In early March 2017, the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI), a nonprofit quality improvement group, released Medicaid 2.0: Blueprint for the Future,a landmark plan to redesign and modernize New Jersey’s Medicaid program. A year in the making, the Blueprint resulted from a carefully designed process that brought together a wide variety of stakeholders from across New Jersey, including health care providers, health plan executives, hospital leaders, government officials, union representatives, academics, advocacy groups, and patients. The report—released against a backdrop of political uncertainty about the future of federal Medicaid funding, and in 2017, an election year in New Jersey—lays out a set of twenty-four recommendations to improve the quality, and reduce the cost, of the program.
The Nicholson Foundation conceived of and funded the Blueprint as part of a larger project to promote the efficient delivery of high-quality health services for Medicaid recipients in New Jersey. This aligns with our mission to address the complex needs of vulnerable populations in New Jersey’s urban and other underserved communities. Central to that mission is strengthening Medicaid, the health care financing and delivery system that serves the state’s safety-net population.
The process we used to develop the Blueprint shows that when state governments do not take the lead in fundamentally transforming their Medicaid programs, foundations can step up to support Medicaid modernization.