Unlike other portions of the higher education sphere, the health sciences are shielded from criticism about the declining value of spending money and devoting the amount of time necessary to obtain a college degree. A steady growth in the U.S. population accompanied by increases both numerically and proportionately of individuals age 65 and older, a group that generates a considerable amount of demand for health care services, means that the nation must continue to address the challenge of producing enough adequately prepared personnel to meet patient needs.
Higher education costs remain high for many students and their families. Some individuals might begin the pursuit of a college degree, but never complete what is necessary and they end up leaving school without that credential, but not without a large amount of debt that must be repaid. Unless their education is linked directly to specific job prospects, such as health care, questions have been raised about the wisdom of pursuing such an educational goal in the first place. An alternative in the form of vocational education has been receiving some attention lately.
As a reflection of that emerging interest, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) on July 16 of this year introduced the Break the Higher Education Monopoly Act of 2019 (S. 2123) and the Skin in the Game Act (S. 2124). S. 2123 would amend the Federal Pell Grant program to allow job training and apprenticeship programs to be eligible for Pell Grants. The bill directs the U.S. Department of Education Secretary to devise an alternative certification program that would not require accreditation, state authorization, minimum instructional hours, or minimum classroom time for educational programs to be Pell-eligible. S. 2124 would require colleges and universities to pay off 50% of student loans that are in default and are associated with their institution. The bill would prohibit institutions from raising tuition or creating other fees to cover loan repayments.
Update On The National Advisory Committee On Institutional Quality And Integrity
The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) conducted a meeting in Alexandria, Virginia on July 30-31, 2019. The purpose of this entity is to provide recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Education on recognition of accrediting organizations. Recognition by the Department of Education (USDE) affirms that the standards and processes of accrediting organizations and state accreditation approval agencies demonstrate compliance with criteria. A current effort involves publishing a final rule before November 1, 2019 on proposed regulations regarding accreditation, innovation, and other issues so that the rules will be effective on July 1, 2020. The Department received a total of 198 comments on the proposed regulations that reflect some concerns expressed regarding: retroactive accreditation for institutions and programs, and increasing the time allowed for institutions and programs to come into compliance with accreditor requirements.
Repeal Of The “Gainful Employment” Regulation
During the Obama Administration, a successful attempt was made to crack down on low-performing programs at for-profit schools and other career colleges by implementing a “gainful employment” regulation. The past decade has witnessed an ongoing series of debates and litigation about this matter. Democrats have viewed the rule as an important necessary safeguard for both students and taxpayers while the for-profit sector of the education industry opposed it on the rationale that it unfairly held for-profit colleges to standards that non-profit and public institutions were not required to meet. As published on July 1, 2019 in the Federal Register, the Secretary of the Department of Education amends the regulations on institutional eligibility under the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, and the Student Assistance General Provisions to rescind the Department’s gainful employment regulations. The repeal of the regulation is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2020. As a means of accelerating the process, the Trump Administration announced that it was exercising its authority to permit "early implementation" of the repeal, effectively freeing schools of the regulation immediately.
CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN DOING THE RIGHT THING
Indicates the importance of providing appropriate health care based on accurate diagnoses. Read More
PRESIDENT’S CORNER—ASAHP MEMBER FOCUS
Susan Hanrahan offers her thoughts on the upcoming ASAHP Annual Conference, the Institutional Profile Survey, and other relevant activities of the Association. Read More
ACCELERATED PACE ON CAPITOL HILL
Describes legislation involving the budget, appropriations, the health workforce, along with telehealth and rural health proposed initiatives. Read More
HEALTH REFORM DEVELOPMENTS
Discusses efforts to enhance quality care in hospitals and the potential impact of reimbursing at Medicare rates on the health insurance exchanges. Read More
DEVELOPMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Summarizes recent activity by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, and repeal of the “Gainful Employment” regulation. Read More
QUICK STAT (SHORT, TIMELY, AND TOPICAL)
Aerobic Activity And Time Spent On Sedentary Behavior Among U.S. Adults
Unintentional Injury And Death Rates In U.S. Rural And Urban Areas
Achieving Better Health Care Integration Of Radiology
Manufacture Of Thread-Based Transistors For A Wide Range Of Health Applications Read More
AVAILABLE RESOURCES ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONICALLY
Investing In Interventions That Address Non-Medical, Health-Related Social Needs
Joint Commission Educational Campaign On Preventing Falls
A New Proposed Fix On Long-Term Care Read More
GAP BETWEEN WHAT IS SAID BY PROVIDERS AND HEARD BY PATIENTS
Mentions how health professionals and patients may not always have the same amount of understanding of statements involving treatability. Read More
ASSESSMENT OF ADULT COMPETENCIES
Refers to data from the National Center for Education Statistics on the topic of adult literacy. Read More