September 16 Update

In This Week’s Update:

  • SHVS Q&A on Medicaid Coverage for Justice-involved Populations
  • Census Bureau Insurance Coverage Report
  • State Updates: MI, MT, NV, WA, WV & WI
  • New SHVS Health Equity Webinar
  • Colorado Medicare Price Report
  • Engaging Consumers in Care


Justice-involved Populations Q&A

Last week, State Health and Value Strategies published a Q&A document in response to questions received during its webinar, Leveraging Medicaid to Establish Meaningful Health Care Connections for Justice-Involved Populations. The Q&A highlights the top questions that were asked during and after the webinar. The webinar reviewed strategies states might pursue to facilitate Medicaid coverage, care management, and physical and behavioral health services for the justice-involved population, and the circumstances under which states might be able to secure federal Medicaid funding to implement these strategies. In case you missed it, a recording and slides from the webinar can be found here.


Census Bureau Insurance Coverage Report

Also last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest report on health insurance coverage in the United States in 2018, including changes in health insurance coverage between 2017 and 2018. The report found that in 2018, 27.5 million people did not have health insurance at any point during the year. From 2017 to 2018, the uninsured rate rose by 0.5 percentage points, meaning about 1.9 million more people were uninsured in 2018 relative to 2017. The report also includes state and local estimates of coverage and found that between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage at the time of interview decreased in three states and increased in eight states. For a summary and implications of the report, see this Health Affairs blog post.


State Updates: MI, MT, NV, WA, WV & WI

  • Michigan – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced it is mailing new informational letters to program enrollees in an effort to preserve coverage for Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries. Beneficiaries who will be affected by new work requirements beginning in January will receive mailed notifications starting this month.
  • Montana – The state submitted an extension and amendment request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Montana HELP (Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership) Program section 1115 demonstration. The amendment would allow the state to establish work/community engagement requirements for non-exempt expansion adults as a condition for Medicaid coverage. The 30-day federal public comment period is open from September 12, 2019 through October 12, 2019.
  • Nevada – Nevada Health Link, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, launched its new call center and state-based website. Nevada Health Link is encouraging consumers, who previously purchased qualified health plans on, to claim their migrated accounts on the new website, the first step enrollees need to take to ensure their account is ready for open enrollment. In addition, Nevada Health Link has posted a video on their website featuring Executive Director Heather Korbulic explaining the transition to a state-based exchange.
  • Washington – In an effort to build new behavioral health treatment facilities across the state, the Department of Commerce is accepting applications for $20 million in competitive grants to local community hospitals and behavioral health service providers, and is directing an additional $49.5 million to a list of projects approved by the Legislature. The funding is part of a $117 million 2019 capital investment package that advances the governor’s five-year plan to transform Washington’s mental health system by emphasizing community-based care.
  • West Virginia – ​After several years of steady increases, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources released preliminary data on 2018 fatal drug overdoses in West Virginia that suggest a leveling off or slight decrease in the total number of overdose deaths. The projected decrease of overdose deaths in 2018 is expected to decline 6 percent compared to 2017.
  • Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced it received approval from CMS to implement a health services initiative to provide lead abatement services in the homes of low-income children and pregnant women enrolled in BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid.


Health Equity and Medicaid Managed Care: MCO Contract and Performance Requirements

State Health and Value Strategies is convening the fourth webinar in its series SHVS Health Equity Through Managed Care. on Tuesday, September 24 for 2-3 p.m. ET. The upcoming webinar, Health Equity and Medicaid Managed Care: MCO Contract and Performance Requirements, will review approaches employed by states to incorporate contract requirements and performance incentives into Medicaid managed care contracts to reduce health disparities within covered populations. The webinar will feature technical experts from Bailit Health, who will provide an overview of the methods and tools states can use in their managed care contracts and with their vendors to hold them accountable for addressing disparities. State Medicaid officials from Michigan and Oregon will also share examples and lessons learned from implementing managed care contractual requirements designed to reduce health disparities.

Registration (required) at the following link:


Colorado’s Medicare Reference-Based Price Report

The Center for Improving Value in Health Care, Colorado’s all payer claims database, released an interactive report (and downloadable data) that shows what commercial health insurance companies pay hospitals for inpatient and outpatient services as a percentage of Medicare, along with patient experience and an overall quality rating. The data are also available by county and Division of Insurance region across the state to help communities, employers, payers, providers, state agencies and others better understand local health care cost savings opportunities. The data provides another important aspect of cost transparency that can be used to inform decisions and is the first in a series of new analyses that will be released over the next year.


Engaging Consumers and Communities to Meaningfully Transform Care

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and as part of the Complex Care Innovation Lab, launched the Community Partnership Pilot (CPP). This 18-month initiative is focused on identifying best practices for engaging community members, particularly those with complex health and social needs, and building effective partnerships between health care systems and the community. The initiative selected two pilot sites, Hennepin Healthcare and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ Whole Person Care program, which are considering a range of evidence-based consumer engagement strategies to better understand how to effectively engage consumers and communities and use their insights, along with health system resources, to design and deliver services that are responsive to consumer needs and support improved health outcomes.