States awarded nearly $300 million to create, test care innovation plans

Efforts to improve technology infrastructure central to many
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The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has announced nearly $300 million in awards to support the development and testing of state-based models for healthcare delivery transformation.

Six states--Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont--won grants to test models for their State Health Care Innovation Plans. Those plans include multi-payer payment and service-delivery models, including approaches such as Accountable Care Organizations, and call for testing on a broader scale within their state, according to an announcement.

Additionally, three states will receive pre-testing assistance and 16 will be award model-design assistance.

Maine's plan, in addition to strengthening enhanced primary care and alignments between primary care and public health, behavioral health, and long-term care, calls for enhancing the data analytic structure needed for multi-payer claims analysis, public reporting, and secure information sharing across providers. It will receive more than $33 million.

Massachusetts will receive more than  $44 million for a plan to support primary care practices as they transform themselves into patient-centered medical homes, including providing the data infrastructure for care coordination and accountability.

Minnesota will receive more than $45 million to test its plans to close the gaps in health information, create a quality improvement infrastructure and provide the workforce capacity essential for team-based coordinated care. This award will enable Minnesota to expand its health information exchange and health information technology infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has also released new report, "Medicaid Moving Forward," that highlights states' innovative efforts to improve care and lower costs in their Medicaid programs. It points to improvements, such as the single system Oklahoma developed for multiple agencies to determine eligibility. That effort was lauded in a Health Affairs article in January.

Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the launch of a patient-centered "medical neighborhood." Vendors TransforMED, VHA Inc. and Phytel are helping 15 systems and provider groups in states including Nebraska, Mississippi and Connecticut, use health IT to improve their practice, save money and coordinate care better.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- find the Medicaid report

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