New Ideas for Complex Problems
Difficult circumstances often call forth the opportunity for innovation. Public sector systems are challenged to innovate because of frequent changes to policy and funding requirements. This has often inspired organizations to do something out of the ordinary and utilize talents that might have been only latent before. There continues to be pressure throughout health and human services to design and implement programs that do more with less. Programs and services are being asked to reduce costs while increasing quality, improving outcomes, and increasing satisfaction of services.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established an Innovation Center to promote health care transformation. CMS has invested over $1 billion to identify, develop, support, and evaluate innovative models of payment and care service delivery. CMS Innovation Center initiatives tackle some of the most complex issues presented by our healthcare system and provide resources to try out possible solutions.
- The Mental Health Services Act Innovations component provides opportunity to increase access to and quality of services and promote interagency collaboration. The Innovation component broadens the scope of MHSA and support communities to try out innovative approaches for people who don’t connect with established practices and programs. This bears great promise for how we think about and provide mental health services.
- Innovation requires evaluation to identify what worked. Evaluation provides an opportunity to learn from and begin to establish an evidence base for the new approaches and strategies tested. As in any experiment, not all innovations will work, but all may serve as lessons to inform future practices.