State Examples of Medicaid Community Engagement Strategies: Two Case Studies

Tekisha Dwan Everette
Dashni Sathasivam
Karen Siegel
Case Example
January 2023
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Colorado and Virginia’s Medicaid programs provide examples of states investing in community engagement practices to advance health equity.


COVID-19 revealed inequities in health care access and outcomes, and states are increasingly acknowledging that community engagement efforts are needed to better understand the factors that drive these inequities.   


This brief describes the community engagement initiatives of Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. The brief describes 16 different strategies used by the states. Most of the strategies are carried out through the states’ existing Medicaid Member Advisory Councils. Select strategies include increasing diversity of the councils, compensating council members, involving Medicaid leadership in the meetings, following up on feedback gathered from members, and evaluating the states’ work with the councils. The case studies also include tools for community engagement in the appendix.

These case studies also link to a brief, Transformational Community Engagement to Advance Health Equity, developed by the same authors, which describes strategies and tactics to move community engagement efforts from being transactional to transformational.


These case studies offer valuable process insights for state Medicaid programs, health plans, or provider systems that serve people with complex health and social needs and are seeking to create more robust community engagement initiatives to advance health equity.

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