Our Blog

Delivery Systems, The Future of Medicaid / 30.11.2017

By Carol Backstrom, Principal and Director, Delivery System Transformation

Recently, the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) released a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the future direction of the agency’s priorities. The RFI noted that CMS was seeking feedback on “a new direction to promote patient-centered care and test market-driven reforms that empower beneficiaries as consumers, provide price transparency, increase choices and competition to drive quality, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.”...

Insurance Markets / 31.10.2017

By Carol Backstrom, Principal and Director, Delivery System Transformation
and Jennifer Ryan, Vice President

A community paramedic is a medically trained first responder who provides primary and preventive care services designed to reduce patients’ need for hospital visits. In many parts of the country, they are often part of a home visiting team that provides follow-up care and medication management to people recently discharged from a hospital. ...

Behavioral Health / 25.10.2017

By Molly Brassil, Director, Behavioral Health Policy
and Erynne Jones, Senior Policy Consultant


Youth and their family members who seek treatment for addiction in California must navigate a complicated public health care system where physical health, mental health, and substance use disorders (SUD) services are administered by different entities and often, in an uncoordinated fashion. And accessing treatment is not easy – navigating between multiple health care delivery systems that are not well coordinated can be especially complicated for youth and their families....

Behavioral Health / 17.10.2017

By Jennifer Ryan, Vice President; Tanya Schwartz, Director, Medicaid Policy; and Molly Brassil, Director, Behavioral Health Policy

One would need to be completely “off the grid” to not be aware of the opioid crisis that has overtaken the country. Alarming and heart wrenching stories about the surprising range of victims of the substance use epidemic top the news headlines on a daily basis. The death rate due to drug overdoses has exceeded car accidents as the leading cause of death among adults under age 50 – since 2000, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin) has increased by 200%....

Maternal and Child Health / 03.10.2017

By Jennifer Ryan, Vice President

As the deadline for formally reauthorizing the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) passed last Friday, I found myself remembering the origins of (S)CHIP, the collective effort that went into implementing the program, and the important role it plays for nearly nine million children today.  While there is hope this week that the House will adopt the Senate Finance Committee’s version of a reauthorization package, the fact that legislative action did not occur before CHIP technically expired has raised concern and uncertainty across the country....

Maternal and Child Health / 06.09.2017

By Carol Backstrom, Principal and Director, Delivery System Transformation

Back-to-school often means new clothes, a new backpack, and new school supplies. Schools also play an important role when it comes to children’s health. As the new school year begins, it’s a good time to remind ourselves how schools can help with outreach and enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) in order keep students healthy, strong, and ready to learn....

At the intersection of health care policy, politics and communications.