East Hawaii News

Medicaid-Housing Agency Secured by State

February 26, 2016, 11:27 AM HST
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Governor David Ige. State of Hawai'i Governor's Office photo.

Governor David Ige. State of Hawai’i Governor’s Office photo.

The federal government will soon provide a boost to Hawai’i’s cross-agency approach to addressing homelessness and housing.

On Friday, the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced that the state was selected to participate in the collaborative and competitive Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program.

IAP will begin in April of this year and provide Hawai’i with the ability as a participant to focus on expanding Medicaid involvement and support for the state’s housing and homelessness initiatives.

“We know we have to break down the work silos if we are to succeed in helping the families and individuals who most need housing, healthcare and other services,” said Governor David Ige. “I applaud the staff across the various state departments who recognize this and are taking the initiative to make meaningful change.”

The program is operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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The Department of Human Services Med-QUEST Division will participate in the Community Integration – Long-term Services and Supports’ Medicaid-Housing Agency Partnerships track.

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Governor Ige has prioritized a collaborative, comprehensive approach to address the complex issue of homelessness, and Hawai‘i’s participation in this program will be equally cooperative.

DOH and the Governor’s Office on Homelessness will join the Med-QUEST Division as part of the IAP team.

The Hawai’i Housing and Finance Development Corporation and the Hawai’i Public Housing Authority will also act as key partners of the team.

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“The Departments of Health and Human Services are working together along with the Governor’s Office and the community to build a healthy Hawai‘i,” said DHS Director Rachael Wong.

“Participation in the Innovation Accelerator Program will give our teams a much-needed boost in support and training to find new ways to address the social determinants that lead to homelessness and affect health here in Hawai‘i,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Hawai‘i’s cross-agency collaboration on the homeless issue is key to sustaining long-term solutions.”

The Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program began in 2014 to improve care and health for Medicaid beneficiaries and reduce costs by supporting states in accelerating payment and service delivery reforms.

The program aims to jump start innovation in key areas while supporting states in their efforts to improve health, improve healthcare, and lower costs. In addition to technical assistance, CMS will facilitate collaborative learning and advise Hawai‘i’s team in strategy and implementation.

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