HHS offers states $100M to improve Medicaid

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is offering $100 million to state Medicaid programs to reform payment systems and improve patient care.

“Medicaid innovation is moving forward, and the new Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program [IAP], announced in response to recommendations from governors, will give states the opportunity to even further strengthen their great work,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

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Governors and state Medicaid directors had pressed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for funds to review and improve the health program.

The federal dollars will help states streamline the payment process and review state Medicaid data to find ways to improve the care patients receive.

The new program is the latest from CMS to reform state Medicaid programs. The agency touted its past initiatives, noting that recent reforms had led to a sharp drop in hospital readmissions in North Carolina and emergency room visits in Washington.

“States have seen these innovations result in improved care and lower costs. Nationwide, while Medicaid spending overall has grown as more people have gained coverage, per enrollee spending declined by 1.2 percent — from $6,768 to $6,641 — in 2012,” said CMS.

“We are confident that the IAP will help achieve our shared goals of improving health and improving care for our beneficiaries, and reducing costs for our programs.”