New Report Outlines State-Based Strategies to Contain Health Costs

 

A distinguished panel of health care experts released a report on January 8, 2014 entitled, “Cracking the Code on Health Care Costs: A Report by the State Health Care Cost Containment Commission.” The commission is co-chaired by former governors Mike Leavitt (R-UT) and Bill Ritter (D-CO). The report cites extensive research on policy levers at the state level that influence how the health care system is organized and how it operates. The report analyzes policy levers under state health purchasing programs such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, state and local government employee health plans, and state-based health insurance Exchanges; state regulatory programs affecting private health insurance premium rates, provider rates, and contracts between private plans and providers; and other issues affected by state law such as provider mergers, mandated benefits, restrictions on scope-of-practice, and medical malpractice costs. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

PPL Program Participant Discusses Consumer Direction

 

Boston, MA, January 17, 2014 – The Erie Times-News this week published a letter from a PCG Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL) program participant about his experience as a person with disabilities living independently and receiving care at home. [More]

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Categories:Public Partnerships

 

CMS Issues Final Rule Affecting Home and Community-Based Services and Waivers

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule, scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2014 and available online here, and on FDsys.gov, which amends the Medicaid regulations to define and describe state plan section 1915(i) home and community-based services (HCBS) under the Social Security Act as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Federal Judge Upholds Subsidies Under ACA

 

On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, United States District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman of the District Court in Washington, D.C. rejected a challenge to the subsidies provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ruling that the health insurance subsidies could be obtained by qualifying low and moderate-income individuals regardless of whether they bought coverage through a federal insurance exchange or in marketplaces run solely by a state. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Report Shows December Growth in Exchange Enrollments

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report on January 13, 2014 showing an accelerating rate of growth in enrollments in qualified health plans through Exchanges in the December 1 – December 28, 2013 period. The 364,682 enrollments during October 1 – November 30 leaped by 1,788,739 in December 1 – 28 to a cumulative total of 2,153,421. By December 28, a cumulative total of 956,991 enrollees selected a plan through state-based Exchanges in 15 states and 1,196,430 did so through federally-facilitated Exchanges in all other states. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Omnibus Budget Bill Restores Some Education Funding

 

An omnibus budget bill, passed by Congress on January 16, 2014, restores some of the education funding lost due to the across-the-board automatic budget cuts under the 2012 sequestration. According to a January 14, 2014 Huffington Post article, the bill increases U.S. Department of Education (ED) funding by about $1.6 billion above the current level; however, that amount is still $811 million less than the pre-sequestration level. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

Help a Kid You Love Create a Free Lifelong Learning Blog

 

Last fall, PCG Education’s Greg Nadeau gave a talk at TEDx Beacon Street to kick off a grass roots campaign to encourage families to help kids personalize learning by setting up a lifelong learning blog. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

FL DCF to Continue PCG Overpayment Recovery Work

 

Tallahassee, FL, January, 2014 – The Florida Department of Children and Families (FL DCF) has extended PCG’s overpayment recovery work with a new three-year contract. Since January, 2000, PCG has been the primary provider of services to recover overpayments from individuals and households that are indebted to the state of Florida as a result of improper receipt of public assistance benefits. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

IL DCFS Re-Awards SSI and Title II Benefits Contract to PCG Human Services

 

Chicago, IL, January, 2014 – The State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) recently re-awarded a contract to PCG Human Services’ SSAMS™ team to continue providing foster children and youth in the care and custody of DCFS with application services for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Title II (Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)) benefits. PCG’s work to date has resulted in over 4,000 allowances/continuances of SSA benefits for Illinois foster children. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

CA DHCS Awards Operations and Maintenance Planning Project to PCG TC

 

Sacramento, CA, January, 2014 – The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently awarded PCG Technology Consulting (PCG TC) a contract for Operations and Maintenance Planning services. [More]

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Categories:Technology Consulting