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News | January 7, 2020 

Top Headlines

• State Legislatures Continue to Tackle Drug Costs in 2020
• KY Leaders Promote Employment as an Opioid Recovery Tool
• How the 2020 Federal Budget Affects State Health Policies 

State Legislatures Continue to Tackle Drug Costs in 2020

NASHP has launched its 2020 State Rx Legislative Tracker, which highlights bills designed to curb the rising cost of prescription drugs introduced in statehouses across the country. As of Jan. 2, 11 new bills have been filed and 127 carried over from states’ 2019 sessions. States are taking varied approaches – proposing prescription drug affordability review boards, capping out-of-pocket insulin costs, enacting wholesale drug importation programs, and addressing pharmacy benefit manager practices – as they build on the momentum gained in 2019 when 37 states passed 60 new laws. Explore the legislative actions states are taking in 2020 here.
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KY State and Chamber Leaders Partner to Promote Employment as an Opioid Recovery Tool

In response to Kentucky’s devastating opioid epidemic, leaders from state government and the Chamber of Commerce have partnered to convince employers across the state to take a chance on the tens of thousands of residents in recovery from opioid use disorder. In this Q&A, Beth Kuhn, chief engagement officer for Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, explains how this effective public-private initiative works. Read more
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How the 2020 Federal Budget Affects State Health Policies and Insurance Markets

In mid-December, Congress passed the 2020 federal budget that will impact state health policies and insurance markets. Notable changes include:

• Repealing the health insurance tax in plan year 2021;
• Prohibiting any US Department of Health and Human Services restriction of “silver loading” on 2021 insurance premiums;
• Requiring the establishment of an auto-enrollment process for the federal exchange in the 2021 plan year;
• Raising the tobacco-buying age to 21 and requiring states to oversee implementation of this change; and 
• Allocating $20 million to states to help prevent children from entering foster care.

Read a summary of all budget changes, plus grant extensions and opportunities here.
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States Use VW Settlement Funds to Buy Electric Vehicles to Improve Air Quality

State leaders are working to improve climate health with policies that also safeguard public health. One approach is to apply their states’ portion of the $2.7 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust settlement – paid by Volkswagen for emissions cheating – to reduce diesel emissions. Virginia will spend $20 million on electric school buses, South Carolina is buying 78 propane school buses and two electric transit buses, and Rhode Island is purchasing electric transit buses and expanding its vehicle charging infrastructure. Read more
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Medicaid Offers Data Analytics Support to Help States Serve Adults with Serious Mental Illness

The Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program is offering an eight-month data analytics technical assistance opportunity to state Medicaid agencies interested in learning how to use data to gain insight into their adult Medicaid populations with serious mental illness to improve policy making, stakeholder engagement, and data-informed delivery system reforms. Review the Program Overview and Information Session Slides. States must email an Expression of Interest form to cms.iap.smi@healthmanagement.com by midnight (ET) Jan. 15, 2020.
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New Report: How States Use Medicaid MCO Contracts to Spur Payment Reform

The nonprofit Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) recently released a report featuring strategies that state Medicaid agencies are using in their contracts with managed care organizations (MCOs) to accelerate payment reform and innovations. The resource includes provisions for payment models and programs addressing maternity care, behavioral health, pharmacy, and provider enablement. Download the report and watch a companion webinar with Medicaid leaders and contract expert Beth Waldman of Bailit Health. 
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Careers

NASHP Policy Associate – Chronic and Vulnerable Populations Team
NASHP Policy Associate – Child and Family Health Team
NASHP Research Analysts

Resource of the Month

California Initiative Addresses Adverse Childhood Events

This month, NASHP features California’s ACEs Aware: California Initiative Addresses Adverse Childhood Events website, which provides resources, information, and online training for providers and community leaders working to reduce the prevalence and impact of adverse childhood events (ACEs) and toxic stress. View other resources at the Healthy Child Development State Resource Center, supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Submit new resources to ehiggins@nashp.org

The National Academy for State Health Policy is a nonpartisan forum of policymakers throughout state governments, learning, leading and implementing innovative solutions to health policy challenges.
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