Health IT Integral to Many of CMS Innovation Award Winners

May 27, 2014 in News

Health IT is a key part of many of the programs that will receive a total of up to $110 million in federal funding through CMS’ Health Care Innovation Awards, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 5/23).

Details of Health Care Innovation Awards

The awards aim to provide funding for health care organizations seeking to test out new, innovative care models. HHS in 2012 awarded 107 health care organizations about $900 million during the first funding round of the awards.

For the second funding round, CMS focused on payment models that address four priority areas:

  • Lowering costs for Medicare and Medicaid patients;
  • Improving care for populations with specialized needs;
  • Testing enhanced financial and clinical models for specific kinds of providers; and
  • Connecting clinical care delivery to preventive and population health.

The 12 prospective recipients span 13 states and will receive between $2 million to $18 million each to be used to test models for each category over a three-year period.

The second batch of round two prospective recipients will be announced in the coming months (McCann, Healthcare IT News, 5/23).

Role of Health IT in Winning Programs

Sheila Hanley, director of the policy and programs group at CMS, said that health IT is “an integral part” of many of the grant-winning entries (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 5/23).

Recipients with a health IT component in their programs include:

  • Altarum Institute, which was awarded more than $9 million to test a service delivery model that requires the creation and enhancement of supporting health IT systems (CMS release, 5/22);
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges, which was awarded $7.1 million for its electronic consults program;
  • The Regents of the University of California-San Francisco, which was awarded nearly $10 million to develop a technology-based “dementia care ecosystem” with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Modern Healthcare, 5/23); and
  • The Regents of the University of Michigan, which was awarded $6.4 million for its real-time risk-stratification and perioperative programs for patients undergoing abdominal surgery (Healthcare IT News, 5/23).
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