CHOPT Toolkit Arms Managed Care Plans with Strategies to Address Childhood Obesity

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, ACAP, (202) 204-7515; Joe Reblando, IMI, (202) 857-5722


WASHINGTON—The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI), in conjunction with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) and Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA), released last month a toolkit outlining steps Medicaid health plans can take to combat child obesity. This comprehensive resource guide is tailored specifically towards Medicaid managed care plans given their unique role in developing, implementing and assessing their own prevention and treatment programs for childhood and adolescent obesity. The report is part of the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (CHOPT) for Medicaid project and is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The toolkit provides in-depth best practices developed by plans participating in Medicaid and provides case studies from five ACAP-member plans: CalOptima, Community Health Plan of Washington, Gateway Health Plan, Texas Children’s Health Plan and Denver Health Plan. As the long-term health effects and financial consequences of childhood obesity become increasingly apparent, this report adds to the literature aiding health plans in fighting this nationwide problem.

The toolkit emphasizes the importance of heightened coordination between community partners, families and clinicians, looking to social determinants of health and cultural competency and sensitivity, and moving towards long-term sustainability to improve overall quality of life.

“Medicaid Managed Care plans continue to play a pivotal role in addressing social determinants of health,” said ACAP CEO Margaret E. Murray. “Proactive, early intervention will help Americans benefit physically and fiscally, as childhood obesity often leads into adulthood, elevating the risk of many chronic diseases.”

“With over 18.5 percent of U.S. youth determined obese and the annual cost of child and adolescent obesity at $2.9 billion, it is imperative for Medicaid plans nationwide to share best practices and find solutions that work best for their respective communities,” stated IMI director and principal CHOPT investigator Jennifer E. Moore, PhD, RN. “IMI immensely appreciates the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their support in researching this timely issue.”

“Early intervention for childhood obesity will help mitigate long-term financial and quality of life effects,” added MHPA CEO Jeff Myers. “This toolkit is invaluable to plans seeking to create programs modeled off existing ones that have already shown promising results.”

To read the full report, visit

About ACAP
ACAP represents 62 Safety Net Health Plans, which provide health coverage to more than 21 million people in 29 states. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other health programs. For more information, visit

About IMI
The Institute for Medicaid Innovation focuses on providing innovative solutions that address important clinical, research and policy issues in Medicaid through multi-stakeholder engagement, research, data analysis, education, quality improvement initiatives and dissemination and implementation activities.  For more information, visit

About MHPA
Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) is the leading national trade association solely focused on representing the universe of Medicaid health plans. MHPA works on behalf of 93 commercial and non-profit plans that serve over 25 million lives in 39 states and Washington, DC. MHPA provides advocacy and research that support policy solutions to enhance the delivery of quality care to disadvantaged Americans. MHPA also holds an annual conference where industry leaders address key issues, discuss solutions, and share best practices. For more information, visit or

About RWJF
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit