Funder: The Commonwealth Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Author: Allison Hamblin and Chad Shearer, Center for Health Care Strategies

April 2009 | Technical Assistance Brief


Medicaid stakeholders, faced with rising health care costs, increasing prevalence of chronic illness, and growing recognition of gaps in quality, are interested in programs that have the potential to both improve health outcomes and curb health care spending growth. To assist in these efforts, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) developed the ROI Forecasting Calculator for Quality Initiatives (ROI Calculator).

This companion User’s Guide to the ROI Forecasting Calculator was developed to help Medicaid stakeholders use the online tool to generate forecasts for proposed quality improvement programs. In developing a forecast, users navigate through nine core components: forecasts, intervention, target population, utilization, program costs, analysis, evidence base, and ROI solver. The User’s Guide walks through each of these components in a step-by-step fashion, addressing the key analytical issues and best practices to consider for each step in the process.

For examples of how states can use the ROI Calculator to support quality improvement efforts, see Maximizing Quality and Value in Medicaid: Using Return on Investment Forecasting to Support Effective Policymaking, a policy brief published by The Commonwealth Fund in coordination with the release of this guide.