The COVID pandemic has exposed multiple cracks in our healthcare system, and while the healthcare industry is grappling with its initial effects there is an ever-increasing necessity to progress high quality of patient care. States are attempting to identify how to maintain preventative service uptake, care continuity, and specialty care such as behavioral health. The Medicaid Medical Directors (MMDs) understand the value of and express a need for patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) to inform key decisions, including those related to coverage and payment policies. Policy-relevant PCOR has proven useful to Medicaid clinical leaders focused on improving Medicaid program design, meeting individual health promotion and treatment needs of Medicaid beneficiaries, advancing population health at the community level, and reducing disparities. However, there is a gap in how best to translate those findings so state policymakers can identify strategies best suited for their particular policy landscapes. Understanding these gaps, along with emerging priorities in response to the pandemic, clinical leaders can utilize diverse dissemination approaches to increase the application of PCOR evidence into everyday healthcare policy and practice.
In order to address and prioritize PCOR research gaps to further understand COVID impacts, the Medicaid Medical Directors Network (MMDN) proposes to review select PCORI-funded studies on mental and behavioral health and consider research and translation gaps and dissemination avenues to promote evidence use and increase uptake. The Medicaid Medical Directors Network (MMDN) is a vibrant learning community for Medicaid medical directors to promote and share best practices. As such, the MMDs with other state policy makers have the ability to influence health outcomes at the ground level with patients and their families. Sharing their clinical perspective with other stakeholders can further identify applicable strategies for diverse patient populations.