Happy New Year from Harbage Consulting!(Jan 02, 2018)
While 2017 has been a tumultuous year for everyone committed to ensuring access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans, we are grateful that our firm has had many opportunities to help improve Medicaid programs across the country.
As a mission-focused health policy and communications consulting firm, we are proud to provide our clients with the end-to-end support they need to design, implement, and operate their public health care programs in an effective and sustainable manner. Our work has spanned 10 states and more than a dozen localities over the past two years and we look forward to opportunities to continue to share our expertise and lessons learned in 2018.
In 2017, we launched a blog series to share project updates and results from innovative work happening across the country, and we also released several new publications looking at policy issues in more detail. Following are some highlights of our work over the past year:
Behavioral Health Integration and Combatting Substance Use Disorders (SUD)
- Through our work with California’s Drug-Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System, seven counties have implemented the new SUD treatment services under the state’s waiver program and 33 others have submitted plans to implement, reaching nearly 95% of California’s Medi-Cal population.
- In October, West Virginia received approval for its first Medicaid section 1115 waiver to provide a robust continuum of substance use disorder treatment and prevention services to the state’s Medicaid population. Working with states to respond to the national opioid crisis has become a priority for our firm.
- We published a paper, prepared with support from California Health Care Foundation, California’s Public Substance Use Disorder Treatment System for Youth: An Overview, which focuses on SUDs among youth in California and provides a comprehensive look at the funding streams, prevalence and impact, and practice opportunities for improving care for this population.
Medicaid and the Social Determinants of Health
- During the heated debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act, Harbage Consulting, through support from the California Health Care Foundation, released Medi-Cal Matters – a series of info-graphics demonstrating the critical role that Medi-Cal plays in the state’s health care delivery system.
- We published a Health Affairs blog highlighting the Hennepin County Community Paramedic program in Minnesota focused on improving care coordination and reducing health disparities among the local homeless population.
- In line with our commitment to promoting maternal and child health, we partnered with the California School-Based Health Alliance to release a second paper in 2017 discussing opportunities for Medicaid-funded health care services to be provided through the school system.
- We are proud to support the California Department of Health Care Services in planning and executing two Learning Collaboratives to facilitate the effective implementation of the state’s Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal (PRIME) and Whole Person Care Pilots.
- Baltimore City launched the Vision for Baltimore program to provide free vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to nearly 3,000 children on site at school. Harbage is working with the Baltimore City Health Department to implement strategies that will promote the long-term sustainability of the program.
Communications and Outreach
- We are in our sixth year supporting California’s Coordinated Care Initiative, a program aimed at increasing coordinating services for individuals eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. We staff an outreach team that works in the seven participating counties. This year, the outreach team reached more than 2,200 physicians and related staff and over 8,400 beneficiaries through presentations, trainings, webinars, health fairs, and other outreach activities. Further, the team distributed more than 4,500 educational toolkits to beneficiaries and providers.
- California’s Health Homes Program first phase will begin July 2018. We are coordinating education and outreach activities for participating managed care plans, providers, clinics, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders on behalf of the Department of Health Care Services.
- Over the summer of 2017, we worked with the County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Services agency to design and implement a community engagement strategy. Through large community meetings, targeted focus groups, and innovative tele-town halls, we collected data from nearly 400 San Diegans including consumers, caregivers, providers, and other stakeholders. Our report on the impact of BHS services on the San Diego community will help guide county planning in the coming year.
To learn more about the services we provide to help our clients navigate complex health policies and programs, from strategic communications, to policy analysis, to program design and implementation, please visit our website or contact us directly. We would love to tell you more about our team and our diverse projects and expertise.
Thank you to our clients and friends for your continued partnership and we look forward to the opportunity to continue our work together in 2018!