Although a wide range of efforts to reduce childhood obesity are currently underway, few involve meaningful collaboration between Medicaid and public health. To leverage this untapped opportunity, the Center for Health Care Strategies, with support from Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, launched the Innovations in Childhood Obesity initiative in 2015 to foster collaboration between Medicaid and public health organizations to develop and test innovative approaches for reducing obesity among low-income children.
This series of profiles details how five states pursued collaborative, cross-sector interventions to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in their communities:
Arizona – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona’s Medicaid program, is partnering with Medicaid managed care organizations and a federally qualified health center to conduct a needs assessment of services to address childhood obesity in Maricopa County.
Maryland – A diverse coalition of partners, led by the Horizon Foundation, is addressing childhood obesity in Baltimore City and Howard County by creating new data systems, transforming Medicaid practices to better address obesity, assessing how to treat severe obesity through specialty centers, and delivering nutritional counseling in the community.
Oklahoma – Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, partnered with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and other public health stakeholders to increase utilization of nutritional counseling services among pediatric SoonerCare members in Comanche County.
Oregon – Oregon Medicaid and public health entities within the Oregon Health Authority are partnering to reduce childhood obesity across the state by expanding the use of community health workers for obesity screening and providing supports to coordinated care organizations to implement evidence-based strategies for obesity prevention and treatment.
Texas – The City of Laredo Health Department is partnering with two Medicaid managed care organizations and two Laredo school districts to implement an evidence-based, school-based health program that addresses childhood obesity and diabetes risk factors.