Medicaid plays a critical, often underappreciated role in the U.S. health care system. It provides care for nearly 60 million Americans and is second only to Medicare as a payer for health care. Medicaid also represents the largest portion of total spending in most states, accounting for 21 percent on average of state expenditures. While Medicaid is critical to expanding coverage, managing high-need patients, controlling costs and achieving broader health system reform goals, the very size, complexity, and cost of the program are daunting. Furthermore, there have been few training opportunities to help Medicaid directors learn how to navigate the program’s political, fiscal, and operational challenges.
The Medicaid Leadership Institute is a unique 12-month program designed to enhance the leadership capacity of Medicaid directors to maximize the potential of publicly financed health care. Launched with an inaugural class of six Fellows in 2009, the Institute is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) directed by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). RWJF is funding the Medicaid Leadership Institute to enable state Medicaid directors to develop the leadership skills and the expertise necessary to manage and improve the quality of their programs as well as to pursue innovation that can help transform the nation's health care system.
Participating directors are chosen annually by a national advisory committee, which includes a diverse array of health policy experts with experience in local, state, and federal government and the private sector. Selected Fellows participate in an intensive 12-month leadership development curriculum designed to increase their substantive knowledge, strategic thinking, problem solving, and technical and leadership skills.