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Article Highlights

  • The Administration might be better off freeing states from burdensome regulations.

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  • In a recent announcement, the Obama administration unveiled grants to help states “innovate” health care delivery.

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In the announcement below, the Obama administration unveils today more grants to help states “innovate” the delivery of health care services. The administration might be better off freeing states from burdensome regulations that prevent Governors from tailoring their Medicaid programs, or by allowing competitively designed insurance options on the new health plan exchanges that get started in 2014. That might inspire innovation from, as the president often says, “the bottom up instead of the top down.” But then Washington would lose its leverage to decide what sort of innovation it likes and who wins and who loses.

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced awards to twenty-six (26) states as part of the State Innovation Models initiative operated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center).  Additionally, HHS released a report, Medicaid Moving Forward, on improvements and advancements made to the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs.

The State Innovation Models initiative makes awards to states that seek to design and test multi-payer payment and delivery models that seek to deliver high-quality health care and improve health system performance.  States are in a unique position to develop and test innovative models that can health support efforts to deliver better health, better care and lower costs.  Today, six (6) states will receive awards to implement their individual State Health Care Innovation Plan, three (3) states will receive awards to continue development of their individual State Health Care Innovation Plan, and sixteen (16) states will receive awards to develop their individual State Health Care Innovation Plan.  Information on the state awardees can be found in the attached fact sheet and will be posted at http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/State-Innovations/

HHS will also release a new report today, Medicaid Moving Forward, that highlights federal initiatives to support state efforts to achieve the goals of improving care and lowering costs in Medicaid and CHIP.  The report shares specific examples of how states are using these tools to advance their own state initiatives.  The report will be posted on the Medicaid.gov website later today at http://www.medicaid.gov/State-Resource-Center/Events-and-Announcements/Events-and-Announcements.html

 

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