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June 21, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine said she wants to prioritize children’s mental health along with other research, treatment and recovery issues, saying the National Institute of Mental Health is in a unique position to study and rectify COVID-19's impact on youth mental health.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Friday stressed a willingness to work with states interested in expanding their Medicaid programs, saying there’s still time for those that want to take advantage of the increased federal matching money in the American Rescue Plan.

June 18, 2021 | Daily News

Forty-two states reportedly have applied and been approved for extensions to submit to CMS their initial spending plans and narratives required to access the increased federal Medicaid matching funds for home- and community-based services from the American Rescue Plan, a trend one stakeholder says was expected and isn’t likely to hurt states’ abilities to use the funds.

June 17, 2021 | Daily News

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced a bill Thursday (June 17) that would allow county, city or other local governments to expand Medicaid to cover adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level in states that have yet to expand coverage to that level.

June 16, 2021 | Daily News

President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $400 billion in home- and community-based services would boost funding for social determinants of health within the HCBS program, and some health care stakeholders are optimistic the investment could be a step towards broader social determinants funding.

June 15, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan bill to eliminate cost-sharing for vaccines covered under Medicare Part D and another to improve provider reimbursement for administering no-cost vaccines to children were hailed as necessary steps to vaccinating the American public during a House Energy & Commerce Committee health subcommittee hearing on Tuesday (June 15).

June 15, 2021 | Daily News

Centene is paying $143 million total to settle with Ohio and Mississippi over allegations that the health insurer used pharmacy benefit schemes to overcharge the states, and Centene is setting aside an additional $1.1 billion to settle with other states over similar allegations.

June 14, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan infrastructure proposal from Congress is unlikely to include home- and community-based services investments, a GOP aide confirmed to Inside Health Policy Monday (June 14).

June 14, 2021 | Daily News

Medicaid expansion is gaining traction in Wyoming, even passing the Wyoming House of Representatives earlier this year, but with a July special session to discuss the policy now off the table and concerns among state lawmakers about using Medicaid funding to pay for abortion care, roadblocks remain.

June 11, 2021 | Daily News

Some Democratic senators told HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra during committee hearings this week they were pleased to see large increases in funding to tackle opioid and substance use disorder in the fiscal 2022 budget request, but they asked for additional support on funding cliffs and opioid production solutions.

June 10, 2021 | Daily News

Congress should consider bipartisan policies to bolster home- and community-based services, Senate Finance Committee ranking Republican Mike Crapo (ID) said during a committee hearing on the HHS fiscal 2022 budget Thursday (June 10), but he is concerned that President Joe Biden’s proposal to invest $400 billion may come with labor reforms that could further harm the inpatient caregiving workforce.

June 10, 2021 | Daily News

A lawsuit seeking to get rid of a two-tiered benefits system for Nebraska’s Medicaid expansion population has been put on hold after the state decided to end the tiered system last week.

June 09, 2021 | Daily News

Home- and community-based care stakeholders remain optimistic that Congress will pass President Joe Biden’s proposal to spend $400 billion on Medicaid home care as the White House shifts its infrastructure talks toward reaching a deal with a bipartisan group of senators that reportedly includes Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), an HCBS supporter, and others who have backed home care before.

June 09, 2021 | Daily News

A coalition of beneficiary advocacy organizations is demanding CMS rescind an informal guidance released in April that recommends states consider allowing hours worked during the public health emergency to count toward certified nurse aide training hours.

June 08, 2021 | Daily News

As key House lawmakers look at potentially crafting a public option that would compete with private insurers on the ACA exchanges, a county-backed health plan in Los Angeles that offers Medicaid and exchange plans is touting its own story as a potential model for certain markets.

June 07, 2021 | Daily News

Women and children health care advocates are cheering growing interest among states in extending Medicaid postpartum coverage beyond the current 60 days -- most recently, a bill to extend postpartum coverage to six months is sitting on the Texas GOP governor’s desk while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed Wednesday (June 2) legislation to extend coverage to one year after a woman gives birth.

June 04, 2021 | Daily News

Nursing homes estimate more than 1,600 skilled nursing facilities could close in 2021 and disrupt residents’ care if HHS doesn’t distribute the remaining provider relief and extend its deadline to spend the relief from June 30 to Dec. 30, 2022.

June 03, 2021 | Daily News

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Director Liz Fowler said Thursday (June 3) her center is in the midst of a strategic review of its demonstrations and plans to make conscious choices on how it invests, move to more mandatory models and focus on beneficiaries’ meaningful care relationships.

June 03, 2021 | Daily News

Nebraska has decided to withdraw its Section 1115 waiver application that required people in the Medicaid expansion population to participate in work and other personal responsibility requirements in order to access dental, vision and over-the-counter medication benefits, and as of Oct. 1 all Medicaid beneficiaries will now have access to these benefits.

June 02, 2021 | Daily News

Long-term care is the next big debate in health care reform, and it's increasingly clear that more long-term care will be home-based going forward, AARP leaders said during a roundtable on long-term care Wednesday (June 2).