Jan, 19, 2024

State Health Updates

  • California 
    • The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced the awarding of $70.5 million to 101 nonprofit entities across the state as part of the Health Equity in Behavioral Health Recovery Services (HEAR US) project. These investments will help expand access to, and use of, behavioral health recovery services among communities of color and other historically marginalized communities. 
    • DHCS launched the Behavioral Health Virtual Services Platform—two free behavioral health services applications for all families with kids, teens, and young adults ages zero through 25. The new apps will offer free coaching, educational content, care navigation services, peer communities, and more. 
  • Colorado – Governor Jared Polis announced that in its second year of operation, the Colorado Option, the state’s public option made available through a section 1332 waiver, saw a 188% increase in enrollment and now represents 34% of enrollment through the Marketplace.  
  • Maine The Office of MaineCare Services will conduct a survey to learn about the healthcare children covered by MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program, received and enrollees’ experience with their child’s MainCare in the last six months. 
  • Montana – The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced one-time incentive payments and targeted, historic wage increases to recruit and retain employees at Montana’s state-run healthcare facilities. To assist applicants, DPHHS has launched a new website at Work4DPHHS.com and launched a new public awareness campaign to promote the Hiring Incentive Program. DPHHS is using $300,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the new Hiring Incentive Program.
  • New Jersey 
    • The New Jersey Department of Health released the Hospital Financial Transparency Annual Report. The Department supports increased accountability and transparency through the public reporting and posting of hospital financial data for all hospitals, which is intended to enhance the ability of the Department, as well as interested stakeholders, to monitor overall hospital financial health and wellness more effectively as part of broader work related to healthcare costs and affordability. 
    • Governor Phil Murphy signed A5235/S3627 to expand health insurance coverage requirements for infertility services. The bill requires that certain private sector health insurers provide coverage for any services related to infertility in accordance with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines and as determined by a physician. Covered services include, but are not limited to, different types of in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, genetic testing, and embryo transfers. 
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced details of the new Children and Families Specialty Plan, a statewide health plan to ensure access to comprehensive physical and behavioral health services for Medicaid-enrolled children, youth and families. NCDHHS released an updated policy paper about the plan, as NCDHHS prepares to launch the plan later this year.  
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is currently drafting administrative rules for “OHP Bridge – Basic Health Program,” a new health insurance program that expands Oregon Health Plan (OHP) to cover adults with income just above the OHP income limit. OHA is seeking input from future members and providers of OHP Bridge on the administrative rules through a Rules Advisory Committee and a public comment process and is also offering stakeholders the opportunity to meet with OHP Bridge staff. 
  • Pennsylvania – Department of Human Services Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh announced the launch of a survey to collect feedback from Medicaid enrollees about their experience completing their annual renewal. The survey is being conducted in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Medicaid Research Center, and feedback collected will be used to inform renewal outreach strategies moving forward. Participants will be contacted via text message.
  • Texas – Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced that CMS has approved Texas’ request to extend Medicaid and CHIP coverage from two to 12 months after pregnancy. Texas projects approximately 137,000 individuals will benefit from 12-months postpartum coverage in fiscal year 2025. 
  • Washington – The Washington State Health and Human Services Enterprise Coalition—a cohort of Washington state health and social service agencies—has published an annual update to its Washington State Action Plan for Removing Barriers to Health and Human Services. The update details progress toward the goals of: (1) removing enrollee barriers to accessing benefits, and (2) ensuring that the state and its programs have a comprehensive view of enrollees, and share information across organizations to proactively offer other benefits for which the enrollee may qualify.
  • West Virginia – The West Virginia Department of Human Services approved the Highmark Health Options West Virginia (HHO WV) application to become a managed care organization (MCO) option for Medicaid eligible West Virginians. HHO WV Blue Cross and Blue Shield-branded health plans will be an option for West Virginia Medicaid enrollees beginning in June, for a July 1, 2024 coverage date.
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is requesting proposals from vendors who are seeking certification to contract as MCOs for the delivery of the Family Care Program and the Family Care Partnership Program. Family Care and Family Care Partnership are long-term care programs for low-income frail elders and adults with developmental, intellectual, or physical disabilities who have long-term care needs.