CHA News Article

CMS Announces Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program
Aims to foster innovation while supporting states in achieving Triple Aim

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the launch of a new technical assistance program, the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP). The IAP is a collaboration between the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, working closely with the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, the Center for Medicare and other federal centers and agencies. It aims to foster innovation in key areas while supporting states in their efforts to achieve the Triple Aim of improved health, improved health care and lowered costs. In consultation with states and stakeholders, the IAP will develop innovative strategies focused on advancing delivery system and associated payment reforms, aligned with transformation efforts underway in Medicare and the commercial market.

The IAP and its focus areas were developed with input from states, including the National Governor’s Health Care Sustainability Task Force, and surveys of states participating in the State Innovation Models initiative. CMS has indicated that ongoing consultation and collaboration with states — as well as consumer groups, health plans, and health care providers — will be built into the IAP as it moves forward.

The IAP will develop resources to support innovation through four key functions:

  • Identify and advance new models of care delivery and payment: The IAP will investigate, develop and disseminate information and tools, such as financial modeling to design payment strategies that strengthen incentives to achieve higher value. The tools will help implement promising models of care that target the needs of Medicaid beneficiaries based on three criteria. First, the IAP will target areas of critical need, as defined by high spending, high disease burden and/or high disparities for the Medicaid population. Second, it will target interventions with evidence of promising interventions that have, on a small scale, improved care and/or reduced costs, either for other payors or in Medicaid. Third, the IAP will place a high priority on complementing and supporting related state and federal work in order to maximize efficiency and impact.
  • Data analytics: The IAP will help states leverage new emerging data sources such as the Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS) and performance indicators, along with other data sources, to promote targets for intervention, identify best practices and maximize efficiency.
  • Improved quality measurement:  The IAP will support alignment and integration of quality measurement across health care programs and initiatives to provide a more accurate and valid picture of quality that drives innovation within Medicaid and across payers.
  • State-to-state learning, rapid cycle improvement and federal evaluation: The IAP will work to advance effective, efficient and timely dissemination of best practices in driving delivery system innovation, including supporting rapid cycle improvement efforts by states and other partners. CMS states it is committed to providing better coordinated communication with states on cross-cutting issues and ensuring that the IAP work is coordinated with related activities, including the State Innovation Models initiative and the Medicare-Medicaid financial alignment models. By improving alignment across its communication channels with states, CMS hopes to maximize the variety of initiatives underway and enhance state-to-state learning.

Additional resources for the IAP include a letter to states, a fact sheet, a press release, FAQs and the Medicaid Moving Forward report.