June 26 Update

In This Week’s Update:

  • New States of Unwinding
  • Medicaid Policies to Help Young Children Access Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health Services
  • Call for Applications: Medicaid Pathways Program, Class of 2024
  • State updates: CA, FL, IL, KY, MA, MT, ND, NM, NV, OR, SC, TX & WI

New States of Unwinding

Last week, State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) published a new States of Unwinding post. In this latest post they note that more states are making their data public and are sharing information about the unwinding process. States also remain focused on communication and outreach and continue to partner with other stakeholders to communicate. Following the announcement last week by CMS of new strategies states can employ to minimize the loss of coverage for procedural reasons, Michigan announced it will leverage the new federal flexibilities. SHVS also updated our expert perspective State Reporting to Monitor the Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Coverage Requirement. An additional four states, for a total of 25 states and the District of Columbia, have publicly published unwinding data in some format.


Also last week, SHVS published a new interactive map that states can use to navigate the State Spotlight series. This series will showcase examples of states’ efforts to transform their healthcare systems to be more affordable, equitable and innovative and highlight strategies that other states may be interested in adopting. 


Medicaid Policies to Help Young Children Access Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health Services

A new report presents results of a 50-state policy survey conducted by the National Center for Children in Poverty, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy Center for Children and Families, and Johnson Policy Consulting. The survey asked state Medicaid agency leaders about Medicaid policies related to screenings and services designed to identify, prevent, and treat infant-early childhood mental health problems. The results and recommendations presented in the report can help mental health and early childhood leaders take stock of current Medicaid policies and their potential to support infant-early childhood mental health.


Call for Applications: Medicaid Pathways Program, Class of 2024

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has issued a request for applications for its Medicaid Pathways Program. The nine-month professional development program, made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, supports senior Medicaid leaders in strengthening the necessary leadership skills to successfully oversee a complex organization like Medicaid, advance initiatives that support organizational development goals, and, ultimately, improve outcomes for enrollees. CHCS is currently recruiting up to 20 participants for the third class of the Medicaid Pathways Program. Senior leaders in Medicaid agencies from all states, commonwealths, and territories are eligible to apply. Applications are due July 18, 2023.


State updates: CA, FL, IL, KY, MA, MT, ND, NM, NV, OR, SC, TX & WI

  • California – California submitted a request for a new three-year Medicaid section 1115 demonstration titled the “California Reproductive Health Access Demonstration.” California seeks authority to provide grants to reproductive health providers for enhancing capacity and access to sexual and reproductive health services and promoting the sustainability of California’s reproductive health provider safety net for the benefit of individuals enrolled in Medicaid and other individuals who currently face barriers to access.
  • Florida
  • Florida submitted a request to extend its Medicaid section 1115 demonstration titled the “Florida Medicaid Family Planning Waiver.” The state is extending its demonstration in order to continue to provide family planning and family planning-related services to populations currently not covered under the Medicaid state plan.
  • Governor DeSantis signed the fiscal year 2024 budget into law which includes investments in health and human services, including: more than $190 million in cancer research funding; $290 million to enhance services for new and expecting parents and their children; $76 million for hospitals that care for acutely ill newborns and pediatric patients; and more than $625 million in funding to support a comprehensive array of behavioral health services.
  • Illinois

o    Governor Pritzker signed an omnibus bill, SB 1298, which raises Medicaid reimbursement rates for various healthcare professions and facilities, including 30% for substance use disorder treatment, 12% for nursing homes, and 10% for hospitals. The law also provides an additional $50 million annually for federally qualified health centers. Pending federal approval, most of the rate increases will be implemented in January 2024.

o    The Department of Healthcare and Family Services announced it is temporarily pausing new enrollments in the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) program, which covers eligible residents between the ages of 42 to 64, beginning July 1. This pause preserves coverage for current HBIA enrollees. The enrollment changes are necessary to bring program costs within the budgeted amount for state fiscal year 2024, which begins July 1. Compared with the traditional Medicaid population, month-over-month enrollment has grown at a higher rate, and per-enrollee costs have tracked higher among the HBIA-enrolled population due to more prevalent, untreated chronic conditions and higher hospital costs.

  • Kentucky – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced that it will conduct a feasibility study for a potential Medicaid home and community-based services program serving children with severe emotional disabilities or intellectual disabilities and related conditions like autism spectrum disorder.
  • Massachusetts – The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced the creation of two online hubs for LGBTQ+ mental and behavioral health resources. The online hubs include a variety of specialized services and supports for LGBTQ+ individuals and LGBTQ+ youth, including therapeutic support, substance use treatment, community-based resources, and more. Through these resource hubs, Massachusetts residents will be able to find local groups and providers who offer LGBTQ-specific and LGBTQ-sensitive care, as well as online and in-person support groups, LGBTQ-specific activities and opportunities, information on national LGBTQ+ supports and connection to Massachusetts’ network of mental healthcare.
  • Montana – Governor Greg Gianforte, together with the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced a $24 million investment in the state’s early childhood system, through the Montana Bright Futures project. As part of the project, DPHHS will pilot a universal home visiting program this year to meet growing demand for expanded home visiting support. The visits will provide screening and referrals to early childhood and health supports for families in need including behavioral health and financial services. Through contracts with local providers, the $24 million investment will also be used to fund Crisis Child Care Centers to serve Montana families needing emergency care for children ages zero to eight. The centers will be used to serve families in crisis, such as those escaping domestic violence, impacted by a mental health or substance use crisis, or experiencing homelessness.
  • New Mexico – The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) is soliciting interest surveys from rural healthcare facilities and providers that are seeking funding to develop or expand clinical services. The Rural Health Care Delivery Fund was established through Senate Bill 7 and HSD will provide up to $80 million through fiscal year 2026.   
  • Nevada – Governor Joe Lombardo signed SB 163, which requires certain public and private policies of health insurance and healthcare plans, including Medicaid, to cover the treatment of conditions relating to gender dysphoria. The legislation also prohibits an insurer from engaging in discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.
  • North Dakota – North Dakota’s Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee will hold a listening session on June 29 to gather thoughts and ideas on how to impact the state’s system of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services targeting opioid misuse and addiction. The Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee consists of six voting members and a nonvoting chairperson with equal representation from state and local governments. The committee will advise the state on the distribution of funds received under settlement agreements between opioid manufacturers and the state.
  • Oregon – The Oregon Health Authority announced the most recent eligibility review data show that nearly 7 in 10 Oregonians, whose eligibility for the Oregon Health Plan and other state Medicaid programs has been reviewed in recent months, have maintained health coverage. In May, 164,873 people came up for renewal and 108,343 people had their coverage renewed without needing action from the member.
  • South Carolina – South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) Director Robby Kerr provided an update on the progress being made in improving access to mental health counselors in South Carolina. The update shares findings from a statewide January 2023 survey of mental health services available in South Carolina’s schools conducted in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education.
  • Texas – Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 12, extending Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to one year. As a reminder, SHVS published an issue brief on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) option to extend postpartum coverage.
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the launch of the Independent Living Supports Pilot program, which will provide eligible Wisconsinites with critical resources allowing them to continue to live independently in their homes rather than entering a Medicaid long-term care program. Funded by the ARP, the pilot will take place in select areas of the state. Those who enroll will have access to program benefits for up to 12 months.