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Innovation Center launched to focus on improving Medicare and Medicaid Posted: November 19th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

While much of the emphasis on health care reform has centered on private health insurance plans, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also includes provisions to amend Medicaid and Medicare services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced the launch of the Innovation Center, which was created by the health reform legislation.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation is designed to gather suggestions and feedback from consumers, doctors, advocacy groups, employers and other health care stakeholders. The Innovation Center will focus its efforts on three areas:

  • Better care for people
  • Coordinating care to improve health outcomes for patients
  • Community care models

In addition to the Innovation Center, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also announced initiatives that will determine whether "home health" and "medical home" models of care can be used to improve patient outcomes. Eight states have been selected to participate in a pilot project:

  1. Maine
  2. Vermont
  3. Rhode Island
  4. New York
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. North Carolina
  7. Michigan
  8. Minnesota

All states have the opportunity to apply for up to $1 million in design contracts to test programs that may improve quality of services, coordination of care and cost effectiveness.