State awarded $11M grant

Posted Feb. 23, 2010, at 10:40 p.m.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday announced an $11 million grant to Maine to improve health care quality and delivery systems for children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP.

The grant is part of $100 million in federal funds awarded to 10 states Tuesday as part of the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009.

The money will be awarded over five years. Maine will be awarded slightly more than $2 million in the first year of the grant.

Maine will work in partnership with Vermont to improve health care for children, particularly those in foster care, by enhancing performance measurement and payment systems, expanding information technology systems and reducing practice variations through provider education. Maine also will share its experiences and solutions to common challenges in serving pediatric populations with states not participating directly in the project.

“We all have a stake in the health of our nation’s children,” Sebelius said in a statement. “Exploring new technologies and initiatives will help ensure our kids get the high-quality care they need and deserve.”

The grants are federally funded and are designed to help establish a national quality system for children’s health care through Medicaid and CHIP. The money will help states implement and evaluate provider performance measures and use health information technologies such as pediatric electronic health records and other quality improvement initiatives.

“These grants will test the most current theories of how to improve the quality of care delivered to children,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “These awards will help create the foundation for a more responsive and effective national framework of high quality health care for children.”

On the Web: www.InsureKidsNow.gov

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