Lessons from the Front Lines: Insights into Trauma-Informed Care for Medicaid’s Complex Populations

June 2015

This resource provides an overview of trauma-informed care, mainly through a webinar presentation from two organizations that practice it: CareOregon in Oregon, and Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers in New Jersey. A transcript of the webinar is also available.

  • Trauma-informed care shifts from a perspective that asks, “What is wrong with you?” to one that asks, “What has happened to you?” It recognizes that many people with complex needs have a history of trauma.
  • It’s essential to implement the principles of trauma-informed care at both the organizational level and the clinical level.
  • Principles of trauma-informed care include creating safety (physical and emotional), trusting relationships, and predictability.
  • Trauma-informed care has roots in harm reduction, unconditional positive regard, and motivational interviewing. At its heart is the concept of acceptance and support of a person regardless of what the person says or does.
  • The caring attitude must be extended to staff as well as patients. Promising approaches include a mental health benefit for staff and tuition reimbursement, which can be used for unconventional classes like mindfulness meditation training.
Posted to The Playbook on
Population Addressed
People with Behavioral Health and Social Needs
Key Questions Answered
  • What is trauma-informed care, and what are its benefits?
  • How have successful organizations implemented such an approach?
Level of Evidence
Expert Opinion
What does this mean?