February 4 Update

In This Week’s Update:

  • Governors Set the Agenda for Health Care
  • State Updates: CO, KS, ME, NE, NY & OR
  • Marketing Tactics of Short-term Plans
  • State Strategies to Address Health Care for Justice-involved Populations
  • Trauma-Informed Care Champions: From Treaters to Healers

Governors Set the Agenda for Health Care

As evident from recent inaugural and state of the state speeches, governors are setting bold health care agendas for their administrations. Priorities include expansions of health insurance coverage, efforts to address the affordability of health care, and a continued focus on the opioid crisis and increasing access to behavioral health services. Check out Heather Howard’s blog post in Health Affairs for state-specific details and examples of how states continue to be at the forefront of health care innovation.

SHVS Webinar on HHS Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020

In case you missed it, State and Health Value Strategies hosted a webinar on the proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. Webinar slides and a recording can be accessed here. Comments on the proposed rule are due February 19, 2019.

State updates: CO, KS, ME, NE, NY & OR

  • Colorado – Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order establishing the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care, led by Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera. The goal of the Office is to study, identify and implement policies that will lower health care costs while ensuring all Coloradans have access to affordable, quality care.
  • Kansas – Governor Laura Kelly released a Medicaid expansion bill that will expand coverage to 150,000 more Kansans. The Governor’s bill is based on the version of the 2017 Bridge to a Healthy Kansas bill that passed the House and the Senate and was later vetoed by Governor Sam Brownback.
  • Maine
    • Acting Commissioner of Health and Human Services Jeanne Lambrew announced Michelle Probert as the new Director of MaineCare Services. Probert comes to the Department from Bath Iron Works, where she has served as Manager of Integrated Health Services and is responsible for the oversight and strategic management of employee health, wellness, and welfare related benefits.
    • Governor Janet Mills’ office announced that a representative testified in support of LD 1, “An Act to Protect Health Care Coverage for Maine Families,” which would require insurance companies to include basic patient protections in health care plans offered in Maine.
  • Nebraska – In a recent post to the Department of Health and Human Services Medicaid Expansion blog, Nebraska’s Medicaid Director, Matthew Van Patton, explains the state plan amendment (SPA) process and why the state needs to submit a SPA as a precursor to expanding Medicaid.
  • New York – New York State of Health, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, produced a webinar training for assistors on tax credits and the forms consumers must complete to receive them.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released a request for applications (RFA) that lays out the requirements applicants must meet to serve Oregon Health Plan members for the next five years of coordinated care contracts, also known as “CCO 2.0.” Responses to the RFA are due April 22 and OHA expects to announce the awards for the CCO contracts in July.

The Marketing of Short-Term Health Plans: An Assessment of Industry Practices and State Regulatory Responses

In a report published by the Urban Institute, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute assessed short-term limited-duration insurers’ marketing tactics in the wake of new federal rules. Through interviews with insurance officials in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, and Virginia, the report discusses how regulators have evaluated and prepared for this new market and highlights key findings across these 8 states. Authors also conducted a marketing scan using common Google search terms and research on websites selling short-term plans to understand consumer experiences.

State Strategies for Establishing Connections to Health Care for Justice-Involved Populations: The Central Role of Medicaid

The Commonwealth Fund published a new report highlighting the emerging trends in care delivery models that state Medicaid programs use for people leaving jail or prison. The report discusses the impact of Medicaid expansion on coverage more generally and the role that Medicaid can play in financing and supporting comprehensive primary care delivery models for former inmates. Key elements of these models include data exchange, a competent workforce, and strategies for addressing housing and other social determinants of health. State examples demonstrating these key elements are also highlighted within the report.

Trauma-Informed Care Champions: From Treaters to Healers

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) released a set of videos, Trauma-Informed Care Champions: From Treaters to Healers, featuring first-hand perspectives from providers and patients on the value of trauma-informed care. The videos outline how experiences such as abuse, neglect, and violence impact health and how trauma can be more effectively acknowledged and addressed in a health care setting. Those interested can use these videos to spread the word about trauma-informed care with key audiences, including senior leadership, providers and front-line staff, as well as patients and families.