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Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 30, 2014

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

New Hampshire Submits Health Care Expansion Waiver to Federal Government

CONCORD – Continuing efforts to improve the health and financial well-being of Granite State families, Governor Maggie Hassan announced that the New Hampshire Department of Health Human Services (DHHS) today submitted a waiver to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as required by the bipartisan health care expansion plan that the Governor signed in March.

The proposed waiver requests federal financial participation to support New Hampshire's overall health reform strategy, including the implementation of the bipartisan health care expansion plan and the Medicaid Care Management (MCM) plan. With CMS approval, the waiver will complement the state's overall strategy of improving access to needed services, providing better health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.

"Submitting this waiver is a critical step forward that will help build on our efforts to strengthen the health and financial well-being of New Hampshire families, businesses and communities," Governor Hassan said. "It complements the implementation of our historic bipartisan health care plan and Medicaid Care Management, while also strengthening our efforts to address pressing mental health and substance use challenges, and I urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid to approve it as quickly as possible."

In addition to the implementation of New Hampshire Health Protection Plan and MCM, the proposed waiver also reinforces the state's Ten Year Mental Health Plan and the State Health Improvement Plan, helping to address the challenges facing the behavioral health delivery system and the delivery system for those with complex health needs. It is titled "Building Capacity for Transformation" in recognition of the state's efforts to strengthen substance use disorder (SUD), mental health treatment and population health efforts.

"The Department's health reform efforts are focused on promoting population health, expanding access to health care, and serving the whole person through enhanced consumer directed care," said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. "This waiver submission will further our health reform efforts and build capacity in key areas such as behavioral health and substance use disorder services. We look forward to working closely with all of our public health partners, as well as county and local governments, in providing resources under this waiver to support and improve the health and wellness of those we serve."

Before submission, the waiver required approval from the Fiscal Committee of the General Court. The Fiscal Committee approved the waiver in a bipartisan vote on Wednesday.

The waiver would last for five years and would protect New Hampshire's budget, with total spending under the waiver not exceeding what the federal government would have spent without it.

For the full waiver, visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/section-1115-waiver/documents/application-05302014.pdf pdf file.

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