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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Vanhoose

March 2024 Texas MCO NMDOH Learning Collaborative: Maternal Health and Data Sharing

March 1 marked a historical day in Texas — the launch of 12 months post-partum Medicaid coverage. On this same day, the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) Non-Medical Drivers of Health (NMDOH) Learning Collaborative kicked off our fifth year!  

The Learning Collaborative enables Texas’ Medicaid MCOs to learn about effective strategies and interventions to address non-medical needs of Medicaid members from one another and from leading-edge health plan and provider innovators across the nation. It has become a hot ticket in the Texas Medicaid space, and we once again had a full house with standing room spillover.  

The Collaborative was established through a partnership with the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF), the Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP), and the Texas Association of Community Health Plans (TACHP), and has grown significantly over the past five years to include the Texas Health and Human Services Commision (HHSC), community-based organizations, provider organizations, and other stakeholders. Support has also grown to include funding from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Treaty Oak Strategies and the Center for Health Care Strategies continue to organize, facilitate, and support the Learning Collaborative in year five.

Meeting Recap

Maternal Health

Given the historic day in Texas, morning discussions focused on maternal health and included an update on HB 1575, which adds doulas and community health workers as provider types to provide case management to pregnant women. HHSC is implementing the bill and aims to launch in late 2024 or early 2025. 

One of the most engaging conversations of the day centered around a new report published by EHF in February, Engaging Medicaid Members: Identifying the Non-Medical Needs of Pregnant Members. Several funders and MCOs partnered late last year to hold conversations with Medicaid members who were or recently had been pregnant to hear directly about their experiences and support needs. In addition to transportation, housing, and employment, many of the women identified childcare and lack of access to reliable pregnancy education as critical NMDOH needs. Additionally, many members lacked knowledge of the services that Medicaid offers, such as transportation and other value-added services. A robust conversation followed the presentation that centered on identifying ways to better inform Medicaid members. The Learning Collaborative will engage in workgroup and other activities to further resolve this issue.  

Data Sharing

During year four, the Collaborative established a workgroup to dig in on data sharing – its barriers; the current landscape; and how to improve attribution and data sharing between MCOs, providers, and community-based organizations. Dr. Kendrick, CEO of MyHealth Access Network (Oklahoma’s HIE), shared MyHealth’s experiences and how it is enhancing data collection and sharing. MyHealth’s membership now includes more than 600 organizations and provides infrastructure for improving health, reducing costs, supporting value-based payment models, and has helped reduce provider burden and reduce health IT costs to providers and the state.  

We closed the day with a panel on Texas activities around data sharing that included:  

  • Lisa Kirschner with the Central Texas Food Bank 

  • Shreela Sharma with the Center for Health Equity 

  • Eliel Oliviera with Connexus 

  • Phil Beckett with C3HIE 

Looking Ahead

We are already planning our next webinars and in-person meetings and plan to tackle the following topics this year: 

  • Engaging and educating Medicaid Members and best practices for advisory committees 

  • Building relationships and contracting opportunities between foodbanks and MCOs  

  • Supporting community-based organizations networks  

  • Implementation of HB 1575 and CHW models of care  

  • Measuring outcomes associated with non-medical interventions  

  • New NMDOH quality measures 

  • Supporting HHSC MCO NMDOH Action Plan 

You can find the slide deck, notes and other meeting materials here. Stay tuned for updates on all the great work taking place by the Learning Collaborative.


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