Bridging the electronic health information highway and promoting interoperability for Medicaid providers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently expanded the scope of the Health Information for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) 90/10 funding available to encourage the adoption and promote the use of electronic health record (EHR) technology and health information exchange (HIE). This new funding source provides Medicaid agencies with the ability to accelerate the exchange of information across the continuum of Medicaid providers and gather important clinical and administrative data elements for robust program planning; improvements in quality of care; and managing costs. [More]

Consumer assistance for open enrollment 2017

This year, for the first time since the health insurance marketplace began, states will not have the support of consumer assistance funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to educate the public about marketplace plan offerings. Without federal funding, many states are scrambling to find ways to assist consumers in the upcoming open enrollment period. [More]

Pepper featured in Santa Cruz Tech Beat

Santa Cruz-based non-profit O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO) – an organization founded by Jack O’Neill, the man who revolutionized the world of surfing when he invented the wetsuit – provides outdoor educational programs to teach students about science and the environment, using lessons aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core. Small groups of students (grades 4-6) engage in hands-on learning aboard a sailing catamaran; after the field trip, students supplement their learning with in-classroom curriculum. [More]

CMS releases report on ACA health insurers’ payment trends

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report on August 11, 2016, entitled, “Changes in ACA Individual Market Costs from 2014 to 2015: Near-Zero Growth Suggests an Improving Risk Pool.” The report states that per member per month (PMPM) paid claims for health insurers in the individual market under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fell 0.1 percent on average from 2014 to 2015, perhaps due to a broader, healthier ACA risk pool in 2015 than in 2014. [More]

Proposed rule clarifying limit on Medicaid DSH Payments

In the August 15, 2016 Federal Register, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule (81 Fed. Reg. 53980) clarifying that Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments under section 1923(g)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (SSA) should be limited to uncompensated care costs. [More]

JAMA reports on Medicaid expansion research findings

On August 8, 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a report entitled, “Changes in Utilization and Health among Low-Income Adults after Medicaid Expansion or Expanded Private Insurance.” The report analyzes access to care, utilization of services, and self-reported health status among low-income adults in three states that have taken different approaches under the Affordable Care Act (ACA): a traditional Medicaid expansion, a “private option” Medicaid expansion, and non-expansion. [More]

#PCGCares: Giving back at 10th Annual Hootie’s Homegrown Roundup

For the fourth year in a row, PCG participated in the 10th Annual Hootie & the Blowfish Homegrown Roundup: Back to School Basics in Charleston, SC. This annual program provides more than 1,600 children in the Charleston County School District (CCSD) with school supplies and other supports—haircuts, dental and eye exams, backpacks, shoes, uniforms and more—to help them succeed during the upcoming school year. PCG’s Etta Holmes and Donna Worrell were on hand at this year’s Homegrown Roundup to distribute backpacks, rulers, highlighters, crayons, notebooks, pencils, and erasers. [More]

#PCGCares: Supporting early literacy

From July 26 to July 28, PCG’s Education Consulting (EC) team convened in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for their annual summer retreat. They kicked off the retreat by creating three life-sized "Imaginary Lands" board games as a service project for the United Way of the Greater Seacoast. The board games promote early literacy by requiring children to read words to advance along the path. The United Way distributes these games to community agencies for use in day care and after-school programs. Divided into three groups, each EC team identified a theme for their game before painting the board and decorating the word packets that accompany it. [More]