HHS Rewards States for Efforts to Transform Care

States designing and testing healthcare payment and service delivery models to improve quality of care and lower costs will be receiving more than $665 million in funding from the government, according to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

States designing and testing healthcare payment and service delivery models to improve quality of care and lower costs will be receiving more than $665 million in funding from the government, according to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

Overall 28 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia will receive funding as part of the State Innovation Models initiative, which supports states in planning or implementing a customized, fully developed proposal to create statewide health transformation.

"We're seeing states do some very innovative things when it comes to improving the ways we deliver care, pay providers, and distribute information,” Secretary Burwell said in a statement. “These funds will support states in integrating and coordinating the many elements of healthcare—including Medicaid, Medicare, public health, and private healthcare delivery systems—to the benefit of patients, businesses, and taxpayers alike."

Some example initiatives include improving primary care through patient-centered medical homes; creating unified quality measure score cards that help providers and payers align quality improvement and value-based payment methodologies; and expanding the adoption of health information technology to improve care.

Funding totaling more than $622 million in State Innovation Model Test Awards will help 11 states implement their State Health Care Innovation Plans. Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Washington will join 6 states that previously received money in round one: Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, and Vermont.

In addition, the State Innovation Model Design Awards will providing nearly $43 million to 17 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia as they create and refine proposals. Transformation efforts must improve health and care while lowering costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries.

“States are laboratories of innovation and serve as critical partners in transforming healthcare,” said Patrick Conway, MD, CMS deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer. “States are large healthcare purchasers for their employees and residents, have broad regulatory authority over healthcare providers and payers, have the ability to convene multiple parties to improve statewide health delivery systems, and oversee public health, social, and educational services. Partnering with states on health innovation has the potential to accelerate and transform health innovation in all of these areas.”