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Puerto Rico gets $1.9M to develop health care plan

Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell (Credit: Wikipedia)

Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell (Credit: Wikipedia)

Puerto Rico will receive up to $1,944,740 to design health care payment and service delivery models that will improve health care quality and lower costs, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell announced Tuesday.

Nationwide, 28 states, three territories and the District of Columbia will receive more than $665 million in Affordable Care Act funding to design and test health care payment and service delivery models that will improve health care quality and lower costs, the agency said.

Together with awards released in early 2013, more than half of states — 34 states and three territories, and the District of Columbia — representing nearly two-thirds of the population are participating in comprehensive state and territory-based innovation in health system transformation.

“We are committed to partnering with Puerto Rico to advance the goals we all share: better care, smarter spending, and, ultimately, healthier people,” said Burwell. “We’re seeing states and territories 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 and territories 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.”

State Innovation Model funds will support states and territories in planning or implementing a customized, fully developed proposal capable of creating health transformation. Examples 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.

Nearly $43 million in State Innovation Model Design Awards will support 17 states, three territories, including Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to create and refine proposals for comprehensive health care transformation.

States and territories will engage a broad group of stakeholders including health care providers and systems, long-term service and support providers, commercial payers, state hospital and medical associations, tribal communities and consumer advocacy organizations.

“Transformation efforts supported by this initiative must improve health, improve care and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries. In addition, CMS will identify best practices among state and territory-led transformations that are potentially scalable to all states and territories,” HHS said in a statement released Tuesday.

The State Innovation Models initiative is one part of an overall effort to help lower costs and improve care through the Affordable Care Act.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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