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WASHINGTON— The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced that Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming will participate in a policy academy designed to assist governors and their senior staff in establishing or enhancing programs that improve outcomes and reduce cost of health care for people with complex care needs.

The goal of Developing State-Level Capacity to Improve Health and Reduce Cost of Populations with Complex Care Needs is to help states with strategic planning efforts to develop or advance systems that improve health outcomes and reduce cost of care for people who are the highest users of health care. Commonly referred to as super-utilizers, these individuals frequently use the emergency room, hospital inpatient services and other high-cost forms of health care delivery to meet their care needs. Though they represent a small segment of the beneficiary population, they account for a large portion of state Medicaid expenditures.

“This is a great opportunity to expand Rhode Island’s efforts to improve health outcomes and quality of care for some of our most vulnerable community members,” said Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo. “Identifying innovative solutions to improve the care of super-utilizers will help us spend our health care dollars more wisely and help Rhode Islanders live longer, healthier lives.”

An NGA policy academy is a highly interactive, team-based, multi-state process in which a number of states develop and implement a plan to address a complex public policy issue. Participating states receive guidance and technical assistance from NGA staff and faculty experts, as well as consultants from the private sector, federal agencies, research organizations and academia.

To learn more about NGA’s health division, please visit www.nga.org/cms/center/health.