Jul, 20, 2021

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – AHCCCS submitted a proposal to CMS detailing the agency’s plan for reinvesting federal funding made available through the ARP. The spending plan includes strategies that seek to strengthen AHCCCS’ existing home and community based services (HCBS) program which serves individuals with disabilities and/or serious mental illnesses, individuals who are elderly, and children with behavioral health needs and includes feedback from AHCCCS members and families, other state agencies, contracted managed care organizations, health care providers, and other key stakeholders.
  • Delaware – The Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance (DMMA) is beginning the process of identifying managed care organizations to operate its Medicaid managed care program beginning January 1, 2023. DMMA will host four virtual town hall meetings to get input on goals and procurement priorities for the managed care delivery system.
  • District of Columbia – The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) Executive Board unanimously voted to adopt recommendations from its Social Justice and Health Disparities Working Group, in an effort to stop racism in health care. These recommendations are focused on three crucial areas in order to establish practices, structures, and policies that can be implemented by DCHBX and DC Health Link health plans to (1) expand access to providers and health systems for communities of color, (2) eliminate health outcome disparities for communities of color, and (3) ensure equitable treatment for patients of color in health care settings and in the delivery of health care services.  Expert staffing for the workgroup from the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health was funded by SHVS.
  • Idaho – Members of the Idaho Behavioral Health Council presented the council’s first strategic plan to Governor Brad Little, Idaho House and Senate leadership and the Idaho Supreme Court. The plan includes a set of 34 recommendations to improve access to care, with nine identified as key priorities for the next three years. The plan can be accessed here.
  • Kansas – Governor Laura Kelly announced that her Commission on Racial Equity and Justice has released its second report, which makes recommendations on ways that Kansas can improve racial equity around the social determinants of health, focusing on economic systems, education access, and health care. The recommendations address topics including teacher diversity, tax policy, early childhood education, and maternal and child health.
  • Maryland – Governor Larry Hogan, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Disabilities, announced the release of the new Maryland State Disabilities Plan. The State Disabilities Plan provides for the coordination of those state services and policies that ensure compliance with state and federal civil rights laws, and will provide community-based supports, emergency preparedness, housing, transportation, employment, health care, accessible technology, education, and family support to Marylanders with disabilities. The plan also provides a framework for delivering, monitoring, and striving to improve these services. Progress is measured annually by the Maryland Department of Disabilities.
  • New Jersey – The New Jersey Department of Health launched a new app that makes it easier for individuals and families vaccinated in the state to access their COVID-19 vaccination record. The free New Jersey consumer access Docket app is now available and allows people vaccinated in New Jersey to easily access their COVID-19 record digitally in case they lost their vaccination card or want quick access to their record.
  • New York
    • Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that applications are now open for the New York State Public Health Corps Fellowship Program, a program that will assist with immediate COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts and strengthen local and statewide workforce capacities required to respond to future public health emergencies. This program will provide up to 1,000 full-time, paid positions with placements at the New York State Department of Health, local health departments, with the exception of New York City, or other public health partners throughout the state.
    • Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation enacting “Lian’s Law,” which authorizes the Department of Health to add information about preeclampsia–including detection, risk factors and possible options for treatments–to its health care and wellness education and outreach program.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services expanded its vaccine data dashboard to include vaccination information from federal providers, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Prisons and Indian Health Service. The new data provides a more accurate representation of how many North Carolinians have been vaccinated.
  • Wisconsin
    • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted a plan to CMS to use ARP funds to improve and enhance Wisconsin’s home and community-based services under Medicaid. DHS estimates it will receive approximately $350 million under this part of ARP. Key components of the plan that support Wisconsin’s caregiving workforce include increasing rates for home and community-based services and expanding the professional advancement opportunities for the workers who provide these services.
    • In a step toward addressing an identified need for Wisconsin’s behavioral health system, DHS awarded over $1 million to nine organizations for projects designed to improve the cultural competence of service providers. These grants are funded by Wisconsin’s share of the federal Community Mental Health Services Block Grant.
    • Governor Tony Evers and DHS announced the launch of Our Doctors, a statewide multimedia campaign that brings together health care professionals across the state of Wisconsin, from different health systems and specialties, to share their confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines. This campaign encourages Wisconsinites who may be hesitant about vaccines to start a conversation with their own family doctor about the COVID-19 vaccines.