On Thursday, January 21 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on the long-awaited guidance to state Medicaid and CHIP agencies on resuming normal operations following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. During the webinar experts from Manatt Health discussed the sub-regulatory guidance and the implications for states, in light of the recent public health emergency renewal by Secretary Azar. The webinar reviewed the expectations laid out in the guidance related to timelines, consumer communications, and fair hearing processes for redetermining Medicaid eligibility for those who have had their coverage continuously maintained as a condition of receiving the temporary 6.2 percent FMAP increase under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Additionally, presenters discussed the expected processes and timelines for terminating, or making permanent where allowable, temporary federal flexibilities that were obtained.
In the waning days of 2020, Congress enacted a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and government funding bill. Included in the measure is the “No Surprises Act,” which contains new protections for consumers from surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers. State Health & Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, Manatt Health, and tax expert Jason Levitis reviewed the provisions of this legislation and their implications for states. The webinar reviewed the No Surprises Act and provided an overview of the next steps for implementing the federal balance billing protections and what the law will mean for state-level protections. Additionally, presenters discussed a number of other key health care provisions, including state and locality funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and testing as well as policy changes to the Provider Relief Fund, and the impact of additional unemployment compensation and relief payments on eligibility for financial assistance for health coverage.
On Tuesday, December 15 State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on how states can support children and youth with special health care needs during COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant health and economic hardships for many children and families. Children who receive health services in school settings to support their education are losing access to those services. In addition, a pre-COVID-19 shortage of home health providers has worsened due to the pandemic, placing a significant burden on families who rely on home health services. The result can lead to gaps in care and caregiver burnout, putting children and youth with special health care needs at risk of regression and long-term negative health outcomes. Recognizing these risks, states and the federal government have broadly expanded telehealth coverage, established continuous coverage requirements and eased regulatory requirements for delivery of services. The webinar, produced by Manatt Health with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Family Voices, and the Georgetown Center for Children and Families with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, explored strategies for state Medicaid agencies to enforce coverage requirements and make permanent the temporary regulatory flexibilities that have expanded access to services during the pandemic.
State Health and Value Strategies hosted a two-part webinar series on screening Medicaid members for social risk factors. State Medicaid agencies are increasingly recognizing the impact that non-medical factors, such as social risk factors, have on health. Social risk factors are adverse social conditions which create barriers to health for individuals, such as food insecurity and homelessness. The first webinar reviewed key terms, screening tools, and design decisions for states interested in screening Medicaid managed care members for social risk factors. The second webinar, explored adopting a measure to assess social risk factor screening rates.
On Friday, October 30, State Health & Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health and GMMB reviewed the trajectory of 2020 Medicaid enrollment growth to date and provide effective strategies related to communication with members and coordination across state Medicaid agencies and Marketplaces to support coverage access and retention in this dynamic environment.
On Monday, September 28, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on the Buying Value suite of resources to support state use of performance measures as they assess and improve value with managed care plans and accountable provider entities. Buying Value consists of two free Excel-based tools. The Buying Value Measure Selection Tool assists states, employers, consumer organizations and providers in creating and maintaining aligned quality measure sets. The Buying Value Benchmark Repository is a database of non-HEDIS measures in use by state purchasers and regional health improvement collaboratives, and associated performance data for benchmarking purposes.
On Thursday, September 17, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that will discuss the federal government’s response to the financial challenges facing providers. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic changes in utilization that threaten the financial stability of providers. Most of the Provider Relief Fund has been distributed, yet providers are still experiencing lost revenue and increased costs related to COVID-19. Medicaid payment strategies—especially for providers serving high numbers of Medicaid patients—remain a critical tool for states to support providers as new COVID-19 hotspots emerge and utilization patterns change. During the webinar, experts from Manatt Health reviewed examples of specific strategies states implemented between April and August 2020 to increase payments to providers in financial distress as a result of decreased health care utilization.
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in April, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar to discuss tools in both fee-for-service and Medicaid managed care that states can use to increase payments to providers in financial distress as a result of decreased health care utilization. Since that time, the federal government has responded to the financial challenges facing providers due to the pandemic in several different ways. The slide deck from the webinar has been updated as of August 26, 2020 to reflect more recent federal guidance and examples of specific strategies states implemented between April and August 2020.
On Wednesday, July 22, State Health and Value Strategies hosted part II of the Preparing for OEP 2021 webinar series that provided a deep dive into effective strategies to consider as states design their outreach and education campaigns for OEP 2021 in a shifting health care environment. Presenters from GMMB explored how the impacts of COVID-19 should inform the marketplace’s tactical campaign approaches for virtual outreach and partnership engagement, digital and social platform usage, and paid advertising and earned media. Participants also heard insights from several state officials from state-based marketplaces along the way. Topics for discussion included coordinating with state agencies, engaging micro-influencers, leveraging social media live streams, hosting virtual enrollment events, developing advertising buys, and considering new earned media hooks. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants can pose their questions to the experts on the line.
Ensuring Access to LTSS During COVID-19: Exploring a State Resource Guide Produced by Manatt Health and The SCAN Foundation
On Friday, July 10, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health presented key findings from a new COVID-19 state resource guide, funded by The SCAN Foundation. People who use long-term services and supports (LTSS), including individuals dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, are particularly vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people with complex care needs receiving care in nursing homes and other congregate care settings, in particular. In the resource guide, Manatt Health identifies federal and state Medicaid flexibilities available to state officials and other stakeholders and how those flexibilities are being deployed during COVID-19 to help ensure access to LTSS. The webinar provided examples of how states are ensuring continued access to LTSS by expanding the types of settings in which services can be delivered, bolstering pay and other supports for LTSS providers, and addressing barriers to care created by the COVID-19 pandemic.