The Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP), launched in 2014 and led by the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS), provides state Medicaid agencies with strategically targeted resources and technical support that states can leverage to accelerate Medicaid-focused innovations to transform health care. IAP provides support in four functional areas, which it defines as the building blocks to delivery system reform: (1) data analytics; (2) quality measurement; (3) value-based payment and financial simulations; and (4) performance improvement.

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) was part of a team led by NORC at the University of Chicago that served as the Medicaid IAP Value-Based Payment Technical Support contractor for CMCS. As part of the Medicaid IAP, CHCS provided technical support to help up to 10 state Medicaid agencies annually in designing, developing, and implementing value-based payment approaches, including alternative payment models and comprehensive population-based payments. The goals of the program were to: (1) increase delivery system and payment reform in the IAP program priority areas/populations; (2) increase state capacity to make improvements in better care, smarter spending and healthier people; and (3) build state capacity to develop or implement VBP approaches and/or conduct financial simulations.

CHCS worked with the NORC team and state Medicaid programs to evaluate, develop, and implement value-based payment models. CHCS provided technical support to help states: (1) define strategic VBP goals, objectives, and approaches; (2) develop or refine design elements, such as attribution and gain-sharing methodologies; and (3) develop plans to implement VBP approaches, including implementation within managed care, monitoring and evaluation, and provider-related supports. Technical support included one-on-one engagement with states, state affinity group meetings, and webinars addressing priority topics. In addition to CHCS, other partners in the NORC-led technical support included the RAND Corporation and Actuarial Research Corporation.