Author: Laura C. Seeff, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tricia McGinnis MPP, MPH, Center for Health Care Strategies, Hilary Heishman MPH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

February 2018 | Journal Article

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 6|18 Initiative is bringing together public and private health care payers, purchasers, and providers to improve health and control health care costs by linking evidence-based prevention activities to health coverage and delivery. The initiative focuses on six high-burden, high-cost health conditions — tobacco use, high blood pressure, health care-associated infections, asthma, unintended pregnancies, and type 2 diabetes.

This article, published in the Journal of Public Health Practice and Management, explores efforts by nine state Medicaid and public health agency teams — in Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, and South Carolina — to implement 6|18 interventions related to asthma control, tobacco cessation, and unintended pregnancy prevention. The CDC, the Center for Health Care Strategies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other partnering organizations assisted the states with design, implementation, and dissemination support. The article shares accomplishments related to payment policy changes and lessons for promoting cross-agency collaboration based on interviews with the participating 6|18 state teams. Findings can help strengthen existing, and guide future, partnerships between state health departments and Medicaid agencies, as well as improve Medicaid coverage and use of effective prevention interventions.