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Avalere and RWJF Select Grantees to Advance Health Equity

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Grantees will evaluate models for transforming health systems to promote health equity for Medicaid populations.

In July 2019, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Avalere launched the Health Systems Transformation Research Coordinating Center (HSTRC). The HSTRC aims to change how research is generated, funded, and used to transform health systems in promotion of broader health equity for Medicaid-eligible individuals.

The HSTRC developed a research agenda to strengthen evidence examining health system models of care that address the interrelated goals and needs of Medicaid-eligible individuals. The research agenda outlines a holistic way to transform health system models of care and promote health equity.

In August 2020, the RWJF released a call for proposals (CFP) to fund research on health systems models of care to better understand which model components are essential to promoting health equity. The CFP generated proposals that truly embraced the research agenda’s comprehensive approach to transforming health systems and promoting health equity. Avalere and RWJF selected 9 grantees, all of which will join the HSTRC Research Collaborative as it evolves and advances the research agenda.

The grantees will add invaluable insights to the research agenda and the Research Collaborative’s broader goals around transforming care for Medicaid beneficiaries. Specific grantees and grantee titles can be found in table 1 below. Broadly, grantees will focus on:

  • Connection between poverty and primary-care delivery models
  • Care-coordination models
  • Intersection of homelessness and telehealth delivery models
  • Equity and primary-care delivery models
  • Relationship-based models to improve accessibility to care
  • Intersection between housing and social support through integrated health models

Grants are 18 months in duration, and we expect to have preliminary results in late 2021. Results will be considered in the development of the Research Collaborative’s communication and sustainability plans. Grantees have developed a wide array of communications and dissemination tactics, many of which involve direct community engagement and resources for health system leaders across the country.

Table 1. Summary of HSTRC Grantees
Project Title Grantee Institution
Housing as an Opportunity to Promote health Equity (HOPE): A Housing and Integrated Health Model of Care Denver Health and Hospital Authority (CO)
Building Relationships Into Care Delivery to Grow Equity (BRIDGE) Heartland Health Centers (IL)
The Impact of Telehealth Access on Health Equity for Patients, Families, and Community Members in Two Medicaid-Focused Pediatric Primary Care Models Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (MD)
Advancing Equitable Models of Care for Medicaid-Eligible Children Served by Head Start Programs: Implementation and Evaluation of Telehealth Services National Opinion Research Center (NORC) (TBA)
Equitably Assessing the Impact of a Coordinated, Multidisciplinary Diabetes Care Model using Implementation Science and Participatory Approaches Sinai Health System (IL)
Advancing an Equitable Telehealth Delivery Model for Medicaid-Eligible Populations with Chronic Conditions at Federally Qualified Health Centers Trustees of Boston University, BUMC (MA)
Impact of a New Street Crisis Response Team on Service Use Among San Francisco’s Homeless Population with Mental and Substance Use Disorders San Francisco Department of Public Health (CA)
The Dose of the Web of Well-Being with Integrated Clinical Case Management to Reduce Inequities in Value in a Medicaid Population University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (OH)
Social Determinants of Health Treatment as an Essential Structural Change in Primary Care University of Tennessee Health Science Center (TN)

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