Our Blog

(May 13, 2020)

By Devin McBrayer, Senior Policy Consultant

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid use disorder and opioid-related overdose remain a critical issue impacting communities in California and across the country. In 2018, the year for which the latest data is available, 2,428 Californians died from opioid-related overdoses and opioids accounted for 45% of drug overdose deaths. To combat those numbers, California continues to address the opioid epidemic by increasing access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) through the state’s MAT Expansion Project....

(May 6, 2020)

By Jessica Layton, MPH, Junior Policy Consultant and Lucy Pagel, MPH, Deputy Director, Medicaid Policy

The changing role of telehealth has led to the immediate need for resources aimed at helping providers understand changing policies and implement telehealth workflows quickly. This blog outlines how telehealth policy has evolved due to pandemic and provides a list of telehealth resources for physical health care providers, behavioral health care providers, and patients....

(April 8, 2020)

By Dorsey Griffith, Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs and Carri Ziegler, Vice President, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs

As the coronavirus began to spread in our communities, California’s top health officials have moved quickly to respond to the public health emergency on several fronts. One of those efforts has been to leverage the work underway through the ACEs Aware initiative to reach providers with information about how trauma-informed care interventions can help in responding to the stress patients are experiencing due to the risk of COVID-19 and the resulting social distancing requirements....

(March 19, 2020)

By Stacie Weeks, Principal, Medicaid Policy and Marie Zimmerman, Vice President, Medicaid Transformation and Financing, and Jennifer Ryan, Executive Vice President

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to unfold, maximizing limited resources will be critical, especially for state Medicaid programs. The Secretary of Health and Human Services has the opportunity to utilize its emergency powers to the maximum extent possible to help state Medicaid programs in this time of crisis....

(February 20, 2020)

By Marie Zimmerman, Vice President, Medicaid Transformation and Financing, Jennifer Ryan, Executive Vice President, Stacie Weeks, Principal, Medicaid Policy, and Julia Smith, Associate Director, Medicaid Policy

On January 30, 2020, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a long-anticipated letter to state Medicaid directors outlining a new Section 1115 waiver—the Healthy Adult Opportunity (HAO) waiver. This waiver, according to CMS, will allow states to “provide cost-effective coverage using flexible benefit designs,” but such a design will involve a block grant or per-capita cap on their Medicaid programs. There are many considerations states will need to weigh before deciding to enter into such a financing arrangement with the federal government. While the HOA waiver appears to give states additional flexibility to manage their programs as they see fit, the real purpose of the HOA waiver is to shift the balance of financial responsibility for the Medicaid program to the states. The flexibility is secondary....

(February 3, 2020)

By Hilary Haycock, President

This week marks a significant anniversary for me personally, and for Harbage Consulting. February 3rd is the fifth anniversary of Peter Harbage’s death, making February 4th the fifth anniversary of my tenure as President of this amazing organization.
We have come a long way in that time, and I am so proud of what Harbage Consulting has become over the past five years. It is an amazing honor and gift to lead an incredible team working hard every day to improve access to quality health care for those who need it most....

At the intersection of health care policy, politics and communications.