Determining the Need for a Medicaid Equity Monitoring Tool: Project Overview

Health inequities for people of color and people from other marginalized communities, including those who experience inequities based on disability, sexual identity, gender, immigration status, and other factors, are a longstanding and pervasive problem that is deeply rooted in discrimination and structural racism. COVID-19 has further illuminated the extent of these vast health inequities. The Medicaid program, through its policy, financial, and programmatic levers, is uniquely situated to address the health inequities experienced by the program’s diverse population of enrollees. Key to these efforts is the availability of comparable state programmatic and performance data to identify and track progress. 

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is leading a project to assess whether identifying a set of key equity-related indicators (a “Medicaid Equity Monitoring Tool”) could be a helpful, feasible, and reliable way of tracking and advancing health equity in Medicaid at the state and federal level. The goal of a potential Medicaid equity data tool is not to replicate other state-level data dashboards or repositories, but to serve as an easily digestible, equity-focused, comparative data resource that could be used both as a monitoring tool to assess progress toward achieving health equity goals in Medicaid and as a catalyst for state-led health equity initiatives.

Between May 2021 and April 2022, SHADAC researchers consulted key informants, convened an advisory committee, and conducted reviews of selected literature to carry out this work. Our advisory committee consisted of data experts as well as individuals who bring diverse perspectives on the Medicaid program to guide the project and advise about whether and how a Medicaid Equity Monitoring Tool could be most useful and for whom. SHADAC developed a measurement framework for advancing health equity in the Medicaid program with input from the advisory committee. The framework included potential Medicaid health equity measurement concepts and data sources. The project concluded with an example of what content and features a potential tool could include as well as recommendations on the necessity of a Medicaid Equity Dashboard and next steps in future phases of work. 

For questions or comments about the project, please reach out to SHADAC’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Lynn A. Blewett at blewe001@umn.edu, or Project Manager, Christina Worrall at cworrall@umn.edu.

Support for this project is provided by the 

 

 


 

 

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.