Several CMS Innovation Award Projects To Leverage Health IT

July 11, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, HHS announced new prospective recipients of a second round of grants under the Affordable Care Act’s Health Care Innovation Awards, including grants for projects that seek to leverage telehealth technology to improve care, FierceHealthIT reports (FierceHealthIT, 7/10).

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.

In May, HHS announced the first batch of round two grants to 12 prospective recipients spanning 13 states that received between $2 million to $18 million each (iHealthBeat, 5/27).

New Prospective Innovation Award Recipients

For the second batch of round two grants, HHS named 39 prospective recipients spanning 27 states and Washington, D.C. (HHS release, 7/9).

The grants range from $2 million to $23.8 million (Viebeck, The Hill, 7/9). Each grant will be used to test models for each category over a three-year period.

HHS said prospective award recipients will receive final notice of their grant status later this summer (HHS release, 7/9).

Role of Health IT in Winning Projects

Several of the newly announced prospective grant recipients’ projects focus on using health IT to improve care.

Recipients with a health IT component in their programs include:

  • The Altarum Institute, which is slated to receive a $9.4 million grant to improve the dental health of children enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program by linking primary care providers and dentists through state and regional health insurance exchange systems;
  • Nebraska Medical Center, which is slated to receive a nearly $10 million grant to test the Remote Interventions Improving Specialty Complex Care model, which offers remote monitoring to patients for 90 days after their initial hospital discharge; and
  • The University of Kansas Hospital Authority, which is slated to receive a $12.5 million grant to help expand use of big data analysis, health information exchange, telehealth and population health management in rural Kansas (FierceHealthIT, 7/10).
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