CT gets $45 million for health care system redesign

Connecticut will receive $45 million in federal funds for an effort to redesign the state’s health care payment and delivery systems.

The funding, announced Tuesday, is part of $620 million awarded to 11 states under the Affordable Care Act, the federal health law commonly known as Obamacare.

Connecticut’s redesign effort, known as the State Innovation Model, or SIM, has a wide range of goals, including improving the health of Connecticut residents, eliminating disparities in health between different groups, improving the quality of care and access to it, and lowering costs.

To do it, planners are focusing in part on improving primary care and changing the way health care providers are paid, trying to establish a set of standards for quality, health equity and patient experience that will be used by private insurers and public coverage programs.

A key premise of the effort is the need to move away from a system that largely pays health care providers for each office visit or procedure performed, which experts say provides little incentive — or funding stream — to do things that could help keep patients healthy, like coordinating care. The new payment model officials are developing is intended to place more emphasis on how well providers can manage patients’ health, although the details are still being determined and some aspects of it — particularly those related to tying a portion of provider compensation to patient care costs — have been controversial.

For more on the effort, click here and here.