Issue: Managed care organizations (MCOs) are integral to Medicaid payment and delivery reform efforts. In states that expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, MCOs have experienced a surge in enrollment of adults with complex needs.
Goal: To understand MCO experiences in Medicaid expansion states and learn about innovations related to access to care, care delivery, payment, and integration of health and social services to address nonmedical needs.
Methods: Interviews with leaders of 17 MCOs in 10 states that have seen large Medicaid enrollment growth and have undertaken payment and delivery reforms.
Findings and Conclusions: MCO leaders regard their ability to enroll and serve the Medicaid expansion populations as a signal achievement. They have focused on identifying and helping high-risk populations and addressing the social determinants of health. MCOs are testing value-based payment strategies that link payment with performance and are increasingly focused on engaging patients in their care. Leaders report common challenges: setting appropriate payment rates; managing members whose needs differ from traditional Medicaid beneficiaries; ensuring access to specialty care; and effectively implementing payment reform and practice transformation. All point to the need for a stable policy environment and a strong working relationship with state Medicaid agencies.
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