Excerpt from www.EducationVotes.org, by Colleen Flaherty, posted 3-6-14
On March 5, 2014, members of both parties introduced a bill in Congress to fully fund IDEA. NAME will follow this bill closely to assess its potential impact on School Based Services and Special Education programs.
If passed, the bill would fund IDEA as promised almost 40 years ago to American students with special needs. The bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act, strongly supported by the National Education Association (NEA), goes back to the original Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), passed in 1975. At the time, the federal government committed to pay 40 percent of the average per pupil expenditure for special education in order to provide opportunity for every child with disabilities.
However, in the 39 years since the Act has been passed, the pledge has never been met. The current federal funding is at just 15.3 percent. The bipartisan legislation would require regular increases in IDEA spending to finally meet the commitment Congress made decades ago. To read the full article <click here>
And more information about the bill from one of the Sponsors, Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN):
UPDATE: We are Happy to Announce the Scholarship Recipient
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At its June 2013 meeting, the NAME Board of Directors created the Anysia Drumheller Memorial Scholarship in memory of Anysia Drumheller, a longtime NAME member. The annual Scholarship will provide up to $1,000 for the reimbursement of reasonable costs for travel to and lodging at the NAME Annual Conference. In 2013, the Conference (October 8-11) is in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Anysia was elected to serve on the NAME Board of Directors; appointed Chair of the NAME Membership Committee; and awarded Honorary NAME Board Member status prior to her untimely death in May 2013. Anysia’s numerous contributions to NAME, determination to recruit new members, and service to NAME members are commemorated with this generous scholarship. The deadline has been extended to August 30,2013.
Donate to the Anysia Drumheller Memorial Conference Scholarship (no tax benefits are available at this time):
Anysia Drumheller held the position of Medi-Cal Program Manager in the local education agency Butte County Office of Education in California, from 2004 until her untimely death in May 2013 after a two-and a-half-year battle with breast cancer. Anysia joined the NAME organization in 2005 seeking more knowledge about “these crazy programs” that bring Medicaid reimbursement to school districts. She began attending the NAME Annual Conferences, made friends quickly and soon was an active member.
Recognizing her strengths in organization, multi-tasking and attention to detail, in 2008 then-President Liz Touhey appointed Anysia as the Chair of the Membership Committee. Anysia soon moved NAME into the twenty-first century by creating Membership reports and converting records with relational database software. She created reports based on member statistics that were then used for strategic planning by the Board of Directors, in conversations with other national organizations and federal agencies and used for member recruitment. The NAME membership data and statistics also helped ease the work of other Committees over the years, by facilitating the annual election process; providing the Conference committee with valuable information to develop pertinent educational programs and sessions; and reminding the Leadership Team that service’s for members were the organization’s top priority.
In 2011 Anysia was elected as one of two LEA Representatives at-Large on the Board of Directors. Anysia’s insights, creativity and perspectives as Membership Committee Chair played a key role in the organization restructuring in 2011. In that year, NAME made changes to its Bylaws allowing all LEA members to be voting members. NAME also re-organized that year from twelve to three geographic regions.
From her initial diagnosis of breast cancer in the Fall of 2010 until her death at age 42 in May 2013, Anysia remained a member of the NAME Leadership Team and attended phone meetings, sometimes calling in from the oncology center while receiving chemotherapy treatment. She was not secretive about her diagnosis or treatment, and appreciated the support of her NAME colleagues for the mental and physical battle of her life. Many friends are convinced that loving support from her two young children, her feisty personality, determination to defeat this foe by continuing her workout regimen, and sharing her battle with others, were not only inspirational to those around her, but prolonged her life in spite of setbacks.
In 2011, as chair of the Membership Committee, Anysia convinced the Board of Directors to set as a top priority, outreach and recruitment of potential members from the states that did not have NAME members. They began a campaign to locate those individuals and invite them to join NAME and attend the Annual Conference, one of the best values of membership.
In April 2013, the Board of Directors with a unanimous vote designated Anysia Drumheller an Honorary Board Member. In May 2013, only weeks after her death, the Board created the Anysia Drumheller Memorial Scholarship. The Membership Committee presented the plan for the scholarship to the Board as a way to provide outreach and recruitment to potential NAME members who are hindered from attending the NAME Annual Conference by their agency’s limited travel budgets.
The purpose of the Anysia Drumheller Scholarship is to help others like Anysia, who are seeking knowledge about the Medicaid in Education programs (“these crazy programs”) to meet and network with others who work in this unique field. The NAME Board will fund this annual scholarship which will cover up to $1000 in reimbursement for the costs of travel and lodging to attend the Annual NAME Conference for those whose agencies will not approve. The scholarship also includes a complimentary Annual Conference registration (which includes an annual membership).
NAME will periodically sponsor fundraisers to increase the Scholarship fund. For every $1000 that is added to the fund by June 1at each year and based on Scholarship criteria, there will be another recipient.
Those who knew and loved Anysia Drumheller, hope the Scholarship recipients appreciate that her determined and feisty personality while Membership Committee Chair, to bring more members to NAME was the catalyst for its creation. In the spirit of its namesake, the Scholarship will be an ongoing gift to other professionals in the field of Medicaid in Education.
February 12, 2012 marks a red-letter day in the history of NAME.
Today, USDOE-OSERS announced a major revision related to parental consent regulations for accessing public insurance authorized by IDEA 34 CFR §300.154 (d) which relates to the responsibilities of school districts across America to access Medicaid reimbursement for certain special education and related services.
Here is a link to the revised regulations:
The link includes:
NAME has worked tirelessly to revise the 2006 regulations since 2006 by working with federal education officials and other national partners. Part of this work included providing OSERS with an understanding of the reasons why the regulations needed to be revised.
NAME, parents and school districts across the country will now reap the benefits of the revised regulations.
Today- February 12, 2013- is validation that NAME is an organization that has the ability to affect profound improvements for our membership. As a direct result of our efforts, we have brought about real improvement to our cause which was achieved truly...in the NAME of collaboration!
On January 14, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule implementing key Affordable Care Act provisions relating to Medicaid and the Exchanges. This proposed rule codifies statutory eligibility provisions, lays out a structure and options for coordinating Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Exchange eligibility notices and appeals. It also proposes to modify existing benchmark benefits regulations for low-income adults, and codify several of the provisions included in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).
This proposed rule includes information on how consumers will receive coordinated communications on eligibility determinations and can appeal eligibility determinations. It gives states flexibility in designing benefits and determining cost sharing in the Medicaid program. The proposed rule also provides flexibility to state-based Exchanges by allowing them to opt to rely on HHS for verifying whether an individual has employer-sponsored coverage and conducting some types of appeals.
The NPRM is available on display at the Federal Register here: www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-00659_PI.pdf
A fact sheet with additional information regarding the changes made through this proposed rule will be available on Medicaid.gov and http://cciio.cms.gov later today.
On August 21, 2012 the U.S. Department of Education forwarded the final version of the proposed changes to the parental consent to access Medicaid regulation, 34 CFR § 300.154(d)(iv)(A) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
USDOE requested OMB to complete an expedited 45 day review period. If OMB is able to honor this request, the Final Rule should be released just prior to the NAME 2012 Annual Conference which is being held in Providence, RI October 9-12, 2012.
NAME is inviting to the Annual Conference a representative from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to provide an update to this and other issues.
On May 14, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education released the Retrospective Review Plan Report. This was a summary of various regulations in regards to effectiveness, benefits and cost. The report included the proposed changes to the parental consent to access Medicaid regulation, 34 CFR § 300.154(d)(iv)(A). The report indicated that the proposed regulation would result in a savings of $14,144,000 to $41,423,000 annually. The report also indicated that they anticipate issuing the final regulation by July or August of 2012. To read this ten page report click here.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting six Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) Provider Education Webinars/Conference Calls to assist PERM Cycle 1** Medicaid-enrolled providers prepare for these unique federal audits. The six sessions are identical in content, but you may want to listen in on more to hear the different questions and answers. The calls are designed to provide an opportunity for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers to enhance your understanding of your specific responsibilities so you are prepared before and during PERM audits.
The PERM program is designed to measure improper payments in the Medicaid and CHIP programs, as required by the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) of 2002 (amended in 2010 by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act or IPERA).
The dates of the calls in 2012 are May 23, June 21, July 24, August 23, September 25, and October 24. Each occurs 2-3 pm EST.
For more details and to register for one or more webinars/conference calls, click here then go to the “provider education webinar/conference schedule download” link: www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Monitoring-Programs/PERM/Provider_Education_Calls.html
**PERM cycle 1 states are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
The Trust for America's Health, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released a report in March 2012, "Investing in America's Health, A State By State Look at Public Health Funding and Key Health Facts"
Their premise is, "investing in disease prevention is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health. It can help spare millions of Americans from developing preventable illnesses, reduce health care costs, and improve the productivity of the American workforce so we can be competitive with the rest of the world. Tens of millions of Americans are currently suffering from preventable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And, today's children are in danger of becoming the first generation in American history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents."
To see and share the full 48-page report, click here: Investing in America's Health
On February 9, 2012 John Hill, NAME Governmental Affairs Committee Chair met with Jennifer Sheehy and Mary Louise Dirrigl from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services to discuss the status of the proposed changes to 34 CFR §300.154(d)(2)(iv). The proposed regulation was published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2011. The public comment period closed on December 12, 2011. The proposed regulation can be reviewed at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-09-28/pdf/2011-22784.pdf.
To view all of the public comments submitted go to: www.regulations.gov.
Jennifer Sheehy and Mary Louise Dirrigl indicated that OSERS has completed its review of the comments, and is currently drafting the final rule. The draft final rule will be reviewed within the Department, and then forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a 90 day review period. After approval by OMB, the Final Regulation will then be published in the Federal Register.
While Jennifer and Mary Louise could not give an estimated date on how long the process will take, they did indicate it is one of the Department’s priorities.