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Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity

Research demonstrates that improving population health and achieving health equity will require broad approaches that address social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health. Recently there has been increased recognition of the importance of these factors to health. Moreover, the ACA includes provisions to help bridge health care and community health. Reflecting the increased focus and new opportunities provided under the ACA, a growing number of initiatives are emerging at the national, state, and local level to address broader determinants of health. Given Medicaid’s longstanding role serving a diverse population with complex health, behavioral, and social needs, efforts to address social determinants of health are emerging through many Medicaid delivery and payment initiatives. This brief provides an overview of the broad factors that influence health and describes emerging efforts to address them, including initiatives within Medicaid.

Medicaid Reforms to Expand Coverage, Control Costs and Improve Care: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016

This report provides an in depth examination of the changes taking place in state Medicaid programs across the country. The findings in this report are drawn from the 15th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and Health Management Associates (HMA), with the support of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. This report highlights policy changes implemented in state Medicaid programs in FY 2015 and those planned for implementation in FY 2016 based on information provided by the nation’s state Medicaid Directors. Key areas covered include changes in eligibility and enrollment, delivery and payment system reforms, provider payment rates, and covered benefits (including prescription drug policies).

The State Innovation Models (SIM) Program: A Look at Round 2 Grantees

This fact sheet provides information about the grants awarded under Round 2 of the State Innovation Models (SIM) initiative, with a focus on Model Test grants. Key themes are identified as well as similarities and differences among state approaches. Eleven states – Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Washington — received Model Testing awards to implement and test their Innovation Plans over 48 months.

At CMS, the Mission Is Broader Than Medicare and Medicaid

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ broad new responsibilities implementing the Affordable Care Act and a more proactive approach to Medicare payment signals that it’s time for (another) name change. All previous columns by Drew Altman are…

At CMS, the Mission Is Broader Than Medicare and Medicaid

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ broad new responsibilities implementing the Affordable Care Act and a more proactive approach to Medicare payment signals that it’s time for (another) name change.

Mapping Medicaid Delivery System and Payment Reform

This interactive provides state-by-state data on Medicaid delivery system and payment reform initiatives. Users can track state Medicaid managed care, patient-centered medical home (PCMH), Health Home, Accountable Care Organization (ACO), and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) waiver activity.

Medicaid at 50: A Look Back – And Ahead

Medicaid, the main health insurance program for low-income people and the single largest source of public coverage in the U.S., turns 50 this year. In that time, it has grown to cover nearly 70 million Americans and become a key source of financing for safety net hospitals and health centers,…

Medicaid at 50

The Medicaid program, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965, will reach its 50th anniversary this year, a historic milestone. This report reflects on Medicaid’s accomplishments and challenges and considers the issues on the horizon that will influence the course of this major health coverage and financing program moving forward.

How Are Hospitals Faring Under the Affordable Care Act? Early Experiences from Ascension Health

Expanded health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a major impact on many of the nation’s hospitals through increases in the demand for care, increased patient revenues, and lower uncompensated care costs for the uninsured. This report examines the early experiences with the ACA by Ascension Health, the delivery subsidiary of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health system, Ascension. It finds that, overall, Ascension hospitals in Medicaid expansion states saw increased Medicaid discharges, increased Medicaid revenue, and decreased cost of care for the poor, while hospitals in non-expansion states saw a very small increase in Medicaid discharges, a decline in Medicaid revenue, and growth in cost of care to the poor.

Key Themes From Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Waivers in 4 States

Building on an earlier brief that provided an overview of the components of DSRIP waivers, this analysis relied upon interviews with stakeholders to identify emerging trends and themes from DSRIP waivers in four states – California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. It highlights that DSRIP waivers are spurring major change in relationships among providers; allowing providers to launch new initiatives aimed at improving care and reducing costs; and fostering a stronger focus on the social service needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. At the same time, the rapid pace of implementation is straining the ability of stakeholders to keep pace, including consumer advocates who are hard-pressed to track and respond to the DSRIP-driven changes that are fundamentally re-shaping the way that care is delivered to Medicaid beneficiaries.