Catching up – Day 18 – Medicaid at 50: Innovation

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called the states “laboratories of democracy”, but as the series highlighting state Medicaid programs shows us, we might want to think of them as “laboratories of health policy”. Medicare is a powerhouse, but Medicaid can adapt over time and place. Thanks to Medicaid, we have learned – and are in the process of learning – a lot about what makes good health policy. CMS has encouraged innovation through their State Innovation Model (SIM) program, and  launched the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP) a year ago this month. The IAP is a complement to the SIM program, but is focused specifically on Medicaid. The idea is to take the best practices and lessons learned emerging from the states, and facilitate sharing and dissemination. With a national view of the latest in Medicaid, the Accelerator will provide technical assistance, create federal tools and supports, and facilitate state-to-state learning. Some particular areas of focus are reducing substance use disorders and beneficiaries with complex needs. With so many new payment and delivery models proliferating in Medicaid right now, the IAP is a valuable central hub. If your state is doing work in Medicaid that you think other states should know about, share it with the IAP!

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