Weekly Dose of Health News December 15 2014

According to NYS of Health, or New York’s health exchange, 155,000 people have newly enrolled since the enrollment period began on November 15. The public has until December 20 to enroll in an exchange plan for 2015. On Thursday, the exchange announced that 195,000 new enrollees were expected by the end of this week.

In other exchange related news, New York is receiving $64 million from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for development, upgrades and program compliance to NYS of Health.

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Medicaid will cover transgender care and services.

Governor Cuomo also announced a long-awaited $100 million grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for New York’s State Health Innovation Plan, designed to help coordinate medical care throughout the state.

The Cuomo Administration also announced a decision to ban fracking in New York State, citing health and environmental concerns.

Governor Cuomo announced the release of proposed regulations on the state’s medical marijuana law. The proposed regulations will appear in the State Register on December 31, when the 45 day comment period will begin.

Governor Cuomo also announced phase two of the campaign to combat heroin, which includes new videos for the state’s website as well as in movie theaters. These public service efforts are designed to educate the public about heroin use and prescription drug abuse.

For the third time, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program timeline has been pushed back. The Health Department has posted the newest webinar overview of the program, which was presented last week, here.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin dropped the state’s plan to create a single payer health plan this week. Meanwhile, New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried continues hearings on a single payer system, with the last concluding on January 13.

The United Hospital Fund has released its fall/winter edition of Blueprint, which includes a discussion of the state’s efforts at caring for the most high need Medicaid recipients.

Go to this link for the newest list of health department meetings coming in January, including a meeting of the AIDS Advisory Council and the Empire State Stem Cell Funding Committee.

The New York State Drug Utilization Review Board has posted a meeting summary of the November 20 meeting.

Governor Cuomo’s Ending the Epidemic Task Force met this week and the meeting summary is posted here. The Task Force is scheduled to conclude its work on January 13 in Troy.