Health Reform and State Workforce Challenges: An Early Look at Five States

Source: Elizabeth Kellar, Christine Becker, Joshua Franzel, Amy Mayers, and Danielle Miller Wagner of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and Robin Rudowitz and Barbara Lyons from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, September 2010

From the press release:
The Kaiser Family Foundation today released a report that provides an early look at state efforts to prepare for health reform.

Health Reform and State Workforce Challenges: An Early Look at Five States, authored by researchers at the Foundation and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, examines the experiences to date in five states — Connecticut, Michigan, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Washington.

Key findings include:

* The state political environment and expected leadership transitions create uncertainties and are already factoring into state strategies on health reform implementation.
* State leaders dealing with an aging workforce, hiring constraints, and the toll from the recession see a need for additional staff and outside contractors to carry out the volume of work within the timeframe required under the reform law.
* Timely guidance and financial support from the federal government will help states successfully implement health reform.
* Key staffing challenges for health reform implementation are around designing insurance exchanges, handling expanded enrollment for Medicaid and state exchanges, and updating eligibility systems.
* Looking forward, federal health care reform offers a chance to restructure Medicaid eligibility determinations and improve program operations.

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