Based on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the resulting Medicaid expansion in over half of the states, many state Medicaid programs have redoubled efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to attract, train, and retain healthcare practitioners to serve this expanding patient population. Since 2012, Ohio has used its existing state-university research model to partner with its Colleges of Medicine and Health Sciences to address this challenge.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) and Ohio Council of Medical School Deans founded the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC) in 2008 to serve as a public, university-based center for health policy, research, and technical assistance. GRC engages faculty and staff at Ohio’s Colleges of Medicine and Health Sciences and partners with state health and human services policymakers to improve the health of and healthcare delivery for all Ohioans. Under this umbrella, the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP) funds Medicaid-focused healthcare quality improvement initiatives.
One of these projects, the MEDTAPP Healthcare Access Initiative (HCA) has invested more than $78 million at Ohio’s Colleges of Medicine and Health Sciences to increase Ohio Medicaid recipients’ access to interdisciplinary team-based healthcare providers.
“As it relates to bridging the gap between healthcare and the underserved, what is being done with MEDTAPP and plans for inner-city schools, is unparalleled. There are simply no other programs [that] are close in being engaged with the community.”
-MEDTAPP HCA Initiative
Specifically, the MEDTAPP HCA Initiative funds applied health research efforts at each of Ohio’s seven Colleges of Medicine and three of its nursing schools to examine effective recruitment, evaluation, and practice efforts that support the development and retention of healthcare practitioners to serve Ohio’s Medicaid population. Upon completion of training, practitioners are skilled in emerging healthcare delivery models and evidence-based practices. The purpose of the MEDTAPP HCA Initiative is to transform the recruitment, training, and retention strategies to ensure healthcare providers stay in Ohio after graduation to serve the Medicaid population.
Academic faculty and community preceptors create and enhance curriculum and training programs to determine effective ways to prepare and retain healthcare providers to serve vulnerable populations using patient-centered team-based models of care following their formal healthcare training in Ohio’s high-volume Medicaid sites, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Health Centers, and health professional shortage areas. In-classroom and placement site training activities include students, residents, and fellows preparing to become future child and adolescent psychiatrists, primary care physicians, pediatricians, advanced practice nurses, dentists, social workers, and community health workers. To date, over 1,500 additional healthcare providers are being trained and retained in Ohio to serve the Medicaid population through the MEDTAPP HCA Initiative.
OSUWMC-GRC built this initiative through a strong state-university partnership, including the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Board of Regents, Ohio Council of Medical School Deans, and ten Ohio-based academic medical centers and health sciences colleges and universities.