Virginia Health Innovation Plan Prioritizes Community Health Workers
IPHI, the Virginia Department of Health, and a diverse group of stakeholders have been working diligently for several years to strengthen the community health worker (CHW) workforce. This work gained further momentum as CHWs became incorporated into Virginia’s Health Innovation Plan, which was developed through the State Innovation Model (SIM) planning process.
The SIM design program is an initiative of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and provides financial and technical support to states for the development and testing of state-led, multi-payer health care payment and service delivery reforms. Virginia received a SIM planning grant to develop the Virginia Health Innovation Plan, coordinated by the Virginia Center for Health Innovation (VCHI). VCHI awarded a subcontract to IPHI to facilitate the activities of the CHW Advisory Group, in partnership with Virginia Department of Health.
The CHW Advisory Group is a collaborative body including representatives of government, health care providers, insurers, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders, as well as CHWs themselves. To date, the CHW Advisory Group has created a Virginia-specific definition of a CHW as well as a CHW scope of practice and core competencies. The CHW Advisory Group is currently researching best practices in order to create Virginia-specific training guidelines, credentialing processes, and financing strategies, including through Medicaid.