Community Health Worker Workforce: Assessment of the Integration and Financing of Community Health Workers within Arizona Medicaid Health Plans
In response to shifts supportive of the integration of the Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce into public health and health care systems, the Northern Arizona University, Center for Health Equity Research interviewed leadership of all Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) contracted health plans to assess innovations in CHW workforce integration and financing.
Defined as a frontline public health worker who applies a unique understanding of the experience, language, and culture of the population served, CHWs have entered the spotlight as essential to health care systems. CHWs are valuable members of health teams and play a vital role in addressing medical and social determinants of health among underserved populations.
In 2014, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) issued guidance to allow states to reimburse for preventive services offered by non-licensed professionals such as CHWs. Furthermore, reforms in health care in the United States have incentivized the shift toward a value-based reimbursement structure that rewards evidence of favorable medical and social outcomes.
Such health policy trends present tremendous opportunity to scale the CHW workforce throughout public health and healthcare systems in Arizona.
For more information please contact:
Samantha Sabo DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences
Center for Health Equity Research
Northern Arizona University
520-419-2671 (cell phone)