Although most individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 recover within a matter of weeks, some continue to experience long-term effects for months after they are initially infected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 can exert long-term effects on multiple organ systems including the lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain. Patients may also experience lingering mental health issues even after they have recovered from their initial COVID-19 infection. Research on the persisting effects of long COVID-19 is still evolving, and it is poorly understood why some individuals experience long-term effects and others do not. With the number of new cases of acute COVID-19 declining, state Medicaid agencies are now turning their attention towards assessing the continuing effects of long COVID.
With support from PCORI, AcademyHealth’s Evidence-Informed State Health Policy Institute is engaging members of its State-University Partnership Learning Network (SUPLN), Medicaid Medical Directors Network (MMDN), and Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN) in a research workgroup that will develop a research agenda identifying and prioritizing PCOR questions related to the impacts of long COVID. Following the identification of this prioritized set of research questions, SUPLN members will select one high-priority question and leverage MODRN’s Common Data Model to develop an action-oriented research toolkit that will help Medicaid stakeholders implement analyses related to long COVID-specific research questions.