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Illinois: Testing Quality Measures

Illinois has partnered with Florida on a CHIPRA grant to improve the quality of care for children. Over five years, the grant will provide just over $11 million in federal funding for the two states to use to advance quality projects. This is one of 10 grants to states and multi-state collaborations under the $100 million CHIPRA demonstration program to improve children's quality of care. Most of the grants were awarded to multi-state partnerships, in which states with shared interests in similar strategies or issues will collaborate to implement and evaluate a variety of quality measurement and other policies. With Florida, Illinois will test the collection and reporting of performance data on national and state quality measures developed specifically for children, enhance the state's use of medical homes, support quality improvement efforts focused on birth outcomes, and create a comprehensive strategy to improve children's health through the state's publicly financed programs.

The new activities build on Illinois' strength in covering children and improving the quality of their care. Illinois has the nation's fourth-largest Medicaid/CHIP population and a mixture of delivery systems as well as urban and rural settings that make it a fruitful testing ground for quality improvement efforts for children. For example, the state will test ways to report quality measures across the fee-for-service, managed care, and primary care case management components of All Kids, the public health coverage program that is offered to all uninsured children, regardless of their family's income.

The funding will support work to promote expanded use of health information technology in ways that benefit children's health, from encouraging providers to adopt electronic health records to working with the developers of the state's health information exchange to ensure that its design and data reporting standards can accommodate comprehensive child health data.

Illinois also anticipates that the CHIPRA grant funding will enable it to coordinate its existing child health improvement activities and develop a comprehensive strategy to improve children's health in its publicly financed programs. To help coordinate all activities related to improving the health of children, the state will convene stakeholders from a variety of children's services organizations, state agencies, and the quality improvement policy arena. At the federal level, key partners include the National Committee for Quality Assurance; at the state level, more than 25 child health advocacy organizations have pledged support.

Illinois also will augment its medical home program by supporting technical assistance to providers to help them implement and add to the core features of the medical home, and by strengthening referral and care coordination networks. Along with Florida, Illinois will conduct an evaluation of the states' medical home efforts.

The CHIPRA grant activities will be coordinated with other health IT and health information exchange (HIE) efforts through the state coordinator of Illinois' HIE/HIT Initiative. Several state agencies are already sharing data related to the maternal and child health population in order to target quality activities, including claims data from All Kids, data on childhood immunizations, lead screening results, pregnancy outcomes, and information about high-risk infants, Women Infants and Children services, Family Case Management, and vital records.

Because the grant supports a variety of activities in Illinois and Florida, it will be critical for participants to share information to maximize their funding and pool their expertise. Illinois and Florida plan to use a joint workgroup to promote exchange of results and lessons learned, with the hope that their findings could inform efforts in other states.

For more information
See the All Kids Program and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

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