Driving a Cross-Agency Focus on Equity and Access: Indiana’s Office of Healthy Opportunities

Martin L
Publication Year: 2018
Patient Need Addressed: Patient satisfaction/engagement
Population Focus: Medicaid beneficiaries
Type of Literature: Grey

States across the country increasingly recognize the value of addressing social determinants of health — such as housing, transportation, food, and employment — as a means to improve population health, advance health equity, and reduce healthcare spending. In early 2018, Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) created the Office of Healthy Opportunities. Dedicated to ensuring “equitable access to the social and physical supports needed to promote health from birth through end-of-life,” the office has three goals: (1) identify the specific healthcare related social needs of Hoosiers; (2) connect those in need with state and community organizations; and (3) create new policies and programs to provide services where they do not currently exist.
This case study explores how FSSA is working to meet the goals set forth by the new office through engagement with consumers and collaboration with multiple peer agencies — including public and private stakeholders — to rethink how to optimize the integration and delivery of health and social services for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Insights Results

Overview of article/program

  • Case study detailing Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s (FSSA) creation of the Office of Healthy Opportunities
  • Office goals: 1) Identify the specific healthcare related social needs of Indiana residents across the state; 2) Connect those in need with existing state and community organizations; 3) Create new policies and programs to provide services where they do not currently exist
  • Current activities: 1) Administer survey to ask patients what their needs are; 2) Build staff and public awareness through employee engagement and volunteer dissemination of activities; 3) Develop community-based organization network; 4) Posting searchable de-identified SDOH data on its website to allow government and community stakeholders to help identify where programs need to be created; and 5) Collaborate and share data with Indiana state Medicaid program to drive policy intervention and payment reforms at the state-level


    • No evaluation or results data are available to date

    Key takeaways/implications

    • The FSSA ruled out naming the office with terms “social determinants of health” or “health equity” because they did not resonate with consumers