Aug, 05, 2022

State Health Updates

  • Arizona – Kristen Challacombe, Deputy Director of Business Operations, appeared on the latest episode of “AHCCCS Explains” (a video series about the state’s Medicaid program) to explain what AHCCCS members can do to prepare for the end of the public health emergency.
  • Georgia – The Georgia Department of Community Health announced that CMS approved the state’s Appendix K emergency preparedness request to implement 2 percent rate increases for certain community waiver services for providers who have struggled during COVID-19. The rate increases, which will be effective July 1, 2022, until six months after the end of the public health emergency, apply to two 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers: Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program and the New Options Waiver.
  • Illinois – Governor Pritzker announced a new expansion of Title X funding through the Illinois Department of Public Health for family planning and reproductive health service providers across the state and an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for abortion services. The Governor also eliminated a requirement for providers to receive a Medicare denial before requesting Medicaid payment, expanding provider options for patients receiving both Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Maine – Governor Janet Mills announced that her administration has issued $25 million in one-time COVID-19 payments to 211 long-term care organizations to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Mills proposed the MaineCare (Medicaid) payments in her supplemental budget.
  • Michigan
    • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the launch of MIHealthyLife, an initiative to strengthen Medicaid coverage by seeking public input ahead of the next Medicaid health plan procurement. The state is seeking feedback on a variety of priorities, including providing a healthy start for children, reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, and using data to drive outcomes. Survey responses are due on August 26.
    • MDHHS submitted an amendment requesting a one-year extension to implement the §1915(i) state plan amendment for community support services. This request will allow for the state to have additional time to come into compliance with eligibility determination requirements and transition the needs-based eligibility determination from the Pre-Paid Inpatient Health Plans to the state of Michigan. The federal comment period will be open from August 2, 2022 through September 1, 2022.
  • Minnesota – The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) issued an invitation to the LGBTQI+ community to participate in a virtual discussion via Zoom on a set of proposed gender identity data standards for DHS systems. The goal is to better understand the needs of the community and arrive at a set of terms that are comfortable for the majority of individuals, from varied age, ethnic, racial, geographic and experience backgrounds.
  • Missouri – Missouri submitted a section 1115 demonstration application that seeks federal authority to reimburse for medically necessary residential substance use disorder (SUD) services provided in an institution for mental diseases (IMD). The proposed demonstration would authorize reimbursement for SUD IMD services provided in facilities with greater than 16 beds to the demonstration population. Medicaid enrollees ages 12-64 who receive full Medicaid benefits and require a residential level of care for SUD treatment services would be eligible for services under this demonstration. The federal comment period will be open from August 2, 2022 through September 1, 2022.
  • New Jersey – The Murphy Administration announced that the Department of Human Services has launched a Naloxone Distribution Program in partnership with the Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General. The program allows eligible agencies the opportunity to request direct shipments of naloxone online anytime they need it.
  • New York – Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of the Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus program. Enacted in the fiscal year 2023 New York state budget, the program includes $1.3 billion allocated for the payment of recruitment and retention bonuses to certain healthcare and mental hygiene workers, a key initiative in the Governor’s aim to increase the state’s healthcare workforce by 20 percent over the next five years.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority announced it is seeking federal approval to extend Medicaid coverage to individuals up to 200 percent of poverty for 14 months after the end of the PHE, until the state can implement a Basic Health Plan. The request was made to CMS through an amendment to the Oregon Health Plan SUD 1115 waiver. Public comments on the waiver will be accepted through September 7, 2022.
  • Utah – The Utah Department of Health and the Department of Human Services officially merged to create the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. Services have moved to the new department with the exception of Medicaid eligibility, which moves to the Department of Workforce Services to connect families to a single entity for all state economic support services. Some highlights of the organizational changes for the new Department include: joining of behavioral and physical health in the Division of Integrated Healthcare; collocation of Family Health and other community programs with Child & Family Services; and a focus on leveraging data, research, and evaluation across the department to evaluate outcomes for individuals through the new Division of Data, Systems & Evaluation and the Center for Strategic Performance Management.