HHS Report Updates ACA Impact on Medicaid/CHIP Enrollments


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released on February 23, 2015 a report showing that 27 jurisdictions (26 states and the District of Columbia) which implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by December 2014 saw on average a 27.01 percent increase in Medicaid/CHIP enrollments for December 2014, as compared to their average monthly enrollments in a July – September 2013 baseline period. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services


HHS Releases New Data on Exchange Enrollments


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released data on February 18, 2015 showing that 11.4 million persons selected or re-enrolled in qualified health plans offered through federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFEs) or state-based Exchanges (SBEs) during the November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015 open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]


U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Significant ACA Case of KING v. BURWELL


On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell. This case considers the issue of whether the language in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “an Exchange established by the State,” requires a finding that the subsidies established by the ACA may only be provided in states where the health insurance exchange is founded by the states themselves and not by the federal government. [More]


CMS Issues Final Rule for ACA Marketplace Standards in 2016


In the February 27, 2015 Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule establishing new consumer standards as well as requirements for issuers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces for 2016. (80 Fed. Reg. 10750). Pursuant to current requirements, health insurance issuers seeking a rate hike of 10% or more in the individual or small group market must publicly disclose and justify the increases. [More]


GAO Addresses Federal Response to Working with Tribes


On February 25, 2015, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) released a report outlining several tribes’ efforts to develop an independent child welfare system. When Fostering Successful Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections) was passed, the legislation included significant changes to how Native American Tribes could address child abuse/neglect and foster care within the Tribe. Fostering Connections authorized tribes to actually implement and operate a comprehensive system of care for the continuum of child welfare services. Part of the legislation provided an appropriation of $3 million per year for up to ten grants to tribes interested in pursuing their own program. Since the grants became available in October 2009, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has awarded development grants to 27 tribes. Each of the tribes are at different stages of development within the 24-month grant period. [More]


New Report Finds Disparities in Student Suspensions


The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California at Los Angeles Civil Rights Project released its February 2015 report examining the national trends in student suspensions. The report documents large racial/ethnic disparities in suspension rates and opines that the suspensions will likely “have an adverse and disparate impact on the academic achievement and life outcomes of millions of historically disadvantaged children.” [More]

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CA EDD Awards TC Significant Contract Amendment


The State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) has been a client of PCG Technology Consulting (TC) for over 10 years. In an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the State’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, the EDD initiated an enterprise approach to modernizing UI processes and technologies. These automation projects enhanced service delivery systems, improved access to services, increased the integrity of the UI program, and built a more flexible and responsive infrastructure. [More]

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Categories:Technology Consulting


Congressional Panel Discusses Updating FERPA


A February 18, 2015 Special Ed Connection article reports that a U.S. Congressional committee panel held an informational hearing on February 12 to discuss possible updates to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). [More]

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DHHS Secretary Announces $28 Million Grant Program to Advance Health Information Exchange


On Tuesday, February 3, 2015, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced at a meeting of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) a two-year grant program to advance the adoption and use of interoperable health IT tools and services to support health information exchange. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services


Who’s to Blame for Child Abuse and Neglect Resulting in Child Death?


The media attention that a child death obtains is different for every situation. When it is accidental, the local media may report on it, but it is often not highlighted for days. The death of child who is known to a state child welfare agency typically brings the state agency under tremendous scrutiny for failing the child in some way – agency leadership gets fired, workers get fired or suspended, and in some cases, workers are prosecuted for contributing to the death of a child or for malicious neglect. Recently, a state agency administrator of child protection was quoted as saying, “Parents are to blame for the injuries or death of their children.” [More]