On Monday, November 1, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that reviewed steps states can take to integrate health equity into their Medicaid managed care programs. Medicaid’s role in providing healthcare coverage to individuals who experience economic and social disadvantage is leading many states to integrate health equity into their population health management strategies, focusing specific attention on reducing health disparities and addressing conditions that create health inequities. The webinar profiled the recently published Promoting Health Equity in Medicaid Managed Care: A Guide for States, a practical guide that offers a series of concrete actions state Medicaid agencies can implement internally and with their contracted health plans in pursuit of health equity. During the webinar, experts from Bailit Health reviewed the three sections of the Guide and facilitated a discussion with state officials.
Protected: State-Based Marketplace (SBM) Strategies for Streamlining Coverage Transitions Post-Public Health Emergency (PHE)
On October 25, 2021, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a virtual roundtable focused on SBM-Medicaid coordination strategies, opportunities and challenges related to enrollment, and communication and outreach tactics for SBMs to consider in preparation for the end of the PHE.
The End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Data and IT “Table Stakes” for Retaining Coverage Gains
Following the expiration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE), states will resume normal eligibility and enrollment activities for all enrollees in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The volume of expected redetermination activity at the end of the PHE is unprecedented. This issue brief reviews state Medicaid/CHIP agency data and information technology (IT) system “table stakes”—strategies that will have the highest impact for states seeking to ensure that eligible enrollees are able to keep or transition to new affordable health coverage when the PHE continuous coverage requirements end. If adopted, these strategies will also enable states to dramatically improve Medicaid/CHIP enrollment and coverage retention in the longer-term for people eligible for government subsidized health coverage.
SHVS is tracking the latest federal guidance related to implementation and oversight of the No Surprises Act (NSA), the comprehensive federal law banning balance bills in emergency and certain non-emergency settings beginning January 1, 2022. This resource page highlights the latest SHVS resources for states on federal NSA guidance and summarizes its implications for state regulators.
Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations: State-Funded Affordable Coverage Programs for Immigrants
Access to affordable health coverage and healthcare for immigrant populations in the U.S. is critical to advancing health equity and reducing health disparities. This issue brief—the first in a series “Supporting Health Equity and Affordable Health Coverage for Immigrant Populations”—provides an overview of the national immigrant health coverage landscape and offers considerations for policymakers related to state-funded affordable coverage programs for low-income individuals who do not qualify for subsidized health insurance under the ACA or other public programs due to immigration status.
COVID-19, the resulting behavioral health crisis (including those related to mental health and substance use disorders), and calls for law enforcement reform related to behavioral health crisis response have heightened the urgency among federal, state, and local policymakers to expand access to behavioral health crisis services. Recently, the federal government has provided new funding opportunities to states to improve access to behavioral health crisis services, including mobile crisis services. As states review the opportunities available to begin, enhance, or expand mobile crisis intervention services under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, policymakers may further consider a hybrid funding model that provides mobile crisis providers with a consistent and steady stream of funding to ensure they are able to maintain 24/7 availability and respond in a timely manner to all individuals in crisis, regardless of insurance status. Such a new model for funding mobile crisis services could also be designed to hold payers accountable for covering mobile crisis services when their enrolled members use this essential resource. This issue brief presents a sustainable, hybrid coverage and funding approach for mobile crisis services.
Collection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Data: Considerations for Medicaid and Spotlight on Oregon
Thirteen million people identify as part of a sexual or gender minority (SGM) in the United States, and an estimated 1.17 million of those SGM adults (age 18-64 old) have Medicaid as their primary source of health insurance. Although there has been increasing recognition over the last decade that sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) are important determinants of health, the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has amplified the stark health disparities that many vulnerable populations face. Despite gaps and inconsistencies in state and federal reporting on COVID-19, data continues to show that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) have been disproportionately impacted by both higher risks of infection and poorer health outcomes. However, health-related data about SGM populations is particularly scarce. This brief documents how information describing SGM populations is currently collected at the federal level and in Medicaid. The brief also spotlights Oregon’s recent efforts to improve the collection of SOGI data, and present several issues that states should consider as they look to improve their collection of SOGI data in Medicaid.
Promoting Health Equity in Medicaid Managed Care: A Guide for States describes recommended process steps for states to integrate a focus on health equity in their Medicaid managed care programs. It offers a series of concrete steps to be more intentional about advancing health equity in Medicaid, and specifically through Medicaid managed care programs. The guide focuses on the internal agency commitments and changes that are necessary to address systemic barriers to accessing high quality health care and improving health outcomes, particularly among populations that experience persistent health inequities. It is organized into three primary sections, each containing specific actions for Medicaid agencies.
State Health and Value Strategies, in partnership with Health Equity Solutions, created the Health Equity Language Guide for State Officials which is comprised of three tools to help state officials with the language they use to discuss and write about race and health equity. The Guide includes definitions and explanations of words and phrases, how to think about their usage, and examples of how they might be applied.