Evaluation of the State Innovation Model

Health policy researchers at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center (PPC) are conducting an evaluation of Iowa’s State Innovation Model (SIM) statewide health transformation. In December 2014, Iowa became one of 11 states awarded a SIM testing grant by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). Iowa’s $43.1 million award provides funding and support to transform Iowa's public and private health care payment and service delivery systems with the goals of lowering health system costs, improving health care delivery, and advancing population health.

Between October 2015 and December 2018, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) are implementing the multi-payer health system transformation model across the state.

Iowa’s SIM initiative has three primary aims:

  • Improve population health with a particular focus on diabetes, obesity and tobacco use
  • Transform the delivery of health care by implementing Community Care Coalition (C3) initiatives and the Statewide Alert Network (SWAN) promoting care coordination and encouraging community involvement
  • Encourage sustainability by implementing payment reform that expands the use of value-based purchasing (VBP) across payers and providers, focuses on building partnerships with established Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Medicare

The PPC developed a two-part plan to evaluate the state’s strategies and progress toward the SIM health care system transformation. The evaluation plan includes qualitative and quantitative designs incorporating multiple data sources and collection methods to assess:

  1. The implementation and impact of the key SIM interventions (process evaluation) 
  2. The attainment of the core SIM goals and aims (outcome evaluation)

Throughout the Iowa SIM Initiative, the PPC will deliver reports detailing progress in the SIM implementation activities and achievement of its stated outcomes.