States to study new health delivery models

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 4, 2013

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The Dept. of Health and Human Services has made $300 million available to 25 states to test various health system delivery reforms, such as accountable care organizations.

“States have taken important steps in partnership with HHS, private payers, Medicaid, [the Children’s Health Insurance Program] and their public health departments,” said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a written statement. “The State Innovation Model awards are designed to bring additional flexibility to states on their path to improving their health care systems.”

The goal is to see if these states can improve health care quality and lower costs by testing multipayer payment and service delivery models.

Six states — Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont — will receive $250 million in awards to implement specific multipayer payment and service delivery models. Arkansas, for example, will receive $42 million to test its patient-centered care model, and Massachusetts will leverage $44 million in funds to transform its primary care practices to medical homes, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a conference call to announce the awards. Maine will use its funds to develop ACOs.

The remainder of the funds will be given to 19 additional states to develop delivery reform projects.

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