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.


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
Advancing Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Programs, What’s Next?

More than 13 million Americans use long-term services and supports (LTSS) to assist with activities of daily living they are unable to perform as a result of aging, chronic illness, or disab... more

June 20 2017
Preventing Early Childhood Adversity Before It Starts: Maximizing Medicaid Opportunities

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are a critical window for cognitive, physical, and social development. Exposure to adverse experiences during this period and beyond in early childho... more

June 14 2017
Helping Smokers to Kick the Habit: Medicaid and Public Health Partnerships

To quit smoking is not easy, and health policies that support those motivated to quit can help tilt the balance from setback to success. Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent... more

May 18 2017
Evaluating Complex Care Programs: Is It a Zero-Sum Game?

Complex populations in health care are often defined as groups of individuals with co-occurring medical and behavioral health diagnoses as well as significant social challenges. Large sums o... more

May 17 2017
Community Paramedicine: Taking Care into the Home for Complex Populations

In 2014, Massachusetts-based Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) partnered with EasCare Ambulance Services (EasCare) to launch Acute Community Care (ACC), a community paramedicine pilot progr... more

May 9 2017
Data Update: Children’s Behavioral Health Care Use in Medicaid

Children in Medicaid with behavioral health needs are one of the program’s most vulnerable populations — representing a small percentage of the overall Medicaid child population, but acc... more

April 26 2017
Bridging the Divide: Supplementing Payment Reform to Promote Needed Investments in Population Health

Two important trends in health care reform are converging and driving toward a new way of allocating resources for more effective — and efficient — population health. The first is the gr... more

April 10 2017
What’s Keeping State Oral Health Leaders Up at Night?

A number of innovative efforts are underway to bridge the gap between Medicaid and public health agencies in order to address broad population health needs. Programs such as the Centers for ... more

March 28 2017
Medicaid-Public Health Partnerships: Untapped Potential to Improve Health Care and Reduce Costs

Among the good news trends for U.S. health care over the last year is the flourishing cross-sector and cross-agency collaboration to address the social determinants of health. While much att... more

March 22 2017
Integrating Community Health Workers into Care Teams: Lessons from the Field

Caring for people with complex medical and social needs requires a holistic person-centered approach that recognizes non-medical factors such as housing, transportation, food insecurity, and... more

March 17 2017
Staying the Course on Medicare-Medicaid Integration

More than 750,000 of America’s most vulnerable citizens — individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid — and their families have embraced new, more integrated systems of care ... more

March 1 2017
Transforming the Complex Care Workforce: Emerging Strategies

Programs serving patients with complex medical, behavioral health, and social needs understand that they need to go beyond the medical model and address the social determinants of health. As... more

February 22 2017
Addressing Social Determinants of Oral Health for Low-Income Populations

There is growing evidence that the way people live, learn, work, and play has a significant impact on health, including oral health. These social determinants of health (SDOH) — including ... more

February 21 2017
Reviewing Medicaid ACO Progress in Leading-Edge States

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have become increasingly prevalent in state Medicaid programs as a mechanism to improve health care quality and control costs. To date, 10 states have l... more

February 16 2017
Accountable Communities for Health: Multi-Sector Community Partnerships in Action

As states test new care delivery models that focus on integrated, patient-centered, and value-driven care, a number of Medicaid agencies have established multi-sector partnerships to address... more

February 2 2017
Team-Based Care: A Foundation for New York Medicaid Health Home Efforts in 2017

January 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the New York Medicaid Health Homes program, one of the first to be implemented across the country. Established by the Affordable Car... more

January 19 2017
DHCS Academy: First-in-the-Nation Experiment is a Big Success Story

Inside Sacramento's historic library building, 30 managers from California's Department of Health Care Services are working in small groups to resolve a thorny issue: how to structure value-... more

January 18 2017
Sustaining Progress in 2017: Providing Health Care for Undocumented Residents

While low-income, undocumented immigrants do not qualify for federal health insurance programs, they may be able to access affordable health services via two key avenues: (1) state-funded co... more

January 13 2017
Partnering to Improve Population Health: Exploring Effective Community-Based Organization and Health Care Models

The U.S. health care system is increasingly embracing the importance of identifying and acting on social determinants of health (SDOH), given their known impact on morbidity and mortality. C... more

January 9 2017