U.S. House gains standing in ACA lawsuit against Administration


On September 9, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that the U.S. House of Representatives has standing to pursue a lawsuit against the Obama Administration for the alleged use of unappropriated funds to implement a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]


Medicaid/CHIP Enrollments Approach 72 Million


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released an August 31, 2015 report examining the impact of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Reported data shows that 29 jurisdictions (28 States and the District of Columbia) which implemented Medicaid expansion under the ACA by June 2015 saw, on average, a 29.69 percent increase in Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollments for June 2015 compared to their average monthly enrollments in the July through September 2013 baseline period. [More]


HHS Updates Exchange Enrollment Data


On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report showing that 9,949,079 individuals, who had obtained private insurance coverage through health insurance exchanges/marketplaces in 2015, actually enrolled in the plans and were paying the premiums for coverage as of June 30, 2015. [More]


TANF reauthorization happening?


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has not had a full reauthorization since 2005 and chances of it happening this year are unlikely prior to the September 30 expiration. The TANF program has been supported through continuing resolutions by Congress since agreement on changes to requirements, programmatic guidance and fiscal issues have been a source of contention for Congressional members. [More]


Congress addresses child welfare Issues


This week has been a busy for the Senate Finance Committee as two important issues have been addressed. On August 4, Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) held a finance hearing on foster care group homes. The hearing examined alternatives that can reduce the reliance of a child welfare agency’s use of group care for foster children and an in-home program “Homeworks” that supports children remaining in their own homes. [More]


CMS Issues final Medicare facilities payment rules for FY2016


On July 31, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted final Medicare payment rules for hospitals and psychiatric, rehabilitation, and hospice care facilities for federal fiscal year 2016. The 2100 page final rule will be published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2015. [More]


Celebrations Held for 50th anniversary for Medicare and Medicaid


On Thursday, July 30, 2015, a number of celebrations were held in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) facilities and elsewhere to mark the 50th anniversary for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. [More]


HHS finalizes new rules on Medicare payments to nursing facilities


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rules in the Federal Register on August 4, 2015 to update its Medicare skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS) and quality reporting program (SNF QRP). The new rules are effective October 1, 2015. [More]


California ACA Exchange announces limited negotiated rate increase for 2016 plans


On July 28, 2015, several national and many local media outlets reported coverage of an announcement by California officials that the state’s health insurance exchange negotiated a 4 percent average rate increase for its 2016 Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans. [More]

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HHS outlines multi-pronged strategy to help individuals with substance use disorders


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter to state Medicaid directors on July 27, 2015 encouraging states to pursue demonstration waivers to improve services for individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs). These may include waivers of the longstanding “institution for mental diseases” (IMD) exclusion and other federal Medicaid rules. [More]

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