CMS Issues Guidance on QRTPs but Maybe Not Clarity

On Friday, September 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided guidance on whether or not the new classification of Quality Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs) will fall under the Medicaid classification as an Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMDs). There has been great concern that the new QRTP standards would cause these same child

Health Care Coverage Declines including for Children

The census report on health insurance coverage showed that the percentage of people with health insurance decreased by 0.4 percent last year. That represents the first decrease in coverage since the Affordable Care Act and the first increase since the 2008-2009 period. The health insurance report is based on both the Current Population Survey and

Administration Next Attack—Proposal to Cut SNAP

On July 24, the Administration released the proposed rule to eliminate SNAP benefits for millions of people including children by making it harder for low-income families to put food on the table. The proposal, Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, seeks changes to state eligibility options for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

HHS Study on Therapeutic Foster Care Released

  The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in HHS has released new findings on Therapeutic Foster Care that analyzes the benefits and challenges of TFC. Therapeutic Foster Care is intended to help children in care who have behavioral or emotional disorders. It is provided in a family-based setting by an

GAO Says HHS-ACA Guidance Is Rule for Congressional Review

  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued an opinion on July 15, 2019 telling Congress that recent changes the Administration made to the ACA waiver authority were significant enough to allow for congressional review because it is a new federal “rule.” As a result, it is subject to congressional oversight and requires certain reporting to

New Study Finds Medicaid Block Grant/Per-Capita-Cap Consequences

  A new report by Avalere analyzed the impact of a Medicaid block or per capita cap’s effect on health care funding. The results are very negative especially for children. The study shows that between 2020 and 2029 federal funding lost under a Medicaid block grant would result in a $163 to $143 billion cut

New Serious Threat to ACA

On Tuesday, July 9, 2019 the 5th Circuit’s U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments to strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Twenty states, led by Republican governors and attorneys general, have been seeking the law’s elimination because Congress, with the tax cut package of last year, eliminated the mandatory tax on people

Using Telemedicine for Mental Health

On Wednesday, June 10, 2019 the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDPA) and the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center conducted a webinar “Tele-Mental Health: The Clinician’s Perspective” to discuss the need for web-based psychotherapy sessions. The webinar also addressed issues that arise with trying to deliver virtual therapy. Christopher Walsh, Director of Operations

Congress Oks $4.6 Billion in Border Relief, Not Without Divisions

Congress gave final approval to a border funding bill totaling approximately $4.6 billion negotiated between Senate Republicans and Democrats. The final bill approved in the House by a vote of 305 to 102 included a mix of Democrats and Republicans. Many House Democrats were unhappy about the fact that, earlier in the week, a Democrats-only

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