5 state Medicaid programs that promote health equity

Medicaid programs have become incubators for innovation in health equity and addressing social determinants of health.

For example, under the direction of the federal government, states are expanding access to maternal health services and clinical trials. Twenty-seven states have extended postpartum coverage for up to 12 months through financial incentives provided under the American Relief Plan Act of 2021. Medicaid programs in Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia also expand coverage for doula services during antenatal, labor, and the postpartum period.

The new federal requirements also push Medicaid agencies to begin covering care-related costs in clinical trials. Guaranteed coverage should connecting more people with lower incomes to new treatments and technologies and speed up the research time.

States have also launched initiatives around the mental health crisis, the opioid epidemic, homelessness and poverty, and are promote managed care plans to reduce health disparities by connecting members to community resources. Here are five states implementing new Medicaid initiatives to promote health equity:

Oregon: Beaver State was the first state approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to pay for ambulatory crisis intervention services through the Oregon Health Plan, its Medicaid program. According to the state, starting in January, stabilization services will largely be rolled out to help children, young adults and their families experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The mobilizing unit modeled after the Help On The Street Crisis Support (CAHOOTS) program that started in Eugene, Oregon, 5 years ago and will be connected to national emergency hotlines, including 988, which includes released this year to deal with mental health emergencies.

North Carolina: Its Medicaid program has begun a five-year, $650 million pilot program to study the impact of providing housing, food, transportation and other social supports for beneficiaries in high need. The program expanded those services to 33 counties in the Tar Heel State this year, offering benefits including housing assistance of up to $1,250 per month, funding for violent interventions, meal delivery service and travel allowance. The initiative also includes a team of care managers that coordinate primary care, mental health, and non-medical needs among high-risk enrollees.

Ohio: Medicaid created a managed care program for children with complex behavioral health needs called Resilience Ohio through the System of Integration and Excellence. OhioRISE, as it is known, coordinates services among schools, service providers, health insurance companies, and community organizations for children and adults under the age of 20 who need behavioral health care. vi significantly. The program provides intensive in-home treatment, access to inpatient facilities, and mobile response and stabilization services. Ohio Medicaid also seeks to prevent children from being transferred to a custodial state because of their untreated condition.

California: The first wave of reforms from Golden State’s ambitious five-year plan to transition Medi-Cal begins in 2022. The state will reimburse for services that improve accessibility for residents who have not fully serviced and supplemented with clinical care by non-medical services such as housing, nutrition, and peer support. Services launching this year include advanced care management, oral care and behavioral health support. Medi-Cal is also revising its payment system to include features like establishing additional performance incentives and categorizing community health care as reimbursable preventive care. .

Arizona: The state’s Medicaid program, called the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, has received federal approval for its efforts to reduce homelessness. Arizona will target people with mental illness, those who are pregnant, those with chronic health conditions, or who are moving out of institutional settings such as prisons or psychiatric facilities. The state is expected to provide financial assistance for rent, utility costs, housing deposits and other services to low-income enrollees. Arizona Medicaid also coordinates preventive care, mental health, substance use interventions, and other social supports for eligible beneficiaries.


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