Around the Agencies
- CMS releases April 2015 report on State Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment data
- CDC releases report on prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infection
- CDC release report on 2011 State tobacco control program spending
In the News
- Parity Implementation Coalition and Kennedy Forum release new guide on mental health and substance use disorder parity
- AMA passes model State law for medication-assisted treatment
- Legal Action Center releases new web tool providing information on available health coverage options in each State
- Network for Public Health Law warns of nicotine poisoning among children and youth
- SAMHSA announces webinar discussing peer-run organization and recovery community organization sustainability
Around the Agencies
CMS releases April 2015 report on State Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment data
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the April 2015 report on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility and enrollment data this week. The report highlights the substantial increases in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment since the open enrollment period began on October 13. As of April 2015, over 71.1 million people are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP programs. Enrollment has steadily increased over time, as 76,645 additional people were enrolled in April 2015 compared to March 2015. States that have carried out Medicaid expansion programs have seen enrollment rise by approximately 28.2 percent compared to the July-September 2013 baseline period. States that did not implement Medicaid expansion programs have only seen enrollment increases of approximately 8.8 percent.
CDC releases report on prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infection
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report this week discussing the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infections. Persons with undiagnosed HIV contribute to nearly one third of transmission in the United States. To combat this, and other sources of transmission, the CDC recommends that all adults be tested at least once and that persons with increased risk for HIV infections be tested annually. The report suggests that States make an effort to expand access to HIV testing to ensure higher rates of diagnosis. Because HIV rates vary significantly between regions (110 per 1000,000 persons in Iowa with HIV versus 3,936 per 100,000 persons in Washington, DC) the CDC proposes that each State create testing procedures that are best suited for their State. Decreases in undiagnosed HIV in recent years have been attributed to expanded access to testing, underlining the efficacy and importance of broadened access to testing.
CDC release report on 2011 State tobacco control program spending
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report this week examining tobacco control program spending throughout the United States in 2011. The report finds that States with larger investments in tobacco prevention programs saw faster decreases in cigarette sales and smoking than States without similar programs. Despite this progress, tobacco prevention programs remain underfunded throughout the country. The report states that in 2011 States “spent approximately $658 million on tobacco control and prevention, which accounts for less than 3% of the States’ revenues from the sale of tobacco products and only 17.8% of the level recommended by the CDC.” The CDC’s Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs recommended in 2007 that States spend approximately $3.7 billion annually on tobacco prevention initiatives in order to see substantial decreases in cigarette use.
In the News
Parity Implementation Coalition and Kennedy Forum release new guide on mental health and substance use disorder parity
The Parity Implementation Coalition (PIC) and Kennedy Forum have released a new guide discussing the mental health and substance use disorder parity law. The guide was primarily created to educate individuals seeking mental health or substance use disorder services on their rights and benefits under current parity law. The PIC and Kennedy Forum believe the guide will promote increased communication with insurance plans, in addition to helping resolve disputes with health plans over coverage and reimbursement for mental health and substance use disorder services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) was passed in 2008, with final regulations published in 2013.
AMA passes model State law for medication-assisted treatment
The American Medical Association (AMA) has passed a model State law calling for increased access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for individuals with opioid or other substance use disorders. The law requires the Governor to appoint a task force to develop recommendations surrounding MAT best practices. The law further outlines the regulatory framework of MAT programs, stating that MAT services will not be subject to “any annual or lifetime dollar limitations, limitations to a pre-designated facility, specific number of visits, or days of coverage.” The health benefits and MAT services described in the legislation would apply to all health insurance plans if the model law is passed in a State.
Legal Action Center releases new web tool providing information on available health coverage options in each State
The Legal Action Center (LAC) released a new online tool containing health coverage profiles for each State this past week. The tool is the result of significant research efforts to determine the essential information on health system agencies and points of contact for every State. The LAC has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Advocates for Human Potential to provide further technical assistance to health professionals, in addition to spreading information about potential methods for expanding access to health care for those currently incarcerated within the criminal justice system.
Network for Public Health Law warns of nicotine poisoning among children and youth
The Network for Public Health Law published an article this week warning of increased rates of nicotine poisoning among children and youth. The article suggests these increased rates are a result of the popularity of electronic cigarettes and the liquid nicotine, or e-liquid, used within them. States across the country have seen nicotine poisoning rates rise, with the Minnesota Poison Control System reporting a 35 percent increase from 2013 to 2014. New York reported the first known infant death from e-liquid in December 2014. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced plans to regulate electronic cigarettes and other non-cigarette tobacco products, no specific regulations have taken effect. States are drafting regulations in place of the FDA, with Minnesota, New York, and Vermont passing legislation requiring that e-liquid be sold in child-proof packaging. Other States have considered relabeling e-liquid containers to make their dangers more clear.
SAMHSA announces webinar discussing peer-run organization and recovery community organization sustainability
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced a new webinar discussing peer-run organization (PRO) and recovery community organization (RCO) sustainability. PROs and RCOs play essential roles in providing mental health and substance use disorder services, yet sometimes face challenges when developing infrastructure or diversifying funding. This webinar will discuss potential strategies for PROs and RCOs to increase capacity, strengthen procedures, and construct policies that will lead to increased sustainability in the future. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, July 22nd from 1-2:30pm Eastern Time.
Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, (202) 293-0090 or Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, at (202) 293-0090.