Prepare, Partner, Repeat: Developing Strategies to Address Unmet Health-Related Social Needs in Texas

Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) are important partners in helping states identify and address the social risk factors that contribute to poor outcomes. As such, Medicaid agencies are increasingly using value-based payment and managed care initiatives to respond to unmet health-related social needs (HRSN) in an effort to improve health outcomes, reduce health care spending, and advance health equity.

With support from EHF and coordinated by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), the Texas Managed Care Organization Social Determinants of Health Learning Collaborative has been working for the past two years with Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and Texas’ Medicaid MCOs to support implementation of strategies that address Medicaid enrollees’ unmet HRSN. With a commitment to quality improvement, HHSC recognizes the importance of partnering with MCOs to tackle social needs and improve the health and well-being of Medicaid members.

CHCS recently spoke with HHSC’s Andy Vasquez, Deputy Associate Commissioner of Quality & Program Improvement, and Ryan Van Ramshorst, MD, MPH, Medicaid Chief Medical Director, to learn about Texas’ strategy to address Medicaid members’ unmet health-related social needs.

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