How Regional Health Hubs can improve care for Medicaid beneficiaries: Lessons from the Garden State

Strengthening ecosystems of care COVID response Funding & financing Policy & advocacy Public benefits Quality improvement

When New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation creating Regional Health Hubs in February 2020, he had exquisite timing.

The coronavirus pandemic began to sweep across the state that spring, and the new hubs — led by nonprofit coalitions in Camden, Newark, Passaic County, and Trenton — were well positioned to relay information to the capital about the impacts of the pandemic on Medicaid beneficiaries and other residents. Coalition members were able to inform state responses and, with their partners, provide public health guidance and other supports to communities as the crisis unfolded.

The Regional Health Hubs were designed to serve as a bridge between the Medicaid agency and the providers who serve Medicaid beneficiaries in different parts of the state. To guide their work, the hubs operate health information exchanges (HIEs) that collect and analyze health and other data for beneficiaries in their region, helping to identify patterns and unmet needs. They also bring together local health care providers, nonprofits, social service agencies, and consumers to improve access to and utilization of services and to provide feedback on consumer and provider experiences to the state.

In an issue brief published by Milbank Memorial Fund, our President and CEO Kathleen Noonan describes how the Camden Coalition has used the Regional Health Hub model to improve access to maternity care and behavioral health services, and to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.