As the single largest source of public health coverage in the United States, Medicaid provides health insurance coverage for nearly 68 million individuals,—representing more than 20 percent of all Americans—while accounting for 17 percent of the nation’s total health expenditures. Created in 1965 to support the medical costs of low-income Americans, the Medicaid program has continually evolved in size and scope, today serving as a principal insurer for individuals with a complex array of health care and social needs, including pregnant women, elderly adults, people with disabilities, and children. According to recent data, Medicaid covers more than 30 percent of nonelderly adults with disabilities and 20 percent of adults with mental illness. Together with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), it also covers 48 percent of children with special health care needs, ranging from Down Syndrome to Autism to emotional trauma.5 Access to Medicaid services improves the lives of these individuals, putting them in positions to more fully contribute to their families, communities, and the nation at large.
At the helm of this vital, complex program are Medicaid Directors, the individuals responsible for administering Medicaid in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. As overseers for an average of 29 percent of total state expenditures, Medicaid Directors are responsible for managing states’ largest functional area as a proportion of total state spending. As such, they work to provide not only health care to millions of vulnerable Americans, but also proper, transparent, and accountable stewardship of taxpayer dollars. This dual responsibility requires a sophisticated operational infrastructure, demanding well-trained teams, administrative support, access to resources, and the strategic and visionary leadership of Medicaid Directors.
Now in its sixth year, the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) Annual Operations Survey Report provides a look into Medicaid operations from the Medicaid Director perspective. Between January and April of 2018, 45 state Medicaid Directors completed the latest iteration of NAMD’s Operations Survey, evaluating Medicaid agency operations in state fiscal year (FY) 2017.
Download the full report above.