Building A Culture of Health in Childhood Obesity: Overview & Action Plan for Medicaid Health Plans.

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Childhood obesity is one of the most common and significant health conditions in the U.S. and yet, is the least understood. Current research demonstrates an overall lack of evidence to assess the efficacy of non-school based interventions in preventing childhood obesity. Furthermore, there is little available research that stratifies outcomes of childhood obesity prevention and treatment initiatives by age, race/ethnicity, and sex. These two significant gaps affect the Medicaid population and demonstrate the complexity of the impact of social determinants of health on the efficacy of interventions and limits the application of potential interventions.

In response, the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, in collaboration with its partners, launched the CHildhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (CHOPT) for Medicaid project, a multi-pronged approach to examine responses to childhood obesity amongst Medicaid managed care enrollees. Currently, the majority of individuals enrolled in Medicaid receive coverage through Medicaid managed care organizations (MMCOs), or health plans that contract with state Medicaid programs to provide access to covered benefits and services. Considering the limited evidence base in childhood obesity prevention and treatment, MMCOs find it important that their initiatives are collaborative efforts with community organizations, local departments of health, and key stakeholders.

The CHildhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (CHOPT) toolkit contributes to closing the current gaps in research by: 1) providing an environmental scan and case studies of childhood obesity prevention and treatment initiatives led by MMCOs; and, 2) offering resources including a readiness assessment and implementation tools to guide MMCOs seeking to enhance their existing initiative(s) or to launch a new program through the design, implementation, and evaluation process. The toolkit includes the following key components:

Environmental Scan of Childhood Obesity Efforts Led by Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.
The environmental scan reports the results of a national survey completed by MMCOs that examined and described the components, design, and implementation of childhood obesity prevention and treatment efforts and the needed policy changes to address challenges faced by MMCOs.

Case Studies of Childhood Obesity Initiatives and Perspectives from Families and Children. Provide detailed accounts of known innovative programs developed by MMCOs, in collaboration with local community groups and key stakeholders. Additionally, results of interviews with families are presented, offering insight into their experiences and preferences while participating in the initiatives.

Readiness Assessment and Implementation Tools. The toolkit also includes a readiness assessment and implementation tools to guide MMCOs through the process of identifying priority pediatric groups in their Medicaid
population; determining the appropriate design of an intervention and the resources needed to facilitate the implementation of the intervention. Lastly, measurement and data resources are included to evaluate the outcomes associated with the implementation of the childhood obesity intervention.

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