CHCS BlogWelcome to the CHCS Blog, where you’ll find an ongoing conversation about innovative solutions to improve the delivery of health and social services for low-income Americans.

Prioritizing Social Determinants of Health in Medicaid ACO Programs: A Conversation with Two Pioneering States

There is increasing recognition that medical care is only one of several factors affecting health outcomes. In February, a national CHCS webinar, made possible by The Commonwealth Fund, expl... more

May 2 2018
Welcome Upswing of State and Federal Support for Trauma-Informed Practices and Policies

Across the country, policy leaders are paying greater and greater attention to the impact of trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on lifelong physical, emotional, and social healt... more

April 26 2018
Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations

Medicaid accountable care organizations (ACOs) are designed to improve health care quality while delivering more efficient care. But, medical care is only one of several factors affecting he... more

April 18 2018
Getting to the Root of the Problem: Reducing Overuse of Opioids for Oral Pain

Opioid abuse and related deaths have reached epidemic proportions across the country, garnering attention from all levels of government, health care payers, clinicians, and the public. In 20... more

March 28 2018
Building a Medicaid Framework to Promote Healthy Behaviors: An Interview with Steve Fitton

Medicaid programs are increasingly interested in strategies for engaging consumers, including the use of financial incentives to promote healthy behaviors. Steve Fitton, former Medicaid dire... more

February 15 2018
Integrated Health Plans Focus on Pharmacy Management for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees

Rising pharmaceutical costs are a concern across many health care payers, but the issue is particularly critical for Medicare-Medicaid integrated health plans serving dually eligible individ... more

February 1 2018
Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations Version 2.0 Underway in Minnesota and Colorado

In several states across the country, Medicaid accountable care organization (ACO) programs have been operating for more than five years now. Lessons from those early adopters are being used... more

January 19 2018
Outcomes Rate Cards: A Scalable Pay for Success Approach

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHCS is examining how Pay for Success (PFS) can help Medicaid stakeholders achieve policy and program goals. A companion blog and a rece... more

January 11 2018
Using Pay for Success in Medicaid Managed Care and Value-Based Purchasing Initiatives

In discussing Medicaid, we often use jargon, acronyms, and maxims. Pay for value, not volume. Address social determinants of health (SDOH). Now, we have a new maxim: Pay for Success (PFS)... more

January 9 2018
The Value of Integrated Care from the Health Plan’s Perspective

Just a few years ago, nearly all of the 11 million people in the U.S. who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid had to navigate two separate, almost entirely disconnected systems of ... more

December 12 2017
Using Technology to Engage Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees: Opportunities for Health Plans

Many health plans that integrate Medicare and Medicaid services for dually eligible beneficiaries are exploring how to use digital health technology (e.g., apps, wearables, remote monitoring... more

November 9 2017
Beyond Health Care: An Analysis of Cross-Sector Utilization and Costs among Hennepin County Medicaid Expansion Enrollees

Within publicly financed health care, there is a growing consensus that cross-sector collaboration is a necessary ingredient for improving beneficiary outcomes and reducing costs. This is dr... more

October 30 2017
Developing Capacity for Cross-Sector Collaboration in Medicaid: An Interview with Elena Nicolella

Elena Nicolella, executive director of the New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO), knows first-hand the importance of eliminating silos in achieving population health go... more

October 17 2017
An Inside Look at Partnerships between Community-Based Organizations and Health Care Providers

As recognition of the critical role that social determinants play in health and quality of life has grown, partnerships between health care and human service organizations to address them ar... more

October 12 2017
State and Federal Support of Trauma-Informed Care: Sustaining the Momentum

Policymakers increasingly recognize the impact of trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on lifelong physical, emotional, and social health and are beginning to support efforts for ... more

September 27 2017
Cultural Humility: A Key Element of Trauma-Informed Care

Cultural humility — a respectful approach toward individuals of other cultures that continuously pushes one to challenge cultural biases — is an often-overlooked component of trauma-info... more

August 22 2017
Key Ingredients for Making Trauma-Informed Care a Standard of Care

"Trauma is too often the elephant in the exam room and the reality of patients’ lives." - Rahil D. Briggs, PsyD, Director, Pediatric Behavioral Health Services, Montefiore Medical Group ... more

August 15 2017
Putting Medicaid Capacity Building into Action

State Medicaid agencies play a central role in translating policy changes into action. Policymakers and state Medicaid directors recognize the need to invest in human capital and support age... more

August 3 2017
The Evolution of Shared Savings Payment Methodologies for Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations

Just a few years ago, the accountable care organization (ACO) concept was compared to a mythical unicorn. Now, with burgeoning Medicare and commercial models to build upon, Medicaid ACO prog... more

July 28 2017
Championing Behavioral Health Integration through Medicaid Leadership: A Conversation with Arizona’s Medicaid Director Tom Betlach

Tom Betlach, one of the country’s longest-serving Medicaid directors, has been at the helm of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System since 2009. Under his guidance, the state has ... more

July 20 2017