New Jersey Medicaid Academy
The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit health policy center that brings together state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and consumer groups to promote improved models for organizing, financing, and delivering publicly financed health care services. It provides leadership and capacity building training as well as technical assistance and training to enhance access to coverage and services; advance quality and efficiency through delivery system and payment reform; and integrate services for people with complex needs.
Over the course of four grants, this project has supported the New Jersey Medicaid Academy (NJMA), a training program for middle-level managers in state and county health and human services agencies. The NJMA gives staff working for government an opportunity to: (1) strengthen their knowledge of Medicaid and learn about emerging national Medicaid trends; and (2) develop an understanding of innovative Medicaid program design, including approaches undertaken by other states. The Academy also provides a forum for cross-agency discussion about issues relevant to Medicaid and helps participants build critical management and leadership skills. The third and fourth grants have been supported by a federal matching grant in addition to funding from The Nicholson Foundation.
A supplement to the NJMA, called Academy-in-Action, provides an opportunity for graduates to apply the skills they have learned to a Medicaid project of high saliency to their agency. CHCS provides ongoing guidance and technical assistance to the graduates, and at the completion of their projects, the graduates prepare a final report detailing accomplishments and recommendations for future action.
The fourth grant includes a new component, the Senior Leadership program, which focuses on high-level Medicaid managers. In addition to the leadership training component that all participants receive, participants in the Senior Leadership program receive “graduate seminars.” These seminars focus on issues of strategic importance to New Jersey and explore ways in which the issues provide opportunities for senior managers to support staff in applying NJMA learning and to be active change leaders.