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DHSS assisting health practices moving toward value-based care

Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is taking another step to move health care in the state away from the fee-for-service payment model towards a system based on positive patient outcomes, or value-based care.

DHSS is letting health providers apply for the last of a federal State Innovation Model (SIM) grant awarded to the Delaware Healthcare Commission in 2014 for health innovation.

Funds will be given to 10 providers who want to expand their ability to collect data, improve the coordination of patient care or integrate with Accountable Care Organizations—groups with value-based care contracts for multiple payers.

DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom-Walker says providers looking to join ACOs often need support when transitioning to contracts that factor in the health risks of an entire population.

“Practices who are thinking about becoming part of an Accountable Care Organization or supporting taking on additional risk in healthcare. We know sometimes there are technical resources that are needed to model that transition—model how we pay for care before we jump both feet in,” said Walker.

For applicants seeking to upgrade their data collection, the state is encouraging projects that strengthen a provider’s ability to analyze population health or enter providers into data-sharing agreements.

Applicants seeking to better coordinate patient care could receive support implementing a practice support call center, setting guidelines for the care of at-risk populations, or entering into care agreements with partner providers.

“Improvements in those care transitions, like when you leave the hospital and you go home, maybe there are different partnerships that could be flagged for care, or maybe you need a practice support center,” said Walker.

Primary care clinics, behavioral health providers, hospitals, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or clinically integrated networks can apply for one of 10 available grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 dollars before September 30th.

In the coming weeks, DHSS is expected to roll out recommendations to Gov. Carney for a health care spending benchmark.