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Medicaid Reform to be Assisted by New Initiative From the Center for Health Care Strategies

Steven M. Costantino, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), today announced that Rhode Island is one of 10 states benefiting from the launching of the new Implementing Innovations in Long-term Supports and Services (LTSS) initiative by the Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. (CHCS).

Through support from the SCAN Foundation, CHCS is providing targeted technical assistance to help Rhode Island and nine other states develop and test innovative models for better managing and rebalancing long-term supports and services with a goal of improving health care quality and propelling more cost-effective measures for people covered by Medicaid.

Secretary Costantino said, “Our state is already among the leaders in Medicaid reform, and some of our many strategies for promoting Medicaid efficiencies include our programs that provide Rhode Islanders receiving Medicaid with safe and secure options for living in their own homes or communities and that offer them the opportunity to maintain independence and dignity in their lives. The technical assistance we are receiving from CHCS provides us with additional resources and support in advancing innovative models of care that are so crucial to promoting a better quality of life for thousands of our most vulnerable residents.” Of the 10 states receiving technical assistance, Rhode Island—and six others that are working to rebalance their LTSS systems away from institutional care and toward home and community settings that maximize independence—will receive technical assistance from CHCS to expand home and community-based services, with a focus on leveraging enhanced federal funding. The other states, with Rhode Island, on CHCS’ “Rebalancing Path” are New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Virginia.

According to CHCS, close to 95 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries needing long-term supports and services are in unmanaged, fee-for-service programs, including many individuals who are in institutions rather than being able to choose home and community-based options. Overhauling the delivery of Medicaid LTSS offers significant opportunities to improve health care quality, control costs, and enhance the quality of life for millions of people.

This technical assistance initiative that will run through April 2013 is a continuation of CHCS’ Profile of State Innovation Roadmaps, a set of national environmental scans published last December that chronicled emerging state innovations and best practices for improving publicly financed long-term care programs.

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit health policy resource center dedicated to improving health care quality for low-income children and adults, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, frail elders, and racially and ethnically diverse populations experiencing disparities in care. Its program priorities include building Medicaid leadership and capacity.

The SCAN Foundation is an independent nonprofit foundation dedicated to advancing the development of a sustainable continuum of quality care for seniors that integrates medical treatment and human services in the settings most appropriate to their needs and with the greatest likelihood of a healthy, independent life. The SCAN Foundation supports programs that stimulate public engagement, develop realistic public policy and financing options, and disseminate promising care models and technologies.

Related links

Department or agency: Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Online: http://www.eohhs.ri.gov

Release date: 07-11-2011

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