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Faculty & Staff Honors

Minnesota: Study to Examine How States Use Section 1115 Waivers to Address Social Determinants of Health

The University of Minnesota School of Public Health’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) has received a grant to study how states have addressed social determinants of health through behavioral-health focused policies made possible through Social Security Act Section 1115 waivers. Section 1115 waivers are used in the Medicaid program to provide states an avenue to test and implement coverage approaches that do not meet federal program rules. SHADAC principal investigator and professor, Dr. Lynn Blewett leads the study, which is being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems program.

[Photo: Dr. Lynn Blewett]

The study, “Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Behavioral Health-Focused 1115 Waivers: Implementation Lessons from Six States,” aims to identify promising practices and lessons learned related to the development, implementation, and management of innovative behavioral health policies, and to provide actionable information to policymakers and federal regulators on steps states have taken to address these social determinants of health. The researchers will review relevant materials in six states (Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont and West Virginia), as well as conduct interviews with key stakeholders to explore how those areas are implementing Section 1115 waiver programs that provide supportive housing, supported employment, and peer recovery coaching services.

SHADAC will share findings through a webinar, blog posts, social media, personal outreach, journal publications and presentations at conferences.