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Issue Brief
September 2015

State Innovation Model (SIM) Grants: A Scorecard for Consumer Advocate Engagement

The State Innovation Model (SIM) grant program has given funding and technical assistance to states to design and test new ways to provide and pay for health care. To ensure that these changes make the health care system work better for patients and do not adversely affect consumers, consumer advocates should be meaningfully involved in designing and implementing SIM programs.

Evaluation of advocate engagement in six states

This brief (PDF) presents the results of our evaluation of how consumer advocates are engaged in decision making about SIM activities in the six states that received Round 1 Testing grants: Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, and Vermont. We’ve included a scorecard that evaluates and compares these states on 39 basic components of public and transparent engagement. The brief looks at the qualitative factors that are equally important to effective advocate engagement, such as the number and diversity of consumer advocates and the strength of advocates’ relationships with decision makers.

Best practices for meaningful engagement of advocates

The brief also identifies best practices for consumer advocate engagement. These best practices can equip advocates to push their states to design SIM governing processes that include meaningful consumer representation:

  • Consumer advocate involvement in SIM processes
  • Support for consumer advocates
  • Transparent SIM planning and implementation
  • Opportunities for public engagement

Consumer advocates and other stakeholders in states with SIM grants, particularly new grantees, can use this brief as a resource for developing or improving their processes for engaging stakeholders. The brief can also serve as a guide for other decision-making bodies on how to design and manage processes to engage stakeholders. 

Evaluating State Innovation Model (SIM) Grant States: A Scorecard for Consumer Advocate Engagement

Appendix B: Additional Resources

These resources informed our analysis and provide more information about each state’s SIM grant project. Use these resources to learn more about what each state’s grant is funding, as well as how the grant is being managed.


  • SIM website: Arkansas does not have a SIM-specific website. This website provides an overview of the grant project with some resources: 
  • This website has information about Arkansas’ broader health system transformation efforts, beyond SIM
  • SIM budget document: none posted  
  • State Health Innovation Plan
  • SIM governance structure: See page 32