Children’s Bureau and Office of Family Assistance release data sharing guidance


On September 21, 2015, the Children’s Bureau and the Office of Family Assistance, two offices of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), released an Information Memorandum (IM) that addressed the necessity of sharing data between the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and child welfare agencies. [More]


HHS finalizes rules on incentive payments for EHRs


On October 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), issued final rules for “stage 3” criteria for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments. Eligible healthcare professionals, general hospitals, and critical access hospitals must meet these criteria in 2018 in order to qualify for incentive payments for the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) systems. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services


GAO issues report on value-based purchasing


The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an interim report to Congress on October 1, 2015 regarding the Medicare hospital value-based purchasing (HVBP) program. The report shows continuing year-to-year improvements in quality of care for the 3,000 Medicare inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) hospitals participating in the HVBP program, but HVBP payment adjustments have not yet accelerated the rate of improvement. [More]


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]