The Bigger Medicaid Picture: Broader Content about Tech, Workforce Could Be of Interest for I/DDImage Banner

The Bigger Medicaid Picture: Broader Content about Tech, Workforce Could Be of Interest for I/DD

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The Bigger Medicaid Picture: Broader Content about Tech, Workforce Could Be of Interest for I/DD

Monday, July 8, 2019
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ANCOR is sharing the two items below because the Medicaid technology innovations and workforce concerns they discuss are deeply relevant to intellectual / developmental disability (I/DD) supports, even if the articles do not focus squarely on I/DD. It is important that policymakers better understand disability needs – either through examples of what could be applied to disability, or by providing analogies to disability needs from other sectors which receive more public attention.

HealthAffairs Article on workforce gaps and policy needs of home health for children with medical complexity. While focusing on Medicaid-funded home health, the article hits many parallels for I/DD supports, including: the rise of Medicaid managed care; section 1115 waivers; the inadequacy of Medicaid rates given the needs of individuals supported; and the challenges of the workforce gaps. The article also lists proposed solutions that could be of interest to I/DD supports, notably: payment reform; aligning inpatient, ambulatory and community services; advancing complex supports through telehealth; and alignment of children’s care with adult supports to ensure pediatric care need can be measured with apples-to-apples comparisons with adult supports.

Commonwealth Fund newsletter on leveraging technology to improve supports. As stated in the article: “The vast expansion of the Medicaid program, the spread of private managed care plans (which now cover two-thirds of beneficiaries), and pressure on states to contain spending have sparked interest in using digital health tools to increase beneficiaries’ access to care and improve services. Health plans and health systems that assume financial risk for the care of Medicaid beneficiaries also have motivation to use digital health tools to generate insights about patients and connect them to needed services.” The article profiles companies which match consumers with existing resources, or alternatives / complements to treatments in the behavioral health space. These services include:

  • A company partnering with pharmacies to deliver medications to treat opioid use disorder directly to people’s homes, using telehealth tools to provide support.
    • ANCOR note: tailored home deliveries coupled with telehealth could greatly increase the independence of individuals our members support.
  • Companies helping case managers and clinicians assess individuals’ needs to help improve the specialist referrals they receive from medical practitioners.
    • ANCOR note: having a resource that lists specialists who take clients with I/DD and/or Medicaid would be useful in the disability space given how much time support teams spend trying to identify such specialists.
  •  A company being used by “Medicaid managed care plans to engage members who appear to have unmet behavioral health needs. First-time users answer a series of questions about their well-being, social supports, and life experiences and are then directed to a suite of interactive resources based on cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, and other evidence-based counseling approaches.”
    • ANCOR note: Unmet needs are an important issue in the disability community, between long waiting lists for supports and many individuals who have disabilities but have not identified them, and as a result also have unmet needs.