State Medicaid programs and other state health agencies need to monitor and evaluate changes in health insurance coverage, access to care, financing, and the quality of health care delivery. The availability of new financial resources through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is accompanied by raised expectations for such accountability.
Many of you are at the beginning of the journey to grow a successful and sustainable partnership between your public universities and your state's Medicaid-financed health and human service agencies. Perhaps there is a single faculty member who has been engaged around research or services that are of value to the state's program needs. Perhaps the state saw an expertise available through the university that was equal to or better than what it could find in the private sector.
The Ohio State University-Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Commonwealth Medicine division (UMass) sent a survey to national stakeholders regarding the establishment and expansion of university partnerships with public agencies to achieve healthcare transformation. The survey results indicated interest in a variety of collaboration and information-sharing vehicles, including a national website, conferences, webinars, and other learning opportunities.
This study aims to describe and understand variations in current university-state partnerships across the United States and to help researchers and policymakers building such partnerships move forward. Includes:
- Best practices
- Means of refining, smoothing collaboration over time
- Forums for networking and coalition
State Medicaid programs are playing an increasingly important role in the U.S. health care system and represent a major expenditure as well as a major source of revenue for state budgets. The size and complexity of these programs will only increase with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yet, many state Medicaid programs lack the resources and breadth of expertise to maximize the value of their programs not only for their beneficiaries but also for all those served by the health care system.
As their responsibility for health policy making grows, states are pursuing a variety of strategies for getting the research and analytical assistance they need, including expanding their relationships with university-based health services research and policy analysis programs. These collaborations raise a number of questions about the fit between states’ analytic needs and universities’ interest and capacity, and about the appropriate role of the university research organization in the often highly politicized state environment.
It is not uncommon for state university faculty to participate as part-time consultants in the administration of state Medicaid programs. However, rarely do state universities participate institutionally as public agencies in the administration of state Medicaid programs since the propriety, value and parameters of these engagements are usually not recognized.