Consumer Voices for Innovation 2.0 Grantees

Alabama Arise - At a moment of transformation in Alabama Medicaid – from a statewide fee-for-service system of primary care to regionally based nonprofit coordinated care with quality incentives – Alabama Arise will seek to create a model of collaboration between one of the seven newly-formed regional networks and a major food bank in that region for the purpose of improving Medicaid’s effectiveness in addressing food security and nutrition. Each Alabama Coordinated Health Network (ACHN) will serve approximately 110,000 Medicaid beneficiaries, primarily children and pregnant mothers. The new ACHN plan redefines Medicaid’s relationship to beneficiaries and introduces benchmarks for improved health outcomes. These changes, which will go into effect October 1, 2019, provide a natural opening for Alabama Medicaid to begin to address social determinants of health. Administrative advocacy and grassroots engagement on food security can enhance the success of the new ACHN while laying the foundation for more comprehensive regional health strategies.

Together Colorado – Together Colorado, along with their partners at the Center for Health Progress, envision that all Medicaid recipients qualifying for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) benefits in a targeted nine-county area will have access to safe, accessible and timely transportation services to and from their appointments by trained professionals. The advocates are organizing their member leaders, including recipients of NEMT services, to advocate that the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), who administers the NEMT vendor system, will have robust internal oversight of the vendor, which will include constituting an independent community advisory board. Together Colorado and Center for Health Progress are partnering by using community organizing tactics, including a new digital organizing program, to expand and activate the current base of grassroots community leaders who are affected by this issue.

Georgians for a Healthy Future – Consumers across Georgia have clearly indicated that transportation is a significant barrier to health care access, and in 2019 the Georgia state Medicaid agency is expected to open a bidding and contracting process to select its Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) vendors to provide transportation services to Georgians with Medicaid coverage. The proposed project takes advantage of this timely opportunity to secure consumer-focused changes to the NEMT program so that it works better for people with disabilities and other Medicaid-covered individuals and families. Georgians for Healthy Future and The ARC Georgia, will utilize grassroots organizing strategies to identify and develop grassroots health leaders who have personal experience with the short-comings of NEMT and partner with them to educate and mobilize their networks and communities in support of the issue. The project partners will support these grassroots efforts with a strategic issue advocacy campaign to secure the policy changes needed to ensure that transportation no longer stands as a barrier to health care for any Medicaid-covered Georgian. 

Maine People’s Resource Center (MPRC) - MPRC will organize low-income older adults, home care workers, immigrant small business owners and others around a policy agenda designed to improve the health system’s responsiveness to the nutrition and transportation needs of older adult health care consumers. Policy priorities will include expansion of non-medical transportation coverage for seniors, as well as expanded access to home-based and other nutrition services. Our approach to these system transformations will be grounded in a racial equity analysis that centers on the important role of immigrant farmers, immigrant transportation business owners, and immigrant care workers in policy design and implementation.

Massachusetts Senior Action Council (MSAC) – The MSAC will improve food security among lower-income older adults by empowering them to use their own voices to call for the Commonwealth to integrate the current separate enrollment processes for health and food benefits to reduce the need for multiple applications. Additionally, MSAC seeks to require Special Needs Plans serving dual-eligible older adults and Aging Service Access Points serving LTSS (long-term services and supports) needs to integrate food access into existing supports by providing support for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) application/recertification and obtaining transportation to food sites or facilitating food delivery.

Make the Road New York (MRNY) – MRNY is growing its grassroots base and developing the leadership of its members to push for policies that use their Community Health Worker (CHW) model to address safe housing as a social determinant of health. They will work with the leaders of New York City’s Health + Hospitals (H+H) and allied health and housing organizations to develop a replicable CHW program that can be implemented in H+H facilities throughout NYC. MRNY members will tell their stories in the media, write op-eds, sign and gather petitions and meet with New York City Council leadership, pushing them to invest in this program in the city’s budget.

Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) – PHAN will expand and mobilize a base of Medicaid consumers who will lead efforts to improve, protect and expand Medicaid-provided transportation, both non-emergency medical and non-medical, as the state undergoes a significant change in the delivery of these benefits. PHAN’s work will focus on activating and building leadership among older adults, individuals with disabilities receiving home and community-based services, low-income parents and communities of color. They will seek to influence the planning and implementation process to allow for meaningful engagement of consumers, elevate the consumer voice and experience with Medicaid-provided transportation to identify and address gaps and barriers in the current system through policy and practice change, and build support for Medicaid-provided transportation as a key social determinant of health and a wise investment for the state legislature to continue making, regardless of what cuts are encouraged at the federal level.