Covered California Reports QHP Enrollment Surge in March

 

Covered California, the nation’s largest health insurance Exchange, released enrollment data on April 3, 2014 showing that enrollments in qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through the Exchange surged to 1,221,727 on March 31, 2014, the last day of the six month open enrollment period (versus 868,936 that had been reported through February 28); on the last day, a record number of 117,421 application accounts were set up on the Exchange. [More]

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CMS Report Shows February Growth in Medicaid/CHIP Enrollment

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released on April 4, 2014 a report showing that 25 states which implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by February 2014 saw on average an 8.3 percent increase in Medicaid/CHIP enrollment for February 2014, as compared to those states’ average monthly enrollments in a July – September 2013 baseline period. The largest percentage increases were in Oregon (34.8 percent), West Virginia (33.5 percent), Vermont (32.3 percent), Nevada (21.7 percent), and Maryland (20.8 percent). The ACA created as of January 1, 2014 a new Medicaid eligibility category of non-disabled, childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal poverty level, but exact data are not yet available from CMS on how many January – February 2014 enrollees are in that new ACA category. [More]

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ED Releases Framework for Family-School Partnerships

 

On April 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released The Dual Capacity Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (Framework). The Framework explores challenges and opportunities for local education agencies (LEA) to partner with students’ parents/families to develop shared responsibility for student outcomes. [More]

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President Obama Signs H.R. 4302

 

On April 2, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4302, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,” which averts a 24 percent reduction in Medicare Part B physician payment rates until at least March 31, 2015. As in many prior years, Congress set aside Medicare payment reform proposals that would have repealed the “sustainable growth rate” (SGR) formula (in Medicare law since 1997) but postponed for another year the payment reductions that the SGR formula would have imposed. Instead, physician payment rates will increase 0.5 percent as a result of the new legislation. H.R. 4302 also postpones from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015 the date upon which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can require health care providers and health plans to transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM coding on claims, a five-fold increase in diagnostic coding specificity. [More]

 

New Hampshire Agrees to Medicaid Expansion Plan under ACA

 

On March 26, 2014, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed Senate Bill 413 into law, joining 25 other states in expanding Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The New Hampshire law will provide health insurance to 50,000 low-income adults in a 2 ½-year pilot program paid for with federal Medicaid funding. [More]

 

PISA 2012 Assesses Students’ Problem-Solving Skills

 

On April 1, 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the results of its 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) focused on the creative problem-solving skills of 15-year-old students around the world. The PISA 2012 assessment was administered by computer to approximately 85,000 students in 44 countries and economies. U.S. students performed slightly above average with a score of 508. Students in the seven participating Asian countries or economies scored higher than all other participants, with Singapore students earning the highest score of 562. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

New York Withdraws Plan to Share Student Data with a Third-Party Vendor

 

An April 3, 2014 Education Week article reports that the New York State Education Department (SED) has withdrawn its plan to share student data with inBloom, a third-party vendor under contract with SED. SED planned to store student data, such as grades, attendance, and disciplinary actions, in the inBloom system and use the inBloom technology as a tool to personalize instruction and monitor students’ academic progress. A lawsuit filed by parents and other privacy advocates alleged that SED’s contract with inBloom violated State privacy laws; the judge found no such violations and dismissed the case in February. [More]

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White House Releases Report on RTT Progress

 

On March 25, 2014, the White House released its report on the progress of the President’s competitive Race to the Top (RTT) initiative, now in its fourth year. In 2010, 11 states and the District of Columbia were awarded RTT grants and 7 additional states were awarded grants in 2011. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

OCR Data Collection Reveals Education Inequities

 

On March 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released the results of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for the 2011-12 school year. According to a USDE press statement, the data was compiled from surveys of all 97,000 U.S. public schools. Secretary Arne Duncan said the data collection “shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and where the largest gaps remain.” Based on the data, OCR issued a series of four data snapshots that highlight significant gaps in school discipline, early childhood education, college and career readiness, and teacher equity. [More]

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HHS Finalizes Exchange Rules for 2015

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rules in the March 11, 2014 Federal Register as part of the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2015 related to the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2015 deals mainly with health insurance issuer contributions into risk pools and disbursements from risk pools to health insurance issuers to maintain stability in the health insurance marketplace as coverage expands as a result of the ACA. [More]

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