On January 27, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a State Health Official (SHO) letter, “Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Condition Changes, Conditions for Receiving the FFCRA Temporary FMAP Increase, Reporting Requirements, and Enforcement Provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023.” The SHO letter is the second in a series of guidance related to section 5131 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA), which established a fixed end date for the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement, a gradual phase-down for the enhanced federal match, and new guardrails for mitigating coverage loss for individuals who continue to be eligible. This expert perspective reviews the additional detail and operational expectations of states during the unwinding of Medicaid continuous coverage as laid out in the SHO letter.
Analyzing Health Disparities in Medicaid Managed Care
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. Attendees also heard from Dr. Lisa Albers at the California Department of Health Care Services about California’s experience analyzing Medi-CAL HEDIS data to identify health care disparities and establish performance improvement expectations for Medi-CAL plans.
Bailit Health has developed a tool, the Quality Measure Disparities Resource, to provide consolidated health disparities data on a number of quality measures from a selection of state Medicaid programs where these data are available. Given the limited availability of health disparities data as they relate to quality measures across states, this resource was created to help those states lacking their own state-specific stratified quality data to understand where there might be common disparities in quality measures.