CMS Awards Funds to States

More than 57 million living in rural communities across the U.S. may be older, have complicated heath needs, challenges with access to care, may have limited access to high speed internet, plus Blacks, Latinos and other communities of color can experience barriers and disparities in health outcomes.

CMS, is going to award up to $20 million to four states to improve healthcare in rural communities. The awards will be made as part of the CMS Innovation Center’s Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model.

The CHART Model, addresses disparities in health equity by improving access to quality healthcare and the sustainability of the healthcare system in rural communities. The funds will help test whether providing upfront funding, an innovative value-based payment, and operational flexibility, can maintain or improve care quality and lower costs.

The CHART Model helps in rural communities by offering technical assistance and support as care delivery reforms are implemented, such as modernizing infrastructure and using technology to eliminate traditional barriers to care. For example, the CHART Model will award recipients so telehealth use will be available to rural communities.

CMS is awarding up to $5 million in cooperative agreement funding to the University of Alabama Birmingham, State of South Dakota Department of Social Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the Washington State Healthcare Authority. 

For example, the South Dakota Department of Social Services, can receive as much as $5 million, with $2 million given during the initial pre-implementation phase and as much as $3 million upon completion of milestones over six performance periods.

“By expanding access to telemedicine, we are investing in the health of rural residents,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “These awards are one step closer to ensuring that access to healthcare is equitable and that we are reaching underserved communities.”

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