States Face Tall Order to Implement Health Reform: CSG Conference Sessions Respond

A new report looking at the experiences of five states (CT, MI, MA, NC, WA) as they move through the early period of implementation of federal health reform legislation finds significant hurdles due to political uncertainties and staffing challenges.Researchers for the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence made the following key findings:

  • The state political environment and expected leadership transitions create uncertainties and are already factoring into state strategies on health reform implementation.
  • State leaders dealing with an aging workforce, hiring constraints, and the toll from the recession see a need for additional staff and outside contractors to carry out the volume of work within the timeframe required under the reform law.
  • Key staffing challenges for health reform implementation are around designing insurance exchanges, handling expanded enrollment for Medicaid and state exchanges, and updating eligibility systems.

Anticipating that states will require information and assistance to meet the implementation requirements and timelines of the Affordable Care Act, CSG plans a full day of sessions on health reform during the 2010 Annual Conference in Providence, RI, on December 3-6. Sessions include looking at the constitutionality of the reform, planning for health exchanges, closing rural health disparities, innovative programs to cut health care costs and more. CSG Executive Director David Adkins will moderate a discussion of the challenges of reform. Check back frequently as invited speakers are confirmed.