HHS Launches $100M Funding Initiative for State Medicaid Programs
On Monday, HHS announced that $100 million in new funding will be available to help states reform their Medicaid payment models and to provide more efficient and higher quality care for the program's beneficiaries, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 7/14).
The new effort -- known as the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program -- stems in part from February recommendations by the National Governors Association.
Under the initiative, CMS intends to partner with a small group of states to test several initiatives for providing technical assistance to states or experimenting with health care delivery systems. According to CQ HealthBeat, states will be able to suggest ways to use the funds to improve beneficiaries' care. However, CMS will work with external consultants to carry out much of the work. In addition, the agency will coordinate communication for the program.
Some of the program's key goals include:
- Evaluating different provider payment models to reduce costs without affecting quality;
- Examining ways to better deliver health care to minority patients and those with high medical costs, in part by further testing reforms that worked on a smaller scale or for individuals with different types of health coverage;
- Improving measurements of quality care and dissemination of best practices to states; and
- Using Medicare and Medicaid data to provide more efficient treatment.
Funds also could be used to accelerate federal evaluations of current state Medicaid reform efforts, such as some states' increased use of managed care. CMS said the results of the program will be shared with other states.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) -- co-chairs of an NGA health care task force -- praised the announcement. Haslam said, "I appreciate the continued conversations CMS has had with us about these areas" (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 7/14).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.