Washington State Health Care Authority Acting Director MaryAnne Lindeblad announced Thursday that the federal Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the state a $1 million “pre-testing assistance grant” to improve health care and lower its costs.
The funds, starting April 1, will be used to develop a plan “to test innovative models that can deliver improved care and lower costs through a multi-payer-supported approach to integrated care,” the award letter said.
The new grant builds on the state’s grant application last year to transform health care delivery through collaboration with public and private partners. Eighty-one letters of endorsement from Washington State health care entities – hospitals, providers, insurance plans, employers and other agencies – were submitted with that earlier proposal.
“This new grant will allow us time and resources to broaden the scope of the original innovation plan,” Lindeblad said. “It will let us accelerate strategies to move the health care delivery system from one that too often provides high-cost, low-value health care to one that reliably delivers higher-value, lower-cost care.
“As originally planned, we will emphasize evidence-based medicine – health care that works – while paying for good outcomes, not simply the volume of care.”
Lindeblad said the innovation grant funding would build on a strong commitment to health reform, with Washington already considered a “pace-car state” for its readiness to implement the Affordable Care Act.