Health Reform Brings Workforce Challenges for States


State officials say they have the expertise but not enough employees to meet federal deadlines for health care reform.

Kaiser Family Foundation and Center for State and Local Government Excellence
Publication date:
September 2010
Filed under:
Key findings:
  • The state political environment and expected leadership transitions create uncertainties and are already factoring into state strategies on health reform implementation.
  • State leaders dealing with an aging workforce, hiring constraints, and the toll from the recession see a need for additional staff and outside contractors to carry out the volume of work within the timeframe required under the reform law.
  • Timely guidance and financial support from the federal government will help states successfully implement health reform.
  • Key staffing challenges for health reform implementation are around designing insurance exchanges, handling expanded enrollment for Medicaid and state exchanges, and updating eligibility systems.
  • Looking forward, federal health care reform offers a chance to restructure Medicaid eligibility determinations and improve program operations.

This report provides an early look at state efforts to prepare for health reform by examining the experiences to date in five states — Connecticut, Michigan, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Washington.

Read the full report and watch a webcast of the briefing.