In This Week’s Update:
- Messages for States Following the Unwinding
- Government Shutdown Implications for Health Programs and Personnel
- Using Lived Experience to Monitor the Medicaid Unwinding
- State updates: FL, KY, MI, NC, ND, NJ, NY & PA
Messages for States Following the Unwinding
Also last week, State Health & Value Strategies published an expert perspective that shares findings from a test of message themes to inform final unwinding communications. In the closing months of unwinding, states have an opportunity to apply lessons learned and fine-tune messaging to optimize communications. The EP highlights which messages will continue to be useful as states return to routine renewal operations beyond the unwinding. SHVS is developing a message guide and social media graphics informed by these findings that will be available for states to tailor to their own programs, so stay tuned. Updates follow.
Upcoming SHVS Webinar
On December 18, CMS released a suite of Medicaid unwinding-related guidance that includes a focus on ensuring eligible children maintain Medicaid and CHIP coverage. The resources offer strategies for states to prioritize coverage retention for eligible children now and in the post-unwinding era. During the webinar, experts from Manatt Health will review high-value strategies outlined in CMS’ guidance that states can implement to promote continuity of coverage for children and discuss key considerations for state policymakers. Register here.
Using Lived Experience to Monitor the Medicaid Unwinding
On January 22 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Monitoring Medicaid Using Lived Experience Project will host a 75-minute webinar featuring insights from over 50 nonprofit organizations that have been engaging people with lived experience to monitor the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. The webinar, which is designed for advocates, funders, Medicaid staff, and legislative staff, will highlight: why lived experience is important for monitoring the unwinding; effective practices for having people share lived experience related to the unwinding; and successful approaches for using lived experience in unwinding-related advocacy. Register here for the webinar.
State updates: FL, KY, MI, NC, ND, NJ, NY & PA
- Florida – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration’s drug importation program under section 804 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This is the first step toward Florida facilitating importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada. The FDA may authorize section 804 importation program (SIP) proposals from states or Indian tribes to import certain prescription drugs from Canada if the SIP will significantly reduce the cost to the American consumer without imposing additional risk to public health and safety.
- Kentucky – Kentucky submitted an amendment to the TEAMKY section 1115 demonstration to improve care transitions for certain individuals who are soon-to-be former inmates of a public institution and who are otherwise eligible for Medicaid.
- The city of Flint launched Rx Kids, the first citywide maternal and infant cash prescription program. Rx Kids will enroll every pregnant mom and newborn in the city of Flint with no income restrictions. Every mom will receive $1,500 during mid-pregnancy for food, prenatal care, rent, cribs, or whatever they need. After birth, families will receive $500 per month for the baby’s first 12 months that they can spend on formula, diapers, child care, or other expenses.
- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Office of Equity and Minority Health is announcing new dates for online community conversations originally scheduled for December to allow Michigan residents to provide feedback on proposed race and ethnicity data collection standards. To enhance inclusivity and community engagement, MDHHS is also making a public comment form available.
- New Jersey
- Governor Phil Murphy signed into law A4052, appropriating $10,200,000 to establish a three-year sickle cell disease pilot program. Under the bill, the Department of Health (DOH), in consultation with the Department of Human Services, will establish a pilot program through which DOH will select federally qualified health centers to develop and implement comprehensive sickle cell disease treatment programs and services.
- Governor Murphy signed into law S-2716/A-4153, requiring NJ FamilyCare to reimburse claims for covered services submitted by clinical social workers, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists under certain circumstances.
- New York
- Governor Kathy Hochul announced CMS approved New York’s Medicaid section 1115 demonstration, which includes several initiatives to address health-related social needs as well as support greater integration between primary care providers, community-based organizations, and behavioral health specialists. CMS’ approval allows New York to make investments that will connect people to housing and nutritional support services in addition to enhancing access to coordinated treatment for substance-use disorders and making long-term investments in the state’s healthcare workforce.
- Governor Hochul launched a request for proposals making $950 million in additional state funding available to support projects that will transform the state’s healthcare delivery system. Administered by the State Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program will help to improve patient care by supporting high-quality facilities serving the inpatient, primary care, mental health, substance-use disorder and long-term care needs of communities throughout the state.
- North Carolina
- Governor Roy Cooper and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure hosted a rally to commemorate Medicaid expansion in the state. The two participated in a conversation with healthcare Navigators to hear firsthand about the impact of expansion and discuss how North Carolina can be an example for other states who have yet to expand Medicaid. As of January 10, over 310,000 people have newly received coverage under expansion.
- To increase access to contraception, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is now enrolling pharmacists as Medicaid providers and paying for contraceptive counseling services provided in pharmacies.
- North Dakota – North Dakota Health and Human Services has issued a standing order making the life-saving drug naloxone available at no cost to Medicaid members. Naloxone is a medication used to block or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
- The Shapiro administration announced an extension of the state’s open enrollment period to January 19, 2024, allowing consumers additional time to enroll in health coverage through Pennie, the state’s official health insurance Marketplace.
- The Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) launched a state-administered independent appeal process that allows Pennsylvanians to submit for an Independent External Review if they believe their insurer has wrongly denied a claim for covering medical service, treatment, and items. Consumers may submit a request to PID using a new website, detailing why a service, treatment, or benefit should be covered by their health plan.