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Econometrica Supports HUD Toolkit Responding to Education Challenges From COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted the nation in many ways, including children’s education. As schools get set to reopen this fall, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a toolkit aimed at strengthening families and students living in HUD-assisted housing during the pandemic.

From August 2020 to March 2021, Econometrica supported HUD in a series of COVID-19 education peer exchanges. A key outcome from this series is Supporting Our Kids’ Education: Tools to Strengthen Resident Families & Students During COVID-19 & Beyond, a toolkit for public housing agencies and their community partners that responds to the educational challenges experienced by families and children during the pandemic.

The toolkit was developed by HUD’s Office of Choice Neighborhoods in partnership with grantees and expert consultants from Econometrica to provide case studies, ready-to-use family flyers, and a wealth of evidence-based resource links. Topics include:

  • Addressing learning loss.
  • Strengthening families’ ability to support their children’s learning.
  • Developing high-quality out-of-school time programming and tutoring.
  • Establishing learning hubs.

The toolkit highlights open source, research-based tools and resources as well as promising practice case studies that equip housing authorities and their partners to provide targeted educational services and strengthen the ability of families to support their children’s learning.

HUD focused on education because “COVID-19 has exacerbated the stark disparities between low-income housing residents and their higher-income peers.”

“With remote and hybrid learning, children living in public housing and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-assisted housing often face a variety of hurdles, from increased food insecurity and spotty internet service to challenges with student engagement and disruptions in specialized education supports.”

“With remote and hybrid learning, children living in public housing and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-assisted housing often face a variety of hurdles, from increased food insecurity and spotty internet service to challenges with student engagement and disruptions in specialized education supports.”

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

CMS Releases Updated Look at COVID-19’s Impact on the Medicare Population

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a snapshot of the impact COVID-19 has had on the Medicare population. The monthly update, released June 30, shows there were more than 4.3 million COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and more than 1.2 million COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Data in the snapshot covers the period January 1, 2020, to April 24, 2021.

A factsheet and additional information can be fund at https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-systems/preliminary-medicare-covid-19-data-snapshot.

The Evolution of the Housing Supply Shortage

For years, the United States has faced a housing shortage, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent analysis from Freddie Mac examines how a combination of strong demand and low mortgage rates have contributed to the shortfall, with estimates indicating the shortage rose 52 percent from 2.5 million in 2018 to 3.8 million in 2020.

The research note—which builds on an article Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Vice President and Chief Economist, wrote in April—points to the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes as a main driver of the housing shortfall.

“As we navigate our way through the year and get beyond the pandemic, we expect the housing supply shortage to continue to be one of the largest obstacles to inclusive economic growth in the U.S.,” Khater wrote. “Simply put, we must build more single-family entry-level housing to address this shortage, which has strong implications for the wealth, health and stability of American communities.”

The number of new entry-level homes has fallen precipitously since the 1970s, according to the estimates. In 2020, Freddie Mac estimated that only 65,000 new entry-level homes were completed, less than one-fifth of the same homes constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

High demand and low mortgage rates have driven the shortfall even higher. “This high demand has driven the housing supply shortage even higher and has also caused home prices to rise over 12% from a year ago,” Freddie Mac wrote.

The research notes several other reasons for the shortfall, including:

  • Lack of available construction labor.
  • Increasing raw material costs. During the pandemic, lumber prices increased more than 150 percent.
  • Land use regulations and zoning restrictions.
  • Demographic changes. In particular, Millennials, which are the largest demographic in the United States, are reaching prime first-time homebuying age.

The number of new entry-level homes has fallen precipitously since the 1970s, according to the estimates. In 2020, Freddie Mac estimated that only 65,000 new entry-level homes were completed, less than one-fifth of the same homes constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The State Data Resource Center’s Recommendations to Support Vaccine Equity

BETHESDA, MD – As of April 26, 29 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. Vaccines are now available to all U.S. adults, and 2.6 million doses are being administered in the United States every day. As vaccination rates continue to increase, it is important that vaccine distribution is monitored to ensure that vulnerable populations are reached. Ensuring equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine—recognized as a national priority by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) —requires that data are available and appropriately used to evaluate socioeconomic and demographic vaccine distribution trends.

Earlier this month, the State Data Resource Center (SDRC) released information to support states in identifying COVID-19 vaccination Medicare claims among their dually eligible beneficiaries. SDRC was established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2011 to help states obtain dually eligible beneficiary data. Econometrica supports CMS in providing resources to states to assist in requesting and using Medicare data files for care coordination and program integrity purposes.

The COVID-19 vaccine information was posted as an announcement on the SDRC website, developed and operated by Econometrica, and includes a recommended process for identifying COVID-19 vaccine claims in both the Coordination of Benefits Agreement (eCOBA) file and the monthly Parts A and B dataset. In both files, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes are used to identify COVID-19 vaccine claims. Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson each have their own assigned HCPCS codes with additional vaccine administration codes that specify whether the claim was the individual’s first or second dose.

In addition to identifying COVID-19 vaccine claims and ensuring each beneficiary received the appropriate number of doses, SDRC recommends that states link these claims to the beneficiary’s demographic information. In doing so, disparities in vaccine uptake across race/ethnicity, disability status, or geography can be evaluated and addressed.

The SDRC announcement highlights an important opportunity for state Medicaid agencies. Analyses, made possible through the use of SDRC data and the SDRC support team, can help to inform policy. By identifying any racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic disparities in access to COVID-19 vaccines, state policymakers can shift their distribution plans to ensure vaccines are available to vulnerable, dually eligible beneficiaries.

Vaccines are now available to all U.S. adults, and 2.6 million doses are being administered in the United States every day.

Econometrica: Black Lives Matter

Econometrica: Black Lives Matter

BETHESDA, MD – The events unfolding over the last several months have been extremely difficult to watch. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis set off a wave of protest and introspection about race in America, much of which is long overdue. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the Nation, particularly in long-neglected Black communities.

It is clear that we are experiencing a pivotal point in our Nation’s history.
Econometrica actively stands with the Black community, our colleagues, their families, and clients in the fight against racism, injustice, and inequality. We stand with our community and firmly declare Black Lives Matter, today and every day.

Econometrica will continue to strive to create and maintain a diverse and welcoming workplace, something that is pivotal to our high-quality work, mission, and success. Our colleagues deserve it, and our clients and partners expect it. We must not lose sight of these issues, today or in the future; we must instead work to make a positive impact on the world. There is still much work to be done, but we are filled with hope as the world comes together in solidarity.

We encourage everyone to support each other with kindness and patience. A few of the many ways to get involved include signing petitions that promote change, donating to causes that are important to you, and taking time to learn more about issues relating to racial discrimination.

Please stay safe and stay strong. We are with you.

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust… We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

— Thurgood Marshall

Cyrus Baghelai's signature

 

 

Cyrus Baghelai
President/CEO

Econometrica will continue to strive to create and maintain a diverse and welcoming workplace, something that is pivotal to our high-quality work, mission, and success. Our colleagues deserve it, and our clients and partners expect it.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield