Iowa's Medicaid program has
received a $1.3 million federal grant to create an accountable care
organization (ACO) designed to increase quality and lower costs, the Iowa
Department of Human Services announced Thursday.
The six-month grant from the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will enable Medicaid to coordinate
with other major Iowa health insurers, especially Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue
Shield, in developing the plan.
The three-year goal of the project is to reduce
the overall rate of growth of health-care costs for the state as a whole to be
no greater than the Consumer Price Index, which is about 2 percent.
An ACO is a
group of doctors, hospitals and other providers who coordinate high-quality
care, especially for the chronically ill. A similar ACO strategy is being
developed by major health-care organizations for Medicare patients in Iowa.