March 6, 2012
NFPRHA’s Title X FY 2013 Appropriations Request Released
As reported last month, NFPRHA was very disappointed in President Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposal of $296.8 million for Title X, equal to the FY 2012 appropriated level and only a marginal increase over the additional funding Title X lost due to the transfer of funds within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Last week, NFPRHA sent its FY 2013 funding request letter to congressional appropriators calling for an allocation of $327.4 million for Title X. This funding level would be a step toward restoring the program’s capacity to meet the increasing need for services after nearly $24 million in politically motivated targeted cuts in just two fiscal years. NFPRHA’s letter also included requests for increases to other critical family planning, reproductive, and sexual health programs, such as the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI), the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) and Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH).
In addition to funding requests, NFPRHA once again stressed the importance of refraining from shifting Medicaid costs onto states in any efforts to reform the program, as well as called upon appropriators to repeal the Hyde Amendment and similar restrictions on abortion care.
Full text of the NFPRHA FY 2013 appropriations request is available on NFPRHA’s website: http://www.nationalfamilyplanning.org/document.doc?id=446.
NFPRHA also joined 34 Family Planning Coalition partners in asking for specific funding increases for the same programs highlighted above in the coalition’s appropriations request letter sent on March 2. The text of the Family Planning Coalition letter, along with the endorsing organizations, is available on the NFPRHA website: http://www.nationalfamilyplanning.org/document.doc?id=447.
For more information or questions pertaining to appropriations, please contact Jesseca Boyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-293-3314.
Title X Guideline Revision Update
NFPRHA President & CEO Clare Coleman represented NFPRHA at a mid-February meeting of the Office of Population Affairs (OPA)’s Expert Work Group on the Title X guidelines revision. A draft of the new guidelines was made available to the Expert Work Group at this two-day meeting. Participants had to sign confidentiality agreements in order to read the draft.
HHS leadership is expected to advise OPA on the process from this point on; there was no information about when a draft might be released for stakeholder review. Federal staff reiterated its aim to seek stakeholder review for a draft, as well as its intention to release the newly revised guidelines by the end of 2012/beginning of 2013.
NFPRHA’s Title X Advisory Council was briefed before and after the OPA Expert Work Group meeting. Given the intensity of the concern and interest about Title X’s future, the process has been frustrating for NFPRHA and its members; however, Clare thinks the draft is solid – reflecting both evidence-based and best practices in family planning care.
CMS Releases New Medicaid and ACA Waiver Regulations
The HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued two new final rules – one for Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers, and one for the ACA state innovation waivers. Both rules are designed to increase transparency and public input in the waiver-making process.
The ACA requires HHS to issue regulations to ensure the public has “adequate opportunities to provide meaningful input into the development of State demonstration projects, as well as in the Federal review and approval of State demonstration applications and renewals.” The ACA’s requirement builds upon previous guidance issued by CMS as far back as 1994 that provided general principles and guidelines governing Medicaid demonstration projects and the need for a public notice process that ensures stakeholder input:
The Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver rule, which would include family planning expansion waivers, requires that states:
- provide at least a 30-day public notice and comment period for any demonstration waiver application or renewal prior to submitting the plan to CMS for approval;
- publish their processes for public notice and input, planned hearings, the waiver application, and a link to the relevant parts of CMS’ website;
- publish an abbreviated notice at least 30 days prior to a waiver’s submission to CMS that includes, among other things, the location and times for the required two or more public hearings;
- hold at least two public hearings at least 20 days prior to a waiver’s submission.
In addition to the transparency requirements, the rule details application requirements “consistent with current practice both for new demonstrations and for the extension of an existing demonstration.” States must also hold a public forum within 6 months of a waiver’s implementation date, and annually thereafter, to solicit comments on the progress of the waiver. The ACA state innovation waiver rule, which applies to waivers related to certain ACA requirements related to commercial insurance for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, includes public notice and input requirements conceptually similar to those contained in the Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver rule.
Both rules were published in the February 27 Federal Register, and go into effect on April 27, 2012. You can read the full rules by visiting the Affordable Care Act Regulations Center of www.nationalfamilyplanning.org.
Administration Releases Rule for Stage 2 “Meaningful Use” of Electronic Health Records
On Thursday, February 23rd, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the rule for Stage 2 of meaningful use for Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Stage 2 of meaningful use is focused on capturing health care information in a more structured way, as well as increasing the exchange of electronic information between providers during transitions of care. Providers who began Stage 1 compliance in 2011 now have until 2014 to move to Stage 2. Many of the requirements of Stage 1 (i.e., electronically placing prescription orders) continue through Stage 2, but now providers must increase their usage of these processes to meet Stage 2 meaningful use standards. ONC says that Stage 2 meaningful use of EHRs will help providers better measure their quality of care while meeting reporting requirements of the ACA. For more details on the rule, click here. If you have questions about Stage 2 meaningful use, please contact Nici Paterson at email@example.com or 202-293-3114.
Contraceptive Coverage Fight Continues on the Hill
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee held another hearing on the administration’s rule that provides women access to insurance coverage of contraception even if they work at religiously affiliated entities. Committee members opposing the rule said that religiously affiliated organizations would still have to pay for contraceptive coverage, despite numerous reassurances from the administration that this is not the case. Members who support the rule highlighted that it is based on established science and that contraception helps promote healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, as well as having other health benefits.
There were two additional hearings in the House last week featuring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Although the secretary was called to testify about the 2013 HHS budget request, she did take questions about the contraceptive coverage rule. Secretary Sebelius defended the rule and told members of both committees that family planning is an essential part of women’s health care.
Contraceptive coverage was also an issue in the Senate last week, as Senators debated and then voted on the Blunt Amendment on March 1. The amendment to the (non-related) surface transportation bill, which was introduced by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), would have allowed any employer or insurance plan to refuse to cover or pay for any service if the entity had a moral or religious objection to that service. The amendment was tabled by a vote of 51-48. Three Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Ben Nelson (D-NE), voted with the Republicans, while one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), voted with the Democrats to help defeat the amendment.
Create a Login to Participate in Upcoming Board Member Election
If you are a voting member of NFPRHA, you are entitled to participate in the upcoming NFPRHA Board member election. In order to vote in the election that begins this Friday, March 9, you must create an account on the new website: www.nationalfamilyplanning.org. Creating an account will only take you a minute:
- Click the “create an account” link at the top of any page on the website.
- Once your account is created, it may take up to 48 hours for your account to become active.
- Every member must create a new account, even those who had a login set up on the previous website.
In addition to participation in the Board member elections, your website account will provide you access to protected content for NFPRHA members throughout the website.
If you have any questions about creating a login on the website or about membership benefits, please contact Lily Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Illysa Schrager at email@example.com, or 202-293-3114.
Save $130 per night – book your conference hotel room by March 30
Reserve your room at the Westin DC City Center
before March 30 to secure NFPRHA’s special rate of $224 per night, a savings of more than $130 per night over rates offered to the general public and equal to the prevailing government rate. Visit the hotel website
or call 1-800-Westin1 and use the code ‘NFPRHA’ to reserve your room. The hotel will be hosting other meetings during our conference so reserve your room now to guarantee your accommodations.
Designed especially to provide Title X-funded health centers with the information they need to navigate a successful path through health care reform, this is one conference you can’t afford to miss. View the full agenda and register at www.nationalfamilyplanning.org/conference
Register Today for NFPRHA’s Peer-to-Peer Service Delivery Call
NFPRHA’s Peer-to-Peer Service Delivery call on Thursday, March 8, will examine how family planning services and STD screening and treatment services are being integrated within a delivery site and at the local/county administration level. The call will feature NFPRHA members from diverse states sharing their first-hand experiences and allow for discussion among participants with examples of successes and challenges. The call will take place at 3:00 p.m. ET, and registrations must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 7. To register, please click here.
Visit NFPRHA at the National STD Prevention Conference
NFPRHA will be exhibiting at the National STD Prevention Conference March 12 – 15 in Minneapolis, MN. Clare Coleman, NFPRHA President & CEO, will be featured on two panels and Jesseca Boyer, Policy Director, and Lily Davidson, Director of Membership & Special Projects, will be attending conference sessions and staffing NFPRHA’s booth in the Exhibit Hall.
Please stop by Booth 412 to say hello and to learn more about NFPRHA’s work to increase low-income access to family planning and about opportunities to get involved by becoming a member.
Conference attendees, who are not already NFPRHA members, will also be welcome to enter our drawing to win a free NFPRHA professional membership, so please encourage your non-member colleagues to stop by the NFPRHA booth. NFPRHA’s new “I ♥ family planning” t-shirts will also be on sale at the booth for a discounted price.
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