Expert Perspectives

Sep 17, 2021 

The End of the COVID Public Health Emergency: Potential Health Equity Implications of Ending Medicaid Continuous Coverage

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.

Sep 15, 2021 

Strategies for Working with Managed Care Organizations to Increase COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

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.

Sep 9, 2021 

New York State of Health Pilot Yields Increased Race and Ethnicity Question Response Rates

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.

Aug 27, 2021 

States Are Leveraging Medicaid Managed Care to Further Health Equity

To support state efforts, SHVS continues to sponsor ongoing updates to Medicaid Managed Care Contract Language: Health Disparities and Health Equity compendium. The compendium provides Medicaid agencies with examples of how different states are leveraging their managed care programs, inclusive of contracts, quality programs, and procurement processes, to promote health equity and address health disparities. This expert perspective highlights the latest update to the SHVS compendium which incorporates excerpts from Medicaid managed care procurements and model contracts in California, Indiana, Louisiana, and Nevada.

Aug 6, 2021 

Strategies for States to Drive Equitable Vaccine Distribution and Administration

Rates of COVID-19 vaccination vary widely, with Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) receiving smaller shares of COVID-19 vaccinations compared with their shares of the total population, despite experiencing disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. These disparities in vaccination rates among BIPOC as compared to white Americans highlight the longstanding inequities and structural racism that underpin the United States health care delivery system and that contributed to disparities in health outcomes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This expert perspective shares highlights from a new issue brief, Strategies for States to Drive Equitable Vaccine Distribution and Administration, which outlines the key barriers states face in their efforts to increase vaccination rates among BIPOC and highlights strategies states are pursuing in partnership with community-based organizations (CBOs) to address these challenges.