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Wisconsin receives federal award to develop state health care innovation plan

February 11, 2015

The Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that Wisconsin has received a $2.5 million State Innovation Models (SIM) award from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center to develop a comprehensive State Health Care Innovation Plan.

The award will allow DHS and its partners to enhance and accelerate multi-stakeholder, collaborative statewide quality improvement, and payment reform efforts that are already underway.

One of DHS’s primary partners is the Statewide Value Committee (SVC), which is comprised of leaders from more than 30 organizations representing both private and public sector health care and employer organizations that are seeking to realize greater value in health care faster by better aligning efforts and incentives to deliver better quality care at lower cost.

“Wisconsin has a strong history of health care innovation and this award will help the department and our partners, including the [SVC], make meaningful change to our health care delivery system to better allow health care spending to be tied with quality and appropriate delivery of care,” said DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades. “We will be focusing our efforts on how we coordinate and deliver health care services so we can reduce and minimize the burden for providers as well as allow public and private purchases of health care to directly link payments to quality outcomes.”

The State Health Care Innovation Plan will focus on three main objectives: improving the health of the state’s population; transforming the state’s health care delivery system; and decreasing per capita spending on health care.

“Our goal at the SVC is to significantly improve the quality and cost of care delivered for every state resident,” said John Toussaint, CEO at ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value and Chair of the SVC Leadership Council. “This award is recognition by the Innovation Center of Wisconsin’s strong history of successful public private health care partnership, and confirmation that we have all the pieces in place to truly change health care for the better for everyone.”

The State Heath Care Innovation Plan will include a Population Health Improvement Plan (PHIP), Health Information Technology (HIT) plan, and Actuarial Certified Financial Analysis. It will also focus on behavioral health (including substance abuse and misuse) as a targeted priority health care issue. Behavioral health has been widely identified nationally as a driver of health care costs. With the award money, Wisconsin hopes to develop a plan to close two major gaps in behavioral health care: access to care and a lack of care coordination between behavioral health and medical care.