The Medicaid Innovation Collaborative (MIC) Announces Pilot Programs to Improve Health Outcomes for Medicaid Beneficiaries

January 24, 2024

The MIC pilot programs will address the health-related social needs of Medicaid beneficiaries with insulin- requiring diabetes through funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and Acumen America funding partners.

NEW YORK, January 16, 2024 - Today, The Medicaid Innovation Collaborative (MIC), a program of Acumen America, announced pilot programs in Iowa, Kentucky and New York to address the critical needs of Medicaid beneficiaries living with a chronic condition like insulin-requiring diabetes (IRD) through funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust and Acumen America funding partners. The MIC selected tech-enabled solutions in each state that seek to improve the ability of millions of people living with IRD on Medicaid to manage their health by targeting issues like food insecurity, housing instability, and financial insecurity. As detailed in this recent brief from CHCS, tech-enabled solutions are a key tool for addressing such health-related social needs (HRSN) of Medicaid beneficiaries.

HRSN are high among Medicaid beneficiaries and magnified for the millions of people living with a chronic condition like IRD, impacting their ability to manage the condition. According to the Center for Health Care Strategies, diabetes disproportionately impacts Medicaid beneficiaries when compared to the general public, and Medicaid beneficiaries experience higher rates of poor diabetes management, worse glycemic outcomes, more barriers to care, and more condition-related complications.

“It’s hard to prioritize diabetes management if you don’t know where you’re going to sleep or when you’re getting your next meal,” said Laurel Koester, MPH, Program Officer at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “This partnership with MIC offers an opportunity to help develop solutions that have the potential to create more bandwidth for people with IRD to focus on managing their diabetes and improve health outcomes.

The pilot program is part of MIC’s second cohort focused on HRSN. The cohort launched in 2023, and enables state Medicaid programs, managed care plans and other key stakeholders to identify and implement tech-enabled solutions to address the HRSN of Medicaid beneficiaries in Iowa, Kentucky and New York.

“These pilots allow us to demonstrate meaningful impact by developing unique partnerships between entrepreneurial technology solutions and managed care plans, with the support of state Medicaid, that would not have previously occurred,” said Veenu Aulakh, Executive Director of the MIC. “These partnerships hold promise to help reduce the many health inequities Medicaid beneficiaries face in the United States.”

The chosen program participants in each state include:


  • Passport by Molina Healthcare and FarmboxRx  (funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust)
    • The pilot program will serve 200 Passport by Molina Healthcare Medicaid members with diabetes in Louisville. FarmboxRx will use its member engagement platform to enroll Passport members for monthly deliveries of food boxes, increasing access to healthy food and nutrition education. They will also host live education sessions at Dare to Care Foodbank Community Kitchen, enhancing beneficiaries' ability to make the most of the food boxes, with childcare provided by the Play Cousins Collective.
  • Samaritan (funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust)
    • Aetna Better Health and Humana Healthy Horizons intend to partner with the nonprofit's Kentucky chapter on a program that empowers housing-insecure Medicaid beneficiaries in Louisville to reach life goals. Local providers will deploy the resource to help residents gain the financial and social support needed to improve access to care, critical utilities, and housing.
  • Attane Health and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid (funded by Acumen America partners)
    • The pilot program will implement a Food Is Medicine intervention serving 100 Anthem Medicaid members with diabetes in Jefferson County. Participants will have access to nutrient-dense foods, fresh produce customized to their dietary needs, and nutrition coaching.

New York

  • Staten Island PPS, Ready Computing, Samaritan, and Healthfirst (funded by Acumen America partners)
    • The pilot program will launch an outreach program for underserved Healthfirst Medicaid members on Staten Island. Community navigators will use the Ready Computing Channels360 platform to screen, assess and refer members to community-based organizations to address their social needs. A subset of unhoused members will be enrolled in the Samaritan Membership program to provide financial incentives and support to meet their survival needs.


  • Kaizen Health, Wellpoint, Iowa Total Care, and Molina Healthcare of Iowa (funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust)
    • Kaizen is partnering with all three Medicaid managed care organizations in Iowa — Amerigroup, Iowa Total Care and Molina Healthcare — to serve health plan members in Blackhawk and Des Moines counties with insulin-requiring diabetes. Kaizen will ensure members have access to non-emergency medical transportation services to help them access their medical appointments and services to address critical social needs.

About The Medicaid Innovation Collaborative (MIC) & Acumen America

The Medicaid Innovation Collaborative (MIC) is a program of Acumen America, a non-profit launched in 2015 to catalyze innovations tackling poverty in the US through high-impact investing and systems change initiatives across health, work and wealth. The MIC assists the Medicaid ecosystem in identifying and implementing private-sector innovations that provide beneficiaries with the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential for health and wellbeing. The program aims to accelerate innovations that advance health equity, connecting tech-enabled solutions to address deep-rooted disparities in Medicaid. For more information on The Medicaid Innovation Collaborative, visit

About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $4 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program is the largest private foundation funder in the world with a focus on T1D, with more than $1 billion to date committed to transform the trajectory of the disease and to accelerate access to 21st century care, everywhere. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit

About the Author
Veenu Aulakh

Veenu Aulakh is the Executive Director of the Medicaid Innovation Collaborative, a program of Acumen America.

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