What They’re Watching: Jami Snyder, AHCCCS

Jami Snyder is the new Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss work requirements and social determinants of health.

“I think in Arizona we’re really focusing a lot of energy around social determinants of health. And specifically, knowing that really only 20 percent of an individual’s health outcomes can be attributed to the clinic visit, looking at those other factors that can influence health outcomes like housing, employment, education, and food insecurity. So, we’re fortunate to have a fairly significant state appropriation to support our work in the housing arena, specifically serving individuals determined to have serious mental illness. But we would really like to broaden our work in that area and be able to serve the broader population of individuals accessing general mental health and substance use services.

CMS approved our work requirements waiver in January of this year. And really, it’s focused on establishing work requirements for a very specific population of able-bodied adults ages 19-49. And essentially what they have to do, if they’re held to the work requirement and they don’t fall into any of the exemption categories, they have to demonstrate that they’re either actively employed, seeking employment, or engaged in an employment and development support activity for at least 80 hours a month.

So, our planned “go live” date at this point is January 1 of 2020. So just about 11 months away we plan to go live with our work requirements program. Right now, we have an active RFP out on the street soliciting interested parties to build a portal which will allow individuals to document their compliance with the work requirements. And most of that documentation will be through self-attestation.

Arizona has always been focused on innovation. The Medicaid program in particular has really been a leader in the country in terms of pursuing integrated care, and doing more work around things like social determinants of health and member engagement. And that commitment to innovation and reform really continues both among stakeholders, certainly at the agency, but also among policy makers in the state as well.”