Mar, 22, 2024

State Health Updates

  • Alabama – Alabama Medicaid is inviting providers, recipients, advocates and other interested individuals to a Community Waiver Program (CWP) public forum. The CWP was approved by CMS in 2021 and the waiver targets persons with intellectual disabilities not currently receiving services through current home and community-based services waivers. The program provides supports to enable individuals with developmental disabilities to continue to live with family or in their own homes.
  • California
    • Governor Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of Tyler Sadwith as state Medicaid Director, effective March 25. Tyler previously served as Deputy Director for Behavioral Health. Congratulations Tyler! 
    • Voters approved a ballot initiative that will allow the state to issue up to $6.4 billion in bonds to build 11,150 new behavioral health treatment beds and supportive housing and increase the state’s behavioral health outpatient capacity.
  • Colorado – The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) announced a stakeholder engagement kickoff meeting for advocates, providers, members and case managers to collaborate with and advise HCPF on long-term home health (LTHH). HCPF will also host LTHH policy team office hours for interested stakeholders to receive training and technical assistance and share information with HCPF staff. 
  • Illinois – Governor JB Pritzker signed an executive order that tasks the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) with leading the state’s effort to establish payment models and financial structures that support access to new sickle cell disease treatments and other new high-cost drug treatment within the Illinois Medicaid program. The executive order also creates an advisory council to provide HFS with input as the Department develops innovative and sustainable financing models.
  • Iowa – The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services is seeking input from individuals and providers who have had experiences with crisis services to gather insights and improve the provision of crisis services. 
  • Michigan
    • The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services issued a bulletin to urge state-regulated health plans to take steps to support families impacted by the ongoing national shortage of medications used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The bulletin urges insurers to exercise flexibility by, for example, covering alternative drugs when covered drugs are unavailable. 
    • The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) is seeking additional participants to inform MDHHS’ social determinants of health community influencer program. The program fosters community engagement, addresses barriers such as food insecurity and affordable housing and advances health equity. MDHHS is seeking to recruit community health workers, including family advocates, Navigators and outreach workers, but anyone is welcome to apply.
  • New Jersey – The state was awarded $25 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury to support the construction of the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center (MIHIC) in Trenton. The MIHIC, which is being developed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, is a critical component of First Lady Murphy’s Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan.
  • New York
    • The New York State Department of Health issued a standing order to authorize pharmacists to dispense hormonal contraception medication without a prescription, including the oral pill, vaginal ring and contraceptive patch. Pharmacists who choose to participate can dispense up to 12 months of a self-administered hormonal contraception of the individual’s preference that is covered under their insurance.
    • Governor Kathy Hochul launched a $102 million effort to broaden wraparound care for individuals with serious mental illness. More than $92 million will be deployed to develop 26 Critical Time Intervention teams, which provide continued support and care coordination for individuals living with mental illness. In addition, $10 million will be deployed to develop additional Safe Options Support teams that focus on youth and young adults to help individuals experiencing homelessness move to stable housing.
  • Pennsylvania – The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services released the latest issue of the “Positive Approaches Journal,” which aims to provide the most recent research for people with mental health, substance-use disorder and behavioral challenges, intellectual disabilities, autism, and other developmental disabilities. This edition focuses on the aging process in those with intellectual disabilities and autism and offers resources and solutions.
  • Vermont – The Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) announced that pharmacy claims began processing again, starting March 18, after the cybersecurity incident with Change Healthcare. Vermont Medicaid removed copay requirements for all members during the duration of the outage (from February 21 through March 18, 2024) and if a pharmacy collected copays on any prescriptions dispensed during the outage, DVHA is asking those to be refunded to members as applicable.