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Tracking Minnesotans' Access and Use of Home and Community-based Health Services


  • Minnesota wanted to develop measures to help monitor state residents’ access to home and community-based services.
  • Abt developed, tested, and validated core indicators using state datasets—including Medicaid, assessment and other service data—to track access over time, and identify and examine trends.
  • We produced a core set of indicators with accompanying Tableau dashboard to enable data monitoring, and are currently training State agency staff on its use and making additional refinements.
The Challenge

Minnesota’s Department of Human Services wanted to leverage existing state data to develop measures to help monitor access to Medicaid-funded home and community-based services (HCBS). To build on our prior work evaluating critical access to the state’s HCBS, Abt has been awarded a contract to develop, test, and validate a set of core indicators that could be used to monitor access over time. These same indicators would be used to identify and examine access correlates (e.g., beneficiary demographics, service coverage, financing, etc.).

The Approach

Accurately reflecting access requires data, collaboration, and technical assistance in data interpretation. To this end, Abt:

  • Developed and tested 10 potential indicators using state Medicaid claims, assessment, provider, waiver eligibility, managed care encounters, Medicare, and American Community Survey data for analysis.
  • Engaged and convened state Medicaid leadership overseeing state programming for priority populations (e.g., disability, mental health, aging, healthcare financing) to present results and collect feedback at key project milestones.
  • Developed, tested, and is currently refining, a Tableau dashboard with the core indicators, which included functionalities enabling stratification by various subgroups of interest, and provided training the State agency staff on using the dashboard.
  • Is providing training to State agency staff on using the dashboard.
  • Is conducting supplementary analyses of the state’s Long-term Services and Supports (LTSS) Improvement survey.
The Results

Through our work, Abt is developing indicators that could be used on an ongoing basis to monitor  dimensions of service access, including variations over time and among certain subpopulations (regions, demographic groups, etc.). Using our digital dashboard, agency staff can monitor service use, assess the impact of policy changes, and address access gaps across regions and demographic groups.