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Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts Announces 'Healthy Rhode Island'

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, chair of the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission, kicked-off "Healthy Rhode Island: A Plan for Rhode Island's Health Care System of the Future," a major public effort to reimagine the way the state keeps its residents healthy. Healthy Rhode Island is the federally-supported State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative announced in February.

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"The fact that tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders will have access to affordable health coverage in 2014 is an achievement in which we should all be proud," said Roberts. "However, coverage is just the beginning. In order to have a sustainable, high quality health care system in Rhode Island, we must change how we provide health care and how we pay for it. At the same time, we must also develop strategies to maintain and improve the health of Rhode Islanders."

Healthy Rhode Island will kick off in April, and for the next six months, health care providers, insurers, consumers, government leaders and community organizations will be brought together in a series of intensive working groups led by a nationally-recognized leader in health system transformation, The Advisory Board Company. The result will be a State Healthcare Innovation Plan, developed to chart the way from a health care system based on the volume of services provided to a system based on the value of services provided, and focusing on improving the health of Rhode Islanders. The plan will identify reforms for how health care is paid for and delivered, and opportunities in health care policy and regulation to attain the plan's objectives. The plan will also examine the role of community-based organizations that have not been traditional health care providers, but which have a great impact on the health of a community.

"We are already seeing the move away from traditional 'fee-for-service' with some of our providers, and where that is happening, patients are happier, health outcomes are better, and cost trends are moderating," Roberts said. "Now is the time to capitalize on the opportunity, with the support of the federal government, to set our health system on the path to the future."

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