Many states are using Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers to expand and/or modify their Medicaid programs to serve their populations. With this increase in activity, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is focusing on the ability of these waivers to improve care delivery and health outcomes. Thus, the quality of evaluations of these waivers is critical and will benefit from using the designs, data and methods that respond to the information needs of various stakeholders, and balance rigor, relevance, timeliness and efficiency.  

AcademyHealth, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, leads a learning collaborative of Medicaid demonstration evaluation researchers aimed at examining the policy questions, study designs, data and methodologies associated with waiver evaluations. Informed by an October 2017 meeting of key stakeholder experts convened by AcademyHealth, this Learning Collaborative strives to address and align key research questions, policy implementation ramifications, data issues and methodological challenges identified as critical to effectively assessing the impacts of potential waivers. Over 18 months, with guidance from a multi-stakeholder  Advisory Group, the learning collaborative supports state policymakers and their teams of experts in designing and/or implementing Section 1115 demonstration waivers and ensuring they address the requirements for monitoring and evaluating those waiver proposals. By fostering shared learning, the collaborative aims to help states incorporate robust monitoring and evaluation strategies into their waiver proposals. In addition, the Learning Collaborative aims to promote similar approaches across waiver evaluations to allow for greater comparability across states.


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Board Member, Committee Member, Staff

Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, M.P.H., FAAP

President and CEO - AcademyHealth

Dr. Simpson has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of AcademyHealth since 2011. A nationally recog... Read Bio

Hemi Tewarson

Hemi Tewarson, J.D., M.P.H.

Director of Center for Best Practices’ Health Division - National Governors Association

Hemi Tewarson serves as the director for the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices’ Health ... Read Bio

Atheendar Venkataramani

Atheendar Venkataramani

Assistant Professor - Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Atheendar Venkataramani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the... Read Bio

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Committee Member

Nancy DeLew, M.A., M.P.A.

Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Nancy De Lew is the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secr... Read Bio


Ellen Montz, Ph.D.

Chief Economist and Director of Economic Policy - Virginia's Department of Medical Assistance Services

Ellen Montz, PhD is the Chief Economist and Director of Economic Policy at Virginia's Department of Medical As... Read Bio

Donna Friedsam

Donna Friedsam, M.P.H.

Director - University of Wisconsin

Donna Friedsam is a Distinguished Researcher at the University of Wisconsin and Health Policy Programs Directo... Read Bio


Genevieve Kenney

Senior Fellow and Vice President - Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute

Genevieve Kenney is a senior fellow and vice president of the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Read Bio

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Committee Member

Maggie Samra, M.P.P

Director - Mathematica Policy Research

Maggie Samra is the Director of Health Program Improvement at Mathematica Policy Research. Read Bio

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Committee Member

Eliot Fishman, Ph.D

Senior Director of Health Policy - Families USA

Eliot Fishman is the Senior Director of Health Policy at Families USA. Read Bio

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Committee Member

Patrick McGowan, M.S.

Administrator - New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Patrick McGowan is the Administrator of the Medicaid Quality Program at the New Hampshire Department of Health... Read Bio

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Committee Member

Karen Jensen

Director - Washington Health Care Authority

Ms. Jensen is currently leading a team of data scientists, analysts and epidemiologist who work on the forefro... Read Bio

Committee Member

Teresa DeCaro, R.N, M.S

Deputy Director - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Teresa DeCaro is the Deputy Director of the State Demonstrations Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicai... Read Bio