Connecticut’s State Innovation Model (SIM) Healthcare Innovation Plan Moves Forward

Connecticut’s State Innovation Model (SIM) Healthcare Innovation Plan was submitted at the end of 2013.  As discussed in a previous blog a draft of the innovation plan was released in November, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut was one of over 80 organizations and individuals that submitted comments.  It’s encouraging to see that the final plan includes several improvements based on that feedback.  Some key changes include:

  • Better definition of plan goals
  • Elevating the role of the Consumer Advisory Board in the governance structure
  • More detail on the community health improvement and consumer empowerment sections of the plan

Efforts are underway to keep the SIM planning and implementation process moving forward, using the new innovation plan as a guide.  A detailed implementation timeline is included in the innovation plan (p. 151).  One early task is to attract another major federal grant, a multi-year SIM Model Testing grant.  Six states, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont have already been awarded testing grants, ranging from a low of $33 million to a high of just over $45 million.  There are a lot of similarities in the approaches these states are pursuing with regard to payment and delivery innovation as well as population health improvement.

Establishing the governance structure is also an important early step.  Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman will provide “overall leadership” to the effort.  The Lt. Governor recently announced that Dr. Mark Schaefer, former Medicaid Director, will oversee the SIM program management office.  The next step will be to reconstitute the Steering Committee and populate the five councils and task forces proposed in the governance model.  The innovation plan promises better representation by consumers and consumer advocates on the governance structures than there was during the 2013 planning process.  Anyone wishing to participate in one of these groups should watch for announcements about them or take the initiative to email the SIM office at sim@ct.gov.

Universal Health Care Foundation will continue to participate in as well as monitor the SIM process as it unfolds.  We are committed to promoting consumer participation in the planning and implementation process as well as to working to ensure that the health system transformation it is pursuing truly meets the needs of consumers.

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