May, 18, 2021

State Health Updates

COVID-19 Updates

  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched the Vacc to Normal Milestone Tracker to complement the Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard. The Tracker includes vaccinations Michiganders received both in-state and out-of-state, allowing the state to provide more comprehensive data on vaccination milestones as they are reached. 
  • New Jersey – The New Jersey Department of Health launched a new data dashboard that includes the percentage of adults in each municipality who have received their first doses and the percentage of adults in each municipality who are now fully vaccinated. We have updated our map on state COVID-19 vaccine dashboards to reflect this latest development.
  • North Carolina
    • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced that its COVID-19 Support Services Program helped more than 41,800 households isolate or quarantine during COVID-19. Launched in August 2020 in COVID-19 “hot spots” throughout the state, the Support Services Program focuses on communities hit hardest by COVID-19 and offered food assistance, financial relief payments, COVID-19-related supplies, transportation to medical or vaccine appointments, and medication delivery to individuals who needed support to be able to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19. The Support Services Program started in 20 counties and later expanded to 29 counties.
    • The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law December 27, 2020, continues to provide emergency relief to young people in or transitioning from foster care who are struggling because of the pandemic. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging young adults (ages 18-21) eligible for the state’s extended foster care program who left the program during the COVID-19 pandemic due to their age to apply for re-entry to receive available services and support.
  • Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine announced a series of statewide drawings to provide incentives to Ohioans to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Ohioans under the age of 18 who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be entered into a drawing for a four-year full scholarship to any of Ohio’s state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room, and board. Additionally, Ohioans aged 18 and older will be entered into a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million.

Other State Updates

  • California – The California Department of Health Care Services released a list of counties that submitted a full letter of intent to transition to a local Medi-Cal managed care plan model by January 2024. DHCS is beginning a statewide procurement of commercial Medi-Cal managed care plans. Some counties have expressed interest in transitioning to a model that includes a local plan. If a county transitions to a model that includes a local plan, DHCS may remove that county from the commercial plan procurement (for a single local plan model) or reduce the number of commercial plans procured in the county (for a Two-Plan Model).
  • Missouri – The Missouri Department of Social Services submitted a letter to CMS withdrawing the state plan amendments submitted by Missouri to expand Medicaid. The letter cites the lack of appropriation of funding for Medicaid expansion by the legislature as the reason for withdrawing the SPAs.
  • New Jersey 
    • The Health Benefits Quality and Value Task Force released their final report on recommended longer-term strategies to improve health outcomes for members and better manage the costs of employee and retiree health benefits. The Task Force, which I served on, recommends nine strategies for long-term improvement in quality and value, organized into three thematic areas: primary care and care coordination; behavioral health; and specialty care.
    • Governor Phil Murphy signed S703/A1079, requiring all health care professionals who provide perinatal treatment and care to pregnant persons at a hospital or birthing center undergo explicit and implicit bias training. 
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority released data showing hospitals ended 2020 with a surplus for the year of $483 million, representing a 3.3 percent statewide operating margin including CARES Act funding. Hospitals statewide ended the year with positive margins and net patient revenue returning to trend in Q3 and Q4 after falling sharply in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Virginia – The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services announced the launch of updated agency and outreach websites to better support Medicaid members, providers and individuals seeking information about Medicaid programs and services. The new outreach website—the English-language and Spanish-language—includes consumer-friendly features to help visitors learn who is eligible for Medicaid, what services are covered, and how they can apply for coverage. A new live chat feature allows website visitors to communicate directly with a Virginia Medicaid representative, creating a new option that supports the Cover Virginia Call Center.
  • Wisconsin – The Office of Children’s Mental Health announced the publication of a new fact sheet, Strengthening Social Connections and Relationships, that details what communities, schools, parents, and policymakers can do to strengthen children’s social connections and relationships.