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CMS Grant Program to Stimulate Public/Private Multi Payor Partnerships

By Gregg A Masters, MPH

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services via the innovation center will award up to $30 million to innovative public/private partnerships, and will likely favor those ventures with multi-payor breath.

Via the ‘We Can’t Wait for Innovation Challenge’, a total of $1 billion is intended to stimulate the creative juices of physicians, their managers or joint venture collaborators.

Quoting directly from the November 14th, 2011 announcement:

Up to $1 billion dollars will be awarded to innovative projects across the country that test creative ways to deliver high quality medical care and save money. Launched today by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Care Innovation Challenge will also give preference to projects that rapidly hire, train and deploy health care workers.

“We’ve taken incredible steps to reduce health care costs and improve care, but we can’t wait to do more,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Both public and private community organizations around the country are finding innovative solutions to improve our health care system and the Health Care Innovation Challenge will help jump start these efforts.”

Funded by the Affordable Care Act, the Health Care Innovation Challenge will award grants in March to applicants who will implement the most compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, particularly those with the highest health care needs. The Challenge will support projects that can begin within six months. Additionally, projects that focus on rapid workforce development will be given priority when grants are awarded.

“When I visit communities across the country, I continually see innovative solutions at the very ground level – a large health system working with community partners to decrease the risk of diabetes with nutrition programs or a church group that sends volunteers to help home-bound seniors so they can live at home,” said Donald M. Berwick, M.D., administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “By putting more programs like this in place and more “boots on the ground,” these types of programs can truly transform our health care system.”

Awards will be expected to range from approximately $1 million to $30 million over three years.  Applications are open to providers, payers, local government, community-based organizations and particularly to public-private partnerships and multi-payer approaches.  Each grantee project will be evaluated and monitored for measurable improvements in quality of care and savings generated.

For more information, click here.

Kudos to CMS on the heels of the rather depressing news that thanks to the ‘Gang of 42’ aka the Hatch/Enzi tribe, who registered their opposition to the formal appointment of administrator Berwick to head CMS, in March of 2011. As a result of the ideological misguided counsel and subsequent political obstructionism, one of the brightest minds in health policy and health innovation felt the need to step down.

EDITOR’S Note: One more time, the wingnuts and lunatic fringe in the US Congress, (recently and appropriately labeled the ‘do nothing’ Congress) triumph again in undermining proactive efforts to restrain the rapacious appetite of our healthcare borg aka the ‘US Sick-care [non] system’. This is nothing but more of the same procedural and frivolous opposition we witnessed during the Senate Finance Committee’s hearings on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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