Nov, 04, 2022

State Health Updates

  • Alabama – The Alabama Medicaid Agency released a request for proposals for a system integration contractor to provide data integration, identity management, and centralized incident and change management services for the Alabama Medicaid Modernization Program. The contract, which will run for eight years, will be implemented on December 1, 2023. Proposals are due by March 17, 2023.
  • Arizona – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System recently launched “Talk Heals,” a public awareness campaign aimed to reduce substance misuse among youth by encouraging them to talk to trusted people in their lives. The “Talk Heals,” campaign includes TV, outdoor, and online ads which encourage youth that it is better to talk to a trusted person than to turn to substances to cope with life’s stressors and mental health challenges.
  • Arkansas – CMS approved an amendment to Arkansas’ Medicaid section 1115 demonstration that will test interventions to address housing and food insecurity, as well as other health-related social needs. The amendment will provide coverage of intensive care coordination and other person-centered supports for young people at high-risk for long-term poverty or homelessness, pregnant and postpartum women, and those dealing with mental illness and substance use diagnoses.
  • California – A Health Affairs Forefront article by Alice Chen, chief medical officer at Covered California (the state’s official health insurance marketplace), and Peter Lee, founding executive director, describes the marketplace’s approach to improve health plan accountability for quality and equity. The efforts consist of two strategies: 1) establishing a minimum level of quality performance for existing carriers to participate in the marketplace, and 2) incentivizing high levels of performance for a set of measures selected in concert with other public purchasers.
  • Illinois – The administration of Governor JB Pritzker announced it is launching a new state program designed to help pediatricians and other providers meet children’s mental health needs by strengthening mental health services in emergency departments and schools. The new program will focus on increasing the volume of consultation services provided across the state, providing a multitude of mental health education and training opportunities to physicians and healthcare professionals, and strengthening the network of mental health resources and referrals accessible to providers and their patients.
  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services proposed an increase in Medicaid payment rates to $2,300 for dental services provided at outpatient hospitals and $1,495 for dental services provided in an ambulatory surgical center. Under the proposal, the services would move from the current outpatient prospective payment system to a Medicaid fee schedule. If approved by CMS, the new rates would be effective October 1, 2022. Comments on the proposed policy are due by November 23.
  • Mississippi – The state of Mississippi submitted a five-year extension request for their current section 1115 demonstration entitled “Heathier Mississippi,” to be effective October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2028. The demonstration has operated since 2006 and the state is requesting no programmatic changes to the demonstration with this extension request. The federal comment period will be open from October 31, 2022, through November 30, 2022.
  • New Jersey – The Department of Health’s New Jersey Maternal Mortality Review Committee released a report this week which finds that more than 90% of pregnancy-related deaths in New Jersey between 2016 and 2018 were preventable. Nearly 60 percent of pregnancy-related deaths occurred during the postpartum period within one year of the end of pregnancy. The report includes recommendations to ensure high-quality care, build patient knowledge, address barriers to care, implement a holistic approach to care, and share patient records and information about care provided.
  • Oregon
    • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced the launch of the Veteran Dental Program for veterans who do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Administered by the OHA, this state-funded program is separate and distinct from the dental benefit offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and offers the same dental care as OHP Plus, such as teeth cleanings, fillings and extractions, and emergency dental care at no cost to enrollees. Beginning November 1, 2022, veterans with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level can apply for the program using the OHP application
    • OHA is seeking applications from behavioral healthcare workers who qualify under the Oregon Behavioral Health Loan Repayment program. The program provides tax-free grants to supplement the behavioral health workforce in underrepresented and underserved areas of Oregon who provide behavioral health services to their communities.
  • South Dakota – South Dakota requested to extend the Former Foster Care Youth section 1115 demonstration for a five-year period. The demonstration provides full Medicaid state plan benefits to former foster care youth who are under age 26, with income up to 182% of the federal poverty level, and who were in foster care under the responsibility of another state or tribe on the date of attaining 18 years of age.