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HHS: Health law project will cut state costs in major programs

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"As a former governor," she said, "I’ve seen states in action and know what great laboratories they are for innovations we can put into practice nationwide."

In the program's first round, federal awards will help up to five states implement care models and up to 25 states improve their existing systems. The total cost of these awards will not exceed $275 million, according to HHS.

"These awards are an incentive for states to recruit partners and accelerate the work that many of them are already doing to improve healthcare and lower costs," Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a statement. 

The announcement stated that an example partnership might be "statewide primary care networks supported by advanced health information technology ... that coordinate care seamlessly across primary care providers, specialists and hospitals."