Resources for State Officials on COVID-19
Medicaid programs, health insurance Marketplaces, and insurance Commissioners have been working alongside Governors and public health leaders responding to the COVID-19 crisis. SHVS is bringing together toolkits, templates, state examples, and expert analysis.
Since March 2020, many states have rapidly leveraged federal and state flexibilities under the public health emergency to expand telehealth capabilities and reimbursement through both public and private payers. Now, some states are extending telehealth for the long term or expanding their existing telehealth programs. Increased uptake of telehealth could reduce administrative costs, transportation costs, and wait times. It also could exacerbate existing disparities if barriers to care for populations experiencing these disparities are not addressed. To realize telehealth’s potential for increasing equity in access, states must analyze the impact of these services. This expert perspective highlights considerations for states to maximize the potential of telehealth care to improve equity.
On Thursday, August 12, State Health and Value Strategies is hosting a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health and Health Equity Solutions will provide an overview of the strategies states can pursue in partnership with community-based organizations to reduce disparities in COVID-19 vaccine uptake, and in the longer term, to build a more equitable and sustainable public health system. While more than 20 states and the District of Columbia reached the Biden administration’s goal of administering one or more COVID-19 vaccine doses to at least 70 percent of adults by early July, wide variation in vaccination rates persists across communities within these states and among the 30 states still working to reach this goal. This variation in vaccination rates at the community level translates to disparities across racial and ethnic groups, as most states continue to have disparities in vaccination rates between Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and white populations. States and their community partners are implementing a broad range of distribution and outreach strategies to improve vaccine equity and are looking to build sustainable infrastructure and capacity to advance health equity within state and local public health and health care delivery systems.
To help states respond to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have invoked their emergency powers to authorize temporary flexibilities in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Congress’s legislative relief packages have provided additional federal support for state Medicaid programs, subject to certain conditions. The timeframes for these emergency measures are summarized in the chart, including the effective dates and expiration timelines dictated by law or agency guidance. The chart also includes current end dates, which are subject to change as federal and state officials take actions to renew or terminate particular authorities.