State Medicaid programs can serve as a catalyst for driving health systems transformation for governors and their senior staff. Strong, effective leadership in state Medicaid agencies and in partner state offices such as mental health and public health is critical to states’ ability to maximize Medicaid’s potential as part of health system transformation efforts. Medicaid directors serve at the helm of what is often one of a state’s largest budget programs, directly affecting a large share of a state’s population. By leveraging value-based purchasing strategies, health care data, and other evidence-based program management strategies, Medicaid directors can improve and expand coverage for their residents, and can improve the quality and fiscal sustainability of their programs.
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) , in partnership with the Center for Health Care Strategies, provides Medicaid directors and other state leaders with leadership training focusing on state administration of Medicaid. In receiving this training, state leaders acquire skills to better ensure how Medicaid can serve as a catalyst for health care system transformation. The program – the Medicaid Leadership Institute – convenes cohorts of Medicaid directors and other state leaders in an intensive, one-year collaborative learning environment. Through this work as well as other convenings and technical assistance opportunities, the NGA Center is working to help state leaders cultivate the skills they need to make Medicaid a core element of state health care transformations to meet the triple aim of better health, better health care, and lower costs.