GAO Issues Report on Transparency of CMS Websites for Consumers

 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on November 18, 2014 entitled, “Health Care Transparency: Actions Needed to Improve Cost and Quality Information for Consumers.” GAO found that five Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) websites launched over 12 years – Nursing Home Compare (1998), Dialysis Compare (2001), Home Health Compare (2005), Hospital Compare (2005), and Physician Compare (2010) – do not use language consumers understand, do not present data in ways meaningful to consumers, and do not help consumers collect information they need to make informed, value-based decisions about their care. While the CMS websites can motivate providers to improve quality of care, research shows that providers and consumers look at data differently. [More]

Tags: , , , ,

Categories:Health and Human Services

 

FL AHCA Approves PCG Education for Medicaid Administrative Claiming

 

PCG Education’s MAC system for School District Administrative Claiming (SDAC) is a fully integrated system that incorporates all activities for the Medicaid Administrative Claim process from start to finish. The system allows for additions and modifications of allowable staff, entry of district and school specific calendars as well as multiple shifts for full and part time staff. The system also captures moment responses from staff, collection of quarterly financial expenditure data as well as quarterly claim calculation and completion of the Certification of Public Expenditures. “As a leading national vendor for school-based Medicaid program services for more than two decades, we’ve developed an approach that makes programs efficient and compliant in order to recover the maximum amount of allowable revenue,” said Natalie Foster, Associate Manager, PCG Education. “We’re pleased to be providing our successful, results-driven methodology and technology to Florida districts.” [More]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories:Education

 

HHS OIG Releases Work Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2015

 

As the new Federal Fiscal Year began on October 1, 2014, a work plan was released that outlines the engagements planned throughout the year. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) was created was created “to protect the integrity of US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs and operations and the well-being of beneficiaries by detecting and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse; identifying opportunities to improve program economy, efficiency, and effectiveness; and holding accountable those who do not meet program requirements or who violate Federal health care laws.” [More]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Revises Exchange Enrollment Projections for Upcoming Enrollment Period

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released an analysis on November 10, 2014 projecting that 9.0 – 9.9 million persons will have coverage through Exchanges by the end of the upcoming November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015 open enrollment period. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had estimated in April 2014 that the number of persons covered through Exchanges would reach 13 million persons in 2015, 24 million persons in 2016, and a plateau of 25 million persons by 2017. [More]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories:Health and Human Services

 

US Supreme Court to Review ACA Tax Credit Authority

 

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on November 7, 2014 that it will review King v. Burwell, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld an Internal Revenue Service regulation allowing advance premium tax credits (APTCs) for low-income individuals and families enrolling in qualified health plans (QHPs) through “Federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFEs).” [More]

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Destination Imagination Partners with PCG Education to Advance Student Success

 

CHERRY HILL, N.J., November 13, 2014 ─ Destination Imagination (DI), an educational non-profit organization dedicated to teaching students the creative process through hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the arts and service learning Challenges, today announced its partnership with PCG Education to advance project-based learning opportunities for students and teachers throughout the U.S. [More]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories:Corporate

 

CMS Launches $840 Million Quality Improvement Initiative

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two funding opportunity announcements on the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative (TCPI) on October 23, 2014. The two announcements describe opportunities for applicants to compete for up to $840 million in federal funding under cooperative agreements with CMS over a May 1, 2015 - April 30, 2019 performance period. Applicants may seek funding under cooperative agreements as Practice Transformation Networks (PTNs) or as Support and Alignment Networks (SANs). [More]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Democrats and Teachers Unions Hit Hard in the November Elections

 

On November 5, 2014, Politico Pro distributed a series of posts scrutinizing the impact of the November 4 election results on Democrats, teachers unions, and education initiatives. Based on the election results, Democrats have lost control of the U.S. Senate, giving Republicans control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the 114th Congress, which begins in January. Republicans will take leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) responsible for promoting education legislation in the Senate. In addition to significant losses in Congressional races, Democrats lost key gubernatorial and state house races, all of which could be problematic for the continuation of education reform initiatives promoted by the Obama Administration. [More]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories:Education

 

The Conflict Continues Over Student Data Collection and Privacy

 

An October 29, 2014 Education Week article addresses the conflict between proponents of student data collection and advocates of student privacy. Proponents of data collection stress the importance of the use of innovative data collection technology to facilitate personalized learning for all students. Privacy advocates express concerns that third-party vendors, collecting data on behalf of education agencies, obtain access to student data without appropriate restrictions on the use and retention of the data. [More]

Tags: , , , ,

Categories:Education

 

CMS Issues Proposed Notice to Establish Methodology to Determine Federal Payments Under BHP in 2016

 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published in the October 23, 2014 Federal Register a proposed Notice (79 Fed. Reg. 63363) which would establish the methodology the agency intends to utilize to determine federal payments under the Basic Health Program (BHP) in 2016. Pursuant to Section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states can elect to operate a BHP, which would provide affordable health coverage to individuals under age 65 with household incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, or affordable employer-sponsored coverage. [More]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories:Health and Human Services