This project is funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems” program, which seeks to build the evidence base on the potential effects of policies or policy changes intended to transform health and health care systems. The goal of the project is to provide insight into how state Medicaid managed care contracts may influence the roles of community health workers (CHWs) employed by managed care organizations (MCOs). The researchers will select states with and without MCO contract language regarding CHWs as case study states. This research will examine 1) the roles in which CHWs hired by MCOs are engaged and whether these align with the full scope of nationally-recognized CHW activities outlined by the CHW Core Consensus Project; 2) whether CHWs’ roles have changed due to the COVID crisis; 3) MCOs’ criteria for defining which Medicaid enrollees receive services; 4) methods for selecting, training, and supervising CHWs; 5) how CHWs interact with health care and social service providers; 6) documented health outcomes associated with CHW activities; and 7) Medicaid enrollees’ perceptions of receiving CHW-delivered services.  Deliverables will include a project work plan and annual narrative and financial reports. The grantee will also produce paper(s) suitable for publication and present findings at national research meetings and to other stakeholder audiences as appropriate, including policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels, as part of the deliverables for this grant.

Principal Investigator(s)

Wennerstrom headshot

Ashley Wennerstrom, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor - LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans

Ashley Wennerstrom, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor at LSU Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. Read Bio