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Maine gets $33m federal grant for health care

AUGUSTA, Maine — The LePage administration on Friday hailed a $33 million federal grant to the state, saying it will advance its goals of creating a more transparent and efficient health care system that could save at least $1 billion.

The US Department of Health and Human Services grant will be used to test whether new payment and service models will produce superior results for patients and lower costs for health care providers. Maine was one of six states to receive the grant. Vermont is receiving $45 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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Mary Mayhew, Maine’s health and human resources commissioner, said the grant will make resources available to assist patients in managing their own health conditions, including help finding care from a peer who has experienced a similar health condition.

‘‘Providers will know what to expect in terms of payments and will have clear guidance on the data they must report so they can focus their energy on transforming care for their patients,’’ said Mayhew.

The grant supports Governor Paul LePage’s vision of an innovative, more transparent health care system that uses data to guide decisions, reforms payment, and assists patients in managing their health, administration officials said. They also said the effort could result in more than $1 billion in overall savings over three years.

Projects in states receiving grants will be broad and focus on people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The Maine Health Management Coalition is the state’s primary partner in implementing the grant.

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