NASHP and AcademyHealth Invite State Medicaid, Public Health, and Immunization Officials to Join an Initiative to Boost Immunization Rates among Medicaid Enrollees

AcademyHealth and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), with support from the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, are working with state health officials interested in improving their immunization rates to participate in a Community of Practice (CoP). Through a project funded by a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement, Immunization Barriers in the United States: Targeting Medicaid Partnerships, state Medicaid agencies will collaborate with their public health and immunization information system partners to improve Medicaid policies and immunization outreach to increase immunization rates among low-income children and pregnant women.

Despite the availability of vaccines through Medicaid and the Vaccines for Children program, immunization rates for children and pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid remain lower than the rates for those with higher incomes or who are privately insured. In particular, disparities in vaccine coverage exist for African-American children and those living in poverty.

Through virtual and in-person meetings over the course of the project, AcademyHealth and NASHP will work with CoP states to identify barriers and share promising practices for increasing immunization rates.

Over the two- to three-year project, the CoP will provide:

  • One-on-one consultation (with calls every other month) to support state-identified needs;
  • Regular opportunities to interact with other CoP members to address challenges as well as share experiences and lessons learned; and
  • Yearly in-person meetings of CoP teams to discuss state goals and provide in-person technical assistance.

Areas of focus for moderated calls, webinars, and light-touch technical assistance could include:

  • State cross-agency collaboration;
  • Population-based interventions;
  • Health care provider and delivery site issues;
  • Access to experts and other collaborators;
  • Data-sharing and health informatics; and
  • Financing and sustainability support.

Read more about immunization and health equity in NASHP’s new blog.

Related Articles
Vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months – United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66(43):1171-77.

Vaccine-preventable diseases, immunizations, and MMWR–1961-2011. MMWR Suppl. 2011;60(4):49-57.