About the Medicaid Leadership Institute

Medicaid plays a critical, often underappreciated role in the U.S. health care system. For decades Medicaid has been the program of last resort for otherwise uninsured, low-income adults—nearly half of whom have more than one chronic condition. As a result of the Medicaid expansion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) more than 80 million individuals will be eligible for Medicaid beginning in 2014. Program costs (state and federal) are projected to exceed $600 billion in 2014, growing to more than $800 billion by 2019. Medicaid plays a critical role in expanding coverage, managing high-need patients, controlling costs, and achieving broader health system reform goals; however, the growing size, complexity, and cost of the program are daunting, particularly in light of state budget challenges. Furthermore, there have been few training opportunities to help Medicaid directors improve their programs and learn how to navigate political, fiscal, and operational challenges.

The Medicaid Leadership Institute is a unique program designed to enhance the leadership capacity of Medicaid directors to maximize the potential of publicly financed health care. Since 2009, directors from 22 states serving nearly 40 million beneficiaries – roughly 2/3 of the national Medicaid population – have participated in the year-long curriculum. The Institute is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and directed by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). RWJF is funding the Medicaid Leadership Institute to enable state Medicaid directors to develop the leadership skills and the expertise necessary to manage and improve the quality of their programs as well as to pursue innovation that can help transform the nation’s health care system. 

Participating directors are chosen annually by a National Advisory Committee, which includes a diverse array of health policy experts with experience in local, state, and federal government and the private sector. Selected Fellows participate in an intensive 12-month program designed to increase their substantive knowledge, strategic thinking, problem solving, technical, and leadership skills.



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