Take a pulse check on health care innovation in your area

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

One feature of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t get a lot of ink was the creation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Innovation Center. With the very real prospect of an ACA repeal, the Innovation Center’s future is in doubt. As Neal Versel noted in his column for Fortune on the Republican replacement bill to the ACA, the new bill is remarkably thin on the subjects of health IT, innovation and new care delivery models.

The CMS Innovation Center has been responsible for funding new ideas and technology systems that help hospitals and other providers manage the health of populations.

For instance, Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del., won a $10 million grant in 2012 from the CMS Innovation Center to begin building a predictive analytics computer system. That system has helped to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions and improved population health management by identifying patients for care interventions before chronic health conditions become acute. (I wrote about  Christiana Care in a recent article on the adoption of predictive analytics by health systems.)

The CMS Innovation Center has a useful website where reporters can search on grants and projects by state and/or care model. The CMS also issues reports on how the money is being used by grantees. The latest one was issued this month.

Checking up on how providers in your region have spent their innovation grant dollars and what the results have been so far can offer a new (and local) angle to the debate over the ACA replacement.

One thought on “Take a pulse check on health care innovation in your area

  1. Janice Lynch Schuster

    So glad to see you report on this topic–these grants were extremely competitive, and their evaluation was to be ongoing. The idea was to share ideas about successful pilots more quickly. (I know a bit because when I worked at Altarum, I was involved in writing a bid that proved to be unsuccessful. Another business unit at Altarum (which I left in 2014) won a CMMI grant for a program in Michigan–can’t recall the details, may have been about curbing the use of diagnostic imaging? Jim Lee, a VP there, would know.

    In Southern California, a group called Partners in Care, has a project underway with UCLA; it has to do with reducing admissions and readmissions. I coauthored a chapter for an online encyclopedia with its founder and CEO, June Simmons.

    Another great source is Joanne Lynn, MD, with whom I coauthored several books and articles. She is a great champion of rapid-cycle improvement, and has spoken about why it was so important for CMMI to take this approach to QI.

    I wonder how many will endure if Trump gets his way? I wish I were clever enough to write a modest proposal a la Swift.

    Janice

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