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Evaluating the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program


  • Medicaid agencies want to ensure high quality cost effective care.
  • Abt evaluated how IAP helped Medicaid agencies improve delivery systems.
  • IAP helped state Medicaid agencies plan, design, and implement reforms.
The Challenge

Medicaid provides critical assistance that enables people with limited resources and incomes to access acute and preventive medical care and long-term services and support. Innovations that simultaneously improve care for beneficiaries and promote efficiency hold promise for improving the long-term sustainability of the program. Abt evaluated how states engaged with, learned from, and applied the technical assistance (TA) offered by the IAP.

The Approach

The evaluation was conducted simultaneously with the sequenced roll-out of TA across IAP program and functional areas. This approach enabled the evaluation team to provide the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with rapid-cycle feedback to inform real-time modifications to IAP technical assistance tracks. Our evaluation used a qualitative approach, supplemented by descriptive statistics, to understand how state Medicaid agency participants engaged with, learned from, and applied the IAP’s TA to make changes to their Medicaid health care delivery systems.

The Results

The IAP’s TA helped state teams progress toward their delivery system reform goals. IAP coaching and tools offered unique resources that were not otherwise readily available. The IAP helped build state officials’ knowledge base and skills related to delivery system reform efforts. The IAP also provided a platform for state officials to build relationships within and across state agencies that could foster future reforms as state contexts continue to evolve.