The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified long-standing health care disparities faced by communities of color, highlighting the imperative for Medicaid and other payers to reorient the health care system toward more equitable care. Recognizing that primary care plays a central role in reducing health disparities, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), with support from The Commonwealth Fund, launched a technical assistance opportunity focused on promoting health equity through comprehensive primary care strategies. The initiative supported states in designing, implementing, and scaling primary care innovations to advance health equity through their managed care programs.
Building on state successes in the earlier Advancing Primary Care Innovation in Medicaid Managed Care project, this initiative focused on advancing health equity by addressing racial and ethnic disparities.
Under the project, CHCS provided four states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon, and Washington State — tailored one-on-one technical assistance to help advance their equity goals, as well as peer information-sharing and learning opportunities. Technical assistance supported the states by: (1) helping identify and develop approaches to promote health equity; (2) providing examples of how other states have implemented health equity initiatives; and (3) collaborating with states to identify program design considerations and overcome challenges. Technical assistance activities included:
- Support with identifying policy levers to achieve health equity goals and creating a work plan to achieve state goals.
- Monthly calls with CHCS to identify technical assistance opportunities and discuss policy and program approaches to accomplish state goals. Based on these sessions, CHCS will also compile resources to support states.
- Peer-to-peer learning exchanges throughout the project period. These virtual meetings will enable the sharing of health equity goals, policy approaches, and lessons among state participants and/or provide a deep-dive into policy topics of interest to all participating states.