Dec, 16, 2022

State Health Updates

  • California
    • Governor Gavin Newsom announced $480.5 million in awards for 54 projects to improve California’s behavioral health infrastructure for children and youth. As part of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Kids’ Mental Health, the investment provides grant funding to construct new facilities and expand existing facilities that help children, youth, transition-age youth, and perinatal individuals with a mental health and/or substance use disorder.
    • The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) publicly issued quality measure ratings for all Medi-Cal managed care plans (MCPs), as part of a pledge to increase transparency and accountability for MCPs. DHCS is requiring immediate and concrete action from MCPs to improve their quality ratings. These efforts are aimed at improving health outcomes for millions of Californians.
  • Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, hosted Get Covered Colorado Day, a day of action to encourage as many Coloradans as possible to enroll in 2023 health coverage during the annual open enrollment period.
  • Maryland – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and community partner Centro de Apoyo Familiar (CAF) partnered to provide free at-home COVID test kits, along with fresh food and toys for the upcoming holidays, to members of the Latino/a community during four CAF community events in December. MDH will co-sponsor two remaining CAF events this month, giving away more than 800 tests and important health information about how to stay COVIDReady with bivalent boosters for the holidays and beyond.
  • Nevada – The Nevada Division of Health Care Finance and Policy released a request for proposals for an external quality review organization for the state’s Medicaid managed care organizations and prepaid ambulatory health plans. The state plans to award one contract for a period of four years, beginning on July 1, 2023, with two, one-year renewal options. 
  • New Hampshire – The state submitted an amendment to its “Substance Use Disorder, Serious Mental Illness, and Serious Emotional Disturbance Treatment Recovery and Access” Section 1115 demonstration to cover removable prosthodontics for Medicaid enrollees age 21 and over in nursing facilities. 
  • New Mexico – The New Mexico Human Services Department submitted a five-year renewal application for the state’s Medicaid program to CMS under the new Medicaid name Turquoise Care. The renewal application also requests approval for targeted interventions to address the populations suffering from the greatest health disparities, which include: ensuring New Mexican children have continuous Medicaid coverage up to age six; expanding access to home visiting programs to support healthy pregnancies and babies; providing housing support following an inpatient or emergency visit; and expanding access to supportive housing to provide safe and stable housing to individuals more at-risk of adverse health outcomes.
  • North Carolina
    • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Office are partnering to offer a new service at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center. The program serves defendants with a mental illness for whom the court has determined they are incapable to proceed to trial. The new program, called NC RISE, provides eligible defendants services, including behavioral health treatment, education about the court process and coordination of general healthcare.
    • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services launched a time-limited telemedicine program in partnership with StarMed Healthcare. Free telemedicine appointments to screen for COVID-19 treatment eligibility will be available, while funding allows, to North Carolinians who have tested positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test or other method. If the telemedicine provider determines a patient is eligible for oral antiviral treatment, such as Paxlovid, they can send a prescription to the patient’s chosen pharmacy or through a mail-order pharmacy.
  • Washington
    • The Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced that an average of 80% of enrollees in Washington Healthplanfinder, the state exchange, can save on their health premium by shopping and switching to a lower-cost plan. Customers can save an average of $1,300 annually ($110 monthly) for the same level of coverage for which they’re already paying.
    • The Washington Health Care Authority hosted a public forum on the Medicaid Transformation Project (MTP), the state’s Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver. The forum provided an overview of MTP’s initiatives, this year’s successes and challenges, and an overview of the MTP renewal, called “MTP 2.0.” Stakeholders such as Apple Health (Medicaid) enrollees and partner organizations were encouraged to attend.