Oct, 27, 2023

State Health Updates

  • California
    • The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) submitted to CMS a proposed amendment to the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) program, and a new section 1115 demonstration request, California Behavioral Health Community-Based Organized Networks of Equitable Care and Treatment (BH-CONNECT). In addition to offering six months of transitional rent services as a county opt-in benefit, features of BH-CONNECT that DHCS is requesting include an incentive program to support children and youth involved in child welfare who are also receiving specialty mental health services and a statewide incentive program to support behavioral health delivery systems in strengthening quality infrastructure, improving performance on quality measures, and reducing disparities in behavioral health access and outcomes.
    • The California Health and Human Services’ Center for Data Insights and Innovation announced the inaugural cohort of Qualified Health Information Organizations that will participate in the state’s Data Exchange Framework. The framework is a statewide data sharing agreement that will accelerate and expand the exchange of health information among healthcare entities, government agencies and social service programs beginning in 2024.
  • Colorado – Governor Polis and the Division of Insurance announced that the state’s rate review authority and Reinsurance Program has led to decreased premiums resulting in $411.2 million in savings. The Division also implemented, for the first time, a public hearing process resulting in 25 Colorado Option individual market plans and 24 small group market plans that meet the target 10% reduction in premiums as compared to 2021. Additionally, nearly 20,000 Coloradans will be newly eligible for reduced out-of-pocket costs with deductibles as low as $100.
  • Georgia – The Georgia Department of Human Services announced the establishment of community action treatment (CAT) teams as a behavioral healthcare pilot project for children and youth with significant mental and/or behavioral health needs and conditions. The goal of the pilot is to address underlying issues that often lead to foster care placements. The CAT team model is based on a family-centered approach in which the CAT team helps parents and caregivers in obtaining services and support as well as aid with referrals.
  • Hawaii – The Hawaii Department of Human Services announced the draft of their section 1115 demonstration renewal for 2024 is complete and open for public comment. New requests in the demonstration include Medicaid matching funds related to housing services; continuous eligibility for children ages zero to six and continuous two-year eligibility from the time of first eligibility determination for children ages 6 to 19; targeted services to eligible justice-involved populations 90 days pre-release from incarceration; nutritional supports; Native Hawaiian traditional healing practices; contingency management for enrollees with a qualifying substance-use disorder; infrastructure funding for health-related social need services; and Designated State Health Programs.
  • Illinois – The Illinois Department of Public Health released the third edition of the Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report, covering maternal deaths occurring for Illinois residents from 2018 to 2020. Among the key findings are that Black women continue to die at disparately higher rates, specifically due to medical causes including cardiovascular disease and pre-existing chronic medical conditions; and that the leading overall cause of pregnancy-related death is substance-use disorder.
  • Louisiana – The Louisiana Department of Health announced Medicaid members can now request to update their contact information through text messaging. Medicaid members can make sure that they do not miss out on important information from Medicaid by texting the words “Info” or “Information” to 72147. They will receive a text with a link to update their contact information.
  • Maryland – Maryland Health Connection, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace, hosted the Hispanic Health Access Roundtable to discuss critical issues related to health access, legislation, and the expansion of coverage for the Hispanic and Spanish-speaking community.
  • Montana – Governor Greg Gianforte announced the investment of $7.5 million to increase access to behavioral health and substance-use disorder screening and treatment for pregnant and postpartum women across the state. The investment, comprised of federal funding and private funding from the Montana Health Foundation, will expand behavioral healthcare services for new and expecting moms to all of Montana’s 31 hospitals that deliver babies through the Meadowlark Initiative. Currently, the program is only available in 19 facilities.
  • Nebraska – Nebraska submitted an application to extend their section 1115(a) demonstration titled, “Nebraska Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Section 1115 Demonstration,” which authorizes federal Medicaid matching funds for reimbursement of services delivered to enrollees residing in Institutions for Mental Diseases with SUD. This application seeks authority to continue the SUD demonstration as approved with no changes for an additional five years. The federal comment period will be open from October 20, 2023 through November 19, 2023.
  • New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill to launch a new website—the Reproductive Health Information Hub—providing information on reproductive rights, access and healthcare coverage across New Jersey. The Hub will serve as a one-stop shop for anyone seeking information on reproductive healthcare in the state including information on an individual’s rights under state law.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced recent updates to the NC State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), which includes priorities for addressing the full set of factors that impact a person’s health. The NC SHIP also recognizes the pressing concerns related to behavioral health, including mental health, substance-use disorders and suicide prevention as part of whole person health and places particular importance on Medicaid Expansion as a critical element in improving healthcare access and reducing disparities.
  • Pennsylvania – The Department of Human Services announced an expanded list of eligible providers to meet with unhoused patients covered through Medicaid and provide care outside a clinical setting—a practice known as street medicine. Additional eligible providers include dentists, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, peer support services, family based mental health services and mental health crisis intervention services.
  • Virginia – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Virginia will provide micro-grants to encourage qualifying faith-based organizations and community organizations to improve access to mental health support and address the opioid crisis. A total of nearly $800,000 has been set aside for community organizations to apply for a grant to provide training and direct care for people in their communities who are struggling with behavioral health issues.
  • Washington – Washington Healthplanfinder CEO Ingrid Ulrey announced that the annual open enrollment period for the state’s exchange begins November 1, and this year, for the first time, coverage is also available to non-U.S. citizens in the state through the Marketplace.
  • West Virginia – The West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services (BMS) issued a request for applications for qualified managed care organizations (MCOs) to provide services for the Mountain Health Trust program, the state’s full-risk managed care program for MAGI eligibility categories. Contracted MCOs will support the BMS in providing statewide physical health, behavioral health, and dental services for eligible Medicaid and West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program members.