Dec, 14, 2021

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System announced that it received a 90-day extension from the federal government on a grant that funds the Crisis Counseling Program and, extending services through March 2, 2022. The program, free to any Arizona resident affected by COVID-19, offers confidential support services from the existing 2-1-1 statewide information and referral phone number, in English and Spanish.
  • Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont announced the launch of a new state program that will provide $2.7 million to colleges and universities in Connecticut as they respond to student mental health challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is being supported by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, which utilizes federal coronavirus relief aid. The Connecticut Campus Mental Health Program will provide awards to eligible higher education institutions to enhance student access to care; boost education and awareness of mental health services and programs available to students; and equip staff and students with knowledge for supporting students with mental illnesses, particularly those from under-resourced communities.
  • Maine – The Department of Health and Human Services announced it is extending the deadline for providers of MaineCare HCBS services to register for supplemental recruitment and retention payments to direct support workers and their supervisors through December 17, 2021.
  • Massachusetts – MassHealth released two Requests for Information (RFIs) related to health equity. The first seeks ideas from members and other stakeholders to help inform and strengthen MassHealth’s efforts to engage with members directly on issues related to health equity and more broadly. The second RFI seeks information about health equity and social risk factor data collection and the identification, prioritization, and reduction of health and healthcare disparities, and related accountability. The deadline for responses is December 17.
  • Minnesota – Governor Tim Walz announced a new initiative to recruit, train, and deploy at least 1,000 new certified nursing assistants for Minnesota long-term care facilities experiencing staffing shortages by the end of January. The Walz-Flanagan Administration is aiming to use ARP funding to pay for qualifying expenses associated with certified nursing assistants’ courses to ensure these courses are available at no-cost to students.
  • New York – Governor Kathy Hochul announced the selection of six mental health providers to receive up to $9 million over five years to support community programs that identify and assist adults age 55 or older whose independence or survival in the community is in jeopardy because of a mental health, substance use, or aging-related concern. 
  • Nevada
    • Immunize Nevada, a statewide nonprofit focused on advocating for and providing access to immunizations for Nevadans, released its report detailing the health impacts of the vaccine incentive program, Vax Nevada Days, an effort led by Immunize Nevada with support from the Nevada Governor’s office. The report details that within the effort’s eight-week period, 440,988 vaccines were administered to Nevadans. (Ambien)
    • The Interim Finance Committee of the Nevada Legislature approved more than $660,000 in ARP funds for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child and Family Services to support children’s mental health in the state through the Children’s Mobile Crisis Response Team. The allocated funds will be used to hire additional staff to support youth and families who have been impacted by the pandemic.
  • Ohio – The Ohio Department of Health issued a request for letters of interest from vendors to operate the Dental OPTIONS Program, in which dentists provide donated or discounted care to Ohio residents with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. The vendor will be responsible for matching patients to care, referring low-income Ohioans to dental care resources, and facilitating communication between patient and providers. Letters of interest are due by December 20.
  • Oregon
    • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released the first draft of the state’s Medicaid 1115 waiver renewal application. The draft includes plans to improve access and equity; provide defined benefits packages of social determinants of health to members during times of transition, including pre-release coverage for institutionalized individuals; move to paying for population health; invest in community-based care; and align with the healthcare priorities of tribal governments. OHA will accept public comments through January 7.
    • Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division announced a new funding opportunity for community-based organizations. This funding aims to keep racial equity in the forefront of public health work and to center the strengths and wisdom of communities. OHA is seeking grant applications from community-based organizations that will create partnerships with communities of color, tribal communities, disability communities, immigrant and refugee communities, undocumented communities, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, LGBTQ2SIA+ communities, faith communities, older adults, houseless communities, and others. Grant applications can be submitted now through January 31.
  • Tennessee – The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) and TennCare published the Public Behavioral Health Workforce Workgroup report. The document contains research, data, and strategies for addressing workforce challenges in publicly funded mental health and substance use services. Convened by TDMHSAS and TennCare over the summer, the workgroup was comprised of diverse stakeholders from public behavioral health provider organizations, mental health and addiction advocacy groups, colleges, and universities, and the TDMHSAS Planning and Policy Council. 
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced $8.1 million in grants has been awarded to organizations across the state to promote health equity in COVID-19 vaccination throughout the state. The investment aims to increase vaccinations by supporting organizations to serve as trusted messengers within their communities.