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Quick Fix

— The Cuomo administration has offered more details on its proposal to curb local governments’ Medicaid spending.


— The Medicaid Redesign Team II is accepting public comments through today.

— Dozens of health, social justice and other advocates will be in Albany today to urge passage of legislation that outlaws all flavored tobacco products in the state.

Policy and Politics

30 DAY AMENDMENTS: MEDICAID LOCAL SHARE — POLITICO’s Shannon Young: The Cuomo administration offered more details Friday on its proposal to curb local governments’ Medicaid spending as the state looks to close a $6 billion budget shortfall. The Division of Budget released a series of amendments to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Fiscal Year 2021 executive budget, including language clarifying proposed changes to the local share of Medicaid — an issue that has drawn vocal criticism from New York City and county leaders. The amendments, state budget officials said, codify that localities that hold growth below the current Medicaid Global Cap — currently 3 percent — would get 25 percent of the savings. They also clarify that proposals regarding the property tax cap and growth in Medicaid spending relate only to the local share — not the federal — and define the base year for the Medicaid spending growth calculation as fiscal year 2020. The language ties the year-to-year growth metric in the local share to the Medicaid Global Cap, rather than the original 3 percent fixedrate, and clarifies that localities that exceed the property tax cap in one year and not the next receive savings from the state at a higher base, according to the administration.

— POLITICO’s Nick Niedzwiadek: Cuomo is proposing a research consortium on Alzheimer’s disease led by the state university system as part of his 30-day budget amendments. Under the governor’s proposal the consortium would attempt to identify genes linked to increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s and work with outside groups to develop new therapies, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for the condition.

ADMINISTRATION SAYS MRT WILL END WORK BY MID-MARCH — Shannon reports: The Cuomo administration said Friday that it expects the newly reconvened Medicaid Redesign Team to wrap up its work to identify $2.5 billion in program savings by mid-March, but did not give a hard deadline for when the panel must offer its proposals to the Legislature. Budget Director Robert Mujica, a non-voting member of the MRT II, said the date of the panel’s final meeting is still being determined due, in part, to the decision to extend its public comment period through Feb. 24. Proposals were originally due by noon Feb. 21.

Odds and Ends

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NOW WE KNOW — Handshakes and fist bumps have an equally low risk of spreading infections like coronavirus.

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TODAY’S TIP — Comes from the state Department of Health: Do not put anything in the mouth of a person having a seizure, as they could choke or break their teeth.

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW Amanda @aeis17, Shannon @ShannonYoung413 and Dan @DanCGoldberg on Twitter. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @samjsutton.

STUDY THIS — Adults who sleep at least eight hours a night are at a lower risk for common exercise-related injuries, including muscle strains and fractures, new research suggests.

Around New York

SPOUSAL REFUSAL — Newsday reports: “New York is considering ending a practice that allows one spouse to legally refuse to pay for nursing home care for the other — while passing the bill to Medicaid.”

FLAVOR BAN — Health care providers, public health advocates, social justice groups and others — including representatives with the NAACP and African American Central Leadership Council — will gather in Albany today to urge lawmakers to pass legislation outlawing the sale of all flavored tobacco products in New York. The advocacy push comes just days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo renewed his call for a flavor vape ban in the state, but stopped short of calling for legislation to outlaw menthol combustible cigarettes.

EXPANDED ACCESSamNY reports: “The city is now offering Department of Education employees access to mental health care and other social services. Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced today that 170,000 DOE staff now have access to benefits like counseling, substance abuse support and help with child and elder care through the New York City Employee Assistance Program.”

WARNING — The Wall Street Journal reports: “Four recent cases of neonatal herpes infection following a Jewish circumcision ritual have health officials once again urging parents in New York City’s ultra-Orthodox population to avoid the practice or at least limit its risks.”

9/11 DEATH — Daniel R. Foley, a 46-year-old New Rochelle resident, died Saturday from pancreatic cancer “related to the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan,” Gannett reports.

OP-ED — Stacey Worthy, a staff attorney for non-profit health policy organization Aimed Alliance, writes in an op-ed published in Gotham Gazette Friday that new patient protection laws must be enforced to protect New Yorkers.

MEDICAID COSTS — Syracuse.com reports: “Spending on an increasingly popular New York Medicaid program that lets the elderly and disabled hire people, including their own relatives, to care for them at home soared 85 percent between 2017 and 2018.”

CORONAVIRUS WATCH — Health Commissioner Howard Zucker explains what you need to know about New York’s efforts to prepare for and respond to Wuhan coronavirus.

ACROSS THE RIVER — The Wall Street Journal reports: “New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is set to undergo surgery next month to remove a likely cancerous tumor on his kidney. ‘Friends—I’ve got a tumor on my left kidney and will undergo a partial nephrectomy in early March to remove it,’ Mr. Murphy, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening. ‘The prognosis is very good and I’m profoundly grateful to my doctors for detecting the tumor early.’”

Pharma Report

TEAMING UP — The New York Times reports: “Some of the industry’s largest pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer Inc and Eli Lilly and Co, have developed a blockchain-based system to track prescription drugs across the supply chain to better halt the flow of counterfeit medicines, company officials said on Friday.”

APPROVED — The FDA has approved Esperion Therapeutics Inc’s cholesterol-lowering drug Nexletol, as an add-on treatment to commonly used statins, Reuters reports.

What We’re Reading

STRANGER THINGS — According to new research, the launch of each of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” first three seasons was tied to an uptick in internet searches for cleidocranial dysplasia, a bone-growth disorder, Reuters reports.

PICKING UP THE TAB — The Associated Press reports: “Several states have begun picking up the tab for family planning services at clinics run by Planned Parenthood, which last year quit a $260 million federal funding program over a Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions. States including New Jersey, Massachusetts and Hawaii already are providing new funding, and Democratic governors in Connecticut and Pennsylvania have proposed carving out money in state budgets to counter the effects of the national provider’s fallout with the Republican presidential administration.”

ACCESS DENIED — Some pregnant asylum-seekers are being sent back to Mexico and barred from entering the U.S. for their court dates, KPBS News reports. “Some of those women say they were then given new court dates for the month after they would give birth. Others were never given a new court date and had their case closed by an immigration judge.”

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Go to Source

Amendments detail proposed changes to Medicaid – Politico