News & Updates

Medicaid Research Group, Partners Aim to Level the Health Care Playing Field

March 15, 2019

Medicaid Research Group, Partners Aim to Level the Health Care Playing Field

National initiative to align states, health plans, and providers by integrating payment, health care systems transformation to reduce disparities


Advancing Health Equity: Leading Care, Payment, and Systems Transformation (Advancing Health Equity), a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, takes on the ambitious task of reducing and eliminating disparities in health care through innovative Medicaid payment and contracting models. The program brings together three of the nation’s most prominent organizations devoted to the health of all Americans: the Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI), the University of Chicago, and the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). Together they will collaborate with state Medicaid agencies, Medicaid managed care health plans, and healthcare delivery organizations to design value-based payment and contracting models that support health care delivery transformation to reduce and eliminate disparities in health and health care.

Advancing Health Equity will include a learning collaborative for up to nine teams focused on reducing and eliminating health and health care disparities in their patient populations. Each team will consist of a Medicaid managed care organization (MMCO), the state Medicaid program in at least one market in which the MMCO operates, and one or more provider organizations or systems contracted by the MMCO within that market.

Besides the learning collaborative, Advancing Health Equity will provide individualized equity-focused technical assistance to state Medicaid agencies and coordinate a national advisory and policy development committee. The committee of national experts in health disparities, consumer and patient perspectives, state Medicaid programs, Medicaid managed care organizations, and providers will identify implementation lessons learned and develop policy recommendations that will be disseminated broadly to other state Medicaid programs, health plans, providers, and policy-makers.

“Given the Institute for Medicaid Innovation’s experience leading multi-stakeholder learning collaboratives, we can share important lessons learned regarding the integration of payment and health care delivery reforms to this new program,” said Jennifer E. Moore, PhD, RN, executive director of the IMI. “We are excited to be working with the University of Chicago and CHCS and the unique experience and skills that each group brings to Advancing Health Equity.”

“The program fills a critical gap in our nation’s efforts to reduce and eliminate disparities in health and healthcare,” said Andrea Ducas, MPH, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “It will bring state Medicaid agencies, health plans, and providers together to learn best practices to address health disparities tailored to the needs of the people they serve.”


About the Institute for Medicaid Innovation

The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit research organization that provides independent, nonpartisan information and analysis that informs Medicaid policy and improves the health of the nation.



Media contact: 
Lydia Tonkonow