Online Health IT Tools and Technical Assistance Will Help State Innovation Model States, and Others, Implement Innovative Care Transformation

Kelly Cronin and Ahmed E. Haque | April 2, 2015

Beginning this month, ONC is partnering with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop specialized technical assistance as well as comprehensive online health IT tools and resources for State Innovation Model (SIM) states.  The online resources are also available to states not participating in the program.

The State Innovation Model initiative supports states in developing or implementing a customized, fully developed plan capable of creating statewide health transformation to improve health care. Together with over $665 million in awards, over half of states (34 states, three territories and the District of Columbia) representing nearly two-thirds of the population are participating in the initiative. The initiative is part of the Department of Health and Human Services effort to find better ways to deliver care, pay providers, and distribute information to spend the nation’s health care dollars more wisely, and have healthier communities, a healthier economy and a healthier country.

Program grantees are designing and testing state-based models for multi-payer payment and health care delivery system transformation with the aim of improving health for the residents of participating states. Their work supports the Secretary’s priority to improve the nation’s health care delivery system by centering care around the patient, changing how we pay for care and making sure that both consumers and providers have the information they need to improve their health and care. Finally, making tools and technical assistance available to providers – along with the resources we are now making available to states – will help in meeting this goal.

This partnership was established to foster additional innovation and sharing of resources and best practices to drive forward health IT innovation around transforming health care delivery and overall population health.

At ONC and CMMI, we know that successful implementation of the model requires an important balance of mastery of health IT, health information exchange infrastructure, and motivated community participants. Working together to achieve the highest quality of learning and sharing innovative practices across the states that are participating in the program, we will be able to aggregate existing materials and create powerful new tools that will help support state efforts to transform their health systems at state, community, and provider levels.

Most importantly, outside of our work with the states that are participating in the innovation models, these resources will allow ONC to support all states working towards the adoption of health IT and  exchange and interoperability across all health care providers in the care continuum so that information is available where and when it matters.

Not only will these resources provide technical assistance and expertise to support the participating SIM states, but they can be leveraged by any state to support health IT innovation in care delivery and payment systems. All on-line resources will be available on as they are intended to support health IT enabled delivery reform across the nation.

A robust health IT infrastructure is a critical component of health care transformation, and at ONC we’re committed to work with CMMI to help all states use health IT and data in new ways to achieve optimal efficiency and improved outcomes to improve the health of their residents.