessee teams celebrate the year end by giving back

On July 19, PCG’s Nashville office celebrated another year of growth and success in the Mid-South region. Through partnerships with two area organizations, PENCIL Project and Catholic Charities, three teams of PCGers from across Tennessee (approximately 70 staff in total) spent the day volunteering at three different work sites. Two PENCIL Project teams helped local elementary schools (Alex Green and Bellshire) prepare for the new school year by cleaning and setting up classrooms at the schools. At Catholic Charities, the team assisted in painting and preparing one of the organization’s new facilities in the city. [More]

#PCGCares: Swimming to Support Our Veterans

On Friday, July 15, PCG employees, family and friends joined a large group of veterans and civilians on North Carolina’s Lake Norman for the 4th annual LKN Seal Swim. In an exciting show of support for our veterans, nearly 30 people, including six PCG employees and two family members, participated in the community swim (about 1.6 miles!). Six Navy Seals swam with each wave of swimmers offering support and refusing to allow anyone to give up; as a result, the community swim was successfully completed by all participants. The Navy Seals went on to complete a 12-mile (!) swim later in the day. [More]

Collaborative Professional Development is Essential to Teaching Students with Disabilities

On July 19, PCG special education and gifted education subject matter expert Will Gordillo authored an article for the Education Week blog, “Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12,” in which he explores how inclusive education can result in favorable outcomes for students with disabilities (SWDs). Will stresses that in order for SWDs to succeed in the least restrictive environment possible (i.e., general education classrooms), both general and special educators must engage in collaborative professional development that supports building confidence and instructional skill sets for working with SWDs. [More]

#PCGCares: Denver office supports special memorial event

On July 9th, the Denver Office’s Community Relations Committee (CRC) organized support for the annual reunion celebration for the families at Judi’s House. With its mission to provide “hope and healing for grieving children and their caregivers,” Judi’s House serves children and young adults, age three to 25, and their caregivers with specialized, age-adapted grief support programs. Last Saturday’s special event offered an opportunity for the families that have participated in programs at Judi’s House over the past 12 months to come together as a group to reconnect and celebrate the memory of the “special person” each family has lost. Several activity stations were available for the children to share their wishes to the “special person,” including memorializing and planting a memorial plant within the special “memorial garden.” [More]

CMS proposes changes in payment rules for outpatient care

On July 6, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes in Medicare payment methods under the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (hospital outpatient PPS) and the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system. The proposed Medicare rules would have a substantial impact in 2017 on “off campus” ambulatory facilities, incentive payments for adoption and “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs), and the hospital value-based purchasing (VBP) program. [More]

Legislation to address opioid use receives bipartisan support

Child welfare agencies have identified substance misuse and abuse as the leading reason for the significant increase in abuse and neglect reports, and the subsequent removal of children from their homes. Overdoses from heroin, prescription drugs, and opioid pain relievers in 2014 surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Injury-related deaths reached their highest levels of the 21st century in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Heroin overdoses have more than tripled in the last five years, an issue receiving outsize attention nationally but especially during the presidential campaign season as New Hampshire has been one of the hardest-hit states. [More]

USDA examines dual participants in SNAP

A July 12th, Governing article shares findings of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent report examining a new data-sharing system’s ability to identify Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants receiving benefits in more than one state. “Dual participants” cost the government millions in unintended costs and the data-sharing system, called the National Accuracy Clearinghouse, was successful in saving states money by identifying people who already get food stamps in another jurisdiction. [More]

CMS proposes revisions in Medicare fee schedules

On July 7, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed revisions in Medicare fee schedules for physicians and other medical practitioners (e.g., physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and therapists). The proposed revisions include changes that would be effective January 1, 2017 in order to improve care for patients with multiple chronic conditions, mental/behavioral health disorders, and cognitive or mobility-related disabilities. [More]