Medicaid provides coverage for over 81 million Americans and serves as the backbone of the health care safety net. Comparing access, quality and costs across state Medicaid programs can provide much-needed information to state policymakers. Yet, there are a number of barriers to sharing data between states. AcademyHealth’s Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN) is a collaborative effort to analyze data across multiple states to facilitate learning among Medicaid agencies. Participants from AcademyHealth’s State-University Partnership Learning Network (SUPLN) and the Medicaid Medical Director Network (MMDN) developed MODRN to allow states to participate in valuable and timely, multi-state data analyses, while retaining their own data and analytic capacity.

The MODRN model enables efficient, high-quality analyses of multiple states’ Medicaid data while ensuring the security of health information. A distributed research network is composed of multiple organizations using a common data model to support centralized development, but local execution, of analytic programs. Under MODRN, each state-university partnership adopts the Medicaid Common Data Model, contributes to a common analytic plan, and conducts analyses locally on their own Medicaid data using standardized code developed by the data coordinating center. Finally, the state-university partners provide aggregate results, not data, to the data coordinating center which synthesizes the aggregate findings from multiple states for reporting. The Medicaid Common Data Model will be continually updated and expanded for future Medicaid research projects.

You can learn more about MODRN's different programs below:

AcademyHealth's Evidence-Informed State Health Policy Institute provides support through the management of MODRN’s Coordinating Center, providing key organization functions, including supervising the governance structures, convening MODRN committee calls and meetings, and facilitating communication with state members. This team provides the same support and oversight for all MODRN research projects.

For more information on the development and evolution of MODRN, read this journal article


Julie Donohue

Julie Donohue, Ph.D.

Professor & Chair - Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

Julie M. Donohue, Ph.D., is the principal lead on AcademyHealth's Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Netwo... Read Bio

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Annaliese Johnson, M.P.P.

AcademyHealth - Senior Manager

Annaliese Johnson is a Senior Manager of AcademyHealth’s Evidence-Informed State Health Policy Institute, wher... Read Bio

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Caroline Hale

Senior Research Associate - AcademyHealth

Caroline Hale is a Senior Research Associate at AcademyHealth, where she supports the Evidence-Informed State ... Read Bio