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Showing posts from October 11, 2020

Trump signs executive orders on preexisting condition protections, surprise billing

Trump signs executive orders on preexisting condition protections, surprise billing  (Fierce Healthcare, 9/24/20) On September 24, the president signed an Executive Order (EO),  An America-First Healthcare Plan . Executive Orders do not have the force of law and cannot change existing laws or formal regulations. The EO states, “It has been and will continue to be the policy of the United States to give Americans seeking healthcare more choice, lower costs, and better care and to ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions can obtain the insurance of their choice at affordable rates.” Neither the EO nor any other documentation provides proposals about how to achieve these goals, particularly if the Affordable Care Act is ruled unconstitutional, as the administration is urging the Supreme Court. (The Court will hear arguments about the case on November 10.) The EO also mentions surprise medical billing and care for veterans. For an analysis of the EO, see  Administration Health Ca

Quality improvement webinar opportunity

The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Bureau of Quality Improvement Services believe that a true person-centered system measures a service or program by its ability to achieve quality, person-centered outcomes for the individuals being supported. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities should be provided with the opportunity to take risks and learn from a full range of life experiences, both the successes and the disappointments. We are committed to ensuring that they are able to do so. With that in mind, the Bureau of Quality Improvement Services is offering a web-based learning opportunity about  Finding the Balance: A Shift to Person-Centered Practices  at no cost to participants. Providers, direct support professionals, families and self-advocates are welcome to attend. Webinar participants will better understand: Balancing what’s  important to  a person and their choices, while considering health and safety concerns ( important for)  to sup

Extension of Public Health Emergency

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, has   extended the determination  that a public health emergency exists through January 21, 2021 (90 days from the previous extension on October 23). Accordingly, there is an extension through that date of the Medicaid “maintenance of effort” (MOE) pre-requisite for an enhanced federal Medicaid match for states. The MOE prohibits disenrollment of, or a reduction in services for any Medicaid beneficiary enrolled on or after March 18, 2020. See   Secretary Azar Extends Public Health Emergency Medicaid Protections for Beneficiaries and States  (Georgetown Center for Children and Families blog post, 10/5/20).   Transition after Public Health Emergency Ends Policy analysts are starting to think about how states will transition back to “normal” when special rules for the federal Public Health Emergency expire. See: Medicaid Maintenance of Eligibility (MOE) Requirements: Issues to Watch When They End   (Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/22/20)

Pharmacists can now vaccinate a greater age range

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)   issued a third amendment    to the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to increase access to lifesaving childhood vaccines and decrease the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks as children across the United States return to daycare, preschool and school. The amendment authorizes State-licensed pharmacists (and pharmacy interns acting under their supervision to administer vaccines, if the pharmacy intern is licensed or registered by his or her State board of pharmacy) to order and administer vaccines to individuals ages three through 18 years, subject to several requirements. To learn more, visit  HHS Access Expansion .

Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021, the Social Security Administration announced today.

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021, the Social Security Administration announced today. The 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2020. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $142,800 from $137,700. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in

IRS Extends Deadline for Non-Filers to Register for Stimulus Checks

The  IRS announced that it is extending the deadline  for low-income people and others who are not required to file a tax return to submit their information in order to receive an Economic Impact Payment. The new deadline to register is November 21, 2020. Those who are eligible and have not yet received a stimulus payment can  use the Non-Filers tool  on to enter their information. This deadline differs from the one for Social Security and SSI beneficiaries to claim the $500 per child dependent payments; that deadline passed on September 30. However, there are still millions of eligible individuals who have not yet received their $1,200 payments. The IRS recently mailed out  letters to almost 9 million people  who may be eligible for, but have not received, an Economic Impact Payment. Those eligible individuals who do not submit their information before the November 21st deadline will have to wait until next year to receive their payment by filing a 2020 tax return.

Test a New Smartphone Application, “Caremap”

Dear Caregivers, We wish to invite you to participate in the testing of a new smartphone application, “Caremap”,  specifically designed to support caregivers of medically complex children. In appreciation of your time and feedback,  you will receive a $100 e-gift card . At Boston Children’s Hospital and Duke Health, we find that one of the greatest challenges for our families is keeping everyone up to date on the “what happened” and “what’s next” for their child’s care. To support parents and guardians of medically complex children, our teams developed an Apple application called  Caremap.  With this app, you can: ü    Manage your child’s medication, health problems, allergies, hospitalizations, etc. ü    Track ongoing symptoms such as sleep, bowel movements, or exercise ü    Document and monitor progress towards your child’s health goals ü    Create summaries automatically of your child’s care to share with providers I n order to test the application, we want to invite you to particip

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) P.L. 113-128, 2014 mandates services for youth and young adults (ages 14-24) with disabilities, including those with psychiatric disabilities or serious mental health conditions, to help them prepare for, obtain and pursue careers in integrated settings that offer competitive salaries and benefits. This tip sheet provides information that parents can use to advocate for and educate themselves about WIOA services that are available to youth and young adults living with serious mental health conditions. WIOA by Family Voices Indiana on Scribd