An extensive body of research reports on poor birth-related outcomes and disparities in maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States, particularly for individuals enrolled in Medicaid. Importantly, Medicaid provides healthcare coverage to individuals who may otherwise not be eligible for coverage until pregnancy, until which time they may have been uninsured or under-insured and have untreated health conditions or lack access to routine care. As states start to tackle institutionalized racism in the healthcare system, they are considering approaches to center health equity by addressing disparities in birth outcomes. This issue brief describes the drivers of birth-related health disparities and identifies purchasing and payment strategies to support state efforts to reduce disparities in birth outcomes. The brief focuses specifically on actions Medicaid agencies can pursue through their managed care programs or directly with provider organizations to promote health equity and improve birth outcomes.
On Thursday, May 7, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar that reported on how states are tracking the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and provided a framework for states to examine their COVID-19 response efforts to yield better outcomes for such populations. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, it has become increasingly clear that vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted. Unsurprisingly, these disparately affected groups are the same ones that have long experienced stark health disparities, such as communities of color, low income populations, and those that reside in congregate living facilities (nursing homes, jails, shelters, etc.). During the webinar, technical experts from Health Equity Solutions and SHADAC shared findings from recent SHVS publications.
On March 11, State Health & Value Strategies (SHVS) hosted a webinar in which experts from Manatt Health explored Medicaid strategies to improve maternal health outcomes and address disparities in five key domains: coverage, enrollment, benefits, models of care, and quality improvement. This webinar shared findings from a published Manatt Health issue brief for SHVS on Medicaid’s role in combating the maternal mortality crisis.
This issue brief describes select policy and strategy levers that Medicaid agencies can employ to improve maternal health outcomes and address outcome disparities in five areas: coverage, enrollment, benefits, models of care, and quality improvement. In some cases, the Medicaid agency will be responsible for implementing these policies; in other cases, the Medicaid agency can lead collaboration with other state agencies such as the public health department or the state marketplace.
State Health Policy Highlights: Service Integration and Joint Accountability Across State Agencies and Programs
Health status is largely influenced by factors outside the health care delivery system, particularly for low-income populations. State efforts to improve health and reduce health disparities through the lens of medical care alone will miss opportunities for individuals, particularly the most vulnerable and their communities. As more states focus broadly on population health goals, they seek to employ and coordinate a variety of health and other resources on targeted efforts. This State Health Policy Highlight profiles three State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) issue briefs that provide states with practical approaches to improve individual and population health and create joint accountability across health care and other sectors.
There is an extensive body of evidence that shows social determinants of health (SDOH) play a powerful role in shaping health and health outcomes. State policymakers are increasingly focused on SDOH because of the influence they have on health, health care outcomes and Medicaid spending. As state Medicaid agencies consider addressing SDOH, there are a range of models they can employ. State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) has published resources and hosted webinars with information for state health officials on approaches to addressing SDOH. This State Health Policy Highlight profiles two issue briefs and a webinar produced by SHVS on the topic of how state Medicaid programs can address SDOH.
An increasingly common feature of health care payment models is the transfer of financial risk from payers to providers for health care services delivered to a defined population of patients. In these “value-based payment” models, providers accept financial responsibility should spending for most, or all, services for an attributed patient population exceed targeted levels. This financial liability is often shared with payers, and maximum risk exposure is typically capped. This issue brief explores options for states as they consider oversight of risk-bearing organizations, with a focus on states that have elected to act to protect against provider insolvency.
State Health and Value Strategies hosted a companion webinar, Safeguarding Financial Stability of Provider Risk-Bearing Organizations, based on the issue brief that provided an overview of options for states as they consider oversight of risk-bearing organizations (RBOs) as well as a deeper dive on the Massachusetts approach.
State Health and Value Strategies, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is pleased to publish the second in our series of webinars for state officials on achieving population health goals.
Because Medicaid is the single largest payer in every state, governors are using Medicaid to drive multi-payer reforms, including adoption of value-based payment methodologies and advancement of population health models. Proposals being considered by Congress and the new administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion and implement limits on federal Medicaid funding through block grants and per capita caps could have a significant impact on these advances. This issue brief, developed by Manatt Health, considers how much states have accomplished to drive value in and through their Medicaid programs over the last 50 years, and most especially over the last five years, and what states stand to lose in terms of progress and innovation in their Medicaid programs and health care delivery systems if federal support for Medicaid is reduced.
Shared Measurement and Joint Accountability Across Health Care and Non-Health Care Sectors: State Opportunities to Address Population Health Goals
Health care leaders are well-positioned to use cross-sector approaches to drive improvements in population health in collaboration with state leaders. Through the use of joint measurement and accountability tools, policymakers can help to improve health outcomes to an extent not possible through isolated, medical-centric efforts. This issue brief, developed by Dana Hargunani, MD, MPH, outlines how state agencies can use shared measurement and joint accountability across sectors as tools for improving population health outcomes.