The federal government is offering a second round of funding to aid states in accelerating the move toward new healthcare delivery and payment models, with information technology playing a major supporting role.

Under its State Innovation Models program, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2013 provided funds to 25 states, helping state agencies and stakeholders plan implementation of accountable care organizations, medical homes and bundled payments, among other initiatives.

Now, another $730 million is available to support states already in the program and to partner with additional states. Funds of up to $30 million are being offered to 15 states to design and implement “Model Design” cooperative agreements to engage a broad range of stakeholders. Awards will go to new participants as well as existing states that received funds last year and need more time to develop their innovation plans.

In addition, $700 million is available to fund up to 12 new “Model Test” cooperative agreements in states that are new participants. The program will provide financial and technical support over four years for states to test and evaluate multi-payer health system transformation models, according to CMS. United States territories and the District of Columbia are also eligible for the funds.

States and territories receiving Model Test funding must develop a comprehensive health information technology plan and describe aspects of the plan in four specific sections of their application. Examples of what the government wants in state HIT plans include:

Governance: A realistic plan to implement an interoperable health IT and data infrastructure, and a process for resolving disputes over data ownership;

Data Quality Infrastructure to Support Care and Payment: Integrate public health registries, surveillance and chronic disease systems, and implement common quality and cost measures;

Expanding Coordination Across the Care Continuum: Use targeted interventions to support interoperability among long-term care and behavioral health providers to support care transitions and reduce readmissions; and

Patient Engagement and Transparency: Support open data releases for price transparency, access to multi-payer claims information and patient BlueButton technology, and making information available in coded, machine-readable formats.

Funding comes from the Affordable Care Act. The Funding Opportunity Announcement is available here.

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