Iowa Medicaid Health Home Studies Released


The PPC's Health Policy Research program completed a series of reports evaluating the Iowa Medicaid Health Home (MHH) program.  The studies were done to help the Iowa Department of Human Services identify areas of need and provide direction for program planning and improvement.

The series of five reports include:

Outcomes for Iowa Medicaid Health Home Program Enrollees (2011-2013)
This report compares the outcomes of care for Health Home enrollees in the 18 months before and through the 18 months after the MHH program began. Key findings include:  a decrease in emergency department use for some MHH members; a reduction in intermediate care facility admissions; room for improvement on the number of preventive visits; room for improvement on the stable number of hospital readmissions

Cost Analyses of the Iowa Medicaid Health Home Program
This report compared the costs of care for Health Home enrollees. Though enrollment rose to 4,296 by December 2013, it rose at a slow rate due to difficulty in recruiting MHH providers. Analyses indicated that: $132.10 was saved in the first month of a person’s enrollment; savings increase by an estimate of $10.70 for each additional month of enrollment; and the total savings from the program, as of December 2013, are over $9 million.

Iowa Medicaid Health Home Providers Report
This study examines the implementation of the MHH program from a clinical perspective. It documents the challenges, successes, and the process of become an effective Health Home.  The report indicates that: The transition to becoming an Iowa MHH was less challenging for clinics that already met criteria for being a patient-centered medical home; cost is a universal issue for all clinics; clinic staff are excited about the changes and are optimistic that they will benefit patient populations; and some clinics struggle against lack of access to data outside their provider network and/or electronic patient database.

Post-Enrollment Experiences of Iowa Medicaid Health Home Program Adults and Children

This report evaluates the influence of the first year of the Medicaid Chronic Condition Health Home Program through surveys with enrollees near the time they enrolled and about one year after joining the program.

Summary Report of the Iowa Medicaid Medical Health Home 

This report provides a synopsis of the major findings the other four reports, documenting the evaluation results for the first 18 months of the MHH program.  Though there are limitations to this program, data show that: the MHH program has resulted in cost savings to Medicaid; though MHH enrollees report satisfactory access to routine and preventive care, a significant number report unmet need for other services, such as specialist care; MHH members are connected with a personal physician and report good communication during their visits; and MHH providers face significant challenges transitioning into a patient-centered medical home.