May, 24, 2024

State Health Updates

  • Alabama – The Alabama Department of Public Health announced the implementation of the Maternal Autopsy Program which will expand autopsies to be available state-wide and provide greater insight into the cause of maternal deaths in the state.
  • Arizona – Governor Katie Hobbs issued an executive order to expand access to free and affordable birth control for Arizonans. The executive order takes several actions including making over-the-counter birth control options available at no cost to state employees and requiring the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to consider ways it can expand access to contraception for its members.
  • Delaware – CMS approved a five-year extension of the “Delaware Diamond State Health Plan (DSHP) Section 1115 Demonstration.” The approval includes authorization for new services for postpartum enrollees, including coverage of two home-delivered meals per day or one medically appropriate shelf stable food box and coverage of up to 80 diapers and one pack of baby wipes for the first 12 weeks of the postpartum period.
  • Illinois – The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois Capital Development Board announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity. A total of $200 million in funding is available through the Healthcare Transformation Capital Investment Grant program, which provides funding to capital projects that will address health-related social needs and reduce disparities in healthcare in historically underserved communities.
  • Massachusetts – The Healey-Driscoll administration announced a $13 million investment in the Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition program, an in-school program supporting students who have fallen behind academically due to challenges with their mental health. Administered by the Department of Mental Health, the funding includes $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds and $10 million from the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Trust Fund.
  • Michigan – Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that requires insurers to cover treatments for mental health and substance-use disorder at the same level as physical health services. 
  • Nebraska – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced a new overdose prevention dashboard including data, statistics, and resources such as no-cost naloxone availability, drug take-back sites, providers of medications for Opioid Use Disorder, and treatment/recovery services across Nebraska.
  • Nevada – CMS approved postpartum coverage extensions in Nevada. Nationally, people across 46 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S.V.I. now have access to Medicaid and CHIP coverage for a full 12 months following pregnancy. As a reminder, SHVS published an issue brief on the American Rescue Plan option to extend postpartum coverage.
  • New Jersey – Governor Phil Murphy announced several actions which together authorize qualified pharmacists to furnish self-administered hormonal contraceptives to patients without a prescription. Interested pharmacists must complete a four-hour training program on patient screening, the selection of a self administered hormonal contraceptive, and patient counseling.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Insurance released a legislatively mandated report on the development of a State-Based Health Benefits Exchange. In the event that the state were to pass legislation creating a State-Based Exchange, the department recommends  integrating the Medicaid determination process into the Exchange, with the goal of improving the consumer experience and increasing enrollment. 
  • Oregon
    • Dr. Emma Sandoe has been named as the Director of the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) Medicaid Division, effective July 24, 2024. Since 2019, Dr. Sandoe has served in North Carolina Medicaid most recently as the Deputy Director of Medicaid Policy. Congratulations Emma!
    • OHA announced it is making system updates to the ONE Eligibility system, which will enable Oregon to use an improved process for the remaining renewals the state is conducting during unwinding. 
  • Rhode Island – The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) released an annual report, “Health Care Spending and Quality in Rhode Island” and a chartbook of healthcare spending in the state. The report presents findings from analyses performed by OHIC to gain insight into the factors affecting healthcare spending growth in the state in 2022 and provides recommendations to keep annual spending growth below the state’s cost growth target.
  • Tennessee – CMS approved an amendment to Tennessee’s section 1115 demonstration, entitled “TennCare III.” This amendment will give the state the authority to, among other initiatives, expand eligibility for parents and caretaker relatives of dependent children up to 100% of the federal poverty level; cover a supply of diapers for infants and young children enrolled in TennCare and CHIP; and enhance home and community-based services available to individuals with disabilities. 
  • Texas – Governor Greg Abbott announced the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is awarding $17 million in grant funding to eligible hospitals to improve healthcare services for rural communities. The Texas Rural Hospital Financial Stabilization Grant will provide qualifying hospitals $100,000 to $375,000 over a two-year period.