Oregon State University and the Oregon Health Authority have received $1.25 million from the Centers for Disease Control to study the health impact of opening the Oregon Health Plan to more people.
OSU announced the grant in a press release Wednesday.
The five-year study will evaluate how the health of low-income women and their infants is affected when more of them are eligible for Medicaid health care coverage, i.e., the Oregon Health Plan.
The OSU team will be led by researchers in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, including Marie Harvey, Jeff Luck, Jocelyn Warren and Jangho Yoon.
“Oregon is an ideal state to conduct this study because of its ongoing commitment to Medicaid health care delivery for all, and the commitment of state leaders to collaborate to ensure this program’s success,” said Harvey, the associate dean for research in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and one of the grant’s principal investigators.
One of the study’s goals will be to create an integrated, state-level data system that links de-identified Medicaid information with other existing health care data, such as from hospitals and birth and death certificates. The hope is that this data system will help answer critical questions about the effect of Medicaid expansion on the use of health services and health outcomes among women and their children. A group of county and community groups in the state with interest in maternal and child health will participate in setting research priorities for the study.
The project has been endorsed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has led the state’s efforts on implementation of comprehensive reform of Oregon’s Medicaid financing and delivery system.
“This project is an ideal complement to ongoing health system innovation and reforms in Oregon,” said Mike Bonetto, senior health care policy adviser to Gov. Kitzhaber. “This project will play a key role in our action plan by providing concrete data on how we can improve the health care and health outcomes of Medicaid-eligible women and their infants, a particularly vulnerable population.”