Sep, 23, 2022

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – Jami Snyder, Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, received the 2022 HIE Excellence Leadership Award from Contexture, Arizona’s health information exchange, for outstanding leadership in the health information technology area. The award, bestowed during the 15th Annual Arizona HIE Summit & Trade Show, recognizes Snyder for advancing technological solutions aimed at improving quality and patient experience while lowering costs.
  • Michigan
    • Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the expansion of access to birth control, allowing pharmacists to partner with doctors to directly prescribe hormonal birth control. This action offers easier access to birth control and provides greater freedom for family planning.
    • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an invitation to the public to attend a virtual meeting on October 3 regarding the list of prescription drugs covered under Michigan’s Medicaid health plans. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum for the public, stakeholders and interested parties to comment on the prescription list. This forum is in addition to the quarterly written public comment periods.
  • New Jersey – The Murphy Administration announced the addition of a human health supplement to its New Jersey Scientific Report on Climate Change. This addendum will provide information for people, businesses, and government entities across the state to better understand how climate change will impact human health and communities.
  • Nevada – Governor Steve Sisolak announced the launch of a digital discount card for prescription drugs, which will help Nevadans save up to 80% on certain medications. All Nevadans will be able to enroll for free for the discount card, regardless of age, income, or citizenship.
  • North Carolina – CMS approved the extension of Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months after pregnancy in North Carolina. As a result, up to an additional 28,000 people will now be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP for a full year after pregnancy in North Carolina. With this approval, in combination with previously approved state extensions, an estimated 361,000 Americans annually in 24 states and D.C. are eligible for 12 months of postpartum coverage.
  • Ohio – The Ohio Department of Medicaid launched an online behavioral health tool that provides families, teachers, and healthcare providers with resources to navigate children’s behavioral health needs. The content was developed by a panel of clinical childhood behavioral health experts.
  • Oklahoma – A new report from CMS ranked Oklahoma as the top state in the nation for Medicaid application and eligibility processing speed. According to the report, Oklahoma was the only state to process and conduct 100% of applications in less than 24 hours during the first three months of 2022. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority processed nearly 59,000 applications during the reported timeframe.
  • Oregon
    • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released an updated report on the progress of behavioral health investments in Oregon. According to the Behavioral Health Investment Report, as of mid-September, OHA has spent or obligated $845 million of the $1.35 billion the Oregon Legislature appropriated during the 2021-2023 biennium, to transform the state’s behavioral health system. In early 2023, state health officials will release additional funds to support mobile crisis services, expand supportive housing for people in substance use treatment and increase rates for behavioral health programs. New rates require federal approval, which is pending.
    • The OHA Ombuds Program, which serves as the advocate for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members, released a new report detailing top concerns from members of OHP during 2021. Established by legislation, the Ombuds Program provides recommendations and additional oversight internally to OHA Medicaid programs and externally to Medicaid contractors and is independent of Medicaid program implementation, operations or compliance. The report summarizes four areas of significant member concern: OHP member enrollment and member-centered transitions across services and benefits; care coordination improvements; language access and equity-centered approaches; mental health and substance use disorder priorities and existing gaps.
  • Rhode Island – The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner has approved commercial health insurance premiums for 2023, with modifications that will save Rhode Islanders $22,880,000 in 2023 compared to what commercial insurers requested in their rate filings.