NESCSO helps State agencies improve the effectiveness of publicly funded health and human services by investing in State employees

NESCSO helps State agencies improve the effectiveness of publicly funded health and human services by investing in State employees

INITIATIVES

If you would like more information on any of these efforts, please contact us! 

Focus Area 1: Strengthening Organizational Capacity in New England’s State Health and Human Services Agencies

HHS/Medicaid Training and Leadership Development Initiative

State HHS Agencies can face challenges when they need resources for smaller projects or targeted training. In order to address this need, NESCSO works with seven organizations from whom the NESCSO Member States can access technical assistance and training resources. These organizations were selected through a competitive process by a committee of representatives  from each Member State. The organizations will be on a pre-qualified list for three years, ending in February 2023. During that time, NESCSO will fund and coordinate contracting efforts on behalf of the Member States. The organizations are:

  • Berry Dunn
  • Cadence with William James College
  • Center for Health Care Strategies
  • Commonwealth Medicine
  • Deloitte
  • Michael Nardone
  • Mostly Medicaid

Learning Communities

NESCSO recognizes that government employees working in State HHS agencies have considerable knowledge and expertise.  We build on these strengths by providing forums for people working in similar areas to exchange information and collaborate on projects.  Each of our Learning Communities was formed at the request of the Member States and leverages the power of peer-to-peer learning. Examples of the administrative support NESCSO provides the Learning Communities includes scheduling and hosting meetings, providing project management resources and facilitating access to guest speakers and travel to conferences. These Learning Communities are not limited to New England and are open to all States.

Health Information Technology

This community focuses on topics related to health information exchange, including identifying and working through interstate data sharing barriers; aligning HIT financing sustainability planning; and aligning policies to serve states’ populations and health priorities.

Contact: Kate Kiefert at  Kate.Kiefert@gmail.com

Medicaid Quality

This community focuses on the measures State Medicaid agencies use to determine the quality of care provided through Medicaid and the effectiveness of program initiatives.

Contact: Joshua Slen at Joshua.Slen@health-system-transformation.com

Medicaid Pharmacy

This community focuses on pharmacy issues related to benefit coverage, drug affordability, and compliance with federal regulations. Examples of recent activities include a forum on Benefit Design and Coverage of Gene and Cell Therapies, a multi-state survey of pharmacy dispensing fees, and a regional analysis of hepatitis C medication uptake.

Access the recent white paper: Effective Medicaid Pharmacy Program White Paper

Contact: Bonnie Greenwood at Bonnie.Greenwood@umassmed.edu

State Regulatory and Policy Responses to Hospital and Market Changes

This Learning Community explores issues related to States’ current and potential future actions to monitor and oversee healthcare market activities such as consolidations and ensure that access, cost, and quality are not negatively impacted. Four workgroups have formed to explore the various tools available to State agencies to respond to changes in healthcare markets.

Market Oversight | Workgroup Manager: Gerry Goulet

Community Benefit | Workgroup Manager: Partnership with NASHP

Primary Care Investment | Workgroup Manager: Richard Slusky

Access the recent regional report: NESCSO – New England States’ All-Payer Report on Primary Care Payments (2020-12-22)

Data | Workgroup Manager: Jo Porter

Contact: Rachel Block at rachelblock13@gmail.com

Focus Area 2: Supporting State HHS Agencies’ Effective Procurement and Implementation of Information Technology

Annual Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC)

The MESC brings together over 1600 representatives from state, territorial, and federal governments and the private sector who are committed to the role technology plays in supporting and enhancing Medicaid programs. With over 124 Exhibitor Booths and 70 education sessions, the MESC provides useful and timely information such as best practices in financing Medicaid technology, innovative solutions, and  federal policy initiatives.

The 2021 MESC will be in Boston, MA from August 9 to 12.  For more information, please visit www.mesconference.org

CMS Systems Technical Advisory Group

The Systems Technical Advisory Group (S-TAG) is a monthly meeting for State Medicaid agencies and the Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services – Data and Systems Group to exchange information on how federal policy on Medicaid-funded information technology impacts states. Since 2016, NESCSO has provided administrative support to the S-TAG, growing State participation from 10 to include all 50 States and the territories. NESCSO works closely with the federal and state S-TAG Advisory Council to ensure the monthly agendas are relevant and valuable.

For more Info on S-TAG click here.

Focus Area 3: Multi-state Procurement

Multi-State Initiative for Electronic Asset Verification Services

In 2016, NESCSO worked with Vermont to develop a multi-state collaboration to competitively procure electronic asset verification services. Using the NESCSO-Vermont agreement and NESCSO’s subcontract with PCG, an additional six states were able to join the initiative. The participating States enjoy reduced volume-based discounts and value-added project management services.  This collaborative is open to any interested State.

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MAGI in the Cloud (MiTC)

NESCSO offers States access to MiTC, an open-sourced tool that supports Medicaid eligibility determination using the Modified Adjusted Gross-Income (MAGI) methodology. This tool can also be used to monitor the accuracy of existing State Medicaid MAGI-based eligibility determinations.

Focus Area 4: Regional Data Sharing

Hepatitis C Virus Study in a New England Medicaid Population

NESCSO supports UMASS Medical School/Commonwealth Medicine’s study, Uptake of Direct Acting Antivirals for Hepatitis C Virus in a New England Medicaid Population, 2014-2017 by facilitating access to and convening representatives from the Medicaid programs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire , Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The study examines trends in direct acting antiviral uptake to treat hepatitis C virus in a Medicaid population. It Identifies the effect of new drug approvals and Medicaid policy changes on the uptake of medications.

Click here to access the AHRQ poster and the HCV Treatment Uptake Newsletter, September 2020

Primary Care Investment Report

In 2017, NESCSO formed a Primary Care Investment Workgroup (“Workgroup”) which includes representatives from all six New England states – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Workgroup’s main goal has been to advance a “Vision for Patient Centered Primary Care” by exploring opportunities for sharing state strategies and activities. In 2020, NESCSO engaged Onpoint Health Data to develop a primary care investment report. Click here to access the report: NESCSO – New England States’ All-Payer Report on Primary Care Payments (2020-12-22)