MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Public Health has received a $1.94 million State Innovation Model (SIM) Design award to coordinate healthcare transformation planning activities in West Virginia.

The SIM initiative is supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and provides financial and technical support to states to design and test innovative payment and service delivery models that will improve health, improve care, and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries.

As the lead organization, the WVU School of Public Health will coordinate the proposed transformation activities with close and ongoing partnerships with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), and the West Virginia Health Innovation Collaborative.

“This application would not have been successful without the foresight of DHHR Secretary Karen L. Bowling to establish the Collaborative approximately one year ago,” Jeffrey Coben, M.D., professor in the WVU Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership and principal investigator for the project, said. “By building upon the existing strengths and hard work of the Collaborative’s members, we expect to develop a new model for healthcare delivery that is measurable, feasible, and appropriate for West Virginia by the end of the project period.”

The model design approach will utilize the expertise and strengths that exist within the current Collaborative related to healthcare delivery, health promotion, and healthcare financing, while also strengthening partnerships outside of the state to provide objective, nationally based reviews of processes, procedures, and progress.

“This is an opportunity for DHHR to partner with the West Virginia University School of Public Health and the many public and private stakeholders who are part of the West Virginia Health Innovations Collaborative to develop an innovative, integrated healthcare model for West Virginia,” Bowling said.  “Working together, we can design a comprehensive, strategic plan to improve our healthcare and health outcomes, while also reducing cost.”

States that successfully complete Model Design Awards are eligible to apply for an additional three years of funding to implement and test their proposed models.

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For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
tn: 12-17-14