Potential Health and Saving Impacts of Community Health Workers (CHWs): A Policy Brief

Seq ID: 411
DocID: PA13
Authors: Pennsylvania Department of Health
Year: 2014
State: PA

Publicly Available: No
Certification: Role of state government
Evidence Generation: White papers, Documentation of how CHWs can work within care teams
Policy: General
Sustainable Financing: CMS and CDC engagement from a national level, How to engage and work with Medicaid
Workforce Development: CHW training programs (not cert.), Training- Content/modes/delivery

Unequal health outcomes disproportionately affect minorities and other low-socioeconomic populations. The usage and reimbursement of Community Health Workers (CHWs) throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania could potentially preserve resources. Medicaid, the public insurer for many of these individuals, expenditures totaled $20,393,353,134 for FY 2012 in Pennsylvania. Early research concerning return on investment indicated that for a Community Connector Program in Arkansas created an estimated savings of $2.619 million dollars for the Medicaid program, based on a $2.92 per dollar invested in the program. In Pennsylvania, four strategies to promote policy change for CHWs include obtaining sustainable financing; promoting workforce development; creating occupational regulations; and continue research and evaluation of programs that are achievable strategies for Pennsylvania to accomplish in the coming years. This brief identifies examples of best-practices from other states who have had success in implementing a statewide program.

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