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state-action

The lawsuit alleges that, since acquiring third party administrator Wellpartner in 2017, CVS required 340B covered entities to work with Wellpartner.

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state-action

As monkeypox continues to spread, New York health leaders declare the virus an imminent threat, while California leaders request additional vaccine supply.

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state-action

A recently passed New Hampshire law requires health care facilities to implement and maintain workplace violence prevention programs.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot explores how legislatures are responding to the recent discriminatory actions by pharmacy benefit managers and other payers by enacting 340B-related nondiscrimination legislation.

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state-action

Washington lawmakers expanded the state's charity care program but did not include additional funding to cover the extra uncompensated costs for hospitals.

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state-action

The expansion of the state's Medi-Cal program will provide health care coverage for an additional 764,000 people by 2024.

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state-action

Amid strong financial conditions, state Medicaid spending is forecasted to grow at a slower rate in FY 2023 compared with FY 2022, based on proposed budgets.

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state-action

CMS approved Colorado's Section 1332 waiver application to create a state-based standard health benefit plan.

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state-action

The Florida Department of Health does not recommend COVID-19 vaccines for "healthy children" and will not facilitate statewide vaccine distribution; health care providers still may order vaccines directly from the federal government.

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state-action

A new Colorado law mandates that each hospital form a staffing committee and report its annual master nurse staffing plan to the health department.

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state-action

The bridge program task force will create a proposal for affordable, continuous health insurance coverage for individuals with frequent income fluctuations.

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state-action

New laws in Wisconsin and Utah criminalize threats against health care workers, while other state legislatures consider similar bills.

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state-action

Illinois, New Hampshire, and Vermont state health departments scaled back COVID-19 testing and vaccine clinics this spring.

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state-action

Telehealth is an important tool to connect providers and patients, and this technology only became more vital as the pandemic prevented patients from accessing in-office care. This State Policy Snapshot explores how some states have pursued action to make telehealth flexibility permanent.

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state-action

Ten states and the District of Columbia no longer report their COVID-19 data on a daily basis.

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state-action

At least 20 states are pursuing legislation to limit access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth, while some states have proposed legislation to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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state-action

An analysis finds just 17 governors discussed COVID-19 in their state-of-the-state addresses, with key themes including opposition to vaccine mandates, workforce shortages, and access to COVID-19 vaccines. Active public health emergencies remain in 22 states.

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state-action

The laws prohibit pharmacy benefit managers and insurance companies from discriminating against 340B Drug Pricing Program contract pharmacies and covered entities.

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state-action

States argue shifting pharmacy benefits from managed care to Medicaid fee-for-service can lead to savings, but removing 340B Drug Pricing Program benefits for managed care drugs can jeopardize essential hospitals' 340B savings — a critical source of support.

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state-action

In the early months of 2022, Alabama, Delaware, Kansas, and New Jersey passed legislation to mitigate health care workforce shortages amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.

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state-action

In a letter to CMS, Republican Govs. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and Jim Justice of West Virginia cite strained health care workforce and staffing crises as reasons for requesting relief. They ask for broader conscience exemptions, flexibility on enforcement, or simply a six-month delay of the rule.

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state-action

The Washington insurance commissioner, state telehealth collaborative, and state health care authority will study proposed methods to measure the impact of audio-only telemedicine on access to health care services for historically underserved communities and geographic areas.

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state-action

The relaunched members-only state action page now includes a search-by-state tool and specific areas focused on state responses to COVID-19 and health equity.

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state-action

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) requests $50 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pay for extra hospital beds across the state; Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) requests $40 million in new ARPA funding to support hospital staffing.

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state-action

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) gave her first State of the State address, highlighting plans to retain and grow the state's health care workforce and invest in initiatives to advance health equity.

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state-action

In response to rising COVID-19 cases, California, Connecticut, and New Mexico will require health care workers to receive a vaccine booster shot.

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state-action

Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee (D) released a Dec. 22 executive order addressing hospital capacity and flexibility for patient care given recent surges in COVID-19 cases and medical staff shortages.

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state-action

A Medicaid budget survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights notable trends in expanding access to behavioral health care using telehealth services. As of July, 45 states covered mental health and substance use disorder care via telehealth.

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state-action

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) renewed the state COVID-19 public health emergency and issued an executive order allowing out-of-state medical personnel to continue working in Indiana, expanding the types of providers who can administer vaccines, and ensuring eligible children can receive the vaccine.

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state-action

The pressures of the COVID-19 public health emergency led to significant burnout among the health care workforce. This State Policy Snapshot summarizes how state and local governments sought relief to help meet this challenge.

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state-action

New York is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 transmission rates. An executive order from the governor authorizes all state agencies to take appropriate action to assist local governments and individuals in combating COVID-19, including delaying non-essential elective procedures, until Jan. 15, 2022.

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state-action

As part of its final report and implementation plan, the Presidential Health Equity Task Force highlighted several states and communities that are improving equitable health care, including California's efforts to expand broadband services, the Cherokee Nation's vaccination efforts, and more.

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state-action

Colorado reactivates its statewide crisis standards of care related to health care workforce staffing, and the state health department approves booster vaccines for all eligible adults. California's Department of Public Health encourages providers to offer booster shots to adults.

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state-action

The Kaiser Family Foundation's annual survey of Medicaid directors finds significant changes to Medicaid programs related to COVID-19, as well as increased state efforts to address social determinants of health and improve health equity. A companion survey examined Medicaid spending trends.

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state-action

For the second time during the COVID-19 public health emergency, New Mexico enacted crisis standards of care to address critical workforce shortages. The state is experiencing a drastic shortage of health care workers as it battles provider burnout and higher wages offered in other states.

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state-action

Alabama extends its state of emergency, enabling hospitals to relax regulations to expand capacity and allowing out-of-state clinicians to practice in Alabama. A new West Virginia initiative provides hospitals financial and staffing support to avoid the need for care rationing.

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state-action

Colorado expanded its essential health benefit benchmark plan to enhance coverage for those seeking gender-affirming care, effective January 2023. This expansion is the first of its kind to be approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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state-action

Due to increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations, Alaska and Idaho this month enacted statewide crisis standards of care. These standards are used when health care systems are unable to operate normally due to an extreme public health event.

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state-action

States facing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases are making efforts to support their increasingly burdened health care workforce. Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested teams to support civilian health care workers treating COVID-19 patients in local state hospitals.

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state-action

As hospitals respond to the rising delta variant and struggle with capacity, some states are calling on hospitals to once again postpone elective surgeries. Executive orders in other states expand flexibility to address health care workforce shortages amid COVID-19 surges.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot summarizes how states are working to improve maternal health and equity through Medicaid Section 1115 waivers, provider training, community-based services, and panels to investigate maternal deaths.

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state-action

Several state Medicaid programs have begun reimbursing for vaccine counseling services amid efforts across the country to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. Vaccine counseling services can provide reassurance, education, and clarity to those experiencing vaccine hesitancy.

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state-action

Arkansas governor holds town halls after state lawmakers deny exceptions to a law prohibiting government agencies from mandating mask use. California will require school staff to be fully vaccinated or tested weekly. Texas asks hospitals to voluntarily postpone elective medical procedures.

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state-action

Many governors are taking renewed action to combat COVID-19 as the delta variant spreads. Some states have renewed their public health emergency declarations, while others are mandating vaccinations for certain state workers. However, nine states have enacted laws prohibiting vaccine mandates.

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state-action

Colorado is requiring medical-grade face coverings for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated employees in settings that serve vulnerable or at-risk populations, and Mississippi is recommending those 65 and older avoid mass gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.

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state-action

Recently, some states have started to direct providers on which carve-in or carve-out options they take so the state can claim its rebates without concern of duplicate discounts. This State Policy Snapshot examines the current landscape of state carve-in and carve-out policies.

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state-action

The highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant has been found in all 50 states and experts warn unvaccinated individuals and younger populations are highly susceptible. This variant presents a significant threat in states with low vaccination rates, including Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah.

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state-action

Nevada is the second state to pursue a public option health coverage plan, after Washington implemented a public option in 2019. The law requires the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Insurance, and Silver State Health Insurance Exchange to create a public option by 2026.

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state-action

Several states have reached or surpassed President Joe Biden's goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the U.S. adult population by July 4. However, other states lag behind; in 15 states, less than half the adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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state-action

Several states have enacted fiscal year 2022 budgets that include line items related to the pandemic. For example, Florida budgeted $326 million to continue response efforts and Washington allocated money to hire case investigators, contact tracers, and other positions to respond to COVID-19.

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state-action

Six states — Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Oregon, and Washington — are experiencing a frequency of COVID-19 variants, first identified in Brazil and South Africa, greater than 10 percent. FDA recommends providers in these states use only the REGEN-COV monoclonal antibody for treatment.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot examines the policies and initiatives states are pursuing to dismantle structural racism and achieve health equity. 

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state-action

In response to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for fully vaccinated people, several states, including Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have lifted their statewide mask mandates.

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state-action

States are using varying techniques to encourage the public to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Some states are linking vaccination rates to loosening restrictions or offering financial incentives to those receiving a vaccine, while others focus on forming partnerships to scale up vaccination efforts.

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state-action

As COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, several states — including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Washington — have created targeted campaigns to reach marginalized populations disproportionately affected by the public health emergency.

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state-action

New York is the first state to implement no-cost, voluntary "vaccine passports" — credentials to show proof of inoculation. Hawaii is testing similar technology. Other states have expressed privacy concerns related to vaccine passports, with the governors of Florida and Texas barring such policies.

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state-action

At least 29 bills in 17 states involve health services for patients who are transgender, and many of these efforts specifically focus on youth populations. Several states proposed restricting access to transgender health care, by prohibiting or criminalizing gender-affirming care.

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state-action

In recent weeks, several states passed legislation related to the COVID-19 public health crisis, including bills establishing vaccination authority, patient rights, and data reporting requirements. Utah on April 10 will lift its statewide mask mandate.

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state-action

People experiencing homelessness face barriers to vaccination, including lack of transportation, limited availability of technology, and no established connection to a health care provider. More than 30 states have specifically prioritized vaccinations for homeless populations.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot summarizes actions states are taking to combat human trafficking through task forces, training programs, and protections for trafficked individuals.

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state-action

New York establishes an advisory council on trauma-informed care for workers on the front lines of COVID-19. The advisory group will develop reports on immediate needs for front-line health workers and findings and recommendations on long-term, trauma-informed care for these individuals.

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state-action

So far, 26 states and Washington, D.C., publicly report varying data on race and ethnicity for individuals who have received the vaccination. States also have taken different approaches to addressing disparities in vaccine administration and vaccine hesitancy.

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state-action

Some states are holding back COVID-19 vaccines after receiving fewer than expected doses and grappling with logistical challenges scheduling second shots. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could be administered up to 42 days apart.

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state-action

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is supporting vaccination sites in 19 states and U.S. territories. States vary in their approaches to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to children; some are prioritizing subpopulations of children while others are involving child health stakeholders in planning.

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state-action

Three new National Governors Association task forces will focus on pandemic and disaster response, economic recovery and revitalization, and community renewal.

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state-action

In response to COVID-19 surges, California issued an order to preserve resources and ensure hospitals can care for critically ill patients. Most states adopt Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for prioritization of vaccines, but 14 states modified the guidelines.

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state-action

This is the first approval of its kind and will allow the state to have more control over financing its Medicaid program.

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state-action

The CDC data tracker shows COVID-19 vaccine rollout has varied significantly across the country. While Connecticut, New Hampshire, and South Dakota have administered at least 60 percent for their available vaccine doses, Arizona and Georgia have not yet administered 20 percent of their vaccines.

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state-action

Florida allocates $23 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding to mental health services in the state.

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state-action

The administration approved the Pfizer vaccination for emergency use. In preparation, states — including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Washington — have outlined their vaccine distribution plans, which must be submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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state-action

The California Department of Health released new guidance strongly recommending weekly COVID-19 screening and testing for general acute care hospital staff. California and Oregon are buying entire hotels to support homeless and vulnerable communities.

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state-action

The National Association of State Budget Officials' annual state expenditures report found total Medicaid spending in state budgets increased 4.4 percent and federal government Medicaid spending increased 8.9 percent in fiscal year 2020.

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state-action

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order allowing hospitals to transfer or deny patients when the hospital reaches full capacity. Meanwhile, several states across the nation are hosting special legislative sessions to address COVID-19.

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state-action

Many states — including Iowa, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oregon — implement new restrictions as hospitalizations for COVID-19 reach a record high.

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state-action

The Department of Health and Human Services distributed a lateral flow COVID-19 diagnostic test to states and territories across the country. Several states — including Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Utah—are using the tests to target vulnerable populations.

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state-action

A Kaiser Family Foundation annual survey finds states expect to see Medicaid enrollment spike more than 8 percent in fiscal year 2021 due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

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state-action

California released a Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which includes an equity measure to ensure California reopens its economy safely by reducing disease transmission in all communities. Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded crisis counseling grants to more than 30 states.

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state-action

As the country works to expand COVID-19 through testing, every state has submitted a testing strategy to the federal government. Most state plans prioritize vulnerable populations and offer testing for uninsured individuals.

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state-action

With community partnerships already underway through California's Whole Person Care initiative — part of its Section 1115 Medicaid waiver — localities in California found it easier to reach vulnerable communities at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

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state-action

As Hurricane Laura tore through Texas and Louisiana, both states grappled with the devastating effects of the hurricane amid ongoing efforts to mitigate COVID-19. The pandemic has made it significantly more difficult to follow general hurricane preparedness procedures and protect vulnerable residents.

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state-action

Many states are engaged in some form of advanced and rapid contact tracing to help contain the spread of COVID-19. In Wisconsin, the state Department of Health created a web-based tool to help residents gauge their exposure to COVID-19.

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state-action

Governors from six states — Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia — announced a bipartisan interstate compact to expand COVID-19 testing, stop the spread of the virus, and help state economies safely recover.

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state-action

Many states — including North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina — are designating CARES Act funds to assist hospitals. The National Governor's Association outlines best practices for distributing potential COVID-19 vaccines.

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state-action

California prepares for wildfire season by securing personal protective equipment, hiring more firefighters, and implementing new shelter guidance in light of COVID-19. CDC highlights efforts in Michigan and Texas to use medical operations coordination cells and relief hospitals.

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state-action

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott issues a proclamation to suspend elective surgeries in four counties, making room for another surge in COVID-19. Maine Gov. Janet Mills announces the state approved nearly $9 million in grant funding to support local COVID-19 public health, education, and prevention efforts.

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state-action

New York will require the state health department to conduct a study on the health impact of COVID-19 on minority populations. A new data and visualization tool released by John Hopkins University provides insight on the effect of state stay-at-home and recovery policies across the U.S.

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state-action

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced the state will distribute $40 million to hospitals to address lost revenue and expenses as a result of COVID-19. The money comes from the tranche the state received under the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

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state-action

Illinois is the first state to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income residents ages 65 and older, regardless of immigration status, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania heightened security measures to protect staff and providers against the spread of COVID-19.

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state-action

The Arkansas governor appointed a steering committee to recommend distribution methods for federal COVID-19 funds across the states. A new National Governors Association memorandum offers planning recommendations for concurrent emergencies during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

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state-action

The report, requested by Republican representatives, details challenges states face in administering Medicaid programs, including with coverage exclusions and care coordination, coverage benefits and eligibility, and Medicare and Medicaid alignment.

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state-action

Several states, including Missouri and Oklahoma, will vote this year on whether to expand Medicaid. However, the topic of expansion will remain unaddressed in several states this year; for example, plans to include expansion on the 2020 ballot in Florida now have been pushed to 2022.

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state-action

Several states have created task forces to examine racial disparities related to COVID-19. A new tracker shows which states have stay-at-home orders or plans to resume elective procedures. States have authority to allocate CARES Act funding how they see fit, and several states have begun to do so.

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state-action

This State Policy Snapshot summarizes how states are turning to emergency Medicaid authority to provide coverage of COVID-19 services for specific populations, such as individuals who would qualify for public assistance if not for their immigration status.

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state-action

HHS has left it up to the states' discretion on how to distribute the investigational antiviral drug. Several states — including Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas — are beginning to release plans on the distribution of the drug.

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state-action

As the public health emergency continues, states make unexpected budgetary decisions that could significantly affect health care. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released an executive order stating hospitals are not allowed to discharge patients to nursing homes unless they test negative for COVID-19.

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state-action

Many states are beginning to lift restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including resuming elective surgeries in hospitals. Meanwhile, the National Association of Medicaid Directors urges the administration work with Medicaid directors to distribute needed funds to providers.

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state-action

Virginia and Washington have paused proposals to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for low-income women, due to budget constraints resulting from the pandemic. States are engaged in contact tracing to curb the spread of COVID-19, and 24 states enacted budgetary measures related to the emergency.

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state-action

States are exploring a variety of COVID-19 recovery plans to meet their local economic and health care needs. While some states opt to follow guidance from the Trump administration and national groups, others are taking individualized approaches focused on testing and social distancing.

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state-action

Some states are using their own means to assist hospitals on the front lines of this public health emergency. Massachusetts' state Medicaid agency will infuse $800 million in stabilization funding, while Pennsylvania launched a loan program to help hospitals adversely affected by the pandemic.

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state-action

Attorneys general from three states ask the U.S. Supreme Court to pause the administration's public charge rule as the nation grapples with COVID-19. A study identifies which states are tracking race and ethnicity data amid the pandemic. CMS approves new time-limited disaster state plan amendments.

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state-action

In addition to efforts targeting surprise medical bills, governors are asking the administration to allow Medicaid retainer payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the administration has approved Section 1135 waivers for 47 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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state-action

Newly approved state plan amendments in Alabama, Arizona, Minnesota, Washington, and Wyoming aim to increase flexibility to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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state-action

In a new state policy brief, America’s Essential Hospitals outlines opportunities for essential hospitals to work with state Medicaid agencies for much-needed support as they respond to the COVID-19 epidemic.

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state-action

Federal guidance details how states can request ventilators; states regulate distribution of chloroquine and hydoxychloroquine and take steps to ensure housing stability.

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state-action

With new approvals in Alaska, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Georgia, and Nebraska, 45 states now have Section 1135 waivers in place to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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state-action

States are expanding requirements for hospitals to report their bed capacity and supply inventory, and readying facilities to expand capacity to treat patients with COVID-19. CMS has approved Section 1135 waivers for 38 states.

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state-action

States open insurance marketplace special enrollment periods; the Association of State and Territorial Health Organizations issues considerations for mobile testing.

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state-action

Washington state received approval for a Section 1135 waiver, targeted at removing additional Medicare and Medicaid regulatory barriers for providers to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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state-action

Under the proposed Section 1115 waiver, Oklahoma would accept a per-capita cap on federal funds for the Medicaid expansion population and incorporate other market-based reforms.

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state-action

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will use existing networks to award more than $560 million to states, localities, territories, and tribes to accelerate planning and operational readiness. The agency has issued a list of funding actions and a frequently asked questions document.

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state-action

Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington join dozens of other states already enforcing laws to shield patients from balance billing.

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state-action

State Medicaid directors named delivery system and payment reform as their top priority in an annual operations survey from the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

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state-action

States are leveraging financial incentives, quality measures, waivers, and public-private partnerships to slow climbing rates of substance use disorder and overdose among pregnant women.

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state-action

In a new state policy brief, America’s Essential Hospitals examines the unique health care risks homeless individuals face, states leading the way to create long-term solutions, and the role essential hospitals play in providing care to homeless populations.

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state-action

This marks the second consecutive year the uninsured rate for children has increased following continuous decreases after enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Only North Dakota saw a decrease in the uninsured rate for children.

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state-action

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey of state Medicaid directors found declines in Medicaid enrollment and modest spending growth in 2019, but respondents anticipate slight increases in enrollment and higher spending in 2020.

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state-action

California recently became the first state to release data on wholesale acquisition cost increases for prescription drugs.

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state-action

Improving access to medication-assisted treatment during incarceration can help prevent overdoses and deaths after release.

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state-action

A new report from the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explores how rural local health departments mitigate social determinants of health.

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