Federal Stewardship of the Medicaid Program: Strengthening Data Systems for Effective Decision Making

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Jul 30, 2017
David K. Baugh, Henry T. Ireys, Carol V. Irvin, and Carey O. Appold

Medicaid’s growth has led to an ever-increasing need for better information about enrollment, covered services, and payments to physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers. Timely, accurate, detailed, and comprehensive data help program administrators and policymakers forecast and manage costs, track access to services, monitor program performance, ensure quality of care, deter fraud, and develop new policy. The need for data and information has driven the development of Medicaid’s data systems since its inception, and this need will only become more pressing as the program keeps evolving.

In this issue brief, we examine the history of Medicaid data and identify current opportunities to use emerging data systems to help policymakers guide the program’s continued evolution.