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Guide to Medicaid Health Home Design & Implementation

This page includes resources to help states plan their health home programs and prepare a health home state plan amendment for submission. The guide includes resources from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and, select external resources.

New resources will be continuously added to help states advance health home models.

Health Home Background Resources

This section provides background information on the structure and purpose of Medicaid health homes and their regulatory authority.


Developing Health Home Population Criteria

Medicaid health homes must be targeted to beneficiaries with chronic conditions or serious mental illness. States should carefully define their target population to maximize program impact. Questions to ask include:

  • How many beneficiaries would be eligible for the health home program?
  • Where do beneficiaries currently receive care?
  • Do eligible beneficiaries “cluster” in a certain geographic area, around certain providers, or among specific chronic conditions?
  • Do subsets of the population offer opportunities for reductions in avoidable emergency department and inpatient hospital use?


Defining Health Home Services 

Medicaid health homes must provide six core services, linked as appropriate and feasible by HIT:

  1. Comprehensive care management
  2. Care coordination
  3. Health promotion
  4. Comprehensive transitional care/follow‐up
  5. Individual and family support
  6. Referral to community and social support services

Establishing Health Home Payment Methodologies 

States have considerable flexibility in establishing payment methodologies for Medicaid health homes. In selecting a payment method, considerations include:

  • What financial incentives will help ensure that providers will deliver health home services effectively and efficiently?
  • What reimbursement methods will promote accountability and flexibility?
  • Will the state use a tiered reimbursement methodology based on provider capability or patient acuity?


Using Managed Care for Health Home Implementation

Some states may choose to create Medicaid health homes within or outside of managed care delivery systems. In developing their programs, states will need to consider the implications for health plan accreditation and non-duplication of care management services.


Integrating Physical Health/Behavioral Health in Health Homes

Medicaid health homes provide states with an important opportunity to integrate physical and behavioral health care for beneficiaries with complex care needs. Although states have considerable flexibility to define health home services and provider qualification as they see fit, effective integration of physical and behavioral health services is a critical aspect of program design.


Linking Health Homes Services with Information Technology

Health home programs must provide the six core health home services, linked as appropriate and feasible by HIT.


  • Health Home Information Technology Questions (CMS/October 2017) Identifies key questions that states may want to address in their state plan amendments to describe how they will incorporate HIT tools to achieve the objectives of their health home program.