WASHINGTON—Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new opportunity made possible by the Affordable Care Act to help states design and test improvements to their health care systems that would bolster health care quality and decrease costs.
“As a former governor, I’ve seen states in action and know what great laboratories they are for innovations we can put into practice nationwide,” Sebelius said.
State governments, with their ongoing relationships with stakeholders across their health care systems, have the ability to accelerate the performance of delivery system and payment models that can improve the quality and affordability of health care. Through this initiative, states will work with a broad coalition – including employers, insurers, community leaders and service organizations, health care providers, consumers, tribal governments – to design or test multi-payer payment and delivery system improvements to health care systems for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries while eliminating unnecessary spending. Given the broad scope of these multi-payer models, successful innovations are expected to benefit both privately and publicly insured residents of participating states.
Many states are already engaged in these efforts. Examples of ongoing health care innovation include statewide primary care networks supported by advanced health information technology systems and models that coordinate care seamlessly across primary care providers, specialists and hospitals. The State Innovation Models initiative, with support from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), will build upon this good work and achieve greater results through state-federal partnership.