OLYMPIA – On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington State Health Care Authority announced an agreement that ensures the state can continue transforming health care to achieve better health, reward high-quality care and curb health care costs.
“This agreement is critically important to Washington and comes at a time when many people are feeling great uncertainty about their health care,” Inslee said. “As we work to protect the great gains our nation has made in ensuring access to affordable, high-quality health care, we know that health transformation will continue in our state.”
According to officials, the five-year Washington State Medicaid Transformation Project provides up to $1.1 billion of incentives for rewarding high-quality care. It takes a patient-centered, holistic approach to care, creates partnerships with communities to address social determinants of health, and holds down cost increases; as well as $375 million to support critical services for Apple Health clients.
“This step represents an important opportunity to demonstrate that we can transform health care to better serve the needs of working families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities by helping providers work with each other and with their communities,” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said. “It will lead to a smarter, more efficient delivery system that works to keep people healthy in the first place. This project is a testament to the flexibility of Medicaid and I am proud to continue giving my full support to our state’s efforts to coordinate care and improve outcomes for so many families across Washington.”
The demonstration is a collaborative effort to streamline the health care system. Fundamental components of the transformation effort were designed with input from health care leaders, providers, community advocacy groups, public health representatives, and citizens, among others.
Locally-led efforts will engage and support clients, providers, and communities through:
- Delivery system transformation strategies led by regional Accountable Communities of Health.
- A broader array of service options to enable older adults and individuals with disabilities to stay at home and delay or avoid need for more intensive care.
- Key foundational community support services for Medicaid clients with the most critical needs.
“Improving the health of our children and their families through better medical, mental and substance use treatment is fundamental to improving the economic and social well-being of our citizens,” Acting DSHS Secretary Pat Lashway said. “This demonstration project will provide support to all areas of the state to improve the effectiveness of care and enable mental health services to reach all of our communities. And it helps us address the rapid growth in the aging population by providing innovative ways of delivering long-term care services.”
In a speech earlier this week, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said, “Today we approved a Washington waiver that will improve health and bring down costs by improving coordination of behavioral and physical health services.”