By Carolyn McCoy, MPH
Senior Policy Manager,Health Reform Implementation, AMCHP
The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal and Child Health: Expanding Access to Care for Maternal and Child Health Populations (AIM Access) project, funded through HRSA/MCHB, is an exciting grant opportunity for AMCHP and its members. The three-year (2015-2017) project is a collaborative effort of six national organizations committed to achieving significant impact in three focus areas: strengthening continuity of care and coverage and care for pregnant women and children, improving systems of care for CYSHCN, and promoting implementation of Bright Futures.
AMCHP, in partnership with the AIM collaborative (American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), National Governors Association (NGA), and Altarum Institute) will engage 20 states in an intensive process to expand access to care for MCH populations. Specifically, the national partners will work with state teams to develop state-level responses to the three focus areas. In addition, the national partner organizations will collect and disseminate best practices to health care leaders in the public and private sectors, raise awareness about insurance coverage options, support the implementation of evidence-based and best practices to expand access to care, promote cross-agency, state level, public-private collaboration, and respond to current needs of state programs. The AIM collaborative officially kicked off the project in March, with an "expert roundtable" discussion hosted by NGA. The roundtable was structured around the three focus areas, with each discussion featuring a presentation by a national subject matter expert, followed by two state-level reactors representing Title V, Medicaid, CHIP and state health departments. The discussions were rich and innovative, and the format lent itself to the collection of real-life examples and practices currently happening in the states.
The systems of care for CYSHCN presentation was led by Karen VanLandeghem from NASHP. Debra Waldron (IA) and Debra Garneau (RI) served as state reactors. Areas that were identified as highly relevant to states include creating a standard definition for the CYSHCN population; streamlining and organizing care coordination activities; understanding Marketplace health plan coverage for CYSHCN; operationalizing the ACA Medicaid health home option for pediatric populations; developing implementation models for the AMCHP Standards of Care for CYSHCN; and increasing pediatric specialty provider capacity, including behavioral health, at the state level.
As part of the project, AMCHP recently conducted an environmental scan of member best practices in the three focus areas. The results of the scan will be shared with the project collaborative to inform what best practices are most needed, where there are opportunities for engagement, and where there is a need for more focused energy. Many of the state reactors at the March roundtable also provided examples of success and opportunities in the three focus areas, which may be replicable in other states. The collaborative is excited to capture this information and help states with application.
A request for applications to participate in the AIM project first cohort of states will be sent to governors' offices in April. State teams may include the governor's health policy advisor, Medicaid and/or CHIP directors, state legislators, Title V directors and other state leaders involved in maternal and child health. States will be selected in June and the state engagement process will begin in the late summer or early fall of 2015. Please stay tuned to AMCHP newsletters for more information!