Over half of individuals in the U.S. covered by Medicaid come from communities of color. The program also insures over 10 million people with disabilities. As a result, state Medicaid agencies and their partners can play a major role in advancing health equity and improving primary care for communities across the country that experience inequities in care and services.

This webinar, made possible by The Commonwealth Fund, explored how state health equity goals can be advanced by Medicaid-led efforts that promote equity through their managed care programs, as well as at the provider-level through initiatives that are supported by broader delivery system and payment reforms. The 60-minute event included perspectives from Michigan’s Medicaid director and representatives from Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, a community health center in Boston, Massachusetts.

YouTube video

Strengthening Primary Care through Medicaid Managed Care

This webinar is part of a learning series from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), Strengthening Primary Care through Medicaid Managed Care, which is examining the tools and levers that states can use to advance comprehensive primary care strategies and equitably improve the health of Medicaid enrollees. The series is made possible by The Commonwealth Fund.


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Shilpa Patel, Associate Director of Health Equity, CHCS; Laurie Zephyrin, MD, Vice President, Health System Equity, The Commonwealth Fund

S. Patel welcomed participants and introduce the webinar’s focus on health equity and primary care. L. Zephyrin described how this webinar supports The Commonwealth Fund’s mission and goals.

II. Promoting Health Equity through Primary Care Innovation in Medicaid Managed Care

Speaker: Shilpa Patel, CHCS

S. Patel discussed how states can advance health equity through Medicaid managed care and primary care initiatives, as described in a new module in CHCS’ toolkit, Advancing Primary Care Innovation in Medicaid Managed Care.

III. Michigan’s Approach for Advancing Health Equity through Medicaid Managed Care

Speaker: Kate Massey, State Medicaid Director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

K. Massey described how Michigan’s Medicaid program has worked to advance health equity through its managed care program.

IV. Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center’s Equity Journey

Speakers: Juan Jaime De Zengotita, MD and Thomas Kieffer, MPH, Southern Jamaica Plan Health Center

J. De Zengotita and T. Kieffer shared their health center’s equity journey, including initiatives and frameworks that help clinicians to challenge the dominant beliefs about causes of and solutions to racial inequities in health.

V. Question & Answer

Moderator: Diana Crumley, Senior Program Officer, CHCS

D. Crumley moderated a question and answer session, reflecting on how states can support primary care teams through Medicaid managed care and other delivery system and payment reform efforts.