State Health Updates
- Alabama – The Alabama Department of Health is partnering with Count the Kicks, an evidence-based stillbirth prevention campaign, to educate and empower expectant parents about the importance of paying attention to their baby’s movements in the third trimester. Count the Kicks helps improve birth outcomes by teaching expectant parents the method for and importance of monitoring their baby’s movements during the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Kansas – Governor Laura Kelly announced that her administration has begun distributing $51 million in bonuses to home and community-based services direct care workers. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is disbursing the funds as one-time payments to the state’s three Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). MCOs will then disburse the funds to providers who will pay bonuses to their direct support staff no later than March 30, 2023.
- Massachusetts – The Baker-Polito administration received federal approval to expand and extend its Medicaid section 1115 waiver through December 2027. The demonstration approved by CMS supports integrated, outcomes-based care for MassHealth’s two million members and brings a new focus on advancing health equity by closing disparities in quality and access. The demonstration also focuses on investing in primary, behavioral and pediatric healthcare.
- Minnesota – The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced that ten service providers will share approximately $2.9 million in grants to support people with disabilities to live in their communities and access resources, including mental health resources. The grants recognize efforts to strengthen the direct care workforce and improve access to culturally and linguistically responsive services.
- Nebraska – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) selected three health plans to provide healthcare services for Nebraskans in Heritage Health, its Medicaid managed care program: Molina Healthcare of Nebraska, Nebraska Total Care, and UnitedHealth Care of the Midlands. In evaluating the proposals, DHHS considered stakeholder input from several listening sessions conducted earlier this year and will continue to meet with members of the community across Nebraska both in-person and online to answer questions and adjust plans as needed.
- Nevada – The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that the state’s public option plan could generate $300 to $400 million in savings over five years and nearly $1 billion by year 10. Most of the projected savings could be passed back to Nevada through a federal waiver that Nevada Medicaid intends to submit for approval by March of next year. The public option, which will be available on the Exchange in 2026, is expected to reduce premium costs and increase competition.
- New Jersey – In an effort to ensure better outcomes for defendants with serious mental health needs who are on pretrial monitoring, Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced a new pilot program in Camden, Essex and Middlesex counties to identify and connect these individuals to mental health treatment and other vital social services. The mental health diversion program is voluntary, and will provide support and connect individuals on pretrial monitoring to critical mental health and co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder treatment, housing, medical and other essential social service supports.
- New Mexico – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham joined officials from the University of New Mexico and local elected officials to break ground on the new Behavioral Health Crisis Center, expanding access to psychiatric and behavioral healthcare for New Mexicans. The crisis center will expand existing programs and address discontinuities in the metro area’s current behavioral health services, providing access to and expanding capacity for both lower acuity and higher acuity patients to form a comprehensive continuum of care for New Mexicans.
- Oregon – CMS approved a new section 1115 demonstration that will allow the state to address inadequate food, housing and other root-cause issues that lead to poor health. As part of the agreement, the federal government also approved expanded Oregon Health Plan (OHP) coverage for young children, as well as extended eligibility for youth and adults. Children determined eligible for Medicaid will stay continuously enrolled until they turn six years old, without their families needing to renew their coverage.