Delaware joins real-world evidence collaboration

Delaware Governor Jack Markell. Photo via Dave Chambers/Delaware State News

In 2011, 207,000 Delawareans received their health coverage through Medicaid. This population is expected to grow by 25,000 beneficiaries when Medicaid eligibility expands in 2014.

Like many other states, Delaware is focused on finding new ways to improve quality and manage the costs for Medicaid beneficiaries. Today, we announced that Delaware has become the first state to participate in the Real-World Evidence Collaboration with AstraZeneca and HealthCore. Delaware Governor Jack Markell offers his insights on how this new initiative supports the state’s goals for a healthier Medicaid population.

Q: What do you hope the State of Delaware will gain from this collaboration?

We want healthier Delawareans, and a healthier Medicaid population. Not only is this in the best interest of individuals; it’s also in the best interest of the state. The number of Medicaid enrollees is growing and the cost of medical expenses is increasing. We simply can’t sustain the rising costs of Medicaid.

Q: How does this new collaboration align with the State’s Medicaid strategy?

We must address staggering Medicaid costs and that means not spending money where we are not getting results. This analysis will help us harness data that will tell us more about our Medicaid population including people’s health, what is driving costs, where care is ineffective and how we can better manage care to keep people healthy. We’ll learn what’s working well and what’s not, so we can reward what works and change what doesn’t.  Ultimately, this is about making people healthier while driving down costs.

Q: How will Delawareans benefit from the real-world evidence studies the State conducts through this collaboration?

We want to be able to better identify opportunities for intervention before health problems reach an acute stage. If we do that effectively, we can reduce the amount of money we, as a state, spend on Medicaid, and we can also learn about the most effective strategies for the benefit of the broader population. This work will support physicians and the patients they treat with the best information possible, based on “real-world evidence,” to make informed decisions about their care. This is about improving care and reducing costs.

Q: What areas of study most interest the State?

We want a healthier Medicaid population. Every aspect of this study is integral to achieving that goal. We want to make sure the system we have is working toward the best outcomes for people. We also need to encourage healthy behavior and start ensuring that people take responsibility for making healthy choices, for their sake and for the sake of all of us who end up absorbing higher health costs. We want to move from a sick care system to a health care system and this study will help us start to do that.