Resources for State Officials on COVID-19
Medicaid programs, health insurance Marketplaces, and insurance Commissioners have been working alongside Governors and public health leaders responding to the COVID-19 crisis. SHVS is bringing together toolkits, templates, state examples, and expert analysis.
The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented national effort to manufacture, distribute, and ultimately administer COVID-19 vaccines to all Americans. While the federal government is coordinating distribution of vaccines from manufacturers to states, individual states (and certain municipalities) are responsible for coordinating the various components of infrastructure and operational logistics needed to take the vaccine from federal distribution channels to the arms of Americans. This expert perspective outlines four recommendations for states to engage their managed care plans to assist in efforts to successfully and rapidly vaccinate the Medicaid population.
On Wednesday, February 24, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on analyzing health disparities in Medicaid managed care. Health disparities are a key indicator of health equity and understanding health care disparities is a critical component of informing systems changes to improve health care outcomes. Stratifying performance data by race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation can inform targeted interventions to reduce health care disparities; yet many states lack complete and reliable data to do so. During the webinar, experts from Bailit Health discussed how states can use performance rates and disparities analyses from Medicaid managed care programs in other states to determine where disparities are likely to exist in their own state and develop interventions.
Many states are experiencing budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 induced recession. Since Medicaid accounts for a significant portion of states’ budgets, states often look to the Medicaid program for savings. Since the Great Recession, states have invested in initiatives that can improve care and also lower costs—such as improving coordination of behavioral health and physical health services, making home and community-based options more available to those who might otherwise go into nursing homes, addressing social drivers of health, and lowering pharmacy costs. Not all of these initiatives can generate short-term savings, but they offer other actions that states facing budget shortfalls may take to achieve savings. This toolkit outlines state options to address Medicaid spending without harming enrollee health and provider stability and access to care.