CMS, ONC Look To Increase Health IT Use Among Innovation States
On Thursday, CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced a partnership to give participants in CMS' State Innovation Models initiative access to new online tools and resources to advance the use of health IT, FierceHealthIT reports (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 4/2).
The initiative aims to support statewide innovations in both the design and testing phases. CMS will use the program to learn whether new models outlined in the Affordable Care Act, including accountable care organizations, are successful when implemented broadly and combined with state-initiated reforms.
In 2013, HHS awarded 25 states, including California, nearly $300 million through the program (California Healthline, 2/22/13). In December 2014, HHS announced it would award more than $665 million to 28 states, three territories and Washington, D.C., to support state efforts to design and test innovative health care payment and delivery models and enhance the use of health IT (FierceHealthIT, 4/2).
In total, the two rounds of grants provided funding for state innovation models to areas that encompass nearly two-thirds of U.S. residents (HHS release, 4/2).
In a blog post, ONC officials said the office will use existing materials to develop online tools to help states achieve the initiative's goals by enabling health system innovations (FierceHealthIT, 4/2).
They wrote, "This partnership was established to foster additional innovation and sharing of resources and best practices to drive forward health IT innovation around transforming health care delivery and overall population health" (Cronin/Haque, "Health IT Buzz," 4/2).
The online resources will include those that can be used to help states and health care providers leverage health IT to manage a patient's primary care and behavioral health needs (HHS release, 4/2). In addition, the tools will be used to help states advance health IT adoption, information exchange and interoperability to ensure "information is available where and when it matters," according to CMS and ONC.
National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo said, "These online resources are part of an overall effort to advance [the] goals of better care, smarter spending and, ultimately, healthier people."
The online tools and resources will be available on HealthIT.gov. In addition, many will be made available to states not participating in CMS' SIM initiative (HHS release, 4/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.