Using case studies and related research, America’s Essential Hospitals describes how waiver-based incentive programs support essential hospitals’ delivery system reform.

Policy Brief – Medicaid Incentive Programs: Extending the Reach of Health Care Transformation


  • Medicaid incentive programs give essential providers the ability to lead delivery system reform by providing incentives to them to achieve system reform milestones.
  • Waiver programs encourage investments that track and improve population health and enable providers to identify issues beyond the hospital that impact their patients’ health.
  • Waiver programs require data and other infrastructure improvements – a challenging up-front investment for essential hospitals.
  • Quality improvement milestones that are built on existing measures help hospitals understand their own performance, resulting in better patient care.
  • To ensure states and providers are able to promote achievable reform, funding for incentive programs must be in addition to existing core hospital funding.