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News from The Hilltop Institute at UMBC

Hilltop Releases Issue Brief on
Overcoming Interagency Data-Sharing Barriers

The Hilltop Institute at UMBC has just released a new Issue Brief entitled Overcoming Interagency Data-Sharing Barriers: Lessons from the Maryland Kids First Act that describes interagency data-sharing barriers that researchers and state officials encountered as they implemented and evaluated the Maryland Kids First Act outreach initiative. The brief provides an overview of strategies used to identify uninsured children who are eligible for public insurance programs; an update on Maryland’s tax-based outreach program, including a description of the interagency data-sharing barriers encountered and their resolution; a discussion of new data-sharing and outreach opportunities outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA); and a discussion of lessons for other states.

The passage of the Kids First Act in 2008 made Maryland one of the first states in the country to use information from state income tax forms to identify and enroll Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)-eligible children. As a result of this innovative approach, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) program commissioned the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and its partner, The Hilltop Institute, to evaluate the outreach strategy. Hilltop Director of Medicaid Policy Studies David Idala, M.A., is principal investigator of the study and research team leader.

This brief is the second that disseminates findings from Hilltop’s study. The first issue brief, published in 2009 and entitled Using Information from Income Tax Forms to Target Medicaid and Chip Outreach: Preliminary Results of the Maryland Kids First Act, identified ten lessons learned from the experience at that time, and addressed issues such as data sharing, health literacy, inclusion/exclusion criteria, tracking mechanisms, and the circumstances under which legislation was necessary in order to implement tax-based outreach.


To learn more about the study, contact David Idala.



The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to improving the health and social outcomes of vulnerable populations. Hilltop conducts research, analysis, and evaluations on behalf of government agencies, foundations, and other non-profit organizations at the national, state, and local levels.
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