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Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP)

CMS launched the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP) in July 2014 with the goal of improving health and health care for Medicaid beneficiaries by supporting states’ efforts to accelerate new payment and service delivery reforms. 

Through these improvements, we can reduce costs for the Medicaid program and, by extension, the health system more generally. The IAP will enhance CMS’s wide ranging efforts to improve care by supporting system-wide payment and delivery system reform innovation.  We are using the IAP to work closely with states, consumers, and health providers on these critical issues through technical assistance, tools development and cross-state and national learning opportunities.

Through the IAP, we are building on lessons and recommendations we have heard from our state partners for specific opportunities to advance innovation, and we will develop strategically targeted resources and technical assistance that states can leverage to accelerate Medicaid-focused innovations to transform health care.

While complementing other federal-state delivery system reform efforts such as the State Innovation Models (SIM) initiative, IAP will provide additional federal tools and resources to support states in advancing Medicaid-specific delivery system reform and by sharing lessons and best practices. These are exciting times of forward movement for the Medicaid program as access to coverage is broadened, making the investment in delivery system and payment reform even more critical. For an overview of recent activity in the Medicaid program and more information about the IAP, see:

IAP Regional Listening Sessions

During the month of September 2014, CMS toured the country hosting a series of in-person meetings to talk with states and stakeholders about the new IAP. During these half-day meetings, CMS presented information on the evidence base for Medicaid delivery system reform and laid out our initial thinking about the areas of focus for IAP. Meeting participants provided a great deal of thoughtful feedback on the substantive focus areas that are of the most interest.

Focus Area: Reducing Substance Use Disorders (SUD)

The need to improve how health care is delivered, measured, and experienced is strikingly evident in the substance use arena. Nearly 12 percent of adults in Medicaid and 6 percent of adolescents have a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) or issue. Further, Medicaid beneficiaries with alcohol or substance use diagnoses are two of the top ten reasons for hospital readmissions. Several states have found success in implementing interventions for SUD problems that reduce health care costs as well as improve health for beneficiaries by reducing drug and alcohol use. In July 2014, CMS released a joint Informational Bulletin  to support work with states to offer a broad continuum of SUD services in medication assisted therapy, and the IAP offers an opportunity to expand the scope and reach of these learnings.

Through the IAP, CMS will provide technical assistance and other types of technical support to states interested in accelerating the development and testing of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) service delivery innovations. Strategies under consideration include:

  • Identify and advance new models: Identify successful  service delivery models, benefit strategies, and payment methodologies to promote improved care and better coordination between SUD and health care systems;
  • Data analytics: Support to states in using data to better understand the needs of the Medicaid populations that have an SUD or that are at-risk of developing an SUD;
  • Improved quality measurement: Develop metrics that support states in more accurately measuring improvements in health outcomes for individuals with SUDs; and
  • State to state learning, rapid-cycle improvement, and federal evaluation: Share lessons and interventions used by other states in real time.

See our IAP Commentary on SUD and our October 2014 Informational Bulletin for additional information. CMS is interested in feedback on these initial SUD strategies. Send feedback via email with the subject line "SUD" to the IAP mailbox: MedicaidIAP@cms.hhs.gov

Input from Partners

CMS is committed to informing and evolving this initiative with many opportunities for input from all of our partners. Ongoing consultation and collaboration with states as well as consumer groups, health plans, and health care providers and the academic community will be built into the IAP, and if you have a question or want to provide feedback to CMS about IAP, send an email to: MedicaidIAP@cms.hhs.gov. Additional information about the goals and structure of the IAP is also available in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Federal Guidance

Over the past several years, CMS has provided a wide range of policy and operational guidance to states that has established a strong foundation for the key functions of the IAP, including:

Identify and Advance New Models

Data Analytics

Improved Quality Measurement

State to State Learning, Rapid-Cycle Improvement, and Federal Evaluation

Additional Technical Assistance for States