DHHS Awards $55.5 Million to Bolster Health Care Workforce

 

To help prevent added strain on the health care workforce from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on December 5, 2013 awarded $55.5 million in grants to help augment health care workers. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Congressional Representative Announce a Bipartisan Budget Proposal

 

On December 10, 2013, two Congressional leaders – one Democrat and one Republican – announced a bipartisan budget proposal that would end most of the automatic spending cuts imposed by the sequestration that began on March 1. According to a December 10 U.S. Department of Education (ED) blog post, some experts believe that the proposal would restore about 87 percent of total spending on discretionary programs, including ED. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

HHS Releases New Report on Exchange Enrollments

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report on December 11, 2013 showing that State-based Exchanges continue to lead Federally-facilitated Exchanges by a wide margin in health plan enrollments. Enrollments for the first two months of Exchange operations are nearly four times higher than in the first month. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

CMS Issues Final Rules on Medicare Payments for Outpatient Services

 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule in the December 10, 2013 Federal Register on Medicare payments for outpatient hospital and ambulatory surgical center services. The rule is another incremental step in a multi-year progression toward an all-inclusive, quality-driven bundled payment methodology analogous to Medicare’s inpatient hospital prospective payment system. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

113th Congress Actions on Child Welfare

 

As the 113th Congress draws to a close, the public response to the ineffectiveness of this session has been much publicized. During the session, Congress passed the fewest ever number of bills into law. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

MD DHMH Awards Fiscal Management Services Contract to PPL for Self-Directed Care Programs

 

Boston, MA, December 2013 – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has awarded a two-year contract to PCG Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL) to provide fiscal management services for Medicaid participants enrolled in self-directed home care service programs. PPL will be the sole contractor providing services as the state of Maryland consolidates the delivery of personal assistance in the home. [More]

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Categories:Public Partnerships

 

CCIIO Offers New Option for States on ACA Market Reforms

 

Acknowledging demands for “transitional relief” as perhaps 4 million individuals are facing health insurance cancellation notices for 2014 and websites for federally-facilitated health insurance Exchanges are not meeting consumers’ expectations, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has released a letter to state health insurance commissioners stating that health insurance issuers in the individual and small group markets may choose to extend coverage that would otherwise be cancelled due to market reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act (sections 2701-2709 on establishing premiums, comprehensive benefits coverage, guaranteed availability of coverage, coverage of adults with pre-existing conditions, etc.). [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Proposes Quality Rating System for Exchange Health Plans

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a notice in the Federal Register on November 19, 2013 proposing a quality rating system (QRS) for qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through health insurance Exchanges. The QRS is based on section 1311(c)(3) and (4) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires HHS to create a system enabling consumers to compare QHPs based on relative quality, price, and enrollee satisfaction. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

WA OFM Selects PCG to Help Streamline Its Eligibility Business Processes

 

Boston, MA, November, 2013 – The state of Washington Office of Financial Management (OFM) selected Public Consulting Group (PCG) to help streamline its eligibility business processes. In response to a legislative mandate, the OFM is working to simplify procedures, improve customer service, and reduce state expenditures for its public assistance and medical eligibility programs. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Congressional Representatives Propose a Bipartisan Bill to Support Early Learning

 

On November 13, 2013, Congressional Republicans and Democrats joined forces to introduce a bill to support early learning. The Strong Start for America’s Children Act would, among other things, create a new program to provide enhanced access to preschool and expand partnerships between Early Head Start and child care programs. [More]

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Categories:Education