Community

The work completed by the Institute for Medicaid Innovation often showcases voices from Medicaid beneficiaries and stakeholders. Families, clinicians, community leaders, researchers, and Medicaid health plans are all integral components to the development of programs and solutions that increase access to quality care while decreasing disparities and addressing social determinants of health.

Here is a glimpse into the experiences of families who participated in the CHildhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (CHOPT) project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Families shared the following about the Medicaid health plan childhood obesity prevention and treatment programs:

  • “It encouraged him to go out and he wasn't alone. Gaining weight, other kids had the same problem because he saw them there. You know big kids are prone to being bullied… With this program, he saw the other kids and was like, I'm not the only one with this problem.”
  •  “[The instructor] was awesome. She'll call you, even when the class stops, she'll still call you once in a while to ask how you're doing and stuff like that. She asked about how school was. Our conversation doesn't just have to be about losing weight and fitness… She just cares. Other people just want you to lose weight but she just cared. I liked that.”
  • “She said that really liked the fact that she had the opportunity to meet other families who are going through the same issues with children and she also felt that it helped her daughter because she was able to participate with other children, be more social. She tended to be very shy and so with this program she was able to associate with more children.”

Families reported the following barriers:

  • “She said that the biggest barrier was having to leave her family because usually the evening is when the family is all together and so that is the time they spend together but she made the effort. One of her sons also has behavioral issues and so she was having to find that time to walk away from him. She was also wanting to bring him here but she felt like that wasn’t a good idea.”
  • “Once I started getting SSI they're saying nope, no more food stamps for you. You guys make $4 over the limit, so they took our food stamps away. So, it's hard trying to eat healthy. It's expensive to eat healthy, because fruits and vegetables is not cheap.”
  • “… One of the challenges is that your closest place to maybe get a healthy choice for something would be 40 or 50 miles away. So, it kind of forces you to grab that burger or something if you're on the go.”