CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) have put out a call for health care providers to collaborate to develop innovative approaches to coordinating care for Illinois’ Medicaid recipients, focusing on improved preventive and follow-up treatments. The “Innovations Project” stems from last year’s Medicaid reforms and is part of the administration’s commitment to moving Illinois towards a health care system that provides incentives for improved health outcomes.
Yesterday, HFS published a formal solicitation that gives providers until the end of May to submit detailed proposals to participate in the “Care Coordination Innovations Project,” under which Illinois will begin a shift toward moving at least 50 percent of its clients into coordinated care programs by 2015. This shift is a key feature of the state’s bi-partisan Medicaid Reform legislation that was signed into law by Governor Quinn. State officials anticipate that this shift to coordinated care will result in significant savings over time by doing a better job of keeping people healthy and providing more efficient and effective care to those who need it.
“Through the ‘Innovations Project,’ Illinois is breaking new ground,” Governor Quinn said. “We are working collaboratively with health care providers across the state to harness technology to do a better job of keeping residents healthy, and a better job of treating them when they do become sick.”
HFS, under the leadership of Director Julie Hamos, has been engaged in an open dialogue with health care providers across Illinois to gauge community interest and capacity to provide alternative, more effective models of health care. The ‘Innovations Project’ solicitation represents the first phase of the switch to greater coordinated care.
“This solicitation is a fulfillment of the commitment we made through the passage of the Medicaid Reform law to give providers an opportunity to do a better job of managing their delivery of health care,” HFS director Julie Hamos said. ”Our goal is to redesign our health care delivery system to be focused on keeping people healthy. And when people need care, we want it to be centered on the patient, and we want to be able to measure the effectiveness of that care.”
The solicitation invites innovative proposals to demonstrate that providers can build their own provider networks with care coordination services and achieve better health outcomes and cost savings than under the current fragmented system, without involving traditional HMOs, as most other states have done. Applicants, known as “Care Coordination Entities” or “Managed Care Community Networks,” have until the end of February to file a letter of intent and then until May 25 to submit a detailed plan.
HFS is looking for projects presenting the most comprehensive models, taking a holistic approach to individuals served and coordinating services for all of their needs. Models that coordinate social services beyond those covered by the Medicaid program will be viewed favorably.
HFS and its agency partners, the Department of Human Services, the Department on Aging and the Department of Public Health, are helping providers team up and craft innovative proposals. To assist providers, the agency has created a data center to provide anonymous, comprehensive data on its clients. This data, which is not generally available, will enable providers to create benchmarks to measure their progress toward reducing costs and delivering better health outcomes. HFS has created a web-based “matchmaking” service that allows providers to seek out partners for collaboration.
The state of Illinois has already begun the shift to increased coordinated care. Last year, the department launched an Integrated Care program for roughly 40,000 seniors and disabled individuals living in suburban Cook County and the Collar Counties of Chicago.
For more information about the Care Coordination Innovations Projects go to: http://www2.illinois.gov/hfs/PublicInvolvement/cc/Pages/default.aspx.