The Medicaid Medical Directors Network (MMDN) is composed of dedicated physicians who understand the populations they serve and are committed to improving the health of Medicaid beneficiaries. Over the years, AcademyHealth and the MMDN have established a strategic partnership that has enabled clinical leaders to collaborate, share resources, cross-promote opportunities and information via respective engagement and dissemination channels, and leverage the collective experience and thoughtfulness gained from peer-to-peer shared learnings. The MMDN continues to focus on the development and use of evidence-based medicine, measurement and improvement of healthcare quality, and redesign of healthcare delivery systems.
With ever-burdening budget constraints and the push to identify and implement high-value strategies that improve the health and well-being of beneficiaries, Medicaid leaders understand the value of and continue to express a need for patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) to inform numerous key policy decisions, including those related to clinical issues and quality improvement. Policy-relevant PCOR and other evidence has proved useful to Medicaid clinical leaders focused on improving Medicaid program design, advancing population health, reducing disparities, and responding to constrained budget environments. At the same time, there is a continued need to facilitate the integration of PCOR into everyday healthcare policy and practice, which requires investments in effective research dissemination and implementation approaches that are tailored to those individuals on the ground who are undertaking these efforts, such as those related to coverage decisions and those informing broader healthcare delivery reform endeavors. Medicaid medical directors (MMDs) use PCOR findings as key tools to improve care delivery for their populations; however, they recognize the gaps that exist in translating and disseminating findings into forms and through channels that are most useful for senior clinical leaders. Although improvements to dissemination are needed, a primary gap is the MMDs’ ability to implement relevant evidence within their state environments once the evidence has been identified. Leveraging the expertise of MMDs in implementing evidence-based practices can inform a tailored approach for research dissemination and adoption, and ensure evidence is being interpreted effectively by state Medicaid programs to inform their policy making decisions.
Through this Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award, AcademyHealth will facilitate the MMDN’s ongoing engagement with enhanced efforts in PCOR evidence production and dissemination through in-person and Open-Mic engagements as well as electronic communications, all to inform healthcare policy and practice. This project, Engaging Medicaid Clinical Leaders to Disseminate and Use Evidence to Impact Healthcare Policy and Practice, will help support the MMDN achieve two long-term objectives: (1) support the capacity of the MMDN to further disseminate PCOR evidence to state Medicaid clinical leaders so they can effectively use PCOR evidence in Medicaid decision making and practice; and (2) establish a dissemination and implementation workgroup. That workgroup will work with a subset of MMDN members to develop an implementation plan for three to four states interested in implementing PCOR peer-reviewed findings or a set of findings on a specific topic. Because of access to relevant PCOR evidence and active contribution to dissemination efforts, MMDs will accelerate policy and program improvements for their Medicaid beneficiaries.