FOCUS OF THE WEEK
HHS Provides $100M to Support States' Medicaid Reform Efforts
July 16, 2014, 10:14:26 AM
Katie Sullivan, MA
HHS announced that it would distribute more than $100 million to states in a new initiative called The Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP). The program intends to improve Medicaid programs and lower costs through technical support from the agency. CMS said it would allow states to exchange best practices as well as strengthen states’ efforts to accelerate new payment and service delivery reform.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said IAP “will give states the opportunity to even further strengthen their great work,” adding that HHS “will provide strategically targeted resources that states can leverage to enhance the impact of their efforts to transform healthcare.”

CMS stated it would provide states with technical assistance in 4 specific areas:
  • Identify and advance new models – IAP will help states to implement innovative models of care that target the needs of Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • Data analytics - IAP will help states to leverage data sources from both Medicaid and private insurers in order to target interventions or identify best practices.
  • Improved quality measurement – IAP will align and integrate quality measurements across healthcare networks to improve accuracy and standardize care delivery.
  • State to state learning, rapid-cycle improvement, and federal evaluation – IAP will encourage collaboration and communication across states, including the sharing of best practices. This involves supporting the “rapid-cycle improvement efforts” that are underway in many states.
The agency also noted that it has worked with states in a variety of other reform-focused programs such as the Healthcare Innovation Awards and the Strong Start initiative. These innovations have helped states to improve the quality of care and lower costs. However, innovation can be costly to sustain, and there have been many challenges with  implementation. With programs like IAP, CMS can provide important resources and data support that supports state efforts.

“State lessons and recommendations spurred the formation of the IAP,” said a CMS release. “The IAP is designed to offer a new approach to addressing these challenges collaboratively, leveraging best practices in driving innovation in the public and private sectors.”

Around the Web

HHS Doles Out $100M to Spur Medicaid Innovation [Fierce Health Payer]

New Resources Improve States’ Abilities to Advance Medicaid Payment and Delivery System Reform [HHS]