Health

The Health Policy Group provides policy analysis and innovative programming for state health policy leaders in the legislative and executive branches. This group also develops many publications and health forums for state leaders.

State leaders need access to critical and timely health policy information. CSG staff works to provide officials with best practices and policy analysis, helping lawmakers identify the best health solutions for their states.

On November 4th 2014, Illinois voters will have chance to cast their vote on a non-binding advisory question about the inclusion of birth control benefits  in any health insurance plan providing prescription drug coverage.  

The measure is one of three Illinois ballot questions on policy matters. The other two address increasing the state minimum wage and imposing additional income taxes on millionaires.

Legislators say, according to The...

The first lab-confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the U.S. was confirmed by the CDC in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 30, 2014. The man, identified as Thomas Eric Duncan, had traveled from Liberia to Texas and passed away on Oct. 8, 2014. Two healthcare workers treating Mr. Duncan subsequently became infected, but have since been cleared and released. The CDC confirmed that a fourth case was diagnosed on Oct. 24, 2014 in a medical aid worker in New York City who had returned from serving with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. The patient is currently in isolation in a New York City hospital.

State Medicaid programs are large and complex and their directors are faced with implementing changes required by the Affordable Care Act at the same time they continue to work with limited resources, both fiscal and human. Medicaid programs are also leading by example in major transformations of the health care system, including payment reforms, quality oversight, system accountability, and targeted care coordination.

The FBI has been using fingerprints to link perpetrators and crimes since at least 1924 and switched over to using computers to track fingerprints in October 1980. Since July 1999, the FBI has been using the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, the largest fingerprint database in the world.2 Increasingly, state laws require fingerprint-based criminal background checks for licensure of various health professions.

State and territorial attorneys general have made it a priority to combat the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and to protect military service members from predatory lenders. Their efforts include law enforcement operations, state drug monitoring programs and education campaigns. 

As the reports on the spread of Ebola flood in from West Africa, and now from our own country, many state leaders are asking whether their states are prepared to handle a possible epidemic. In this blog, CSG presents some background on preparedness planning and funding in the states.In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued national standards for state and local planning for public health preparedness

     Supporters of Proposition 46 call it the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act of 2014 after two children who died at the hands of a driver under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol.  This alone sets a deeply personal cord with Proposition 46 advocates.

Two cities in California—San Francisco and Berkeley—will be presenting voters with soda-tax initiatives in the upcoming November election. Soda and sugar-sweetened drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks would be taxed, although infant formula, nutritional drinks, and diet drinks would not be taxed. Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in an article in the New York Times that the soda industry has spent over $117 million since 2009 to combat soda taxes in the United States and is now paying attention to San Francisco and Berkeley.

Since 1997, states have been able to bill for Medicaid-enrolled inmates who leave prisons or jails longer than 24 hours for health treatment in a hospital or nursing facility. That provision is an important but little-known exception to the federal prohibition on spending Medicaid funds for health services to inmates of state prisons and local jails, according to Dr. Nicole Jarrett, who spoke at September’s CSG Medicaid Leadership Policy Academy.

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are the latest states to expand Medicaid eligibility, securing federal approval of their states' waiver proposals. Those two states join Arkansas, Iowa and Michigan that also have implemented Medicaid expansion outside of the traditional Medicaid program model. Indiana has a pending waiver application. 

It is likely that some of the 22 states that so far have not expanded Medicaid may still do so. To keep up with...

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