Evaluating Medicaid’s Use of Quality Measurement to Achieve Equity Goals

National Committee for Quality Assurance


The disparate health burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of integrating health equity into quality measurement frameworks. State Medicaid agencies and Medicaid managed care plans are well positioned to advance health equity since they serve populations with low incomes or low access to health care services. California’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal) disproportionately covers people of color.

A new report by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and funded by CHCF describes the current state of use and application of health equity quality measures among state Medicaid programs. The authors examined peer-reviewed and gray literature, reviewed state contracts and public policy statements, and conducted interviews with Medicaid representatives from seven states. Evaluating Medicaid’s Use of Quality Measurement to Achieve Equity Goals, available on the NCQA website, reveals that state Medicaid agencies have demonstrated their commitment to addressing equity in health care quality and measurement, but the approaches vary widely by state.

Everybody across the nation is trying to figure out how to measure and improve health equity,” said Katherine Haynes, senior program officer in CHCF’s People-Centered Care team, on NCQA’s blog. “There is innovation. There are different ways that people are working, and people who are ahead in integrating quality into value-based payment. We can learn from them all.”

Going forward, the NCQA team will use the insights gained from this project to develop a standard framework for health equity measurement that state Medicaid agencies can leverage in accountability models.

How are state Medicaid agencies addressing #healthequity in quality measurement and accountability? A new @NCQA report takes a look at the varying approaches. www.ncqa.org/health-equity-measure-accountability/ Click To Tweet

About the Authors

The report was authored by the following NCQA staff: Rachel Harrington, Deidre Washington, Alana Burke, Marleen Jones-Pool, Brittani Spaulding, and Jacqueline Willits.