Commentary

Using Medicaid Levers to Improve Health Outcomes and Reduce Disparities: Q&A with Louisiana’s Medicaid Director Jen Steele

In this interview, Louisiana Medicaid director Jen Steele shares her approach to leveraging Medicaid’s role to improve health outcomes and health equity in the state.

Since Louisiana expanded Medicaid in 2016, an additional 502,647 newly eligible adults enrolled in the state’s health care program for low-income residents. In Louisiana, a state that has historically faced challenges related to overall health status and health disparities, this expansion of coverage opens new doors for improving health outcomes. Medicaid covers nearly a third of Louisiana’s population, providing the agency with a unique opportunity to impact the health status of the entire state, particularly individuals who were not accessing health services prior to expansion. For Steele, maximizing Medicaid’s opportunities to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities is a critical motivator behind her work.

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