TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Human Services on Wednesday announced it has launched a new Office of Medicaid Innovation to improve the quality, delivery and cost of care within the state’s Medicaid program.

The Office will lead New Jersey Medicaid’s work on value-based payment and purchasing strategies.  It will focus on identifying opportunities for innovative approaches to the relationship between Medicare and Medicaid. It will also focus on partnering with stakeholders to explore alternative payment models to drive the best clinical outcomes while getting the best value for health care dollars. 

“Our Medicaid program serves nearly two million New Jerseyans and is vital to our state’s health care system, which is why it is important that we are ensuring that we deliver the best value for this investment and that we lean-in on innovation,” said Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “This new office will prove beneficial to consumers and providers alike.”

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The state’s Medicaid program is known as NJ FamilyCare, which provides health coverage to adults and children with low- or moderate incomes. The state- and federally-funded program provides a wide-range of services, including doctor visits, hospital services, prescriptions, tests, vision care, mental health care, dental, and nursing and community-based home care.

“New Jersey’s Medicaid system strives each and every day to provide the highest quality care for millions of our residents,” said Human Services Deputy Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “The development and implementation of innovative and evidence-based models of care that promote quality, value, equity and patient engagement are priorities for our program and for the Murphy administration.”

The Office will be led by Gregory Woods, who most recently served as the Director of the Policy and Programs Group at the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in Baltimore.  At CMS, Woods oversaw or supported the launch of several payment and delivery system reform initiatives and developed policies that support new approaches to payment for Medicaid and Medicare.  Before his time at CMS, Woods worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he helped oversee payment and delivery system reforms within Medicare.

The creation of a new office to lead this work is an affirmation of the Department’s long-term commitment to the important groundwork, design and development needed to seed new approaches to payment and care delivery.

“With Greg’s extensive background on issues and policies directly impacting NJ FamilyCare, we look forward to this new office helping to expand on our work to date and opportunities to transform our health care delivery system,” said Meghan Davey, director of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which operates the state’s Medicaid program.