Apr, 15, 2022

State Health Updates

  • California
    • The California Department of Public Health is partnering with key community-based organizations throughout the state to increase vaccinations for youth ages five and up. From April 11 to June 5, the state will increase its ongoing youth vaccination efforts by pairing vaccination opportunities with fun activities for children and families. Events will be held at after school programs, libraries, local parks, and other recreational areas and involve pediatric medical providers.
    • Governor Gavin Newsom announced $70 million in awards for six new Homekey projects throughout California. When fully operational, the projects will provide 232 housing units for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness.
  • Connecticut – CMS is accepting comments on Connecticut’s Section 1115 new demonstration application entitled “Covered Connecticut.” The application requests waiver authority to provide premium assistance to certain eligible individuals who enroll in a silver-level qualifying health plan on the state’s health insurance marketplace, Access Health CT. The demonstration would also provide dental services and non-emergency medical transportation services comparable to the benefits under Connecticut Medicaid and provided through the state’s Medicaid delivery and payment system, HUSKY Health. These demonstration benefits would be available to individuals who have incomes that are between the Medicaid limit and 175 percent of the federal poverty level. The federal public comment period is open until May 13, 2022.
  • Delaware – The Department of Health and Social Services launched a new website that allows residents to compare the average costs of care for medical services based on actual medical claims in the state. The website compares hospital costs for five common types of care across six hospital systems: cardiac procedures, C-sections, emergency department visits, knee and hip replacements and vaginal delivery.
  • Massachusetts – MassHealth released the request for responses (RFR) for its Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Program. MassHealth anticipates an extension of its 1115 waiver which will continue the focus on accountable care delivery systems. This ACO RFR supports the goals of MassHealth’s 1115 waiver by extending and improving the ACO program based on lessons learned in the first five years of the program.
  • New York – The New York State Department of Health filed an amendment to its Medicaid 1115 waiver seeking authority to spend $13.5 billion in Medicaid funds over five years for a demonstration project aimed at addressing health disparities and delivery system problems magnified by COVID-19. The state will conduct two virtual hearings on the waiver amendment. The public comment period is open until May 13.
  • Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Oklahoma Human Services is partnering to help Oklahoma children receive health services through the new Specialty Program for At-Risk Kids (SPARK). Through the SPARK program, the two agencies will aim to identify behavioral health and medical needs earlier and refer participants to needed interventions which is expected to result in diversion from higher, more restrictive levels of care and promote placement stability for youth.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority announced that Governor Kate Brown appointed 13 members to a healthcare Bridge Program Task Force, as required by HB 4035. The Task Force will begin meeting in April to design a “bridge program,” which could offer healthcare coverage to people leaving the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) at the end of the PHE, and potentially offer such coverage in the future for people in Oregon under certain income thresholds. The Task Force will develop recommendations by September 1, 2022.
  • Pennsylvania – Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys announced that the Department of Insurance has submitted a statement of policy to the Pennsylvania Bulletin that will allow insurers to ask applicants to voluntarily provide race and ethnicity data on insurance applications in an effort to promote equity initiatives.
  • Wisconsin – DHS hosted an event to share findings of its pilot program, Birth to 3 program, which aims to address the social and emotional needs of children under the age of three who have developmental delays or disabilities. DHS awarded $1.2 million in grants to support these programs in 2020.