Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have become increasingly prevalent in state Medicaid programs as a way to improve health care quality and control costs. Some states are beginning to use their ACO programs to address social determinants of health (SDOH) — such as living environment and access to healthy food — that ultimately affect health outcomes. Expanding the services covered by Medicaid ACOs may be critical to their success, given that many of the highest‐need, highest‐cost Medicaid patients have complex behavioral and social needs that are often not addressed in the current fragmented health care system.

This webinar, made by possible by The Commonwealth Fund, explored early efforts to address SDOH through Medicaid ACO programs. This includes SDOH approaches that states are considering, including: (1) partnership requirements; (2) social needs screening, referral, and service delivery; (3) financial incentives; and (4) quality metrics. It featured innovations from two state Medicaid ACO programs: Minnesota’s Integrated Health Partnerships and Rhode Island’s Accountable Entities.


I. Introduction

Speaker: Tricia McGinnis, Senior Vice President, CHCS

Tricia McGinnis welcomed participants and discussed the Medicaid ACO landscape and progress to date, with a focus on early state efforts to address SDOH through Medicaid ACO programs.  

II. Minnesota’s Approach for Addressing SDOH via Integrated Health Partnerships

Speaker: Mathew Spaan, Manager, Care Delivery & Payment Reform, Minnesota Department of Human Services

Mat Spaan provided an overview of Minnesota’s Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP), the state’s Medicaid ACO program that launched in 2013. He described how the state is addressing social determinants through the program’s “2.0” version, and shared early policy and implementation lessons.

III. Rhode Island’s Plans to Address SDOH via the Accountable Entities Program

Speakers: Deborah Morales, Senior Consulting Manager, Conduent at Rhode Island Executive Office of Health & Human Services and Deborah Faulkner, President, Faulkner Consulting Group

Deborah Morales and Deborah Faulkner provided an overview of Rhode Island’s Accountable Entities (AE) program, which began pilots in 2016 and is scheduled to fully launch in 2018. They discussed how the AE program is addressing social determinants and shared early policy and implementation lessons.

IV. Moderated Q&A 

Moderator: Rachael Matulis, Senior Program Officer, CHCS