In new procurements and contracts, state Medicaid agencies are expecting more from Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), and are increasing requirements that promote primary care innovation, health equity, and community engagement. To meet these requirements, MCOs are increasingly working in partnership with community health centers, family planning clinics, and other safety-net providers to improve access to, and the quality of, primary care for individuals enrolled in Medicaid.

This webinar explored how states, Medicaid MCOs, and primary care teams can stay accountable to the communities they serve. Speakers focused on ensuring equitable access to high-quality, culturally appropriate primary care provided by community health centers and family planning clinics. The webinar is the final event in a learning series from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), Strengthening Primary Care through Medicaid Managed Care, that is examining how states can advance comprehensive primary care strategies and equitably improve the health of Medicaid enrollees. The series is made possible by The Commonwealth Fund.

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I. Welcome and Introductions

Speaker: Diana Crumley, JD, MPAff, Senior Program Officer, CHCS

D. Crumley welcomed webinar attendees and introduced speakers.

II. Ensuring Equitable Access to Primary Care

Speaker: Sara Rosenbaum, JD, Professor of Health Law and Policy Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

S. Rosenbaum explored state strategies to ensure access to primary care for people served by Medicaid, with a focus on community health centers and family planning clinics in Medicaid MCO provider networks. She also explored MCOs’ role in helping individuals maintain access to primary care as states unwind the Public Health Emergency’s Medicaid continuous coverage requirement.  

III. Supporting Advanced Primary Care Models that Promote Equity

Speaker: Sarah Coombs, MPH, Director for Health System Transformation, National Partnership for Women & Families

S. Coombs discussed how states, MCOs, and primary care teams can be more accountable to individuals and communities most impacted by inequities. She discussed how payment and delivery system reform in primary care can include safety net providers, promote trusted culturally appropriate community providers, and put individuals and families at the center of care redesign.

IV. Advancing Health Equity and Primary Care Goals at MassHealth

Speaker: Martha Farlow, MHA, Deputy Director for Delivery System Policy, MassHealth

M. Farlow reflected on earlier speakers’ presentations and explained how MassHealth plans to promote accountability for primary care and health equity goals in its managed care and accountable care programs.

V. Moderated Q&A

D. Crumley moderated an audience Q&A session.

VI. Wrap Up and Next Steps

D. Crumley thanked presenters, and all past presenters and attendees of the Strengthening Primary Care through Medicaid Managed Care webinar series.