This report details the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start) process of acquiring administrative vital records and Medicaid data from 20 states and more than 40 state agencies. MIHOPE-Strong Start examines the effectiveness of home visiting services on improving birth and maternal health outcomes for women who are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as their effectiveness at reducing costly health care encounters. The study relies on administrative data to measure infant and maternal health, health care use, and cost outcomes. Policymakers have increasingly encouraged greater access to and use of administrative data to produce timely, rigorous, and lower-cost evaluations of health and social programs, since these records may be less costly and more accurate than information collected directly from families. The MIHOPE-Strong Start experience sheds light on the process of acquiring permission to access such data.
MIHOPE-Strong Start is sponsored by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The study uses a random assignment design, and is conducted by MDRC in partnership with James Bell Associates, Johns Hopkins University, and Mathematica Policy Research.