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Designing Healthcare Systems That Work for People With Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities

Workshop Brief for State and Local Health Officials

This workshop was designed for senior State and local officials from the executive and legislative branches who have responsibility for designing, implementing, and managing initiatives for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, particularly State Medicaid officials. The workshop was held in Houston, Texas, December 1-3, 1999.

About the Workshop Sponsor.


People with chronic illnesses and disabilities often have a mix of acute and long-term care needs that require multiple providers, organizations, and systems of care to address. Designing and implementing healthcare models for populations with special needs is challenging. Despite the obstacles, State policy leaders are pursuing new models ranging from fully integrated systems to coordinated systems using fee-for-service providers.

The objectives for participants in this workshop included:

  • Learning about healthcare trends and their impact on models to serve people with chronic conditions.
  • Exploring the full range of ways to structure care coordination and the variations based on the scope of financing and coverage.
  • Discussing strategies to monitor quality of care and the adaptations needed to existing models to meet the needs of people with chronic conditions.
  • Reviewing approaches to risk adjustment for people with chronic conditions.


Workshop participants included representatives from both State and county health departments, human services departments, public health departments, behavioral health departments, developmental disabilities/mental retardation departments, aging/elder affairs departments, long-term care divisions/authorities, State Medicaid officials, and State employees group benefits administrators. Twenty-nine States were represented.


The User Liaison Program (ULP) disseminates health services research findings in easily understandable and usable formats through interactive workshops. Workshops and other support are planned to meet the needs of Federal, State, and local policymakers, and other health services research users, such as purchasers, administrators, and health plans.

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