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Collective Themes from In-person and Virtual Meetings

We were so pleased with the turnout and lively discussion at our series of in-person meetings where states and stakeholders shared their feedback on our new Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program. It was great to see so many state colleagues in person and we were pleased with the high level of interest from our provider and health plan partners among other thoughtful stakeholders. We also hosted a well-attended “virtual” meeting on October 9th where participants had the opportunity to vote on the priority areas that were of most interest to them. The meetings have been tremendously helpful to us and offered several clear themes that resonated across all four sessions:

  • Define a clear scope. We heard several times that it would be most helpful if CMS developed a “menu” of the key programmatic areas of focus for IAP so that states and others will know what types of technical assistance activities and expertise will be available. The meetings confirmed that our initial focus on reducing Substance Use Disorder (SUD) (PDF, 163.14 KB) is the right starting point. 
  • It’s all about data. Whether it is about understanding how to use data more effectively (identify “hot spotters” and super utilizers, sharing national data and benchmarks) or creating tools to help set the context for state-specific data analysis, we heard clearly that data needs to a major focus of IAP support to states.
  • Be Flexible. If innovation is the goal, states need CMS to meet them where they are and tailor our IAP resources in ways that help states meet our shared goals. We’ll focus on these individual state interactions, but will also be sure to promote cross-state learning and transparency as best practices emerge. 

We also just released an informational bulletin (PDF, 112.92 KB) on substance use disorder, highlighting delivery opportunities for people with substance use disorder, and describes our high intensity learning collaborative. Stay tuned for more information to come and we’ll be hosting a webinar for states to continue the launch of our SUD work on November 7th.  

We will find ways to work with states wherever they are, and more chances for collaboration are still to come. Keep in touch and follow us on Twitter at @CMSgov  #MedicaidIAP .

IAP Commentary
Cindy Mann, JD, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services
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