Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Pennsylvania was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to design a state healthcare innovation plan.
"This initiative is an excellent example of how federal and state government can collaborate for healthcare reform to help cut costs and improve health care for Pennsylvanians," Corbett said.
The planning process involves multiple state agencies and will include the establishment of committees consisting of stakeholders from the healthcare community, employers, consumers and managed care organizations – all of whom are committed to advancing a comprehensive model for healthcare reform.
Pennsylvania currently has the fourth highest healthcare expenditures in the nation.
"Almost 15 percent of all adult hospital stays in Pennsylvania in 2010 were followed by at least one readmission for any reason within 30 days, according to a recent report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council," Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. "The entire medical community needs to work together collectively to achieve better results for our patients and citizens."
Pennsylvania's plan will focus on the development of new approaches to payment and care delivery that emphasize the quality, not quantity, of services delivered to patients. Its aim is to improve access to care, better manage chronic diseases, and reduce unnecessary readmissions to hospitals through better coordinating transitions of care. The planning process will identify best practices that already exist in the state and determine how to expand their use throughout the commonwealth.
"Our goal is to develop an effective plan that improves the health of our citizens while ensuring that they get world-class health care," Corbett said. "This process will outline ways to increase access to vital services for all Pennsylvanians, especially those in rural and medically underserved areas, and will identify measurable methods to control healthcare costs."
The Department of Health is coordinating the planning process in collaboration with the Departments of Public Welfare, Insurance, Aging, and Drug & Alcohol Programs, as well as the eHealth Partnership Authority.
Pennsylvania was one of 16 states to receive the award.
States receiving awards under the initiative have until September 30 to submit their model plans to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Once the plan has been approved, Pennsylvania will have an opportunity to submit for additional grants to test the models.
"This grant gives us an opportunity to transform the healthcare system in Pennsylvania to one that achieves the goals of better health, better patient experience and reduced healthcare costs for current and future generations," Corbett said.
Pennsylvania Office of the Governor