CHOPT for Medicaid: Resources for Addressing Childhood Obesity


Childhood obesity is one of the most common and significant health conditions in the U.S. and yet, is the least understood.  Current research demonstrates an overall lack of evidence to assess the efficacy of non-school based interventions in preventing childhood obesity. Furthermore, there is little available research that stratifies outcomes of childhood obesity prevention and treatment initiatives by age, race/ethnicity, and sex. These two significant gaps affect the Medicaid population and demonstrate the complexity of the impact of social determinants of health on the efficacy of interventions and limits the application of potential interventions.

In October, the Institute released the CHildhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (CHOPT) for Medicaid toolkit, a project that was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It was a year-long initiative focused on childhood obesity prevention and treatment efforts led by Medicaid managed care organizations (MMCOs). The toolkit includes the following key components:

  • An environmental scan of childhood obesity efforts led by Medicaid managed care organizations reports the results of a national survey completed by MMCOs that examined and described the components, design, and implementation of childhood obesity prevention and treatment efforts and the needed policy changes to address challenges faced by MMCOs.
  • Case studies of childhood obesity initiatives and perspectives from families and children provide detailed accounts of known innovative programs developed by MMCOs, in collaboration with local community groups and key stakeholders. 
  • A readiness assessment and implementation tools guide MMCOs through the process of identifying priority pediatric groups in their Medicaid population; determining the appropriate design of an intervention and the resources needed to facilitate the implementation of the intervention.

Recently, the Institute had the opportunity to present the CHOPT for Medicaid project and the components of the toolkit alongside panelists from UnitedHealthcare Community and State at the Southern Obesity Summit, held in Houston, TX. The conference is largely attended by local community groups working to address obesity, access to affordable, healthy foods, and promote health education.

While the toolkit’s implementation materials were crafted with MMCOs as the intended audience, it is important to recognize that this resource is also helpful for organizations interested in partnering with MMCOs to provide access to obesity treatment and prevention programs. One of the most important elements of these CHOPT initiatives is the partnership with community groups and stakeholders. As such, we hope that local community and regional groups refer to the CHOPT toolkit to identify the key considerations made by MMCOs when developing initiatives. This exercise may be help in formulating the business case for why health plans should partner with your organization, assist with identifying metrics for evaluation, and more.

The toolkit can be downloaded here.

Would you like to learn more about the CHOPT for Medicaid project or participate in the program?  Do you want to Join us for the CHOPT for Medicaid webinar scheduled for December 2016.

Please contact us at [email protected].