Nov, 05, 2021

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) announced that it received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of a State Plan Amendment extending Medicaid School Based Claiming (MSBC) services to a larger population of Medicaid-enrolled students. While MSBC has long been available to students who have an Individualized Education Plan, this approval allows AHCCCS to cover additional school-based services from specialty providers for even more Medicaid-enrolled students, now including those with Individualized Family Service Plans and other medically necessary plans of care.
  • Maryland – The Maryland Department of Health announced Medicaid rate increases for home and community-based services (HCBS) providers. Increased Medicaid rates will enable HCBS providers to strengthen service delivery. ( During the most recent legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation directing the state’s Medicaid program to spend at least 75 percent of federal ARP reinvestment dollars on a one-time-only provider rate increase.
  • Minnesota
    • The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS) finalized $3.87 billion in managed care contracts to serve approximately 600,000 children, parents and pregnant people in the seven-county metro area in 2022. The contracts with health plans cover MinnesotaCare and a large share of Medical Assistance through the Prepaid Medical Assistance Program. The latest contracting process prioritized efforts to address equity and eliminate health disparities. As a reminder, SHVS recently published a revised version of Medicaid Managed Care Contract Language: Health Disparities and Health Equity, a compendium of health equity language from Medicaid managed care contracts and requests for proposals.
    • MDHS announced the launch of a new accessible, easy-to-use online application, MNbenefits, for nine public assistance programs, with statewide adoption anticipated by early 2022. A 16-county pilot of MNbenefits showed that MDHS clients can complete an application in as little as 12 minutes. The average time to complete the existing online application is 60 minutes.
  • Montana – The Department of Public Health and Human Services released a new report that ranks COVID-19 associated deaths as the third leading cause of death in Montana in 2020 and will likely hold the same ranking for 2021.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System (NC-VDRS) Data Dashboard, an interactive online dashboard that provides aggregate information on violent deaths for all 100 counties in North Carolina. The NC-VDRS dashboard, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was created to make data more accessible to public health partners to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of prevention efforts around violence and safety. 
  • Ohio – The state submitted a request to amend its Section 1115 demonstration for substance use disorder treatment to prospectively increase the demonstration’s per member per month limit for the managed care Medicaid eligibility group to account for changes that occurred in the managed care program. The federal public comment period will be open through November 27, 2021.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced the publication of final policy concept papers for the state’s 1115 demonstration waiver renewal. The concept papers outline changes OHA proposes to make to the Oregon Health Plan as part of the state’s effort to advance health equity and will provide the framework for the state’s upcoming application to CMS.
  • South Carolina – The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with Children’s Trust of South Carolina, launched Community Connections, a free 24/7 online database of resources that connects South Carolinians in need with available social and health care services across the state. Individuals can search for free or low-cost services like medical care; employment and job training opportunities; food and financial assistance; and, education, transportation and child care resources in their communities.