October 5 Update: Opioids legislation; How neighborhoods shape children’s futures; TA for Medicaid, housing partnerships

On Wednesday last week, the Senate passed legislation, H.R. 6 – SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, to address the opioid epidemic, which now goes to President Trump for his signature. The Kaiser Health News podcast What the Health? walks through the details of the final version of the bill (starts at 1:27), and the Addiction Policy Forum produced a summary that outlines the 41 key components of the opioid package.

Also, on Monday State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar, facilitated by experts at Manatt Health, on the implications of the proposed public charge rule for Medicaid. The  proposal would change how the Department of Homeland Security determines whether immigrants are “likely at any time to become a public charge,” which may put immigration status at risk. The slide deck and a recording are on the SHVS website.

  • Arizona – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s (AHCCCS) Complete Care program began on October 1, 2018. This new integrated system will join physical and behavioral health services together to treat all aspects of members’ health care needs under a chosen health plan. AHCCCS Complete Care encourages more coordination between providers within the same network which can mean better health outcomes for members.
  • Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, announced that customers will see a decrease in premiums for 2019 as the marketplace stabilizes. Customers who qualify for tax credits will see an average decrease in their net premium of 24 percent next year.
  • Hawaii – The state submitted a request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend their QUEST Integration section 1115 demonstration for an additional five years. The federal public comment period will be open from October 3, 2018 through November 1, 2018.
  • Idaho – Your Health Idaho, Idaho’s state-based health insurance marketplace, announced that Idahoans are now able to preview and comparison shop the 293 health and dental insurance plans being offered by seven carriers on its newly designed mobile-friendly marketplace at org. The state also offers helpful tips for consumers when reviewing health plans and coverage options.
  • Maryland – The Maryland Health Connection, Maryland’s state-based health insurance exchange, announced that residents can browse 2019 health insurance plans in advance of the open enrollment period. Residents will be able to go to the website and get an estimate of costs and the various plan options available to them this upcoming plan year.
  • Minnesota
    • The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced that the state’s individual insurance market will have significant rate decreases in 2019, ranging on average from 7.4 percent to 27.7 percent. The Department attributed the rate decreases to the state’s reinsurance program, lower utilization and costs, and a strong state economy.
    • Following the announcement of 2019 rates, MNsure, Minnesota’s state-based health insurance exchange, reminded Minnesotans of financial assistance available to purchase health insurance on the MNsure website. Beginning October 15, Minnesotans can “window shop” available 2019 plans before the start of open enrollment.
  • New York – The state is profiled in a “State Spotlight” by the Center for Health Care Strategies as part of their work on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 6|18 Initiative. New York’s efforts built on previous efforts to address unintended pregnancies in the state by increasing access to and utilization of effective or highly effective contraceptive methods — most notably, long-acting reversible contraceptives.
  • Oregon
    • The Oregon Health Authority announced finalized 2019 capitation rates for coordinated care organizations.  The rate increase represents a 4.35 percentage change in the rate of growth for plan year 2019.
    • The Oral Health Program at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division announced they are seeking public comment on proposed changes to the rules for Dental Pilot Projects. The objective is to clarify the rules so that applicants and approved projects can better understand the requirements and possible consequences for failing to adhere to requirements. Written comments will be accepted until October 31.
  • Pennsylvania – Governor Tom Wolf announced this week the creation of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee to collect information to investigate and disseminate findings related to maternal deaths. The committee is the result of Act 24, which the governor signed into lawin May.

Upcoming Webinars—Save the Dates!

Measure Selection, Alignment and Performance Benchmarking: A New Resource for States
Friday, October 12, 2018 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET   

SHVS will host a webinar, facilitated by experts at Bailit Health, on a new suite of publicly available resources that support states in their measure selection, alignment and performance benchmarking efforts. The Buying Value Benchmark Repository builds upon the Buying Value Measure Selection Tool and is a downloadable database of non-HEDIS and modified HEDIS measures that states and regional health improvement collaboratives are using for reporting, payment or other purposes. During the webinar, technical experts from Bailit Health will provide an overview of the repository and discuss how states can both utilize the tool and contribute measures to it.
Registration (required) at the following link: https://rwjfevents.webex.com/rwjfevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e88921dbb4cddc1afac6685a65b0b4e0f

Safeguarding Financial Stability of Provider Risk-Bearing Organizations

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 3:30 to 4:30 pm ET

An increasing number of provider organizations are entering into risk-based contracts with payers where they are accepting the financial risk of care. This financial liability is often shared with payers, and maximum risk exposure is typically capped. SHVS is hosting a webinar that will explore state options for regulating provider risk-bearing organizations. During the webinar, technical experts from Bailit Health will review approaches states could take to overseeing their risk-bearing organizations and highlight examples from states that have elected to regulate to protect against provider insolvency.

Registration (required) at the following link: https://rwjfevents.webex.com/rwjfevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e6b147943035f6608768d09afd4a2c562

“Opportunity Atlas” Predicts Children’s Futures at Neighborhood Level

On Monday the United States Census Bureau released the Opportunity Atlas, a comprehensive Census tract-level dataset that estimates children’s outcomes in adulthood. The new dataset is a collaboration of the Census Bureau and researchers Raj Chetty and Nathan Hendren from Harvard University and John Friedman from Brown University. The Opportunity Atlas allows users to view estimates of children’s earnings distributions, incarceration rates and other outcomes by parental income, race and gender for every census tract. Users are able to overlay their own data points of interest and export the data for additional analysis. Examples of how states and localities are putting the data to use were the subject of an article in the New York Times and a segment produced by National Public Radio this week.

Technical Support Opportunity: Medicaid and Housing Agency Partnerships

The Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP) is launching a nine-month technical support opportunity for up to eight states seeking to implement housing and service changes that will increase community integration options for Medicaid beneficiaries requiring long-term services and supports. CMS is hosting an information session about the opportunity on Thursday, October 18 (register here). During the information session, participants will learn about the goals, structure, and technical support available for states interested in implementing housing and service changes. The Expression of Interest form for the technical support opportunity will be posted on the CMS IAP website after the information session and the deadline for submission of Expression of Interest forms is November 15, 2018.