RI Leverages Nearly $130 Million in Federal Dollars to Continue to Transform Healthcare System

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts today announced the next step in Rhode Island’s healthcare system transformation efforts that will increase access to quality, affordable care and build healthier communities.

Rhode Island has received $129.7 million in federal funds that will better position the State to meet 21st-century healthcare needs and demands. In partnership with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the funds will be used to implement Medicaid payment models that result in better health outcomes and better-quality care, and to strengthen the state’s healthcare workforce pipeline.

«This is a big win for Rhode Island – it is a win for our people, and it is a win for our economy,» said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. «This announcement builds on a progressive package of Reinventing Medicaid reforms that is on track to cut costs by more than $100 million while also expanding access to care to more people. Through this initiative, we’re going to keep people healthier, without spending any additional general revenue funds. We’re also going to strengthen our healthcare workforce development pipeline, to help workers gain the skills that matter for 21st century healthcare jobs.»

«These federal funds will help us continue to shift our publicly financed healthcare system towards alternative payment models that ensure we’re paying for value, rather than volume of services. They will also help us invest in the healthcare workforce required to realize our shared vision of better care, healthier people, and smarter spending,» said Health & Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts. «We look forward to collaborating with many partners to expand our efforts to provide better quality care and better outcomes for more Rhode Islanders.»

«We are excited to partner with Rhode Island on its innovative approach to transforming its health care system, and to advance our shared goals of healthier people and smarter spending,» said Vikki Wachino, Deputy Administrator of CMS and Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

Through an innovative and unprecedented partnership with state institutions of higher education, and the hard work of Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services has received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to claim a federal match on existing higher education spending on healthcare workforce training. This will allow the State to claim and invest a total of $129 million in federal funds over five years without spending additional general revenue dollars.

As a part of Reinventing Medicaid 2.0 – Health System Transformation, Rhode Island will:
Improve health outcomes for the one in four Rhode Islanders enrolled in Medicaid. For example, over the long term the funds will help transform Rhode Island’s healthcare system so that:
More Rhode Islanders get well-coordinated care that better addresses all of their needs – mental, physical, and social – so they can stay healthy and avoid more expensive hospital visits and procedures.
More elderly Rhode Islanders get the long-term support they need to age with independence in their homes and communities, whenever possible.
Rhode Islanders who require a more intensive level of care and support receive high-quality, better-coordinated care that improves outcomes at hospitals and nursing homes.
Leverage millions of dollars of additional federal funds to continue transforming Rhode Island’s healthcare system.
Focus on better coordination of care through our managed care organizations and new provider partnerships.
Ensure Rhode Island has the healthcare workforce it needs by investing in strategic partnerships between Rhode Island’s public higher education institutions and healthcare providers to train students with the skills they need for 21st century healthcare jobs.
Support better care, healthier people, and smarter spending.
At the event, Governor Raimondo was introduced by John Oleksa, a Medicaid recipient, whose life was changed by more intensive, better coordinated care to help him gain back his mobility and get a personal care attendant who can help him stay in his home and live independently. As John said, this type of care helped him «get his life back.» With these new federal dollars, Rhode Island will be able to train more personal care attendants – like the one who comes to John’s house each day to help keep him healthy and living independently.

Thanks to Reinventing Medicaid 1.0, Rhode Island is on track to save over $100 million in annual state Medicaid spending. Leveraging new federal funds to build on these savings and invest an additional $130 million in our people demonstrates Rhode Island’s continued leadership at the national level to innovate and transform our public healthcare system to pay for better outcomes, better coordination and higher-quality care.