California MCOs, Public Health Depts. Discover Benefits of Collaboration

Data sharing and staff contacts are the keys to improving collaboration between Medicaid managed care organizations and public health departments, according to California officials and plan staffers. Leaders from managed care plans say that close collaboration improves outcomes for high-needs populations who struggle with one or more social barriers to health.

“When you’re looking at claims data, we’re obviously not going to see a claim for homelessness. We’re not going to be able to capture that. But when we take our data and bump it against data that’s available to some of the public health jurisdictions, and we find out that some of our members are facing housing instability, then that also gives us the ability to understand that maybe their health outcomes are directly being affected by these social determinants of health,” said Nishtha Patel, manager of care transformation at Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), during a March 21 Manatt LLP webinar. “No matter what we do intervention-wise, if we’re not addressing those, their health outcomes are not ever going to improve.”

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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