On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP), a wide-ranging package of health care and economic measures responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The ARP includes a broad expansion of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) main health insurance subsidy, the premium tax credit (PTC), the first major expansion of the health care reform law since its passage. This piece highlights the policymaking considerations that states must account for in light of the PTC expansion and uncertainty about future federal action. A key theme that emerges is that states will benefit from approaches that give them the flexibility to adjust policies year by year as the federal landscape develops.
SHVS Health Equity Through Managed Care Webinar Series
About the Series
State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) convened a series of webinars on health equity through managed care. Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible, which requires removing obstacles to health, such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to housing, safe environments, and health care. This five-part series will assist states interested in addressing disparities in health outcomes among Medicaid managed care beneficiaries as a step towards achieving health equity.
Open to all state Medicaid agencies and state agency partners, the series explored:
- Data collection and measurement to identify disparities in health that adversely affect excluded or marginalized groups.
- Evidence-based approaches to advancing health equity.
- Strategies for utilizing managed care contracts as a vehicle for improving the health of excluded or marginalized groups.
Webinar #1: Advancing Health Equity in Medicaid Managed Care: An Introduction for States, the first webinar in the series, reviewed the foundational principles of health equity, barriers to its realization and the impact of health disparities.
Webinar #2: Health Equity and Medicaid Managed Care: Data Collection and Measurement, the second webinar in the series, explored how states can use data collection and measurement to support their efforts to advance health equity in Medicaid managed care.
Webinar #3 Evidence-Based Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities, the third webinar in the series, identified evidence-based interventions that states can use to address disparities in their Medicaid managed care programs.
Webinar #4 Using MCO Contract and Performance Requirements, the fourth webinar in the series, reviewed approaches employed by states to incorporate contract requirements and performance incentives in Medicaid managed care contracts to reduce health disparities among covered populations.
Webinar #5 The Medicaid MCO Experience in Addressing Health Equity, the fifth webinar in the series, profiled the work of one MCO, HealthPartners, in addressing equity issues within its Medicaid line of business. We heard from Brian Lloyd, who manages Health Partners’ organization-wide equity initiative, which includes collecting data to eliminate disparities in care, supporting language access, partnering with communities, and building an organizational understanding of equity, diversity, inclusion, and bias.
State Health and Value Strategies has also published an issue brief that provides examples from a handful of states that have begun the work of identifying, evaluating, and reducing health disparities within their Medicaid managed care programs. The brief, How States Can Use Measurement as a Foundation for Tackling Health Disparities in Medicaid Managed Care, offers an approach for other states interested in measuring disparities in health care quality as a step towards achieving health equity, such that all Medicaid managed care enrollees have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.