Improving Health Equity in Medicaid-Eligible Populations

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The Health Systems Transformation Research Coordinating Center aims to change how research is generated, funded, and used to transform health systems in promotion of broader health equity for Medicaid-eligible individuals.

In July 2019, Avalere launched the Health Systems Transformation Research Coordinating Center (HSTRC) with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). 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.

Roundtable Purpose

To support the broader RWJF agenda with a focus on transforming healthcare for Medicaid-eligible populations, Avalere hosted an in-person roundtable discussion on November 30, 2022. This discussion brought forward key insights from stakeholders in health equity, resulting in draft recommendations for funders, policymakers, and government leaders to consider when assessing the state of the evidence indicating which transformation initiatives have merit.  Attendees represented foundations, government agencies, advocacy groups, health systems, professional societies, strategy, and nonprofits. Several of the attendees have experience supporting Medicaid-eligible populations with implementation, quality, and equity and in understanding the role of health system in Medicaid acceptance.

The objectives of the roundtable discussion were to:

  • Reflect on past health equity research-focused efforts and the current landscape of funding and implementing research efforts in this space
  • Align on unmet needs at the local and national level, specifically with a policy perspective
  • Discuss persistent evidence gaps for strategies that have a significant impact on health equity
  • Garner insights from a diverse set of perspectives on the current key health equity topics that are highest priority for Medicaid-eligible individuals
  • Identify key facilitators and barriers to the advancement of health equity for Medicaid-eligible individuals
  • Discuss the challenges of moving research projects with promising results from pilot to scale
  • Establish recommended tactics to implement equity strategies at scale

Roundtable Output

Participants shared insights from their own diverse professional experiences. This ranged from real-world policymaking examples to examples from the front lines of the medical system. Participants also discussed political, racial, social, and economic barriers related to equity in the healthcare system as a whole and health equity research specifically.

The following key themes emerged from the health equity roundtable:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in health equity and has provided a prime opportunity to drive the narrative for a more equitable healthcare system.
  • Health equity success should be measured by the metrics agreed upon by program leadership.
  • The healthcare workforce is integral in addressing health equity, and each provider must play a role.
  • Barriers exist to prioritizing health equity research publication and dissemination.
  • Systemic racism threads across sectors and must be addressed.
  • Community evidence is evidence.
  • Research must align with its targeted audience.
  • Policymakers should be engaged during health equity research.
  • Health equity gaps should be addressed using a stepwise approach.

Download the full proceedings of the roundtable.

For more information, please direct any questions to Emily Belowich. To receive more expert insights on the latest healthcare news, connect with us.

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