Illinois Medicaid Program Achieved Savings While Boosting Quality of Care

Medicaid has offered an attractive venue for states and the federal government to pursue patient-centered medical home (PCMH) innovation experiments, but one state initiative that launched before PCMH certification even began offered potential lessons before it was curtailed for budget reasons, according to a recent study.

Research by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care found that increased payments for primary care physicians delivered via a blended payment model (fee-for-service, per-member per-month, and quality bonus) in Illinois were strongly associated with improved health outcomes for patients and reduction in overall health care costs.

Researchers analyzed Illinois Health Connect and Your Healthcare Plus, both contract Medicaid programs in the state that operated from 2006 to 2010. Results of the study( were published in the September/October issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Together, the two programs increased investment in primary care and emphasized practice improvements that bear a striking resemblance to PCMH elements found in some accountable care organizations (ACOs). Illinois initiated this effort as part of a consent decree that found the state was in violation of federal law for not providing adequate access to care for its Medicaid population.

Go to top