February 10, 2023
The Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) is doing a number of things to ensure affordable, available healthcare that works. We’re addressing three main areas: healthcare workforce shortages, improving health outcomes and cost-efficient care, and limiting Medicaid spending growth.
Healthcare workforce shortages
- The Division of Public Health is working to increase the number of National Health Service Corps (NHSC) clinic sites, which improves access to healthcare for Idahoans. A clinic with the NHSC designation offers a sliding fee scale for patients and loan repayment for providers. Idaho has 299 approved NHSC sites in the state. On July 1, 2022, there were 257 sites in the state.
- The Division of Behavioral Health is working with the Idaho Behavioral Health Council to implement a comprehensive behavioral health workforce plan. A new plan has been published at: https://behavioralhealthcouncil.idaho.gov/. It contains five goals: promotion, education, credentialing, employment, and retention that all address challenges with the behavioral health workforce in Idaho.
- The Division of Medicaid is working with stakeholders to address challenges in direct care work force retention and recruitment. Initiatives include a marketing campaign that will increase interest in direct care as a job or career, and a project to improve free training opportunities for direct care workers in Idaho.
Improved health outcomes and cost-efficient care
- The Division of Medicaid is gathering data for a preliminary report on the cost-efficiency and quality performance metrics for the statewide, value-based payment program. The report will be complete by Dec. 31, 2023.
- The division has added the Medicaid Expansion population to the Healthy Connections-Value Care Program. That program is a managed fee-for-service arrangement, using a network of primary care physicians and healthcare providers to serve as the “medical home” for Medicaid participants. The program will help transform Idaho’s healthcare system from one that pays for volume to one that pays for value (healthy patients).
- The division is also working with stakeholders to establish quality metrics for value-based, managed care, and fee-for-service programs in Medicaid. The metrics will be established by September.
Limit Medicaid spending growth
- The division is reviewing recommendations for short-term spending reductions from a recent interim report from the consulting firm Sellers Dorsey. A final report with longer-term recommendations is expected in early April.
You can read more about all of these initiatives in our Strategic Plan, under Goal 1.
I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
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