Dec, 23, 2022

State Health Updates

  • California – The California Department of Health Care Services announced it will distribute $12 million in grants to nonprofits, schools, and other groups tackling opioid use among young people. Grants, ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, will support prevention, treatment, and recovery services for youth with, or at risk of, opioid use disorder or stimulant use disorder. The grants are part of the California Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion Project.
  • Idaho – The Department of Health and Welfare announced that it will seek CMS approval to use Medicaid funds to support increased access to crisis services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The additional services to be offered would include residential treatment (including a stabilization unit for individuals in crisis requiring care and a step-down housing setting for individuals transitioning back into the community); specialized clinical teams; and increased community capacity to reduce the need for residential services.
  • Maryland – The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has released its 2022 annual report. A record number of Marylanders, more than 180,000, enrolled through Maryland Health Connection in its ninth year operating as the state’s marketplace. More people new to the marketplace enrolled, including more young adults than ever. Communities of color that have historically disproportionately lacked health coverage also saw enrollments grow by more than 10% in 2022.
  • Massachusetts
    • The Massachusetts Quality Measure Alignment Task Force recommended a health equity measure accountability framework and a set of data standards for use by all payers and providers across the Commonwealth in global risk-based contracts. The framework outlines principles for developing and implementing key contractual measures, and the data standards specify which data points payer and provider organizations need to track, as well as how data should be collected. The recommended framework and data standards go into effect on January 1, 2023. The Task Force endorses implementation of the race, ethnicity, and language data standards within one year of the effective date (January 1, 2024) and implementation of the disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex data standards within two years of the effective date (January 1, 2025).
    • The Massachusetts Health Connector is seeking feedback on a range of policy considerations from health insurance carriers, consumer advocates, enrollees, providers, community-based organizations and members of the public. The questions are designed to seek feedback on a range of questions related to health coverage priorities—including behavioral health and preventive care, affordability, health insurance product design, and health equity—intended to help inform strategy for the Health Connector’s 2024 Seal of Approval process.
  • Minnesota – The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced that grants of $100,000 to $250,000 are available for providers of home and community-based services (HCBS) in rural and under-resourced communities. The provider capacity grant program is intended to increase the number of service providers throughout Minnesota and the number providing culturally specific services, including organizations serving people with complex needs, the LGBTQ+ community and providing language supports and culturally-specific services.
  • Nevada – The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services released its actuarial/economic analysis and certification for the state’s public option. The analysis indicates that Nevada’s public option waiver meets the federal requirements for a 1332 waiver under all four scenarios that were modeled. These requirements are such that in comparison to projections without the waiver: the waiver must provide coverage and cost-sharing protections that are at least as affordable; coverage must be provided to at least as many people; coverage must be at least as comprehensive; and the waiver must be deficit neutral to the federal government.
  • New Mexico – The state’s official marketplace beWellnm announced a public comment period before finalizing 2024 standardized health plans, which offer the same out-of-pocket costs for covered benefits. The beWellnm Health Benefits Committee noted that standardized plans have the benefits of simplifying and streamlining the consumer shopping experience and can also “encourage the use of certain high-value health services, like primary care, by lowering out of pocket costs for those services.” Members of the public are encouraged to submit written comments to the Board of Directors by January 13, 2023.
  • New York – Governor Hochul signed legislation requiring insurance companies to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to help prevent against HIV infection. The legislation requires that any insurance policy that provides coverage for prescription drugs includes coverage for the cost of PrEP and PEP—two important tools for preventing the spread of HIV.
  • Washington – The Washington Healthcare Cost Transparency Board held a public meeting on December 14 which included a presentation on preliminary findings from a study on cost growth drivers in the state. Using the state’s all-payer healthcare claims database to inform the Board as it works to curb spending growth, the preliminary findings discuss spending trends by market, geography, health conditions and demographics, and potential unintended consequences.