Improving Care for Medicaid Beneficiaries with Complex Care Needs and High Costs

Beneficiaries with Complex Care Needs and High Costs (BCNs) are Medicaid beneficiaries who, because of their health and/or social conditions, are likely to experience high levels of costly but preventable service utilization, and whose care patterns and costs are potentially “impactable” (CMCS July 24, 2013 Informational Bulletin). This subset of Medicaid beneficiaries (“super-utilizers”) is an extremely heterogeneous group with varying medical, behavioral, and psycho-social needs. The distribution of spending is uneven within Medicaid, with just five percent of Medicaid beneficiaries accounting for 54 percent of total Medicaid expenditures and one percent of Medicaid beneficiaries accounting for 25 percent of total Medicaid expenditures.

Program Support for State Medicaid Agencies

Under this program priority area, targeted program support is available for states that have ongoing efforts to improve care coordination for Medicaid BCNs. Medicaid IAP’s specific goals are to:

  1. enhance state capacity to use data analytics to better serve the BCN population;
  2. develop/refine payment reforms to support BCN programs; and
  3. facilitate the replication/spread of BCN programs demonstrating promising results.

IAP selected five states (District of Columbia, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia) for the first BCN activity which began in October 2015. After ten months of structured program support through in-person meetings, virtual collaborative workshops, and one-on-one assistance, these participating states can access additional program support as needed to assist in the successful progress of their BCN initiatives. Additional information about the program support offered and these states’ specific focus areas can be found in the IAP BCN Factsheet.

2016-2017 National Dissemination Webinars

In October 2016, IAP began holding a four-part national webinar series to share insights from the first 10-month IAP BCN initiative along with lessons learned and tools that states can use as they design and implement activities related to Medicaid beneficiaries with complex needs and high costs.

Tools and Resources

Previous Webinars: June 29, 2015 Information Session for States.

References

Thomas-Henkel C., Hamblin A., and Hendricks T. Supporting a Culture of Health for High-Need, High-Cost Populations: Opportunities to Improve Models of Care for People with Complex Needs. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Health Care Strategies. November 2015.

Cohen S and Yu W. The Concentration and Persistence in the Level of Health Expenditures over Time: Estimates for the U.S. Population, 2008-2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. January 2012.

Mann C. Medicaid and CHIP: On the Road to Reform. Presentation to the Alliance for Health Reform/Kaiser Family Foundation. March 2011. Based on FY 2008 MSIS claims data.