In early 2013, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) galvanized the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative and Arkansas’s overall approach to health system transformation when it awarded the state a $42-million State Innovation Model (SIM) grant. Arkansas was among six states chosen and is leading the country in efforts to dramatically improve the quality of patient care and rein in rapidly rising health care costs. The grant was awarded in February of 2013, and funds are being used to implement and test the initiative over 42 months. SIM funding will support further development of episode-based care delivery, patient-centered medical homes, and health homes.
This award signifies the federal governments’ engagement with the initiative and interest in the model as one that could be more broadly applied throughout the country. In announcing the competitive grant award, CMS lauded Arkansas for being well on its way to changing the way the state pays for health care as part of a larger reform effort. The state launched its episode-based payment delivery model in July 2012 with an initial focus on five conditions and aims to launch its patient-centered medical homes model in January 2014. .
ACHI staff helped identify the opportunity for the SIM award, and worked to strengthen the state’s application by gathering documented support of APII and Arkansas’s plan from a broad range of stakeholders. ACHI assisted the Arkansas Department of Human Services in creating the comprehensive “Arkansas Health System Innovation: State Innovation Plan” document that was ultimately submitted to CMS on behalf of Governor Mike Beebe. ACHI will continue to provide support and assistance to CMS, Arkansas Department of Human Services, and other stakeholders in administering the SIM award, tracking the progress of the APII development, and aligning other components to meet SIM award requirements.
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