Pennsylvania Governor Outlines ACA Contingency Plan

 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf submitted a letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell on May 1, 2015 declaring the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s intent to implement a State-based individual and SHOP Marketplace using the federal platform for plan year 2016. [More]

 

Florida Sues HHS Over Planned End to Low Income Pool Hospital Funding Program

 

On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott instituted a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in an attempt to prevent a threatened end to an optional federal program, providing Florida and eight other states with hospital funds for low income people (LIP). (Rick Scott v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Case 3:15-cv- 00193-RS-CJK Document 1, filed 4/28/15). [More]

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HHS Proposes New Inpatient Hospital Payment Rules

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued proposed rules on April 17, 2015 to update its Medicare reimbursement methods under inpatient prospective payment systems for 3,400 acute care hospitals and 435 long term care hospitals. [More]

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U.S. Senate Finance Committee Writes to Governors on Foster Care Placements

 

On April 27, Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) authored a letter to all state governors seeking detailed information about the use of private for profit and not-for-profit providers for the state’s foster care populations. The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction of Title IV of the Social Security Act which includes federal foster care and adoption assistance. [More]

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HHS Proposes New Rules on Medicare Nursing Facility Quality and Reimbursement

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed rules in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 to update its Medicare skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS) and quality reporting program (SNF QRP). The proposed rules would offer, on average, a 1.4 percent increase in SNF PPS rates for Federal fiscal year 2016 (October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016), a $500 million aggregate increase in Medicare payments as compared to FFY 2015. [More]

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HHS Releases Funding Opportunity Announcement for Navigator Grants

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on April 15, 2015 related to grants to support health insurance eligibility and enrollment “navigators” in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces/Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]

 

Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking of 2015 Passes the Senate

 

On April 22, the Senate passed S. Bill 178 that further supports last year’s legislation, P.L. 113-183 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act after being introduced in the Senate in January. Since the beginning of the 114th Congress began in January, six bills and numerous amendments have been introduced to further penalties, requirements, and guidance on addressing this growing national issue. [More]

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ACF Requests Comments on Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System

 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced in February through the Federal Register that comments would be accepted on revisions to Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data information collected. AFCARS is the only data set that can provide comprehensive national information on a case-level basis from state child welfare agencies and tribal Title IV-E agencies. [More]

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Social Services Block Grant Vulnerable to Elimination

 

As Congress reconvenes, two budget resolutions being negotiated are intended to make drastic cuts to mandatory and entitlement program. In both the 112th and 113th Congress, legislation was introduced that would eliminate Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) and the concern from advocates across the county is that SSBG will once again be at risk. Signatures of more than 65 organizations have been sent to Congress in support of keeping SSBG as is. Currently, SSBG provides $1.7 billion of mandatory funding to states and territories in support of a wide array of social services. [More]

 

US Senate Completes Congressional Approval of Medicare Physicans’ Fee Legislation

 

On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, the U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to a bill which changes the manner in which physicians are paid under Medicare. The bill eliminates the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which year after year threatened to slash physician fees by significant amounts, unless Congress prevented the impact by continuous short term fixes. [More]

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