Report: State Innovation Models Plan To Invest in Health IT Tools

January 23, 2015 in News

Several states in CMS’ State Innovation Models initiative plan to invest more in health IT tools and services, according to analysis of the program by Accenture, MobiHealthNews reports (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 1/22).

Background

The initiative, which is funded by the Affordable Care Act, aims to support statewide innovations in both the design and testing phases. Some examples include:

  • Bolstering accountable care organization models to better support primary care;
  • Expanding the adoption of health IT to improve patient care; and
  • Giving health care providers and payers with technical assistance and data as they work to advance innovation efforts.

In 2013, HHS awarded 25 states nearly $300 million through the program. In December 2014, HHS announced it would award more than $665 million to 28 states, three territories and Washington, D.C., to support state efforts to design and test innovative health care payment and delivery models and enhance the use of health IT.

In total, the two rounds of grants provided funding for state innovation models to areas that encompass about 60% of U.S. residents (iHealthBeat, 12/17/14).

Investment Priorities

According to the Accenture report, the majority of the participating states plan to invest more in health IT initiatives. For example:

  • 19 states plan to expand the use of telehealth;
  • 15 plan to increase access to electronic health records, provide more data on value-based health choices and increase patient-facing digital tools, such as patient portals; and
  • 14 plan to invest in data aggregation and analytics tools to improve population health.

Some states also are “focusing on improving reporting and evaluation of health data” by “using geographic information systems to match resources to hotspots of chronic disease,” according to the report (MobiHealthNews, 1/22).

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