The NCSL Blog


By NCSL's Health Program Staff

States enacted nearly 400 laws related to health system innovations in 2017, including at least 104 laws related to Medicaid reforms.

NCSL’s Health Innovations State Law Database and other resources help legislators and legislative staff learn about health system reforms and Medicaid innovations that promote a more efficient and effective health care system.

Medicaid Innovations pie chartMedicaid topics covered in the database include:

  • Payment reform.
  • Coverage expansion.
  • Telemedicine/ telehealth coverage.
  • Managed care.
  • Long-term services and supports.
  • Reimbursement changes.

Find out about these actions and more in NCSL’s database, which provides policymakers with a search engine that finds enacted laws by category, and by search term. Some of these categories are overlapping, and this overview only illustrates the variety and types of bills passed around the country.

Reforming their Medicaid programs to improve access, control costs and increase quality remains an ongoing effort for states. Check out NCSL’s variety of new resources for legislators:

Examples of enacted laws.

  • Medicaid Payment Reform

COLORADO’s new law, Implementation of Medicaid Delivery and Payment Initiatives, focuses on initiatives that create greater value in the Medicaid program leading to better health outcomes for Medicaid clients. The law continues the accountable care collaborative implementation, advancing integration of physical and behavioral health care and authorizes performance-based provider payments, as well as requiring the accountable care collaborative promote telemedicine and telemedicine.

  • Expanded Medicaid payment for telehealth services:

The TEXAS Medicaid Program Telehealth Services act approved reimbursement for an expanded list of providers under the Medicaid program for telehealth services.  Licensed professionals added include social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, professional counselors, and specialists in school psychology.

  •  Medicaid coverage expansion:

ARKANSAS passed the Arkansas Works law, amending the Arkansas Works Act to reduce income eligibility limits in the Works Program to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. It supports implementing work requirements on certain individuals enrolled in the program as proposed by the governor. It allows Arkansas flexibility to select whether to become a state making its own Medicaid eligibility determination or continue to allow the federal facilitated marketplace to determine Medicaid enrollment and eligibility.

  • Medicaid reimbursement changes:

NEW HAMPSHIRE enacted Medicaid Reimbursement to Schools, allowing schools to use the Medicaid to Schools Program to pay for services provided to children with medical needs, without requiring the recipient of those services to have an individualized education plan.

  • Medicaid long term services and supports:

CONNECTICUT’s new law regarding Long Term Care provides for a data collection system toguide a strategic plan for long-term care. The law enabled the state to include up to 5000 persons in the Medicaid Money Follows the Person program which provides support to persons in institutions by moving them back into the community.

  • Medicaid managed care:

INDIANA enacted a law related to Incarcerated Medicaid Recipients: The law allows a Medicaid recipient who is incarcerated to have Medicaid suspended for a specified time before terminating eligibility, requires the Department of Corrections to give the division at least 40 days’ notice that a person will be released from a facility, and allows the office to provide a prescription drug benefit to Medicaid recipients through a Medicaid risk-based managed care program.

Similar pieces of legislation and related information, including the full text of the bills, can be found on the Health Innovations State Law Database Website.

The NCSL Database is updated weekly during state legislative sessions. NCSL staff are responsible for topic selection and summary descriptions, using data powered by StateNet. It is funded primarily by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund with additional research staff supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration. 


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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.