Inauguration Day – Get up to speed on Medicaid Block Grants

With Inauguration Day upon us, the discussion on the future of healthcare in the US and specifically the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will continue to be a major headline as the new administration focuses its efforts to ‘repeal and replace’ the ACA. While much of the attention has been on the plans of the Republican administration and Republican-led Congress to ‘repeal and replace’ the ACA, the discussion on the future of healthcare in the US has included the possibility for a major shift in the funding for the Medicaid program. [More]

Context Matters: Steps for Success in Evidence-based Policy Making

Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying that he never failed. He merely had found 10,000 ways that don’t work. For all of his genius, he was not alone in this regard. When researchers from the University of Virginia attempted to repeat 100 psychological experiments from published journals, they were only able to obtain the same results as the original one-third of the time. Likewise, the biopharmaceutical company Amgen repeated more than 50 landmark studies in cancer biology over the course of a decade, but were only able to replicate the results of six of them. [More]

SAMHSA Opioid Grant

SAMHSA, or the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is offering nearly $1 billion to states over a two-year period to earn much needed funds to help fight the opioid epidemic (https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/grants/pdf/ti-17-014.pdf). [More]

Learning from Edison’s Mistakes

By providing opportunities for authentic engagement, course designers can ensure that online learning is more effective than the failed educational technology tools of the past. Shortly after the turn of the century, a new technology promised to disrupt education with its ability to give students across the country access to low-cost, standardized curricular content in a highly engaging format. [More]

A Sure Bet in Nevada: Effective Online Professional Development

In order to better prepare students for colleges and careers, schools are increasingly focusing on math and science education. To do this, teachers must be equipped with the skills and content knowledge necessary to ensure student success in these fields. Professional development in math and science have thus become a top priority across the educational landscape, and that is why the State of Nevada has established the Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) to help train teachers in these fields. [More]

Found in Translation

For PCG blended learning specialist Michael Weinraub, creating effective online professional development for teachers isn’t simply a matter of putting existing resources on a digital platform. It’s about making something new. As an education instructor at Pace University in New York City in the early 2000s, Michael Weinraub had a front-row seat to the early days of online and blended instruction for teachers. [More]

Gearing up for SXSWedu 2017

Public Consulting Group (PCG) is very pleased to be returning to SXSWedu, the iconic education conference in Austin, Texas, in March. We are excited to once again bring together thought leaders and experts from across the country to highlight innovation, best practices, and collaboration across a breadth of fields. In particular, we look forward to the trio of sessions that will feature our colleagues and partners. The first, Engaging the Community, will highlight My Brother’s Keeper, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of our youth. [More]

CMS issues final 2018 Marketplace guidance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018 (NBPP) and its 2018 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces (Letter) on December 16, 2016. As is typical, the NBPP addresses a breadth of issues relative to health plan regulation as well as Marketplace operations. The Letter provides operational and technical guidance for issuers seeking to offer Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and Standalone Dental Plans (SADPs) on Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs) and State-Based Marketplaces on the Federal Platform (SBM-FPs). [More]

CMS finalizes rules on episode payment models

On January 3, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rules on new Medicare episode payment models (EPMs) to be implemented on July 1, 2017. The EPMs are designed to encourage participating hospitals to devise strategies to improve discharge planning, adherence to treatment and medication regimens, and coordination among all providers and suppliers, in order to upgrade quality of care and to reduce overall Medicare spending. [More]