For Immediate Release: December 16, 2014
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Rachel Thomas, (804) 225-4262, Rachel.Thomas@governor.virginia.gov

Virginia Receives Federal Health Innovation Grant

~$2.6 million federal grant to develop new statewide health care model~

 

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday that Virginia has been awarded a $2.6 million federal grant to develop new statewide health care models. These will be built around a series of aggressive public health goals ranging from reductions in tobacco use to improved mental health care. 

“This grant enables my administration to pursue innovative models and achieve my goals for better health, better care and lower costs for all Virginians,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginia is ready to move forward and create lasting change for the better in our health care system.” 

The one-year grant awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will provide financial and technical support beginning in January to develop the Virginia Health Innovation Plan. The goal of the plan is to improve health outcomes for all Virginians, regardless of insurance status. 

The initiative will incorporate the following population health goals: 

  • Lower rates of tobacco use and obesity
  • Prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and high-risk pregnancy
  • Better care for selected mental and oral health conditions through improved integration with primary care 

The Virginia Health Innovation Plan will be developed by the Virginia Center for Health Innovation (VCHI) in collaboration with public and private stakeholders. More than 800 individuals and 300 organizations are already working collaboratively as part of VCHI’s Virginia Health Innovation Network. Participants include health plans, telehealth organizations, education and research institutions, health care providers, pharmaceutical and laboratory companies, private businesses, and community and consumer organizations. “Through this incredible collaboration, we expect to transform Virginia’s health care system using a Triple Aim Strategy,” stated Beth Bortz, President and CEO of VCHI.  This includes: 

  • Activating consumers and communities
  • Developing person-centered, integrated, accountable delivery systems
  • Aligning infrastructure, workforce and quality incentives 

Seven regional accountable care communities will be created across the state, each with its own group of public and private partners. Each regional group will work to develop integrated delivery systems and improve health outcomes within its jurisdiction. Regional plans will be adopted in alignment with statewide goals for improving population health and health information technology. 

In developing its health transformation plan, Virginia will seek a Delivery System Reform Incentive Program Medicaid Innovation Waiver. The waiver would enable the state to provide Medicaid incentive payments that reward hospitals and health systems if they adopt delivery system innovations and achieve significant quality improvements. 

“The impressive level of cooperation that existed even before this grant award is a recognition that a statewide transformation of the health care system is worthwhile and necessary,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel. “Given the many challenges we face in health care and behavioral health, this is the right time to take a big picture look at how we deliver these vital services.” 

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam will also play a key role in the initiative as chairman of the Quality, Payment and Health Information Technology Roundtable. 

“I applaud CMS leaders for recognizing the commonwealth’s commitment to improving health care quality and giving us the resources needed to improve the health and well-being of all Virginians,” Lieutenant Governor Northam said. 

Notice required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-14-001 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

 

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