Highlights of the Buying Value Benchmark Repository: Innovative Homegrown Measures
On Tuesday, June 22, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar on innovative measures that states have developed to address their program priorities.
The Buying Value suite of resources is designed to support state use of performance measures as they assess and improve value with managed care plans and accountable provider entities. Buying Value consists of two free Excel-based tools: the Buying Value Measure Selection Tool assists states, employers, consumer organizations and providers in creating and maintaining aligned quality measure sets; and the Buying Value Benchmark Repository, a database of non-HEDIS measures in use by state purchasers and regional health improvement collaboratives, and associated performance data for benchmarking purposes.
States are responsible for ensuring that their Medicaid programs are delivering high-quality, high-value care, but there are not always nationally-endorsed measures focused on states’ areas of interest. This is especially true for equity-related measurement. The webinar was facilitated by an expert from Bailit Health and featured state officials from the Oregon Health Authority and Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Both states discussed their experiences developing and implementing homegrown measures in their state Medicaid programs. Presenters highlighted measures from the Repository such as Oregon’s “Meaningful Access to Health Care Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency” and Massachusetts’ “Health-related Social Needs Screening.” The webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants posed their questions to the experts on the line.
Medicaid enrollment has increased by over 10 million (or 15 percent) from February 2020 through February 2021 across all states since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. States have a clear imperative to center health equity as they plan for the end of the public health emergency (PHE) given that Black, Latino/a, and other people of color are most at risk of coverage loss. This expert perspective highlights strategies states can implement to ensure that the end of the PHE does not exacerbate already widespread racial and ethnic disparities in our health care system.
COVID-19 vaccines are now widely accessible in the United States and free to everyone over the age of 12. Given the spread of the Delta variant, there is an urgent need to increase vaccination rates, particularly among Medicaid enrollees. States across the country continue to report Medicaid enrollees are getting vaccinated at lower rates than the general population. This expert perspective explores how state Medicaid managed care programs and health plans can work collaboratively to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates for the more than 55 million Medicaid enrollees in comprehensive managed care plans.
Many states are looking to fill gaps in race and ethnicity data for Medicaid and related agencies. Working with the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota, with support from the State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) program, New York tested multiple strategies aimed at encouraging applicants to answer the optional race and ethnicity questions. This expert perspective highlights an effort by New York’s official state-based marketplace, NY State of Health, to improve the completeness of race and ethnicity data that applicants share when applying for Medicaid; Child Health Plus, the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); the Essential Plan, New York’s Basic Health Program (BHP); or Qualified Health Plan (QHP) coverage through its Marketplace.