Monday, May 31, 2010

North Dakota Legislative Higher Education Committee Meeting -- June 10-11

NORTH DAKOTA LEGISLATIVE MANAGEMENT
Tentative Agenda
HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Thursday and Friday, June 10-11, 2010
Roughrider Room, State Capitol
Bismarck, North Dakota
Thursday, June 10, 2010
8:30 a.m. Call to order
Roll call
Consideration of the minutes of the March 31-April 1, 2010, meeting
HIGHER EDUCATION STUDY
8:35 a.m. Comments by the chairman regarding the committee meeting
8:40 a.m. Presentation by a representative of the State Auditor's office regarding the audit report
for the North Dakota University System for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009,
including the report on internal control, compliance, and other matters
9:10 a.m. Presentation by representatives of the University System regarding:
• Responses to major audit findings and the University System's plans to address the
issues presented in the audits
• An overview of the University System's annual financial report for the year ended
June 30, 2009
9:45 a.m. Presentation by a representative of the State Auditor's office regarding the performance
audit report on University System capital projects
11:00 a.m. Comments by a representative of the University of North Dakota regarding the
performance audit report for University System capital projects
11:20 a.m. Comments by a representative of North Dakota State University regarding the
performance audit report for University System capital projects
11:40 a.m. Presentation by representatives of the University System regarding State Board of
Higher Education policies regarding capital projects, including recent changes to the
policies
12:00 noon Luncheon recess
1:00 p.m. Presentation by representatives of the University System regarding the history of
development foundations created for higher education institutions, funding contributed
to institutions by institution development foundations, state liability for the actions of
institution development foundations, current building leases or other agreements
between institutions and institution development foundations, a listing of facilities
located on campuses that are owned by development foundations, and a list of campus
building projects since 2007 that have been financed or constructed by institution
development foundations
1:30 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the University System office regarding an update on
the status of institution capital projects over $250,000, including projects that did not
receive consideration by the Legislative Assembly or Budget Section
1:50 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the University System office regarding the history of
the office, historical staffing levels, and an overview of staff duties
2
2:20 p.m. Presentation by representatives of the University System regarding:
• Original and updated tuition revenue estimates at each campus for the 2009-10
academic year
• Original and revised enrollment projections at institutions for the 2009-10 academic
year
• A comparison of budgeted amounts to actual expenditures by major expenditure type
at each institution through April 2010
• Reasons for differences in funding allocated to major functional areas among
campuses
• Reasons for differences in functional uses of buildings among campuses
• The number of University System employees at each institution by major functional
area
• The viability ratio of each institution since 2005
• The amount of debt at each campus, annual debt service payments, and projected
payoff schedules
• A list of capital building leases at each campus
2:55 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the University System regarding the University
System's long-term finance plan and a history of the funding differences between
institutions and their peer benchmarks
3:10 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the University System regarding the State Board of
Higher Education position on limiting enrollment at institutions, including information on
any studies or other background material used in support of the position
3:25 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the University System of reports pursuant to
Section 5 of 2009 Senate Bill No. 2038 regarding:
• Information regarding the salaries, benefits, and total compensation of higher
education instructional personnel having master's degrees, including a comparison
to the salaries, benefits, and total compensation of teachers who have master's
degrees and who are employed by a school district headquartered in the same city
as each higher education institution
• Information by campus of the number of students that are enrolled in courses
delivered electronically to a site not on the campus, the types of courses delivered in
this manner, and demographic information regarding the students enrolled in such
courses
• Information regarding the number of students who have not yet graduated from high
school but who are enrolled in higher education courses offered for credit
3:50 p.m. Distribution of a summary of reports filed with the Legislative Council office pursuant to
North Dakota Century Code Section 15-70-05 regarding grant funds provided to tribally
controlled community colleges under Chapter 15-70 to offset the impact of the
enrollment of nonbeneficiary students
3:55 p.m. Committee discussion and staff directives
4:30 p.m. Recess
3
Friday, June 11, 2010
8:30 a.m. Reconvene
Presentation by representatives of the University System regarding the 2011-13
operating budget request of the University System
10:00 a.m. Presentation by representatives of the University System regarding:
• The format of the 2011-13 University System budget request for capital projects,
extraordinary repairs, and deferred maintenance
• Capital building projects and major facility repairs requested by campuses for
inclusion in the 2011-13 University System budget request
11:00 a.m. Committee discussion and staff directives
12:00 noon Adjourn
Committee Members
Representatives Bob Skarphol (Chairman), Lois Delmore, Mark A. Dosch, Kathy Hawken, Brenda
Heller, Dennis Johnson, Nancy Johnson, RaeAnn G. Kelsch, Joe Kroeber, Bob Martinson, Darrell D.
Nottestad, Kenton Onstad, Ken Svedjan, Clark Williams
Senators John M. Andrist, Tim Flakoll, Tony S. Grindberg, Ray Holmberg, Karen K. Krebsbach,
Elroy N. Lindaas, Dave Nething, David O'Connell, Larry J. Robinson, Tom Seymour
Staff Contacts: Brady A. Larson, Fiscal Analyst
Allen H. Knudson, Legislative Budget Analyst and Auditor

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Education Commission of the States

A new ECS StateNote provides updated information on the proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives to create an "education jobs fund," that many are calling the EduJobs program.





This program would provide $22.47 billion to states to create or save education positions in K-12 public schools.




http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/86/14/8614.pdf




ECS members can access the full data set used to make this estimate by contacting Michael Griffith at ECS (mgriffith@ecs.org)







This email was sent to: tseymour@state.nd.us

Saturday, May 29, 2010

United States Education in Review

ED REVIEW

May 28, 2010



...a bi-weekly update on U.S. Department of Education activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community and other stakeholders

______________________________________________________________________

TEACHER INCENTIVE FUND



On May 20, at Bladensburg Elementary School in suburban Maryland, Secretary Duncan announced the availability of $437 million in Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants for states, school districts, and non-profit groups partnering with states or districts. The grants, funded under both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations, support local initiatives that reward teachers, principals, and other school personnel who improve student achievement. Applications are due July 6.



TIF began in 2006 and currently supports 33 grant sites in 18 states and 109 school districts, including charter school districts. To date, the program impacts approximately 55,000 teachers and 2,500 principals. Bladensburg (see http://www.ed.gov/blog/2010/05/secretary-duncan-visits-bladensburg-elementary-to-promote-the-teacher-incentive-fund/) is implementing the district’s Financial Incentive Rewards for Supervisors and Teachers (FIRST) program, which is funded by a five-year, $17 million TIF grant awarded in 2007. The district developed FIRST as a voluntary program with full union support and input from educators who served on planning committees. FIRST rewards participants for school improvement, considering factors like student test score gains, positive classroom performance evaluations, and professional activities such as mentoring other teachers and becoming certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.



TIF will hold two separate competitions: the TIF Main competition and the TIF Evaluation competition. Both competitions will utilize the same core program and eligibility criteria. The Department is running a separate Evaluation competition to identify applicants willing to participate in a rigorous evaluation of the impact of performance-based compensation on student achievement in high-need schools. These applicants will be required to meet additional criteria and will be eligible for at least an extra $1 million over the grant period. The Department will select winners for the Evaluation competition first, and then allow applicants who did not win the Evaluation competition to compete under the Main competition.



FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/.



Want to learn more? The Department will be hosting two technical assistance planning workshops (June 3 in Washington, D.C., and June 7 in Minneapolis) and an Evaluation competition webinar (June 8) for potential TIF applicants. At the identical workshops, staff will review the application’s selection criteria, requirements, and priorities (for both competitions) and answer technical questions. The webinar will offer a more targeted overview of the Evaluation competition and an opportunity to ask questions about the evaluation requirements and benefits. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/applicant.html.

______________________________________________________________________

LONGITUDINAL DATA SYSTEMS



The Department’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has awarded grants to 20 states for the design and implementation of statewide longitudinal data systems. These grants, funded under the ARRA, are intended to support states with systems that promote the linking of data across time and databases, from early childhood into career, including matching teachers to students, while protecting student privacy and confidentiality consistent with applicable privacy protection laws. The value of the three-year grants range from $5.1 million to $19.7 million. Grantees were selected based on the merit of applicants’ proposals and the funding available. An independent peer review panel (see http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/arra_scoring.asp) evaluated the proposals on critical aspects such as need for the project, project goals and outcomes, activities and timeline, management and governance, and personnel and financial resources. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/.

______________________________________________________________________

SUSTAINING PROGRESS



Over the last two weeks, Secretary Duncan has visited three cities and seven schools to meet students, teachers, administrators, and community leaders and have engaging conversations about the importance of saving teacher jobs and sustaining education reform. On May 18, the Secretary spent the day in Brooklyn, New York, visiting classrooms at Kings Collegiate Charter School, P.S. 65, and P.S. 214. Next, on May 19, the Secretary was in Boston, delivering the commencement address at Lesley University (see below) and visiting classrooms at Beachmont Veterans Memorial School and Josiah Quincy Elementary School (see http://www.ed.gov/blog/2010/05/visits-to-ny-and-boston-underscore-why-we-cannot-afford-to-lay-off-teachers/). Then, yesterday, the Secretary was in Cincinnati, delivering the commencement address at Clark Montessori Junior and Senior High School (see below) and visiting with teachers at Carson School.



Also, this week, the Secretary joined Congressional and union leaders in support of an education jobs bill to prevent dramatic and damaging cuts to resources and services that help students succeed in school. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/blog/2010/05/coming-together-to-call-for-an-education-jobs-bill/.



Moreover, the Secretary penned an op-ed, which appeared in The Hill, titled “Keep Teachers Teaching, Students Learning, and Our Economy Growing.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/blog/2010/05/keep-teachers-teaching-students-learning-and-our-economy-growing/.

______________________________________________________________________

COMMENCEMENT ADDRESSES



University of Wisconsin at Madison (May 15):

“How to sum up the meaning of a first-rate education in the 21st century? To paraphrase from the Bible, these three virtues -- creativity, adaptation, and following one’s passion -- abide. But the greatest of these is to follow your passion. You received an education in the shadow of the State Capitol and saw first-hand the value of civic involvement. When you leave here, run for office, volunteer at a local school, tutor, or coach, even if it sometimes seems like the tougher path to take. Find what you love, find your genius. Find what would you get up and do every day, even if you weren’t getting a paycheck. And, whatever that calling is, pursue it with all your heart.” (http://www2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2010/05/05152010.html)



Lesley University, Boston (May 19):

“While the short-term picture for teaching is tough, due to the lingering effects of the financial downturn, I would urge you all to remember that the long-term picture is promising. In the next four to six years, we project that up to one million new teaching positions will be filled by new teachers, as teachers and principals from the Baby Boomer generation retire. Our ability to attract and retain great teachers over the next several years will shape public education in our country for the next 30 years. This is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity.” (http://www2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2010/05/05192010.html)



Clark Montessori Junior and Senior High School, Cincinnati (May 27):

“Clark and the other finalists in the [President’s first-ever Race to the Top] Commencement Challenge are examples of what high schools in our country should be. They should be places where teachers are asking: ‘Where are you going to college?’ not ‘Are you going to college?’ They should be places where guidance counselors are saying ‘Here’s how you’re going to pay for college’ not ‘How are you going to pay for college?’ But today I want to remind you that not all high schools are fulfilling that mission of preparing students to succeed. At least two challenges lie ahead -- challenges for which you are well-prepared. First, make it your mission to complete college…. Second, become a role model for others.”

______________________________________________________________________

NAEP 2009: READING ASSESSMENT



The Nation’s Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) Reading 2009 describes recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading for 18 large districts from across the U.S. Representative samples of between 900 and 2,400 fourth-graders and between 800 and 2,100 eighth-graders participated in the 2009 public school assessment. Eleven of the districts also participated in the 2005 and 2007 assessments, and 10 districts participated back in 2003. Among the results:



· In comparison to 2007, scores improved in 4 districts in fourth-grade and 2 districts in eighth-grade. In comparison to 2003, scores improved in 7 districts in fourth-grade and 4 districts in eighth-grade.

· In 2009, fourth-graders in 6 districts recorded higher scores than fourth-graders in large cities nationally. Also, among those 6 districts, African-American students in 4 districts scored higher than African-American students in large cities nationally, and Hispanic students in 5 districts scored higher than Hispanic students in large cities nationally.

· In 2009, eighth-graders in 5 districts recorded higher scores than eighth-graders in large cities nationally. Also, among those 5 districts, African-American students in 2 districts scored higher than African-American students in large cities nationally, and Hispanic students in 3 districts scored higher than Hispanic students in large cities nationally.



NAEP is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). TUDA math results were released in December 2009. The total number of districts in TUDA will grow to 21 in 2011, as three more jurisdictions have agreed to participate. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_2009/. (Note: Secretary Duncan’s statement on the TUDA reading results, observing the mixed picture, is available at http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/05/05202010a.html.)

______________________________________________________________________

CONDITION OF EDUCATION 2010



On May 27, NCES released “The Condition of Education 2010,” a Congressionally mandated report to the country on education in America today. The report includes 49 indicators in five major areas -- education participation, learner outcomes, student effort and educational progress, the contexts of elementary and secondary education, and the contexts of postsecondary education. The report also includes a special analysis on high-poverty public schools. Among the findings: in 2007-08, 20% of public elementary schools and 9% of public secondary schools were considered high-poverty schools, versus 15% and 5%, respectively, in 1999-2000; in 2007-08, according to school administrators, 28% of high school graduates from high-poverty schools attended four-year institutions after graduation, versus 52% of high school graduates from low-poverty schools; and roughly 57% of first-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution in 2001-02 had completed their degree at that institution within six years. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/.



Other new NCES publications:

· “Science Achievement and Occupational Career-Technical Education Coursetaking in High School: the Class of 2005” (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2010021)

· “Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2007-08 (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2010326)

· “A Profile of Criminal Incidents at School” (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2010318)

______________________________________________________________________

QUOTE TO NOTE



“We have never been more aware of the value of a multi-literate, multi-lingual society: a society that can appreciate all that makes other cultures and nations distinctive -- even as it embraces all that they have in common. Today, our country is engaged in a far-reaching endeavor: to uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution and secure our place within the world by transforming the way we teach our students. America’s success depends on the success of its individual citizens, just as the progress of humanity ultimately depends on the shared progress of nations. I believe that education has immeasurable power to promote growth and stability during the 21st century. As we work to lift America’s children out of poverty and to liberate their true potential through the power of excellent teaching and learning, we will join with other nations to achieve this end for all the world’s children.”



-- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (5/26/10), addressing the Council on Foreign Relations

______________________________________________________________________

UPCOMING EVENTS



On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, at 3:00 p.m. local time, Americans are asked to stop what they are doing and spend one minute in a Moment of Remembrance. The mid-afternoon time was chosen because it is when a majority of Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the holiday. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.remember.gov/.



The Department is conducting a web conference on ARRA data quality and recordkeeping, “Avoiding Reporting Pitfalls,” on June 7 at 2:00 p.m. ET. This presentation will help grantees improve the quality of their data collection and analysis, to meet the reporting requirements of their federal grants, as well as the requirements for retaining records related to grant activities and expenditures. The presentation will also share information on common data quality pitfalls identified during reviews of Section 1512 reports. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/rms-web-conferences.html.



July 19-21, the Department will convene the 2010 Reading Institute in Anaheim, California (http://www.mikogroup.com/2010readinginstitute/). And this year, for the first time, the Department of Education is joining with the Department of Health and Human Services to offer an Early Learning and Development Strand at the Institute (http://www.mikogroup.com/2010earlylearningdevelopmentstrand/). This strand will feature sessions on developmentally appropriate practices in language and literacy for children from birth-to-third-grade and planning and building comprehensive early learning systems and infrastructure. Federally funded grantees, educators, state and local policymakers, and other stakeholders in early learning are encouraged to attend. There is no registration fee for the Institute or its specific strands.



Meanwhile, two upcoming webinars will provide a foundation for participation in the early learning strand. First, on June 16 (1:00-2:30 p.m. ET), the Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families will host a Pre-Anaheim 2010 Institute webinar on the state of early learning for children from birth-to-third-grade. Then, on June 29 (1:30-2:30 p.m. ET), the National Institute for Early Education Research and the National Title I Association will host a Pre-Anaheim 2010 Institute webinar on trends in pre-kindergarten and the implications for transition to kindergarten. Both webinars are available free of charge. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.mikogroup.com/2010earlylearningdevelopmentstrand/whatsnew.htm.



June 10-13, the Department will exhibit at the National PTA Convention in Memphis. If you are attending this event, please stop by the Department’s booth.

______________________________________________________________________



Please feel free to contact the Office of Communications and Outreach with any questions:

Director, Intergovernmental Affairs -- Stacey Jordan, (202) 401-0026, mailto:Stacey.Jordan@ed.gov

Program Analyst -- Adam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003, mailto:Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov

To be added or removed from distribution, or submit comments (we welcome your feedback!),

contact Adam Honeysett. Or, visit http://www2.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edreview/.



This newsletter contains hypertext links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Furthermore, the inclusion of links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered, on these sites, or the organizations sponsoring

Friday, May 28, 2010

North Dakota Legislative Budget Section Meeting Agenda for June 22

NORTH DAKOTA LEGISLATIVE MANAGEMENT
Tentative Agenda
BUDGET SECTION
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Senate Chamber, State Capitol
Bismarck, North Dakota
9:00 a.m. Call to order
Roll call
Consideration of the minutes of the March 11, 2010, meeting
9:05 a.m. Presentation by representatives of the Office of Management and Budget regarding:
• Status of the general fund
• Irregularities in the fiscal practices of the state pursuant to North Dakota Century
Code Section 54-14-03.1
• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, including an update of
funding information and the number of nonstate employees who have been
employed in the private sector using federal stimulus funding
• Report on any tobacco settlement proceeds
9:30 a.m. Presentation by representatives of the Department of Human Services and Affiliated
Computer Services regarding the status of the Medicaid management information
system project and by representatives of the Department of Human Services regarding
the status of Medicaid claims processing
* 9:45 a.m. Committee consideration of state agency requests pursuant to Chapter 54-16 that have
been authorized by the Emergency Commission and require consideration by the
Budget Section
10:10 a.m. Presentation by a representative of the Department of Commerce on the centers of
excellence monitoring report and distribution of the annual audit reports of the following
centers of excellence pursuant to Section 15-69-05(2):
• Dickinson State University Strom Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
• Valley City State University Enterprise University
• Lake Region State College Dakota Center for Optimized Agriculture
• University of North Dakota Center for Life Sciences and Advanced Technology
• Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence
• University of North Dakota National Center for Hydrogen Technology
• North Dakota State University Center for Advanced Electronics Design and
Manufacturing
• University of North Dakota Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research,
Education and Training
• North Dakota State University Center for Agbiotechnology: Oilseed Development
• North Dakota State University Center for Surface Protection
• Williston State College Petroleum Safety Technology Center
• North Dakota State University Center for Integrated Electronic Systems
2
• University of North Dakota Center of Excellence in Space Technology and
Operations
• University of North Dakota Petroleum Research, Education, and Entrepreneurship
Center
• University of North Dakota SUNRISE BioProducts
• University of North Dakota Center of Excellence for Passive Therapeutics
• North Dakota State University Center for Biopharmaceutical Research and
Production
* 10:40 a.m. Presentation by a representative of the Centers of Excellence Commission and
committee consideration of funding award recommendations for centers of excellence
made by the Centers of Excellence Commission and considered by the Emergency
Commission pursuant to Section 15-69-02 and Section 14 of 2007 House Bill No. 1018
12:00 noon Luncheon recess
* 1:00 p.m. Presentation by representatives of the Game and Fish Department regarding land
acquisitions in McKenzie and LaMoure Counties that require Budget Section approval
pursuant to Section 20.1-02-05.1
• Tract 1 - 983 acres in McKenzie County adjoining the Yellowstone River--$363,333,
of which $113,333 is from the game and fish fund and $250,000 is from an United
States Fish and Wildlife Service grant
• Tract 2 - Approximately seven acres in LaMoure County adjoining the James River
on the outskirts of the City of LaMoure, recreation area and fishing access--$36,000
from the game and fish fund
* 1:20 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the Board of University and School Lands of a
report regarding state agencies that have not submitted a claim for unclaimed property
belonging to those agencies and Budget Section consideration of the relinquishment of
agencies' rights to recover unclaimed property pursuant to Section 47-30.1-24.1
1:30 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the North Dakota State University Development
Foundation regarding foundation funds used for salary enhancements, building projects,
scholarships, and other items
1:45 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the Veterans' Home on the status of the Veterans'
Home construction project pursuant to 2009 Senate Bill No. 2007
2:00 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the Tax Department regarding current revenues
distributed to political subdivisions as a result of the tribal oil agreement and an estimate
of distributions to political subdivisions under the tribal oil agreement if the payments
were computed based on total revenues rather than revenues allocated to the state
2:15 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the Public Service Commission regarding a report
on the status of the metrology program transition from a public to a private service
2:30 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the Department of Commerce regarding a report on
the status of financing provided to early childhood facilities and grants to early childhood
facilities pursuant to Section 4 of 2009 Senate Bill No. 2225
2:40 p.m. Presentation by representatives of the Department of Transportation regarding the use
of state, federal, emergency, and other highway funding by the Department of
Transportation, counties, cities, and townships pursuant to Section 11 of 2009 Senate
Bill No. 2012
3
2:50 p.m. Report from the Highway Patrol regarding the status of implementation of the
commercial vehicle information systems and networks pursuant to 2009 Senate Bill
No. 2011
3:00 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the Industrial Commission regarding a report on the
status of the Mill and Elevator study pursuant to Section 11 of 2009 Senate Bill
No. 2014
3:15 p.m. Presentation by a representative of the Bank of North Dakota regarding the estimated
fiscal impact of discontinuing the issuance of federal student loans on July 1, 2010, as
required by federal law
3:30 p.m. Report from the Tobacco Prevention and Control Executive Committee regarding the
implementation of the comprehensive tobacco prevention and control plan pursuant to
2009 House Bill No. 1015
3:45 p.m. Committee discussion and staff directives
4:30 p.m. Adjourn
* This item includes a request for Budget Section action.
Committee Members
Senators Ray Holmberg (Chairman), Bill Bowman, Randel Christmann, Tom Fischer, Tony S.
Grindberg, Ralph L. Kilzer, Karen K. Krebsbach, Elroy N. Lindaas, Tim Mathern, Carolyn Nelson,
David O'Connell, Larry J. Robinson, Tom Seymour, Bob Stenehjem, Rich Wardner, John Warner
Representatives Larry Bellew, Rick Berg, Merle Boucher, Al Carlson, Jeff Delzer, Mark A. Dosch, Mary
Ekstrom, Eliot Glassheim, Kathy Hawken, Lee Kaldor, Keith Kempenich, James Kerzman,
Matthew M. Klein, Gary Kreidt, Joe Kroeber, Bob Martinson, Ralph Metcalf, Shirley Meyer, David
Monson, Jon Nelson, Kenton Onstad, Chet Pollert, Bob Skarphol, Ken Svedjan, Blair Thoreson, Don
Vigesaa, Francis J. Wald, Alon C. Wieland, Clark Williams
Staff Contacts: Sara E. Chamberlin, Fiscal Analyst
Allen H. Knudson, Legislative Budget Analyst and Auditor

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Medicare Update

“A quarterly regional publication for health care professionals”
Serving Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Denver Regional Office
The Pulse o f CMS
interoperability and meaningful use of EHR
technology statewide and, eventually, across the
nation.
The states receiving these funds will use them for
planning activities that include conducting a
comprehensive analysis to determine the current
status of HIT activities in those states. As part of that
process, states will gather information on issues such
as existing barriers to their use of EHRs, provider
eligibility for EHR incentive payments, and the
creation of State Medicaid HIT Plans, which will
define the states‟ vision for their long-term HIT use.
The list below shows the states that have received
these funds and the amounts as of April 30, 2010:
AK $900,000 NE $894,000
AL $269,000 NM $405,000
AR $815,000 NV $1.05 mil
AZ $2.89mil NY $5.91mil
CA $2.48mil OK $587,000
CO $798,000 OR $3.53mil
FL $1.69mil PA $1.42mil
GA $3.17mil PR $1.80mil
IA $1.16mil SC $1.48mil
ID $142,000 TN $2.7mil
IL $2.18mil TX $3.86mil
KS $1.70mil UT $396,000
KY $2.60mil VA $1.66mil
ME $1.40mil VI $232,000
MI $1.52mil VT $294,000
MO $1.53mil WA $967,000
MS $1.47mil WI $1.37mil
MT $239,000 WY $596,000
NC $2.29mil
Physician Fee Schedule
Frozen Until May 31,
2010
In another key step to further states' role in
developing a robust U.S. health information
technology (HIT) infrastructure, CMS announced
that several states‟ Medicaid programs will receive
federal matching funds for state planning activities
necessary to implement the electronic health record
(EHR) incentive program established by the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
(Recovery Act).
EHRs will improve the quality of health care and
make care more efficient. The records make it easier
for the many providers who may be treating a
Medicaid patient to coordinate care. Additionally,
EHRs make it easier for patients to access the
information they need to make decisions about their
health care.
The Recovery Act provides a 90 percent federal
match for state planning activities to administer the
incentive payments to Medicaid providers, to ensure
their proper payments through audits, and to
participate in statewide efforts to promote
States Set to Receive Federal Matching Funds
for EHR Incentive Programs
SPRING 2010
On April 15, 2010, President Obama signed into law
the “Continuing Extension Act of 2010.” This law
extends through May 31, 2010, the zero percent
update to the Medicare physician fee schedule
(MPFS) that was in effect for claims with dates of
service January 1, 2010 through March 31,
2010. The law is retroactive to April 1, 2010.
Consequently, effective immediately, claims with
dates of service April 1, 2010 and later, which were
being held by Medicare contractors, have been
released for processing and payment. Please keep in
mind that the statutory payment floors still apply and,
therefore, clean electronic claims cannot be paid
before 14 calendar days after the date they are
received by Medicare contractors (29 calendar days
for clean paper claims).
Given the uncertainty regarding MPFS claims with
dates of service June 1, 2010, and later, please
watch your listservs and your contractor‟s website for
more information.
Inside this Issue...
PPACA – Timely Filing Requirements ............... 2
PPACA – Ambulance Add-Ons .......................... 2
PPACA – Rural Home Health Services. ............ 2
PPACA – Rural Lab Tests ................................... 2
PPACA – TC of Pathology Services .................. 3
PPACA- Institutional Provisions ......................... 3
PPACA – Therapy Caps Exceptions ................. 3
Physician Supervision in CAHs ........................... 4
Expanded HIV Coverage ..................................... 4
CMS Awards New Banking Contracts ............... 4
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
(CMS) changed its provider website address from
“www.cms.hhs.gov” to www.cms.gov. Existing
bookmarks and links from other websites will
continue to work following this address change.
Also, the beneficiary-focused website
www.medicare.gov has a new look. Please visit the
site at the above link and refer your Medicare
beneficiary population to the new easy-to-navigate
website.
CMS Website News…New
Address and New Look!
President obama signs the “patient protection and affordable care
act” into law, see pages 2 and 3 for details
The Pulse of CMS Page 2
New Timely Filing
Requirements for Claims
Provider Outreach Staff:
Section 6404 of the PPACA amends the timely filing
requirements to reduce the maximum time period for
submission of all Medicare fee-for-service claims to
one calendar year after the date of service.
Under the new law, claims for services furnished on
or after January 1, 2010, must be filed within one
calendar year after the date of service. In addition,
Section 6404 mandates that claims for services
furnished before January 1, 2010, must be filed no
later than December 31, 2010.
The following rules apply to claims with dates of
service prior to January 1, 2010. Claims with dates of
service before October 1, 2009, must follow the pre-
PPACA timely filing requirements. Claims with dates
of service October 1, 2009, through December 31,
2009, must be submitted by December 31,
2010. The new provision also permits the Secretary
to make certain exceptions to the one-year filing
deadline. At this time, no exceptions have been
established. However, proposals for exceptions will
be specified in future proposed rulemaking.
Extension of Ambulance Add-ons for Ambulance
Services
PPACA Sections 3105 and 10311 impact certain
ambulance payment provisions. It should be noted
that PPACA Section 3105 establishes the
implementation date as April 1, 2010. PPACA
Section 10311 revises Section 3105 and changes the
implementation date retroactive to January 1, 2010.
The PPACA extends the increases in the ambulance
fee schedule amounts for covered ground ambulance
transports which originated in rural areas by 3
percent, and for covered ground ambulance
transports which originated in urban areas by 2
percent retroactive to January 1, 2010, through
December 31, 2010. The new law similarly extends
the provision for air ambulance services provided in
any area that was designated as a rural area for
purposes of making payments under the
ambulance fee schedule for services furnished on
December 31, 2006. Finally, the PPACA extends
retroactive to January 1, 2010, and through December
31, 2010, Section 414 of the Medicare Prescription
Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003,
which established the super rural bonus.
CMS is working to expeditiously implement these
three ambulance provisions of the PPACA. Be on
the alert for more information about these
ambulance provisions and their impact on your past
and future claims.
Home Health Service in
Rural Areas to Receive
Add-on Payment
Section 3131(c) of PPACA creates a 3 percent addon
to payments made for home health services to
patients in rural areas. The add-on applies to
episodes ending on or after April 1, 2010, through
December 31, 2016. Similar to temporary rural
add-on provisions in the past, claims that report
a rural state code (code beginning with 999) as
the Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) code for
the beneficiary‟s residence will receive the
additional 3 percent payment. The CBSA code is
reported associated with value code „61‟ on
home health claims. CMS is working to
expeditiously implement the home health rural addon
provision.
Section 3122 of the PPACA re-institutes
reasonable cost payment for clinical lab tests
performed by hospitals with fewer than 50 beds
in qualified rural areas as part of their outpatient
services for cost reporting periods beginning on
or after July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011. This
could affect services performed as late as June
30, 2012.
If you are a hospital that qualifies under Section
3122, you do not need to take any action. You
will receive reasonable cost reimbursement for
an entire year, starting with your cost reporting
period beginning on or after July 1, 2010.
Ceilly Robl
Phone: (303) 844-4861
E-mail your questions and comments to us at:
PulseofDenverRO@cms.hhs.gov
Extension of Outpatient
Hold-Harmless Provision
PPACA extends the outpatient hold-harmless
provision, effective for dates of service on and after
January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010, to
rural hospitals with 100 or fewer beds and to all sole
community hospitals and essential access
community hospitals, regardless of bed size.
Reasonable Cost Payments
for Lab Tests in Some Rural
Hospitals
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Click here to read the entire text of the legislation signed into law
by President Obama on March 23, 2010.
The Pulse of CMS Page 3
Billing for the Technical
Component of Pathology
Services
Section 3104 extends the moratorium that allows
independent laboratories to bill for the technical
component (TC) of physician pathology services
furnished to patients in hospitals, effective for claims
with dates of service on and after January 1, 2010,
through December 31, 2010.
In the final physician fee schedule regulation
published in the Federal Register on November 2,
1999, CMS stated that it would implement a policy to
pay only the hospital for the TC of physician
pathology services furnished to hospital patients. At
the request of industry, to allow independent
laboratories and hospitals sufficient time to negotiate
arrangements, the implementation of this rule was
administratively delayed. Subsequent legislation
formalized a moratorium on the implementation of
the rule.
Although the previous extension of the moratorium
expired at the end of 2009, Section 3104 of the
PPACA restored the moratorium retroactive to
January 1, 2010. Therefore, independent
laboratories may now submit claims to Medicare for
the TC of physician pathology services furnished to
patients of a hospital, regardless of the beneficiary's
hospitalization status (inpatient or outpatient) on the
date that the service was performed. This policy is
effective for claims with dates of service on or after
January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010. If an
independent laboratory previously submitted a claim
for services covered by this provision and the claim
was denied, the laboratory may contact its Medicare
contractor for further instructions.
PPACA Sections 3401 and 3137 contain a number of
provisions affecting institutional providers. The 3401
sections discussed below are effective April 1, 2010,
while Section 3137(a) has October 1, 2009, and April
1, 2010 effective dates. CMS is working to
expeditiously implement these important
provisions of PPACA. Providers will begin seeing
payments under these provision in the late
April/early May time frame.
Inpatient Acute Hospitals (Section 3401(a))
Section 3401(a) of PPACA imposes a 0.25
percentage point reduction to the Inpatient
Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospital‟s
market basket for fiscal year (FY) 2010, effective for
discharges on or after April 1, 2010. The
reduction to the market basket will affect IPPS
rates for discharges occurring on or after April 1,
2010, through September 30, 2010.
Long-Term Care Hospitals (Section 3401(c))
Section 3401(c) of PPACA imposes a 0.25
percentage point reduction to the Long Term Care
Hospital‟s (LTCH) market basket for FY 2010,
effective for discharges on or after April 1, 2010.
The reduction to the market basket will affect
LTCH rates for discharges occurring on or after
April 1, 2010, through September 30, 2010.
Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (Section
3401(d))
Section 3401(d) of PPACA imposes a 0.25
percentage point reduction to the Inpatient
Rehabilitation Facility market basket for FY 2010,
effective for discharges on or after April 1,
2010. The reduction is also resulting in changes
to the standard payment conversion factor,
payment rates, and the outlier threshold amount.
Extension of Section 508 Hospital
Reclassifications (Sections 3137(a) and 10317)
Sections 3137(a) and 10317 extend section 508 and
special exception hospital reclassifications from
October 1, 2009, through September 30,
2010. Effective April 1, 2010, section 3137(a) and
10317 also require removing section 508 and special
exception wage data from the calculation of the
reclassified wage index if doing so raises the
reclassified wage index. All hospitals affected by
sections 3137(a) and 10317 will be assigned an
individual special wage index effective April 1,
2010. If the section 508 or special exception
hospital‟s wage index applicable for the period
beginning on October 1, 2009, and ending on March
31, 2010, is lower than for the period beginning on
April 1, 2010, and ending on September 30, 2010,
the hospital will be paid an additional amount that
reflects the difference between the wage indices. The
provision applies to both inpatient and outpatient
hospital payments.
PPACA Provisions Impacting Institutional
Medicare Providers
Exceptions Process for Therapy Caps Extended
Through 2010
Section 3103 extends the exceptions process for
outpatient therapy caps. Outpatient therapy service
providers may continue to submit claims with the „KX‟
modifier, when an exception is appropriate, for
services furnished on or after January 1, 2010,
through December 31, 2010.
The therapy caps are determined on a calendar
year basis, so all patients began a new cap year
on January 1, 2010. For physical therapy and
speech language pathology services combined,
the limit on incurred expenses is $1,860. For
occupational therapy services, the limit is
$1,860. Deductible and coinsurance amounts
applied to therapy services count toward the
amount accrued before a cap is reached.
1600 Broadway
Suite 700
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-844-2111
Fax: 303-844-3753
Email: PulseofDenverRO@cms.hhs.gov
Denver Regional Office:
The Pulse of CMS Page 4
Information Disclaimer:
The information provided in this newsletter is intended only to be general summary information to the Region VIII
provider community. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations.
Links to Other Resources:
Our newsletter may link to other federal agencies. You are subject to those sites‟ privacy policies. Reference in this
newsletter to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its
endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. government, HHS or CMS. HHS or CMS is not responsible for the
contents of any “off-site” resource identified.
Physician Supervision
Requirements in CAHs
Relaxed
On March 23, 2010, CMS announced its decision to
cover facial injections for Medicare beneficiaries who
experience symptoms of depression due to the
stigmatizing appearance of severely hollowed cheeks
resulting from the drug treatment for Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This decision is
effective immediately.
Facial lipodystrophy (LDS) is a localized loss of fat
from the face, causing an excessively thin
appearance in the cheeks. In some cases, facial LDS
may be a side effect of certain kinds of medications
(antiretroviral therapies) that individuals receive as
part of an HIV infection treatment regimen.
The facial LDS can leave people living with HIV
looking gaunt and seriously ill, which may stigmatize
them as part of their HIV-infection status. Individuals
who take these medications and experience facial
LDS side effects may suffer psychological effects
related to a negative self-image. These effects may
lead people living with HIV to discontinue their
antiretroviral therapies. The new decision allows for
treatment of individuals who experience symptoms of
depression due to the appearance changes from
facial LDS.
The injections included in this coverage decision are
“fillers” that have been approved by the U.S. Food &
Drug Administration to be injected under the skin in
the face to help fill out its appearance specifically for
treatment of facial LDS. Data show that these
injections can improve patient self-image, relieve
symptoms of depression, and may lead to improved
compliance with anti-HIV treatment.
“Today‟s decision marks an important milestone in
Medicare‟s coverage for HIV-infection therapies,”
said Barry M. Straube, M.D., CMS Chief Medical
Officer and Director of the Agency‟s Office of Clinical
Standards & Quality. “Helping people living with HIV
improve their self-image and comply with anti-HIV
treatment can lead to better quality of life and,
ultimately, improve the quality of care that
beneficiaries receive.”
The final decision is posted on the CMS Website.
.
Medicare Expands Coverage for Treating Facial
Lipodystrophy Syndrome in People Living with HIV
In the 2010 hospital outpatient prospective payment
system and ambulatory surgical center rule (CMS-
1413-FC), CMS detailed physician supervision
requirements for outpatient therapeutic services by
hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs). The
physician supervision requirements for outpatient
therapeutic services (excluding physical therapy,
occupational therapy, and speech pathology, as well
as programs for cardiac rehab, intensive cardiac
rehab, and pulmonary rehab services) prompted
some concern among CAHs, many of which do not
have physicians or mid-level practitioners onsite 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
Accordingly, in a March 15, 2010, posting on the
CAH center of the CMS website, CMS indicated it will
instruct all of its Medicare contractors not to evaluate
or enforce the supervision requirements for
therapeutic services provided to outpatients in CAHs
from January 1 through December 31, 2010. CMS
plans to revisit the issue of supervision for
therapeutic services provided to hospital outpatients
in CAHs through the annual rulemaking cycle in
2011. CMS continues to expect CAHs to fulfill all
other Medicare program requirements when
providing services to Medicare beneficiaries and
when billing Medicare for those services. CMS
continues to emphasize quality and safety for
services provided to all patients in CAHs.
CMS recently awarded new banking contracts to U.S.
Bank and JP Morgan Chase. Medicare providers do
not have to take any action. However, providers
should be aware that the Medicare payments may be
made by a different bank than in the past because of
these new banking contractors.
The following Medicare claims processing
contractors will remain with JP Morgan
Chase: Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators,
Pinnacle Business Solutions, First Coast Service
Options, Palmetto GBA (except for A/B MAC
Jurisdiction 1), and Wisconsin Physician
Service. Providers who bill to these contractors will
not experience any change.
The following Medicare claims processing
contractors will transition to JP Morgan Chase on
June 1, 2010: Palmetto A/B MAC Jurisdiction 1 and
Trailblazer.
The following contractors will transition to U.S. Bank
on June 1, 2010, CIGNA Government Services,
Highmark Medicare Services, National Government
Services, NHIC and Noridian Administrative
Services.
CMS Awards Banking Contracts to U.S. Bank and
JP Morgan Chase

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

North Dakota's Legislative IBL Committee on Internet

NEWS RELEASE from the ND Legislative Council
May 25, 2010
BISMARCK - North Dakotans can view a webcast of the meeting of the Legislative
Management's interim Industry, Business, and Labor Committee, Representative
George J. Keiser, Chairman, to be held at the Heritage Center in Bismarck beginning at
8:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 27, 2010. The meeting will include presentations and
committee discussion regarding the committee's study of the factors impacting the cost
of health insurance and the impact of federal health care reform legislation on North
Dakota residents and programs.
The webcast may be viewed as follows:
Step 1. Prior to the first-time viewing a State Department of Health webcast,
please check that your computer has the necessary software installed. Follow
the link http://www.ndhealth.gov/webcasthtml/preflight/ for a test.
Step 2. Follow the link http://www.ndhealth.gov/WebcastHigh.asx. The feed
normally starts within 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. John Bjornson
Committee Counsel
Legislative Council
State Capitol
Bismarck, ND 58505
701-328-2916
jbjornson@nd.gov

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Medicare and the New Health Law

“Medicare and the New Health Law – What it Means for You”



Starting tomorrow and throughout this week, Medicare beneficiaries across the country should begin receiving copies of a brochure “Medicare and the New Health Law – What it Means for You” in their mailboxes. The mailing from CMS outlines key provisions of the Affordable Care Act for people with Medicare as well as members of their families. The mailing is being sent in both English and Spanish.



Because Medicare is a trusted resource for beneficiaries and their family members, the mailing encourages them to log on to www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get their questions about Medicare or the Affordable Care Act answered and reminds them to be on the alert for possible scams.



The first benefit that many people with Medicare will receive as a result of the passage of the new law is a one-time check for $250, if they enter the Part D donut hole and are not eligible for Medicare Extra Help. Beginning next year, the Affordable Care Act ensures that Medicare beneficiaries will get free preventive care services. These include services such as colorectal cancer screening and mammograms, which is in addition to a free annual wellness visit. The law also includes new tools to help fight fraud by helping Medicare crack down on criminals who are seeking to scam seniors and steal taxpayer dollars.



Please share this information with your members, partners and constituents.



We expect to have more information to provide at approximately 10:00 AM MDT/11:00 AM CDT; that’s when this will be announced publicly.



_______________________________________________________________________________





Closing the Prescription Drug Coverage Gap

You Could Be Eligible For

A $250 Rebate This Year

to Help with your Medicare Drug Costs



The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Obama this year contains some important benefits for Medicare recipients.

If you have Medicare prescription drug coverage, and aren’t already getting Medicare Extra Help, Medicare will automatically send you a one-time $250 rebate check after you reach the coverage gap (also called the “donut hole”) in 2010. This rebate is the first step toward closing the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap.

What is the coverage gap and how will I know if I’ve reached it?

Most Medicare drug plans have a coverage gap. This means that after you and your plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered drugs, you have to pay all costs out-of-pocket for your drugs (up to a limit).

The Explanation of Benefits notice, which your drug plan mails to you each month when you fill a prescription, will tell you how much you’ve spent on covered drugs and whether you’ve entered the coverage gap.

Will I need to do anything to get this rebate check?

No. There are no forms to fill out. Medicare will automatically send a check that’s made out to you. You don’t need to provide any personal information like your Medicare, Social Security, or bank account numbers to get the rebate check. Don’t give your personal information to anyone who calls you about the $250 rebate check. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report anyone who does this. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

When will I get the rebate check?

If you reach the coverage gap this year and enter the Part D “donut hole”, you will receive a one-time $250 rebate check if you are not already receiving Medicare Extra Help. These checks will begin to get mailed to beneficiaries starting in mid-June.

Checks will be mailed monthly throughout the year as beneficiaries enter the coverage gap. However, this is a one-time benefit and beneficiaries who qualify will only receive one check after they reach the coverage gap.

What if I don’t get the rebate check when I should?

Beneficiaries who hit the donut hole after the program has begun should expect to receive their check within 45 days. Your rebate may be delayed if Medicare doesn’t have information from your Medicare drug plan showing that you reached the coverage gap in time to include you in the next mailing. You should call your Medicare drug plan to make sure all of your information has been sent to Medicare.

If you don’t get your rebate check, contact Medicare. Individuals receiving Medicare Extra Help will not receive a rebate check.

You can also check to make sure Social Security has your correct home address. Call 1-800-772-1213 or your local Social Security office. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.

What’s Next ….Coming in 2011

If you reach the coverage gap in 2011, you may get a 50% discount on your brand name prescription drugs at the time you buy them. Stay tuned for more information from Medicare.

Help us spread the word about this important benefit

And help stop scams against seniors

Pass this brochure along to your friends, neighbors and family so they know the facts about this important program. Remember- there are no forms to fill out to receive this benefit once you qualify for it. Medicare will automatically send a check that’s made out to you.

You don’t need to provide any personal information like your Medicare, Social Security, or bank account numbers to get the rebate check. Don’t give your personal information to anyone who calls you about the $250 rebate check. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report anyone who does this. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Go to stopmedicarefraud.gov to learn more about how Medicare is working with law enforcement to stop scams against seniors.

Have other questions about the $250 rebate check or the Affordable Care Act and Medicare?

Please refer to the brochure Medicare and the New Health Care Law--What it Means for You that Medicare has sent you. You can also visit www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Monday, May 24, 2010

National Teachers Group News Letter

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsAACTE, NEA: Effective Teaching Requires Strong State Policies

In recognition of the fact that education remains a state responsibility, AACTE and the National Education Association (NEA) hosted a policy forum May 10 highlighting how states can develop and support a high-quality educator workforce. Held as part of the two organizations’ Partnership for Teacher Quality (PTQ) activities, the “Policy Makers: Can You Hear Us? Effective Teaching Requires... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsAACTE Briefing Presents Teacher-Pipeline Data

As school districts across the nation increase efforts to recruit the most effective classroom educators possible, AACTE offered a comprehensive analysis of the most recent teacher preparation data at a national policy briefing April 15, providing a snapshot of data related to teachers and prospective teachers. “There is an ever-growing need for researchers, policy makers, school leaders, and teacher preparation providers to do a better job of examining the staffing needs in K-12 classrooms and actual teacher production,” said AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. “As... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsNRC Study: Better Data Needed to Judge Teacher Preparation

A much-anticipated report released April 29 by the National Research Council (NRC) calls for better data on the connections between teacher preparation and learning in order to assess preparation programs’ quality. The report, Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy, calls existing research inadequate to determine what constitutes effective preparation or how to improve teacher quality. “Research is badly needed on specific factors that may ultimately affect student learning,” according to an NRC press release announcing the study’s findings,... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsNOTES FROM THE CHAIR: The Power of Advocacy

Each June, proactive and committed advocates for education descend on our nation’s capital for AACTE’s Day on the Hill. This invaluable experience is shared by university administrators, faculty, students, and PK-12 leaders from across the nation, joining together to meet with congressional delegations to share regional... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsBring a Team to AACTE’s Day on the Hill | June 16-17, 2010

Join AACTE and your colleagues from around the country at the 2010 Day on the Hill, the Association’s premier advocacy event. The event will be held June 16-17 in Washington, DC, around the theme “Preparing Effective Teachers: The Critical Clinical Component.” This year brings many proposed changes for federal support of educator preparation programs.... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsAACTE State Leaders Institute

June 15, 12:00 p.m. – June 16, 12:00 p.m. AACTE Headquarters, Washington, DC The State Leaders Institute is an annual meeting of the Advisory Council of State Representatives, composed of elected leaders of AACTE’s state chapters. The Institute focuses on current professional and policy issues in educator preparation and on leadership development, and it encourages the membership to discuss and advise the Association regarding policy and education trends at the state level. All state chapter leaders are encouraged to attend. Receive a reduced registration rate if... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsFederal Update: Spring Flurry of Activity Around ESEA Reauthorization

The release of President Obama’s “blueprint” for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has spurred a flurry of related activity in Washington. Both the House and the Senate are in the midst of holding several hearings on key ESEA topics such as school turnaround, teacher and leader quality, assessment, high school... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsFoundations Support Teacher Performance Assessment Initiative

In partnership with Stanford University (CA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), AACTE is pleased to announce generous grants from the Ford Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation supporting the teacher performance assessment initiative. The Ford Foundation grant is the second grant earmarked for this work. This round of grants from all three foundations will support small-scale tests this spring in preparation for the piloting of the assessment next spring. More than 100 representatives from institutions of higher education and state... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsNew Webinar Series to Connect Digital-Age Learning and Teacher Preparation

AACTE has recently developed a partnership with Discovery Education to offer the “21st Century Education: Digital-Age Learning and the Preparation of Teachers” webinar series. As a leader in digital media-based learning, Discovery Education—powered by Discovery Channel—delivers comprehensive curricular resources in easy-to-use formats for all core-curricular subject areas. Specifically designed for teacher preparation... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No Comments2010 Leadership Academy Condensed, Improved

This year’s AACTE Leadership Academy will introduce changes in response to feedback from last year’s attendees. The Academy, to be held June 27–July 1 at the Hilton Charlotte Center City in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been reduced to 4 days in length – starting mid-afternoon on Sunday and ending midday on... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsState Directions: New York Authorizes Alternative Routes to Offer Master’s Degrees

In November 2009, the New York Board of Regents began working in earnest with the state department of education on the identification of steps needed to spark reform in education across the state, particularly for high-poverty students. That month, a report titled Part I: Transforming Teaching and Ensuring an Equitable Distribution of Qualified Teachers... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsBriefly

Foundations Pledge $506M in i3 Support As schools and organizations assembled their applications last month for federal Investing in Innovation (i3) funds, a coalition of foundations announced the availability of up to $506 million in matching grants for the program. See https://www.foundationregistryi3.org/. JUSTEC 2010 to Meet in Tokyo The 22nd Annual Seminar of the Japan-United... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsPEDSinfo: Racial/Ethnic Distribution of Undergraduate Enrollment in Education Degree Programs, Fall 2008

Total Non- resident alien Black, non- Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Pacific Islander Hispanic White, non- Hispanic Race/ ethnicity unknown Full-time Female Number 218,333 1,396 16,467 2,017 3,657 11,813 172,904 10,079 Percent 100.0 0.6 7.5 0.9 1.7 5.4 79.2 4.6 Male Number 74,162 640 7,722 734 1,231 4,140 55,881 3,814 Percent 100.0 0.9 10.4 1.0 1.7 5.6 75.3 5.1 Part-time Female Number 33,241 282 4,869 530 636 3,118 21,231 2,575 Percent 100.0 0.8 14.6 1.6 1.9 9.4 63.9 7.7 Male Number 10,154 98 1,273 194 195 796 6,788 810 Percent 100.0 1.0 12.5 1.9 1.9 7.8 66.9 8.0 Source:... Read More

Posted in Advisor on May 21, 2010 | No CommentsAround the Association

Steven Bossert, dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside, retires from the deanship. Christopher Campisano leaves the New Jersey Department of Education to become director of the Program in Teacher Preparation at Princeton University (NJ). M. Jayne Fleener leaves Louisiana State University to become dean of the... Read More« Previous Entries
about us
AACTE`s monthly newsletter, Advisor, provides timely news and commentary on issues related to teacher education, including state and federal policy and legislative issues; AACTE member news and professional development opportunities; and Association programs, policies, and activities.

Sharon P. Robinson, President/CEO
Kristin K. McCabe, Editor

Contact AACTE Publications, 1307 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005-4701, Tel: 202/293-2450, Fax: 202/457-8095, Web: www.aacte.org, E-mail: kmccabe@aacte.org


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This month’s headlines
AACTE, NEA: Effective Teaching Requires Strong State Policies AACTE Briefing Presents Teacher-Pipeline Data NRC Study: Better Data Needed to Judge Teacher Preparation NOTES FROM THE CHAIR: The Power of Advocacy Bring a Team to AACTE’s Day on the Hill | June 16-17, 2010 AACTE State Leaders Institute Federal Update: Spring Flurry of Activity Around ESEA Reauthorization Foundations Support Teacher Performance Assessment Initiative New Webinar Series to Connect Digital-Age Learning and Teacher Preparation 2010 Leadership Academy Condensed, Improved State Directions: New York Authorizes Alternative Routes to Offer Master’s Degrees Briefly PEDSinfo: Racial/Ethnic Distribution of Undergraduate Enrollment in Education Degree Programs, Fall 2008 Around the Association Staff contributors
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Mary Harrill-McClellan
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Statement from AACTE President & CEO Sharon P. ... May 4, 2010
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U. of Michigan, Michigan State to study education reforms with $5.9 million grant May 3, 2010
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

North Dakota Oil News

From: North Dakota Petroleum Council [mailto:ndpc@ndoil.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:16 AM
To: NDPC Members
Subject: NDPC May E-News



Below, and attached, is this month’s North Dakota Petroleum Council E-News. Have a good week!





North Dakota Petroleum Council E-News

May 2010









New Members – Thanks to the new Petroleum Council members Continental Resources, Inc., ECS Group, Great Western Oil & Gas, and WB Consulting, LLC.



North Dakota Oil Activity – There are 110 rigs running as of today. In March, there were 4,736 wells producing 277,403 barrels of oil per day. The number of wells and number of barrels produced are both all-time record highs.



2,750 Registered for 2010 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference – The 18th Annual Williston Basin Petroleum Conference was a tremendous success with the total number of registrants reaching 2,750. More than 70 speakers and more than 300 exhibits helped create an exciting, informational conference and expo that were jam-packed with something for everyone. Thanks again to all of our fantastic speakers and generous sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without you! Presentations will be available online May 28. The 2011 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference will be held May 1-3, 2011, in Regina, Saskatchewan.



Split Estate Owner Information Website – The Petroleum Council has launched an online Surface Owner Information Center (SOIC). The SOIC answers several frequently asked questions regarding surface owner issues in North Dakota. The site has been developed by the Petroleum Council’s Split Estate/Surface Owner Task Force. Committee Chairman Eric DillĂ© says, “The site is intended to help inform split estate surface owners, legislators, policy makers, etc. of issues regarding split estate lands.” Visit the SOIC.



2009 Economic Impact Study – The Petroleum Council is funding a 2009 Economic Impact Study. Dean Bangsund of North Dakota State University is conducting the study. He did this study for the association in 2005 and 2007. The 2007 study revealed that the petroleum industry in North Dakota has an $8.3 billion economic impact. This is very valuable information for our industry and we need your support. All oil operators will be mailed a survey and a sampling of service companies will also be surveyed. All information is confidential and will be reported in aggregate only. Thank you in advance for your timely participation.



Workforce Needs Assessment – The Petroleum Council, in partnership with the Department of Commerce, is conducting an Oil Industry Workforce Needs Survey. As you may recall, we did this survey in 2004 and it was extremely helpful in building a basis for recruiting employees, creating and funding training programs at colleges, and creating a better understanding of what lies ahead in terms of workforce needs. We need your help. Many of you may be contacted by Ted Renner, the consultant for the project, who will make a personal visit to gather your workforce data. All information will be confidential.



Teacher Education Seminar – The 2010 Teacher Education Seminar will be held June 7-10 in Bismarck, ND. This event expands teachers' knowledge of the North Dakota oil and gas industry, from its prehistoric beginnings to the final product. More information is available at www.ndoil.org.



Final Bakken Water Opportunities Assessment Report Released – The overall goal of the project was to provide industry with data and information on the technical and economic potential to recycle frac flowback water. View the final report on the ND Industrial Commission website.



Research Council Grant Application Deadline is June 1 – The next grant round deadline for the ND Oil & Gas Research Council (OGRC) is June 1, 2010. For more information on submitting a grant for this round, go to http://www.nd.gov/ndic/ogrp/info/ogrcsubgrant-app.pdf.



$2 million available for simul-frac and micro seismic projects

I. The OGRC has authorized the Director to solicit applications from operators willing to perform simul-fracs of two horizontal Bakken wells. Note: The Council/Commission will provide $250,000 per frac project and the proposal must be submitted by November 1, 2010. The funding will have the following contingencies:

· Dependent upon geographic distribution approved by the OGRC

· Total project funding not to exceed $1,000,000

· Two simul-fracs within each geographic area

· Reporting parameters include: raw data to be available immediately to the Commission, with presentation of the data analysis to the Commission 90 days thereafter, and not to exceed 180 days

II. The OGRC has authorized the Director to seek proposals that involve vertical micro seismic techniques to evaluate fracture height of Middle Bakken and Three Forks-Sanish stimulations. The funds available for this research shall not exceed $1,000,000 and the results of the study must be made available to the Commission immediately for the public.



Scholarship recipients announced – The Petroleum Council recently awarded scholarships to three University of North Dakota students. Recipients of these scholarships for the 2010-11 school term are Amanda Krieger, Derrick Blanksma and Matthew Carns. Visit the Scholarship webpage to learn more about the recipients.


Funding, Tax Credits Available for Hiring Summer Interns – North Dakota businesses looking for summer employees can receive up to $6,000 in matching funds plus additional tax credits by tapping an underused pool of candidates: high school and college interns. Operation Intern, administered from the North Dakota Department of Commerce, is designed to expand the number of new internship, work experience, and apprenticeship positions with North Dakota employers. The program’s primary focus is employers in the state’s targeted industries: energy, advanced manufacturing, value-added agriculture, tourism, and technology. In addition to students registered at North Dakota colleges or universities, the program recently expanded eligibility to include high school students and registered apprenticeships. The Department of Commerce is accepting applications for 2010 spring and summer semester internships. For more information, visit www.operationintern.com.



Oil Can! Bakken Rocks CookFests July 27, Tioga and July 29, New Town – Plans are coming together for the second Bakken Rocks CookFests which will be held July 27 in Tioga and July 29 in New Town. Operators in the Tioga and New Town areas who want to host a cooker, should contact the Petroleum Council at ndpc@ndoil.org or call 701.223.6380 ASAP. These events are part of the Oil Can! program which focuses on industry working to educate and improve communication with landowners, policy makers and the public. The Bakken Rocks CookFests will have operators grilling a variety of great food in a cook-off competition. There will also be educational booths relating to Bakken and Three Forks geology and oil impact legislation. The event will be open to all who want to attend. As specifics are developed, they will be available at www.ndoil.org.



Airport Survey – The Petroleum Council is partnering with the Bismarck Airport to improve air service in the region by recruiting expanded flights. As part of that effort, we are looking for additional information from those in the energy industry in our region. This quick five-minute survey will help us as we meet with airlines to discuss future air service opportunities. If you're not able to accurately complete this survey, please forward it to your travel coordinators.

Bakken Merchandise Available Online – The latest Bakken wear and other merchandise is now available on the Petroleum Council website. For additional information, visit ndoil.org and view the iGEAR order form.



Oil Can! Drive Safely Campaign – The Oil Can! program recently launched a safety campaign to remind industry members and others sharing the road that safe driving is a priority every day. The campaign includes billboards in western North Dakota, bumper stickers, safety orientation presentations for new industry employees and, eventually, a safety video. Partners in the campaign include the ND Department of Transportation and the ND Motor Carriers Association. More than 10,000 drive safe bumper stickers are available for industry members to utilize on their fleets. If your company is interested in obtaining large bumper stickers for trucks, machinery or other equipment, e-mail info@ndoil.org. To view the billboard, visit the Oil Can! webpage.



Mark Your Calendars!

June 5 Williston API Golf Event

June 7-10 Petroleum Council’s Teacher Seminar – Bismarck, ND

June 8 Petroleum Council Teacher Field Tour – Stanley, ND

June 12 Kenmare Oil Golf Event

June 23 Mohall Oilman’s Open Golf Event

July 27 Bakken Rocks CookFest – Tioga, ND

July 29 Bakken Rocks CookFest – New Town, ND

Aug. 26 Legislative Tour Day – Stanley, ND

Sept. 21-23 Petroleum Council Annual Meeting – Holiday Inn (Riverside), Minot, ND









Marsha Reimnitz

North Dakota Petroleum Council

PO Box 1395

Bismarck ND 58502

701.223.6380

701.222.0006 fax

www.ndoil.org

ndpc@ndoil.org



"Only people who do things get criticized."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Medicare Update

Hello Everyone,

Please enjoy the information contained in this edition of Frontier Focus. Please be sure to share it with your members, colleagues, providers and office billing staff. Thank you for your continued efforts to broadcast Medicare information to the providers in Region VIII.





Table of Contents



1. Reminder: Sixth National Education Call on Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 Transactions



2. 2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) Program Update



3. A Message from Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology



4. Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating System - May News



5. New from the Medicare Learning Network



6. May 26 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day!



7. A new "twist" in the law makes it easier to save on your prescription drug costs.











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1. Reminder: Sixth National Education Call on Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 Transactions



Medicare FFS 5010 Program: Taking EDI to the Next Level



May 26, 2010

2:00pm - 3:30pm EST



The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host its sixth national education call regarding Medicare FFS’s implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 transaction standards. This session will focus on the 837 Professional claim transaction. Subject matter experts will review Medicare FFS specific changes as well as general information to help the audience prepare for the transition, which will be followed by a Q&A session. The presentation will be available on the CMS website within 24 hours of the call. To access the presentation, click on the following link and scroll down to the Downloads section: http://www.cms.gov/Versions5010andD0/40_Educational_Resources.asp



Target Audience: Vendors, clearinghouses, and providers who will need to make Medicare FFS specific changes in compliance with HIPAA version 5010 requirements.



Registration will close at 2:00 p.m. EST on May 25, 2010 or when available space has been filled.



Subject: Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 837 Professional Claim Transaction



Agenda:

· General Overview

· Medicare Specific Changes

· Timelines and Deadlines

· What you need to do to prepare

· Transaction Specific Issues

· Q & A





Conference call details:



Date: May 26, 2010

Conference Title: Sixth National Education Call on Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 Transactions



Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET



In order to receive the call-in information, you must register for the call. It is important to note that if you are planning to sit in with a group, only one person needs to register to receive the call-in data. This registration is solely to reserve a phone line, NOT to allow participation.



Registration will close at 2:00 p.m. ET on May 25, 2010, or when available space has been filled. No exceptions will be made, so please be sure to register prior to this time.



1. To register for the call participants need to go to:

http://www.eventsvc.com/palmettogba/052610



2. Fill in all required data.



3. Verify that your time zone is displayed correctly the drop down box.



4. Click "Register".



5. You will be taken to the “Thank you for registering” page and will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter. Note: Please print and save this page, in the event that your server blocks the confirmation emails. If you do not receive the confirmation email, please check your spam/junk mail filter as it may have been directed there.



If assistance for hearing impaired services is needed the request must be sent to medicare.ttt@palmettogba.com no later than 3 business day before the event.

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2. 2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) Program Update



2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) Program Update



It is not too late to start participating in the 2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) and potentially qualify to receive incentive payments. A new six month reporting period begins on July 1, 2010.



The 2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) has two reporting periods: 12-months (January 1-December 31, 2010) and 6-months (July 1-December 31, 2010). For 2010, eligible professionals (EPs) who satisfactorily report PQRI measures for the 6-month reporting period will become eligible to receive a PQRI incentive equal to 2.0% of their total Medicare Part B allowed charges for services performed during the reporting period.



If you have not participated in the PQRI program, you can begin by reporting PQRI data for July 1-December 31, 2010 using any of the following four options:



· Claims-based reporting of individual measures for 80% or more of applicable patients on at least 3 individual measures or on each measure if less than 3 measures apply

· Claims-based reporting of one measures group for 80% or more of applicable Medicare Part B FFS patients of each EP (with a minimum of 8 patients)

· Registry-based reporting of at least 3 individual PQRI measures for 80% or more of applicable Medicare Part B FFS patients of each EP

· Registry-based reporting of one measures group for 80% or more of applicable Medicare Part B FFS patients of each EP (with a minimum of 8 patients)



PQRI claims-based reporting involves the addition of quality-data codes (QDC) to claims submitted for services when billing Medicare Part B. EPs also have the option of using a qualified registry to assist in collecting PQRI measure data. The registry will submit this quality data directly to Medicare, eliminating the need for adding QDCs to the Medicare Part B claim.



Eligible professionals do not need to sign up or pre-register to participate in the 2010 PQRI. Submission of QDCs for individual PQRI measures to CMS through a qualified registry or for a measures group through claims or a qualified registry will indicate intent to participate.



Although there is no requirement to register prior to submitting the data, there are some preparatory steps that EPs should take prior to undertaking PQRI reporting. CMS has created many educational products that provide information about how to get started with PQRI reporting. To access all available educational resources on PQRI please visit, http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PQRI/ on the CMS website. Eligible professionals are encouraged to visit the PQRI webpage often for the latest information and downloads on PQRI.



Resources

2010 PQRI Implementation Guide at http://www.cms.gov/PQRI/Downloads/2010_PQRI_ImplementationGuide_02-10-2010_FINAL.pdf
· Qualified Registries for 2010 PQRI Reporting at

http://www.cms.gov/PQRI/20_AlternativeReportingMechanisms.asp#TopOfPage

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3. A Message from Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology



There Is No ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ in Building a Nationwide Health Information Network

A Message from Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

May 14, 2010

Private and secure health information exchange enables information to follow the patient when and where it is needed for better care. The Federal government is working to enable a wide range of innovative and complementary approaches that will allow secure and meaningful exchange within and across states, but all of our efforts must be grounded in a common foundation of standards, technical specifications, and policies. Our efforts must also encourage trust among participants and provide assurance to consumers about the security and privacy of their information. This foundation is the essence of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN).

The NHIN is not a network per se, but rather a set of standards, services, and policies that enable the Internet to be used for the secure exchange of health information to improve health and health care. Different providers and consumers may use the Internet in different ways and at different levels of sophistication. To make meaningful use possible, including the necessary exchange of information, we need to meet providers where they are, and offer approaches that are both feasible for them and support the meaningful use requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Record Incentives Programs. As with the Internet, it is likely that what is today considered “highly sophisticated” will become common usage. Moreover, users may engage in simpler exchange for some purposes and more complex exchange for others.

Current NHIN exchange capabilities are the result of a broad and sustained collaboration among Federal agencies, large provider organizations, and a variety of state and regional health information organizations that all recognized a need for a high level of interoperable health information exchange that avoided “one-off” approaches. Based on this pioneering work, a subset of these organizations is now actively exchanging information. This smaller group currently includes the Department of Defense, Social Security Administration, Veterans Health Administration, Kaiser Permanente, and MedVirginia. They initially came together to show, on a pilot scale, that this type of highly evolved exchange was possible. Having succeeded, they continue to expand the level of exchange among their group and with their own respective partners in a carefully phased way to demonstrate and learn from these widening patterns of exchange. The robust exchange occurring at this level has several key attributes, including the:

1. Ability to find and access patient information among multiple providers;

2. Support for the exchange of information using common standards; and

3. Documented understanding of participants, enabling trust, such as the Data Use and Reciprocal Support Agreement (DURSA).

Not every organization and provider, however, needs or is ready for this kind of health information exchange today. Nor do the 2011 meaningful use requirements set forth by CMS in the recent proposed rule require it. Direct, securely routed information exchange may meet the current needs of some providers for their patients and their practices, such as receiving lab results or sending an electronic prescription.

To enable a wide variety of providers – from small practices to large hospitals – to become meaningful users of electronic health records in 2011, we need to ensure the availability of a reliable and secure “entry level” exchange option that aligns with the long-range information exchange vision we have for our nation. Such an option should balance the need for a consistent level of interoperability and security across the exchange spectrum with the reality that not all users are at the same point on the path to comprehensive interoperability. In an effort to provide the best customer service possible, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) will consider what a complete toolkit would be for all providers who want to accomplish meaningful health information exchange.

Broadening the use of the NHIN to include a wider variety of providers and consumers who may have simpler needs for information exchange, or perhaps less technically sophisticated capabilities, is critical to bolstering health information exchange and meeting our initial meaningful use requirements. Building on the solid foundation established through the current exchange group mentioned above and the recommendations of the HIT Policy Committee (which originated with the Committee’s NHIN Workgroup), ONC is exploring this expansion of NHIN capabilities to find solutions that will work across different technologies and exchange models.

The newly launched NHIN Direct Project is designed to identify the standards and services needed to create a means for direct electronic communication between providers, in support of the 2011 meaningful use requirements. It is meant to enhance, not replace, the capabilities offered by other means of exchange. An example of this type of exchange would be a primary care physician sending a referral and patient care summary to a specialist electronically.

We are on an aggressive timeline to define these specifications and standards and to test them within real-world settings by the end of 2010. Timing is critical so that we may provide this resource to a broader array of participants in health information exchange as a wave of new, meaningful users prepare to qualify for incentives provided for in the HITECH Act and ultimately defined by CMS. This model for exchange will meet current provider needs within the broader health care community, complement existing NHIN exchange capabilities, and strengthen our efforts toward comprehensive interoperability across the nation.

A natural evolution in NHIN capabilities to support a variety of health information exchange needs is being reinforced by trends that are leading us toward widespread multi-point interoperability. The current movement toward consolidation in health care, coupled with health reform’s encouragement of bundled payments for coordinated care, will mean more providers need it. Quality improvement, public health, research, and a learning health care system all require it. Ultimately, simple exchange will be part of a package of broader functions that allows any provider, and ultimately consumers, to exchange information over the Internet, enabled by NHIN standards, services, and policies.

Your continued input will help guide us toward and maintain a direction that is in harmony with the rapid innovations in health IT today. The NHIN Direct Project will conduct an open, transparent, and collaborative process throughout its development by using a community wiki, blogs, and open source implementation already available on the project’s website (http://nhindirect.org). I encourage you to participate through the website, via public participation at the implementation group meetings, and by deploying and testing the resulting standards and specifications. For those of you who are participants in the current exchange group, I urge you to take every opportunity to share your experiences. Lessons learned from the NHIN Direct Project and the exchange group will inform the evolution of the NHIN as new uses and users come forward, and as continued innovation occurs to meet the growing needs of our community.

As we head into the next stage in the development of nationwide health information exchange, we should all take a moment to reflect on how far we have come and evaluate our plans for the future. ONC is committed to providing resources and guidance to stakeholders at all levels of exchange through HITECH programs, such as the Health IT Regional Extension Centers, the national Health IT Research Center, and the State Health Information Exchange Program. As you assess your own needs for exchange, please take advantage of the many Federal resources available to you on the ONC website and the online resources of the programs mentioned above, as well as through the “NHIN University” education program hosted by our public-private partner, the National eHealth Collaborative.

We have done a great deal of work in the short period of time since the passage of the HITECH Act. We at ONC appreciate your willingness to stay engaged and involved in every step of our journey, and we look forward to our continuing collaboration to improve the health and well-being of our nation.

Sincerely,


David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P.
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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4. Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating System - May News



1. The Five-Star provider preview reports will be available no later than Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Providers can access the report from the Minimum Data Set (MDS) State Welcome pages available at the State servers for submission of Minimum Data Set data.

Provider Preview access information:

 Visit the MDS State Welcome page available on the State servers where you submit MDS data to review your results.

 To access these reports, select the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) Reporting link located at the bottom of the login page.

 Once in the CASPER Reporting system,

i. Click on the 'Folders' button and access the Five-Star Report in your 'st LTC facid' folder,

ii. Where st is the 2-digit postal code of the state in which your facility is located, and

iii. Facid is the state assigned facid of your facility.

2. BetterCare@cms.hhs.gov is available to address your Five Star Quality Rating system questions.

3. Nursing Home Compare will update with May’s Five-Star data on Thursday, May 27, 2010.

4. Please visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CertificationandComplianc/13_FSQRS.asp for the latest Five-Star Quality Rating system information.

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5. New from the Medicare Learning Network



JUST RELEASED: MLN Matters Article #SE1016 - Re-Assignment of Certain Providers to Jurisdiction 1 and Jurisdiction 4 Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs)



The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released MLN Matters Special Edition Article #SE1016 to clarify CMS' approach for assigning providers to MACs and to discuss the process of moving providers to MACs, as described in Change Requests (CRs) 5979, 6569, and 6902. For more details, please read the article at http://www.cms.gov/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/SE1016.pdf on the CMS website.



# # # # #



REMINDER: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released MLN Matters Article #MM6960--Systems Changes Necessary to Implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Section 6404 – Maximum Period for Submission of Medicare Claims Reduced to Not More Than 12 Months

to advise providers who submit claims to Medicare contractors that, as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), claims with dates of service on or after January 1, 2010, received later than one calendar year beyond the date of service will be denied by Medicare. For more details, please read the article at http://www.cms.gov/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/MM6960.pdf on the CMS website.

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6. May 26 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day!



May 26 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day! In the spirit of National Senior Health and Fitness Day, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminds health care professionals that Medicare provides coverage for a variety of preventive services. By encouraging your senior patients with Medicare to take advantage of covered preventive services, you can help them lead healthier lives.



Medicare Covered Preventive Services



Medicare provides coverage for the following preventive services for eligible Medicare beneficiaries:



· Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening,

· Adult Immunizations,

· Bone Mass Measurements,

· Cancer Screenings,

· Cardiovascular Screenings,

· Diabetes-Related Services and Screenings,

· Glaucoma Screenings,

· Smoking and Tobacco-Use Cessation Counseling, and

· Initial Preventive Physical Examination.



For More Information



· CMS has developed a variety of educational products and resources to help health care professionals and their staff become familiar with coverage, coding, billing, and reimbursement for the many preventive services and screenings covered by Medicare.



o The Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Preventive Services Educational Products Web Page ~ provides descriptions and ordering information for Medicare Learning Network (MLN) preventive services educational products and resources for health care professionals and their staff. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNProducts/35_PreventiveServices.asp

o The Guide to Medicare Preventive Services for Physicians, Providers, Suppliers and Other Health Care Professionals ~ This comprehensive resource contains coverage, coding, and payment information for the many preventive services covered by Medicare. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNProducts/downloads/mps_guide_web-061305.pdf

o Quick Reference Information: Medicare Preventive Services ~ This chart contains coverage, coding, and payment information for the many preventive services covered by Medicare in an easy-to-use quick-reference format. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNProducts/downloads/MPS_QuickReferenceChart_1.pdf

o The Preventive Services Educational Products PDF ~ This PDF document contains links to downloadable versions of the many products the MLN has available related to Medicare-covered preventive services, including brochures, quick reference guides, and more. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNProducts/Downloads/education_products_prevserv.pdf

o To order hard copies of certain MLN products, please visit the MLN homepage at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mlngeninfo Scroll down to “Related Links Inside CMS” and click on “MLN Product Ordering Page”



· For more information about National Senior Health and Fitness Day, please visit the official website at http://www.fitnessday.com/senior/index.htm on the internet.





Thank you for helping CMS improve the health of patients with Medicare by joining in the effort to educate eligible beneficiaries about the importance of taking advantage of the many preventive services covered by Medicare.

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7. A new "twist" in the law makes it easier to save on your prescription drug costs.



http://www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp/



Under a new law, more Medicare beneficiaries could qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs because some things no longer count as income and resources. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth an average of $3,900 per year. To qualify for the Extra Help, a person must be on Medicare, have limited income and resources, and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

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