Nov, 10, 2023

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is investing $47.5 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) into a second round of the ARP Program Awards to strengthen home and community-based services (HCBS) in the state. Starting on December 4, 2023, providers can apply for up to $1,000,000 for programmatic or infrastructure projects to improve the health, safety, and member experience of individuals who receive HCBS. As a reminder, SHVS published an issue brief on the enhanced payment available through the ARP for HCBS. 
  • Arkansas – The Arkansas Department of Health released an anti-vaping campaign animated video for children ages five through seven. The campaign is designed to reach children with anti-vaping and anti-nicotine messages before they start getting messages from peers and the vaping industry.
  • California – On November 6, the Department of Health Care Services will host the next PATH Justice-Involved Program virtual office hour session for Round 3 eligible agencies. Office hours will be held every other Monday at 12 p.m. through December 18 to assist Round 3 agencies, including supporting implementation plan submission. For more information, visit the Justice-Involved Program website.
  • Idaho – The state requested to amend its Behavioral Health Transformation demonstration to allow spouses and parents of minor children to be reimbursed for providing personal care services to eligible individuals. Idaho currently has this authority through temporary COVID-19 authorities. The federal public comment period will be open from November 8, 2023 through December 8, 2023.
  • Kansas
    • Governor Laura Kelly announced the launch of the Council of State Government’s Justice Center’s Stepping Up Initiative in Kansas’ juvenile justice system to reduce the over-incarceration of Kansans with mental illness and substance-use disorders. The initiative provides Department of Corrections staff at juvenile justice system facilities with training and other technical assistance to identify youth who could benefit from behavioral health supports and services to avoid reincarceration.
    • Governor Laura Kelly held a roundtable focused on how Medicaid expansion would benefit the Kansas agriculture industry. Farmers, ranchers and legislators joined to share healthcare issues facing the agriculture industry and discussed how expansion could address these challenges. 
  • Maryland – The state submitted a request to amend its section 1115 demonstration, entitled “Maryland Health Choice,” to establish an Express Lane Eligibility program to utilize data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Medicaid redeterminations, as well as to continue Maryland’s waiver of the Four Walls Requirement to allow clinics to bill telehealth services at the standard rates. The federal public comment period will be open from November 9, 2023 through December 9, 2023.
  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) launched a competitive procurement for the Comprehensive Health Care Program contract for Michigan’s Medicaid health plans. The rebid is part of MIHealthyLife, an initiative launched in 2022 to strengthen Medicaid services through new Medicaid health plan contracts. Input from nearly 10,000 enrollees and family members, healthcare providers, health plans and other community partners informed the creation of five MIHealthyLife strategic pillars to guide MDHHS’ planning and decision-making in the rebid process. 
  • Missouri – The Missouri HealthNet Division (MHD) announced upcoming listening sessions, called MO Mom Chat, to provide Medicaid-enrolled mothers an opportunity to share their thoughts about their healthcare. MHD also launched an online survey seeking feedback from Medicaid enrollees who are pregnant or recently gave birth. 
  • Nebraska – Governor Jim Pillen announced the appointment of Matt Ahern to serve as interim Medicaid director beginning December 1, upon resignation of the current director Kevin Bagley.  
  • New Mexico – BewellNM, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace, has launched a dashboard monitoring the open enrollment period for plan year 2024. The dashboard includes enrollment data, summary statistics on level of coverage, average subsidy amounts, enrollment by federal poverty level, and customer engagement center statistics.
  • New York – Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York’s latest efforts to combat maternal and infant mortality rates, including legislation that directs the New York State Department of Health to create a directory of doulas. The governor also announced doula services will be covered for all Medicaid enrollees starting January 1, 2024 and $4.5 million in annual funding has been allocated for regional perinatal centers.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services began contacting up to 300,000 people who are enrolled in Medicaid’s limited Family Planning program and who are eligible for full Medicaid benefits starting December 1. Text messages, phone calls and emails will be sent by the department letting those eligible know to look out for a letter from their local Department of Social Services. 
  • Oregon – Governor Tina Kotek announced that she has appointed Dr. Sejal Hathi as the director of the Oregon Health Authority. Incoming Director Hathi previously served as New Jersey’s deputy health commissioner for public health services and as the White House’s senior policy advisor for public health. Congratulations Dr. Hathi! 
  • Pennsylvania – Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) Commissioner Michael Humphreys have directed health insurers to provide coverage for autism benefits starting on January 1, 2024 in compliance with mental health parity laws. Some commercial insurers have historically categorized autism services as a physical health benefit, but PID published a notice directing insurers to treat autism as a mental health condition subject to parity requirements.
  • South Dakota – The Department of Social Services recently launched the South Dakota Opioid Settlement Fund Community Grant Program, offering South Dakota-based organizations the opportunity to apply for funding assistance to provide direct services and support to populations affected by opioid overdose within South Dakota communities. 
  • Wyoming – Wyoming submitted a new demonstration request to provide home and community-based services to individuals over the age of 65 who are currently ineligible for Medicaid. The goal of the demonstration is to prevent or delay future institutional level of care. The federal public comment period will be open from November 8, 2023 through December 8, 2023.