HHS Releases Report on Improvements in Hospital Care

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report on May 7, 2014 showing nationwide reductions in hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) and hospital readmission rates. The report indicates that HACs (adverse drug reactions, infections, injuries, and other incidents harming patients while they are in hospitals) fell 9 percent, from 145 per 1,000 discharges in 2010 to 133 per 1,000 discharges in 2012. HHS estimates that this reduction prevented 560,000 incidents, avoided 15,000 deaths, and saved $4.1 billion. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

CMS Proposes Updates to Medicare Payment Rules for Hospitals

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed rules in the May 15, 2014 Federal Register on Medicare payments under the prospective payment systems (PPS) for acute care hospitals and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs). The proposed rules will apply to discharges on or after October 1, 2014. CMS is also proposing to update rate-of-increase limits for certain hospitals excluded from the PPS that are paid based on reasonable costs. [More]

 

Uninsured Rate Drops to 13.4 Percent

 

A survey issued by Gallup-Healthways on May 5, 2014 shows that the percentage of U.S. adults age 18 or older without health coverage in April 2014 was 13.4 percent (+/- 1.0 percentage point at a 95 percent confidence level). Prior Gallup surveys using the same methodology showed 18.0 percent without health coverage in the 2013 third quarter and 17.1 percent without health coverage in the 2013 fourth quarter, when Exchange open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Credit Reports More Accessible to Child Welfare Agencies

 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on May 1, 2014 that efforts are being put in place to ensure that child welfare caseworkers can use the credit bureaus to identify errors that might exist on a credit report for children in foster care. This requirement for every youth to obtain a credit report was included in the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Public Law (P.L.) 112-34, which was effective in October 1, 2011. [More]

 

$1 Million Appropriation Too Much for Aging Out Youth

 

Eight months after the Adoption Incentive program and Family Connection grants authorization expired, Congress still has not acted on reauthorization due to the $1 million cost associated with new provisions. In H.R 4058, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities in Foster Care Act, there is a requirement for child welfare agencies to provide a Social Security card, birth certificate, health information, and, in some cases, a bank account for youth leaving foster care with no family. [More]

 

New Study Measures Importance of Health Coverage

 

The Annals of Internal Medicine, a distinguished publication of the American College of Physicians, issued a study on May 5, 2014 showing that Massachusetts health care reform was associated with a statistically significant reduction in all-cause mortality (- 2.9 percent, p = 0.003, equivalent to a decrease of 8.2 deaths/100,000 adults) and an even more robust reduction in mortality from causes amenable to health care interventions such as infections, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease (- 4.5 percent, p < 0.001). [More]

 

CMS Report Shows Continuing Growth in Medicaid/CHIP Enrollments

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released on May 1, 2014 a report showing that 25 states which implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by March 2014 saw on average a 12.9 percent increase in Medicaid/CHIP enrollment for March 2014, as compared to those states’ average monthly enrollments in a July – September 2013 baseline period (Michigan, which implemented Medicaid expansion in April 2014, and New Hampshire, expected to implement Medicaid expansion in July 2014, are not included in this calculation). [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Releases Report on Exchange Enrollments

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), released on May 1, 2014 a health insurance Exchange enrollment report for the October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014 open enrollment period and a subsequent special enrollment period through April 19, 2014. It shows that 8,019,763 Exchange eligible individuals selected a qualified health plan (QHP) through Exchanges and that another 6,724,660 individuals have been determined/assessed eligible for Medicaid/CHIP through Exchanges. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

NAEP Shows No Improvement in Twelfth Graders’ Reading and Math Proficiency

 

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), revealing that there has been no improvement in 12th grade students’ reading and math proficiency since 2009. According to the NAEP, also called the nation’s report card, only about 26 percent of high school seniors reached or exceeded the proficiency level in math; only 37 percent reached or exceeded the proficiency level in reading. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

ED and DOJ Provide Guidance on Enrolling Undocumented Students

 

In a May 8, 2014 press statement, U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced updated guidance to assist schools to provide equal access to education for all students regardless of immigration status in accordance with federal law. Initial guidance was issued in 2011 to help schools understand their responsibilities with regard to student enrollment. The updated guidance emphasizes the need for “flexibility” in accepting documents to prove a child’s age and residency. [More]

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Categories:Education