On July 19, 2012 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an opportunity for funding for States to design, implement and test improvements to their health care systems. This initiative encourages states to work with a broad coalition, including employers, insurers, community leaders, service organizations, health care providers and consumers to design or test multi-payer payment and delivery system enhancements to Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries while reducing unnecessary spending. Made possible by the Affordable Care Act, awards will come in the form of either Model Testing awards, to assist in implementing already developed models, or Model Design awards, to provide funding and technical assistance to states as they determine what type of improvements will work for them. HHS will select up to five states in the first round of Model Testing awards ($225 million available) and up to 25 states for Model Design awards ($50 million available). A second opportunity for Model Testing awards is expected to be announced next year. For more information on this opportunity and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, click here.