Impact of State Medicaid Financing Policies on Healthcare Integration


State Medicaid financing policies play an important role in facilitating healthcare integration, but sometimes they create barriers. Two recent articles explored the effects of different Medicaid financing models on the integration of health services into various healthcare settings.

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) recently published a technical brief (PDF—1 MB). It describes the impact of integrated financing on the coordination of physical and behavioral health services at the care delivery or practice level. CHCS compiled findings from interviews with nine provider organizations in three States. These interviews identified three key areas for successfully advancing integrated care:

  • Integrated data sharing and quality measures
  • Payment and business practices
  • Integration in clinical service delivery

In addition, a separate study in the Milbank Quarterly provided a look at the progress, challenges, and lessons learned from integrating behavioral health and primary care in six States for the first round of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ State Innovation Model Initiative. This study found that informal relationship building, tailored technical assistance, and promotion of data sharing were important factors in making progress toward healthcare integration.

The Milbank Memorial Fund summarizes these findings in a report (PDF—1 MB), as well as those of two other studies, to make its policy implications more accessible to policymakers and practitioners.