Budget Blog

September 9, 2021 - Health Care Issues Update

By Stacey Mazer posted 09-09-2021 04:23 PM


CMS Distributing $452 Million to Improve Access to Affordable Health Insurance Coverage

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing funding of $452 million to 13 states through section 1332 state-based reinsurance waivers. The additional funds are a result of expanded subsidies provided under the American Rescue Plan Act. These funds, also known as “pass-through funding,” are determined on an annual basis by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury. They are available to states with approved section 1332 waivers that have also lowered premiums to implement their waiver plans.


CDC Provides an Overview of FY 2021 COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines selected funding resources provided to states, territories, and other organizations. The table provides details on the purpose, recipients, funding, and reporting requirements on the CDC funding streams where recipients have requested further clarification and where there are similarities in the intended purpose and allowable activities. CDC also posted the 2021-2023 recipient reporting deadlines for the Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement: COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Supplemental Funding.


HHS Releases Report on Lessons Learned from Vaccine Programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report providing an overview of lessons learned from vaccine programs. It presents evidence on COVID-19 vaccine outreach, discusses barriers to vaccinations, and includes examples of federal and state programs that could serve as potential models for designing new vaccine outreach strategies.


CDC Announces Funding for Community Health Workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded more than $116 million in year one of a three-year, $348 million program, to organizations for community health worker services to support COVID-19 prevention and control. The center also awarded more than $6 million of a four-year, $32 million program, for training, technical assistance and evaluation. A list of awardees can be found here.


Administration Unveils $65.3 Billion Pandemic Preparedness Plan

The administration released the plan entitled American Pandemic Preparedness: Transforming Our Capabilities, laying out urgent needs and opportunities in five key areas necessary to protect the country against biological threats. This includes strengthening public health systems, including the public health workforce. The total cost of the plan is $65.3 billion, to be invested over 7 to 10 years; a portion of these funds are requested under the current $3.5 trillion budget resolution.


GAO Report on Medicaid Home and Community Based Services During COVID-19

This report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) describes the temporary changes to Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) programs during COVID-19 and examines the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) monitoring and evaluation of the effects of those changes. All states received approval for temporary changes to their HCBS programs from CMS in order to maintain access to services and prevent disease spread. GAO recommends that CMS develop procedures to monitor temporary changes to HCBS programs during public health emergencies, evaluate the temporary changes after the COVID-19 emergency, and address opportunities for improvement. CMS concurred with GAO's recommendations.


HHS Secretary Declares Public Health Emergencies for New York and New Jersey Due to Hurricane Ida

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra declared public health emergencies for New York and New Jersey due to the damage inflicted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. With these declarations in effect, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) notified New Jersey and New York of the resources and waivers available to ensure hospitals and other facilities can continue to operate and provide access to care to those impacted by Hurricane Ida.