$1 Million Appropriation Too Much for Aging Out Youth

 

Eight months after the Adoption Incentive program and Family Connection grants authorization expired, Congress still has not acted on reauthorization due to the $1 million cost associated with new provisions. In H.R 4058, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities in Foster Care Act, there is a requirement for child welfare agencies to provide a Social Security card, birth certificate, health information, and, in some cases, a bank account for youth leaving foster care with no family. [More]

 

New Study Measures Importance of Health Coverage

 

The Annals of Internal Medicine, a distinguished publication of the American College of Physicians, issued a study on May 5, 2014 showing that Massachusetts health care reform was associated with a statistically significant reduction in all-cause mortality (- 2.9 percent, p = 0.003, equivalent to a decrease of 8.2 deaths/100,000 adults) and an even more robust reduction in mortality from causes amenable to health care interventions such as infections, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease (- 4.5 percent, p < 0.001). [More]

 

CMS Report Shows Continuing Growth in Medicaid/CHIP Enrollments

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released on May 1, 2014 a report showing that 25 states which implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by March 2014 saw on average a 12.9 percent increase in Medicaid/CHIP enrollment for March 2014, as compared to those states’ average monthly enrollments in a July – September 2013 baseline period (Michigan, which implemented Medicaid expansion in April 2014, and New Hampshire, expected to implement Medicaid expansion in July 2014, are not included in this calculation). [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Releases Report on Exchange Enrollments

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), released on May 1, 2014 a health insurance Exchange enrollment report for the October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014 open enrollment period and a subsequent special enrollment period through April 19, 2014. It shows that 8,019,763 Exchange eligible individuals selected a qualified health plan (QHP) through Exchanges and that another 6,724,660 individuals have been determined/assessed eligible for Medicaid/CHIP through Exchanges. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

NAEP Shows No Improvement in Twelfth Graders’ Reading and Math Proficiency

 

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), revealing that there has been no improvement in 12th grade students’ reading and math proficiency since 2009. According to the NAEP, also called the nation’s report card, only about 26 percent of high school seniors reached or exceeded the proficiency level in math; only 37 percent reached or exceeded the proficiency level in reading. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

ED and DOJ Provide Guidance on Enrolling Undocumented Students

 

In a May 8, 2014 press statement, U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced updated guidance to assist schools to provide equal access to education for all students regardless of immigration status in accordance with federal law. Initial guidance was issued in 2011 to help schools understand their responsibilities with regard to student enrollment. The updated guidance emphasizes the need for “flexibility” in accepting documents to prove a child’s age and residency. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

Bipartisan Support for Preventing Sex Trafficking and Improving Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care Act

 

Legislation that Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means introduced on February 14, 2014 provides significant provisions for youth in and out of the foster care system who might fall prey to sex traffickers. On April 29, 2014, the committee did a bill markup with significant bipartisan support and leadership. The legislation has a companion bill in the Senate, introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in September 2013. [More]

 

The Affordable Care Act and Foster Youth

 

The need for foster youth to have continued Medicaid after leaving the foster care system is tremendous. The Congressional Research Service reported that between 35 and 60 percent of the youth have at least one chronic or acute health condition that requires treatment, 50 to 75 percent have behavioral or social competency issues that require monitoring, and as many as 57 percent of foster care youth have a mental disorder. On average, about 26,000 foster adults ages 18 to 22 leave the foster care system every year with few tools and supports to help them maneuver their lives. [More]

 

CMS Finalizes FQHC Prospective Payment Rule

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule on April 29, 2014 on a new Medicare Part B prospective payment system (PPS) for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). These are 1,240 public and private non-profit organizations that deliver primary and preventive care services at 3,830 sites serving 21 million persons in medically underserved urban, rural, and tribal communities throughout the United States. The rule implements section 10501 of the Affordable Care Act, which authorizes nation-wide encounter-based rates derived from aggregated FQHC cost report data. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

Virgina Governor Signs Mental Health Reform Legislation into Law

 

On April 28, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed SB260 providing for mental health reform. The General Assembly apparently reacted collectively to the unfortunate stabbing of Senator R. Creigh Deeds by a son, afflicted with mental illness, who subsequently committed suicide. The son was supposed to receive institutional care, but no bed was deemed to be available under state requirements. The same General Assembly remains deadlocked over the issue of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services