US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Issues Message to Our Nation’s Health Care Providers
HHS has issued a letter to health care providers to ensure that they are aware of their ability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to take action, consistent with their ethical standards or other legal obligations, to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when they believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people.
Sequestration and Fiscal Cliff - FAQs and What You Can Do
What is Sequestration?
The Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) established caps on discretionary spending over 10 years, resulting in $1 trillion in cuts spread across defense and non-defense discretionary programs. The law also directed a congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to identify an additional $1.2 trillion in budget savings over ten years.
The failure of the bi-partisan “super committee” to come to an agreement on a deficit reduction plan, triggered a “sequester” to take effect on January 2, 2013. Sequestration will mean an automatic 8.4 percent cut to program funding levels for most non-defense discretionary programs.
Non-defense discretionary or “NDD” programs are core functions that the U.S. federal government provides for the benefit of all, including medical and scientific research; education and job training; infrastructure; public safety and law enforcement; public health; weather monitoring and environmental protection; natural and cultural resources; housing and social services; and international relations.. These cuts will truly be across-the-board, with no departmental or agency control on how the sequester impacts individual programs.
What is the Fiscal Cliff?
The fiscal cliff is a combination of federal tax and spending legislation that must be addressed very quickly (within the next month). Tax cuts, including the so-called Bush tax cuts, are set to expire soon. Congress will have to figure out whether to extend them, and if so, which ones to extend. These proposed tax cuts combined with the looming spending cuts are essentially what equates to the fiscal cliff.
How does this affect me?
Most music therapists work in settings that will be affected by pending sequestration cuts. Whether you are working in a hospital setting, a school setting, a VA program, or even if you are self-employed; it is almost guaranteed that the spending cuts proposed to correspond with sequestration will affect you directly.
What happens now?
Lawmakers will be working to come to a compromise. Most expect that they will be able to reach some sort of temporary deal before the end of the year. Unfortunately, that is far from a sure thing.
What can you do?
· Use the contact as an opportunity to educate. Let your representatives know that you are a practicing music therapist living / working in their district. Name your facility or neighborhood.
· Express your concerns about the looming crisis and request that they work to find a balanced and bi-partisan approach to solving America’s fiscal issues.
· Let your representative know that you plan to pay attention to how they respond to this issue and will be in touch once any changes or decisions are made.
This is a great opportunity to ”make your voice heard” to your Federal legislators and make it known that concern about the fiscal crisis is a reality within their constituencies.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Rebecca Smith, AMTA Government Relations Associate, email@example.com
Department of Labor - Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Allied Health Competency Model
"The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems." (http://www.doleta.gov/etainfo/mission.cfm)
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has worked with technical and subject matter experts from education, business, and industry to develop a comprehensive competency model for the Allied Health industry sector. The model identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for workers to perform successfully in the field of Allied Health.
AMTA Government Relations Director, Judy Simpson, participated as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for ETA's Industry Competency Initiative for Allied Health. AMTA also served as a Validator and Industry Champion in the Model development process. Ongoing collaboration with the Health Professions Network (HPN) was instrumental in AMTA's participation in this project.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Releases White Paper on Arts and Human Development
The National Endowment for the Arts is leading a new task force of 13 federal agencies and departments to encourage more and better research on how the arts help people reach their full potential at all stages of life. The new task force will look for ways to facilitate discussion, showcase, and share recent research on the arts and human development. A white paper titled "The Arts and Human Development: Framing a National Research Agenda for the Arts, Lifelong Learning, and Individual Well-Being," has been developed to examine the relationship between the arts and positive health and educational outcomes at various segments of the lifespan -- from early childhood, to youth and adolescence, to older adult populations. AMTA was invited to participate in the introductory webinar and will be contributing to the collection process as it moves forward.
Institute of Medicine (IOM) - Allied Health Workforce Workshop Summary Released
Earlier this year, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) held a two-day meeting titled, “Workshop on the Allied Health Workforce and Professions.” The workshop was intended to examine the current allied health care workforce and consider how that workforce contributes to solutions for improving access to health care services, particularly for underserved, rural, and other populations.
Content included a discussion on the definition of the allied health workforce and improving workforce strategies geared towards increasing access to allied health services. Attention was focused on raising awareness for policy makers, state and local governments, and allied health care providers to improve regulations related to allied health care delivery.
HPSO - Risk Advisor Newsletter
The HPSO Risk Advisor is published as an added benefit for the insurance customers of Healthcare Providers Service Organization. The Risk Advisor shares articles of interest, answers to frequently asked questions and actual case studies. Please click here for more information