Author Archives: afscme

Permanent Hiring in Health Care Expected to Remain Steady in the Back Half of 2013, According to CareerBuilder and MiracleWorkers.com’s Midyear Job Forecast

Source: CareerBuilder, Press Release, July 18, 2013

Health care workers can expect a stable employment environment over the next six months accompanied by a surge in temporary jobs. In CareerBuilder and MiracleWorkers.com’s latest national survey, health care employers indicated that full-time, permanent hiring in the second half of 2013 will show a gradual improvement over 2012 while temporary and contract hiring is expected to increase 15 percentage points over last year. …

…Looking forward to the next six months of the year, the study shows there will be a continued boost in temporary hiring activity as well as incremental increases in hiring for full-time and part-time positions:
· 51 percent of health care employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up two percentage points from last year
· 34 percent plan to hire part-time employees, up from 28 percent last year
· 27 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 12 percent last year

Detroit Bankruptcy Takes Aim at Pensions

Source: Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes, July 19, 2013

…Orr sprung the hurry-up filing yesterday because union pension fund attorneys were scheduled to be in court on Monday, arguing for an injunction against bankruptcy. The state constitution appears to protect public employee pensions: “The accrued financial benefits of each pension plan and retirement system of the state and its political subdivisions shall be a contractual obligation thereof and shall not be diminished or impaired thereby.” But proponents of making city workers bite the bullet note that bankruptcy judges have wide latitude to break contracts. …

20th Annual Highway Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems

Source: David T. Hartgen, M. Gregory Fields, Elizabeth San José and Adrian Moore Reason Foundation, Policy Study 406, July 2013

From the summary:
Reason Foundation’s 20th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems tracks the performance of state-owned highway systems of the United States from 1984 to 2009. Eleven indicators make up each state’s overall rating, including highway expenditures, interstate and primary road pavement condition, bridge condition, urban interstate congestion, fatality rates and narrow rural lanes. The study is based on spending and performance data submitted by the state highway agencies to the federal government.

The system’s overall condition improved dramatically from 2008 to 2009. Six of the seven key indicators of system condition showed improvement, including large gains in rural interstate and urban interstate condition, and a reduction in the fatality rate. Only rural arterial condition worsened slightly, but poor mileage is still only a fraction of 1 percent. These improvements were achieved despite a slight reduction in per-mile expenditures. All seven indicators of performance improved between 2005 and 2009. Overall, expenditures for state-owned roads have increased about 18.8 percent since 2005, but in the 2008-09 recession expenditures actually decreased slightly between 2008 and 2009, dropping about 0.6 percent. States were also more cost-efficient with their money in 2009: administrative costs dropped about 14 percent (possibly through the states disbursing funds received earlier). In addition, money was shifted to capital and bridge expenditures (up 3.5 percent) and maintenance expenditures (up 11.0 percent).

Coverage of Medicaid Preventive Services for Adults – A National Review

Source: Sara Wilensky, Elizabeth Gray, George Washington University, November 2012

There was significant variation among states in which services were covered under Medicaid for non‐elderly, non‐pregnant adults. While some research has been published examining Medicaid coverage of select preventive services, there has not been a comprehensive look at state‐level Medicaid coverage of preventive services for adults. This study is intended to provide a better understanding of Medicaid coverage of preventive services for adults in the current state programs, help guide federal policymakers as they make decisions about the criteria qualifying a state for the FMAP increase, and inform state policy makers as they consider the level of preventive benefits and services to offer should they expand Medicaid in 2014….
Related:
Existing Medicaid Beneficiaries Left Off The Affordable Care Act’s Prevention Bandwagon
Source: Sara E. Wilensky, Elizabeth A. Gray, Health Affairs, Vol. 32 no. 7, July 2013
(subscription required)

Justice Expenditure And Employment Extracts, 2010 – Preliminary

Source: Tracey Kyckelhahn, Tara Martin, NCJ 242544, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 1, 2013

From the summary:
Presents data from the Census Bureau’s Annual Government Finance Survey and Annual Survey of Public Employment. This series includes national, federal, and state-level estimates of government expenditures and employment for the following justice categories: police protection, all judicial and legal functions (including prosecution, courts, and public defense), and corrections. Data for large local governments (counties with populations of 500,000 or more and cities with populations of 300,000 or more) are also included.

These data are preliminary and subject to change. They will be superseded by data released approximately a year from the publication of this series. Federal data are updated for 2 years after the initial preliminary release. Although every effort is made to obtain financial information from state and local government entities, financial statements and completed questionnaires may not be available at the time the Census Bureau closes processing. Missing data are imputed until complete data are obtained…
Comma-delimited format (CSV)
Historical Overview
Definitions of Terms and Concepts
Methodology
Comparability issues

Delay in Implementation of Potential Employer Penalties Under ACA

Source: Janemarie Mulvey, Bernadette Fernandez, Annie L. Mach, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report for Congress, R43150, July 16, 2013

…On July 2, 2013, the Obama Administration announced that it is going to delay, until 2015, enforcement and associated reporting requirements relating to potential employer penalties under ACA. On July 11, 2013, the IRS released Notice 2013-45, which provided more detailed information on this transitional relief. According to the IRS notice, this transition relief will provide additional time for input from employers and other reporting entities in an effort to simplify information reporting consistent with effective implementation of the law.

This delay may have implications for an individual’s health insurance coverage and eligibility for tax assistance provided through the exchanges. One potential impact of a delay in the enforcement of potential employer penalties may be a lower than projected number of “large” employers offering health insurance coverage. This may result in a larger than projected increase in the number of workers eligible for premium tax credits in the exchanges in 2014 and an increase in the number of uninsured. However, while measurement of the magnitude of this effect is beyond the scope of this paper, one recent study found that a delay may not have a significant effect on the employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have not yet completed an analysis of the impact that the Administration’s announcement and other recently issued final rules will have on spending and revenues under current law…

Safe Patient Handling

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, 2013

From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a campaign to raise awareness about the hazards likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders among health care workers responsible for patient care. These disorders include sprains, strains, soft tissue and back injuries…. As part of the campaign, OSHA is providing 2,500 employers, unions and associations in the health care industry in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia with information about methods used to control hazards, such as lifting excessive weight during patient transfers and handling. OSHA is also providing information about how employers can include a zero-lift program, which minimizes direct patient lifting by using specialized lifting equipment and transfer tools….
Related:
Hazards and Solutions
Training and Additional Resources
State Legislation
Starting a Safe Patient Handling Program