States and territories increasingly recognize Medicaid’s critical role in advancing health equity and are developing strategic plans to address health equity within their Medicaid programs. Given the fast-paced nature of state work, however, Medicaid agencies do not always have the time or opportunity to take a step back and engage in long-term strategic thinking.

To assist Medicaid agencies in developing or strength­ening health equity efforts, this brief proposes five core components of a health equity strategic plan: (1) culture; (2) community engagement; (3) performance measurement; (4) value-based payment; and (5) care delivery and benefit design. The brief outlines considerations, resources, and state examples to inform Medicaid stake­holders undertaking agency-wide health equity efforts.

This brief, authored by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), is a product of Advancing Health Equity, a national initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that is working with states to identify and test ways to reduce and eliminate disparities in health and health care, including innovative Medicaid payment and contracting models. The initiative is led by University of Chicago in partnership with CHCS and the Institute for Medicaid Innovation.