Wisconsin awarded $2.5 million grant to improve health care quality, affordability

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has awarded Wisconsin a grant of up to $2.5 million to design health care payment and service delivery models that will improve health care quality and lower costs.

Wisconsin is one of 28 states, three territories and the District of Columbia to receive over $665 million in Affordable Care Act funding. Together with awards released in early 2013, over half of states, representing approximately two-thirds of the population are participating in efforts to find new and innovative ways to improve quality and lower costs.

Called the State Innovation Model funds, they support states in planning or implementing a customized, fully developed proposal capable of creating statewide health transformation. Examples of initiatives include:

Improving primary care through patient centered medical homes, building upon current Accountable Care Organization models or integrating primary care and behavioral health services.
Providing technical assistance and data to health care providers and payers that are working to advance models of integrated, team-based care, or transition to value-based payment models.
Creating unified quality measure score cards that health care payers and providers can use to align quality improvement and value based payment methodologies.
Expanding the adoption of health information technology to improve patient care.  
Fostering partnerships between public, behavioral and primary health care providers.
Strengthening the health care workforce through educational programs, inter-professional training, primary care residencies and community health worker training.

“We are committed to partnering with Wisconsin to advance the goals we all share: better care, smarter spending and, ultimately, healthier people,” said HHS secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. “We’re seeing states do some very innovative things when it comes to improving the ways we deliver care, pay providers and distribute information. These funds will support states in integrating and coordinating the many elements of health care–including Medicaid, Medicare, public health and private health care delivery systems–to the benefit of patients, businesses and taxpayers alike.”

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