Friday, January 14, 2022: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Marquis BR Salon 9, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Paul Lanier, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Susan Kennedy, MSW, AcademyHealth and Sam Thompson, MSW, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
The Medicaid program is a joint federal-state public insurance program that provides coverage for over 70 million Americans and serves as the backbone of the health care safety net. Medicaid is particularly important for social work research because the program specifically serves low-income individuals and families as well as other vulnerable groups. Examining differences in access, quality, and costs of healthcare across state Medicaid programs can provide much-needed information to state policymakers. Despite the importance of the program for promoting health equity, the challenges inherent to accessing and analyzing Medicaid data present barriers for social work researchers to engage in Medicaid research. This roundtable has two key purposes: (1) the roundtable will describe the importance of the Medicaid program for promoting health equity; and (2) to provide a detailed example of an innovative multi-state distributed research network used to conduct transdisciplinary multi-state research using rigorous methods to inform public policy. AcademyHealth's Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN) is a collaborative effort to analyze data across multiple states to facilitate learning among Medicaid agencies. A distributed research network is composed of multiple organizations using a common data model to support centralized development, but local execution, of analytic programs. Participants from AcademyHealth's State-University Partnership Learning Network and the Medicaid Medical Director Network developed MODRN to allow states to participate in valuable and timely, multi-state data analyses, while retaining their own data and analytic capacity. The MODRN model enables efficient, high-quality analyses of multi-state data while ensuring the security of health information. Under MODRN, each state-university partnership adopts the Medicaid Common Data Model, contributes to a common analytic plan, and conducts analyses locally on their own Medicaid data using standardized code developed by the data coordinating center. We will describe the process for developing MODRN and provide two examples of how MODRN is being used to examine health equity and inform Medicaid policy in two areas: (1) access to high-quality treatment for opioid use disorders, and (2) screening for sexually transmitted infections among pregnant individuals. The roundtable presenters will provide different perspectives from both the research and policy perspective featuring three macro social workers involved in Medicaid research, evaluation, and policy practice. The Director of Evidence-Informed State Health Policy Institute at AcademyHealth, will describe the genesis of the MODRN project and the national landscape of Medicaid research highlighting efforts to promote health equity. A university researcher will provide details about the study designs, research questions, and analytic approaches used in MODRN studies. Last, an evaluation director from a state Medicaid program will discuss how these studies have informed ongoing state-level evaluation related to the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the roundtable will provide a comprehensive view of how Medicaid research is crucial for promoting health equity at the national and state level. Further, social work researchers interested in using Medicaid claims data for health equity research will learn about the MODRN study and its approach to cross-state research-policy partnerships.rships.
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