Transforming Healthcare in Missouri: Bridging the Gaps with Community Health Workers from Global to Local and Back

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by Shria Bucha, BA Candidate; Khavya C Avula, MBBS, MPH; Megha Dabas, MSc, MPharm, BPharm; Venkatesh Satheeskumar, BS; and Abigail Barker, PhD | January 2024

In September 2023, the Center for Advancing Health Services, Policy & Economics Research convened a diverse stakeholder group, including significant representation from MO HealthNet, Missouri policymakers, university and community partners, and a large number of CHWs representing different settings. The group gathered to discuss possibilities for new reimbursement models for Community Health Worker (CHW) services.  

Participants heard from a keynote speaker who spoke to the need for, and pathway to, achieving long-term sustainability for CHWs, followed by a panel of Missouri CHWs practicing in rural, suburban, and urban communities. After a Q&A session with the panelists, three speakers discussed the emerging evidence at the state and local levels for CHWs, sharing data that demonstrate how CHWs bring significant value to health outcomes.  A brief policy overview provided details on quality metrics and other policy levers within Medicaid and Medicare that could be leveraged to tie CHW work to reimbursement mechanisms, after which attendees were divided into four breakout sessions of choice.

This white paper summarizes the discussions of our keynote speaker, panelists, and stakeholder breakout sessions while highlighting prominent policy themes and takeaways.