Maine earns $11 million grant for innovation in children’s healthcare

State Will Form Partnership with Vermont

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced an $11 million grant to Maine to improve health care quality and delivery systems for children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The grant is part of $100 million in federal funds awarded to 10 states today as part of the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA). The funds will be awarded over a five-year period. Maine will be awarded just over $2 million in the first year of the five-year grant totaling $11.3 million.

Maine will work in partnership with Vermont to improve health care for children, particularly those in foster care, by enhancing performance measurement and payment systems, expanding information technology systems, and reducing practice variations through provider education. Maine will also share with states not participating directly in this project experiences and solutions to common challenges in serving pediatric populations.

“We all have a stake in the health of our nation’s children,” said Sebelius. “Exploring new technologies and initiatives will help ensure our kids get the high quality care they need and deserve.”

The grants are totally federally funded and are designed help establish a national quality system for children’s health care through Medicaid and CHIP. The money will help states implement and evaluate provider performance measures and utilize health information technologies such as pediatric electronic health records and other quality improvement initiatives.

“These grants will test the most current theories of how to improve the quality of care delivered to children,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “These awards will help create the foundation for a more responsive and effective national framework of high quality healthcare for children.”