Waivers of the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) Exclusion: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
On June 21, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program, together with technical assistance experts from Manatt Health, hosted a webinar to discuss the status of state efforts to secure waivers to use federal Medicaid funding to provide care in Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD). The webinar reviewed the requirements states must meet to secure an IMD waiver; the status of requests and approvals; and issues and opportunities arising as states pursue and increasingly implement the IMD waiver. We were joined by leadership from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, which received approval of its IMD waiver in October 2017 and is now in the implementation phase.
In recent months, several proposals have been introduced at both the federal and state levels that would permit people above Medicaid eligibility levels to “buy in” to Medicaid or would leverage the Medicaid program to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. In this webinar, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) program, together with technical assistance experts from Manatt Health, examined the central considerations that a state must take into account when developing a Medicaid buy-in proposal; the primary models for state-administered Medicaid buy-in proposals, and the administrative considerations and authorities needed for each model. The webinar also reviewed Section 1332 waiver authority and related deficit neutrality and pass-through funding implications that states will want to consider as they craft their buy-in proposals. We also highlighted states’ current efforts to develop buy-in initiatives.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released on April 9, 2018 its annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, a collection of policies governing the ACA’s marketplaces, insurance reforms, and premium stabilization programs. The first such annual notice issued under the Trump Administration, it contains a number of provisions that require state officials to make important decisions on short notice that will affect plan benefits, premiums, and marketplace operations. State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar, together with experts Sabrina Corlette and Justin Giovannelli from Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, Joel Ario from Manatt Health and Jason Levitis, to help participants untangle the rule and its many implications for states.
Global budgeting is an innovative payment approach for rural hospitals that can enhance financial solvency and advance population health. Hospitals with global budgets know their revenues in advance of the year and so can concentrate on providing the services their communities need as well as on the prevention and management of chronic illness. Maryland rural hospitals have received global budgets since 2010; selected Pennsylvania rural hospitals will be starting on global budgets soon.
Analysis of the Trump Administration’s Proposed Short-Term Health Plan Rule: Implications for States
The Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released a proposed rule to implement the President’s October 12, 2017 executive order calling for expanded availability of short-term limited duration health plans that do not have to comply with Affordable Care Act standards. The proposed rule would relax current federal rules by allowing short-term plans to be sold for a duration of up to 12 months. It also modifies required consumer disclosures about these products.
State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on how states are utilizing a variety of approaches to require and assess the use of APM strategies through their contracted health plans. Beth Waldman from Bailit Health highlighted findings from a SHVS resource entitled State Medicaid Approaches for Defining and Tracking Managed Care Organizations Implementation of Alternative Payment Models. Staff from the Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner and Texas Health and Human Services Commission participated to share insights on their APM approaches.
State Health and Value Strategies is hosting a webinar on categorizing value-based payment models according to the LAN Alternative Payment Models (APM) Framework. Megan Burns from Bailit Health highlights findings from an upcoming SHVS resource for states, Categorizing Value-Based Payment Models According to the LAN Alternative Payment Model Framework: Examples of Payment Models by Category. The webinar provides real-world examples of what types of payment models fit within the LAN categories. Kat Latet, Manager, Health System Innovation at Community Health Plan of Washington participates and discusses the development and categorization of their APM.
New Work and Community Engagement Requirements: Overview of Federal Activity and State Considerations
On January 11th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a State Medicaid Director letter providing guidance for states seeking 1115 waivers that condition Medicaid eligibility on work and community engagement, quickly followed by approval of Kentucky’s 1115 waivers that include these requirements. Both the new guidance and recent waiver approval represents a significant departure from past Administrations’ positions. In this webinar, the State Health and Value Strategies program, together with technical assistance experts from Manatt Health, review the new guidance, including key design parameters, budget neutrality requirements, and monitoring and evaluation criteria. The webinar also discusses state legal, policy and operational considerations for implementing work and community engagement requirements and highlight key elements of Kentucky’s waiver approval.
State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar the first week of January to outline state considerations and options to address federal policy changes that could impact individual market stability. Technical experts from Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reform, Manatt Health, and others discussed the implications of individual mandate repeal in the tax bill and opportunities for state action, including reinsurance and state-level policies to incentivize enrollment. In addition, experts discuss potential changes to short-term policies that could also impact enrollment and premiums in the individual market. The webinar also explores potential budget impacts of the tax legislation on other health programs, including Medicaid.
States continue to develop strategies to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. In recent months, we have seen several proposals at both the federal and state levels that would leverage state Medicaid programs as a key component of coverage stability and affordability strategies. The webinar highlights and defines potential policy options, including the “Medicaid Buy-in,” that states may consider to leverage Medicaid to achieve their goals with respect to coverage availability and affordability. We discuss the conditions that make each option more or less favorable for a state, and implementation issues or other considerations in play for states.