Author: Ichchha Pradhan, She/Her
After working together to pass and implement community health worker (CHW) certification in Connecticut, HES and our partners were eager to see more progress in expanding and solidifying this vital workforce. What did we do about it? First, we listened. At the end of 2021, HES and the Community Health Worker Association of Connecticut convened CHWs for listening sessions to discuss their vision for the future of their profession.
Based on these conversations, HES and the Association then established a collaborative space for CHWs and CHW employers to discuss various aspects of Medicaid reimbursement and co-design principles for sustainable funding in CT. Through monthly meetings beginning in 2022, the coalition of over 100 CHWs and CHW allies came to consensus on a set of 3 principles and the goal of passing legislation to require Medicaid reimbursement for CHWs in CT.
Along the way, we brought questions to the National Association of Community Health Workers, CMS, and other state and national stakeholders to ensure the discussions were thorough and resulted in feasible goals.
The principles established by the group are noted in this fact sheet and this co-created policy solution has the potential to advance racial equity because CHW interventions are highly effective in reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes across multiple settings and health conditions. CHWs also diversify the health care workforce and alleviate pressure on other healthcare professionals by addressing complex economic and social needs. Further, CHW interventions have a high and fast return on investment, making them practical and cost-effective, too.
HES is proud to stand alongside our CHW colleagues and the community and clinical providers who work with them. Our collaborative efforts informed the CHW reimbursement language in S.B. 10 and the coalition supports the changes recommended in S.B. 991.
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