As the US health care industry moves toward value-based payment systems, the impetus for public health officials and health care payers to work together to improve population health and lower health care costs has never been clearer. The CDC’s 6|18 Initiative creates a platform to support public health and Medicaid partnerships in implementing evidence-based interventions that offer short-term health improvements while controlling costs. It focuses on six common, high-cost health conditions — tobacco use, asthma, unintended pregnancies, diabetes, high blood pressure, and health care-associated infections — and 18 evidence-based interventions that address the conditions.

This webinar provided an overview of the CDC’s 6|18 Initiative and explored successful state strategies for implementing interventions via Medicaid and public health partnerships. Participants heard from 6|18 representatives in South Carolina and Rhode Island about their experiences making the case for enhanced Medicaid prevention benefits related to tobacco cessation and asthma control.

The 90-minute webinar, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, can help state Medicaid and public health officials, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders gain a better understanding of how cross-agency partnerships can support the implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions to improve health and control costs.


I. Welcome and Introductions

Speakers: Stephen Somers, President, CHCS, and Hilary Heishman, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Stephen Somers welcomed individuals to the webinar and introduced the speakers. He was joined by Hilary Heishman who discussed the importance of the CDC prevention-focused effort.

II. Overview of the 6|18 Initiative

Speakers: Maia Crawford, Senior Program Officer, CHCS

Maia Crawford provided an overview of the CDC’s 6|18 Initiative, and highlighted select state successes from the Initiative’s first year.

III. South Carolina’s Path to Enhancing Tobacco Cessation Benefits

Speaker: Christina Galardi, Project Manager, South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Christina Galardi described how the 6|18 framework is facilitating South Carolina’s process to enhance its Medicaid tobacco cessation benefits.

IV. Making the Case for Pediatric Asthma Home Visiting in Rhode Island

Speaker: Julian Rodríguez-Drix, Asthma Program Manager, Rhode Island Department of Health

Julian Rodríguez-Drix explained how Rhode Island’s Medicaid-Public Health collaboration under the 6|18 Initiative is supporting efforts to incorporate pediatric asthma home visiting benefits in Medicaid.

V. Discussion and Q&A 

Moderator: Maia Crawford, Senior Program Officer, CHCS