Got an Idea? CMS Offers $1 Billion in Health Care Innovation Challenge

Monday, November 28th, 2011
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

The CMS continues to reward innovation in healthcare; the latest initiative, the New Health Care Innovation Challenge, plans to award up to $1 billion in grant money to organizations that come up with creative ways to deliver healthcare, improve care and lower costs. The agency will take notice of projects that can be up and running within six months and that can hire, train and deploy workers rapidly. Funded by the PPACA, it’s a push for both creative healthcare solutions and increased healthcare job opportunities in as short amount of time as possible, contrary to the Innovation Advisors initiative launched in October, which seeks healthcare solutions over a year long, labor intensive period. All segments of the healthcare industry are encouraged to apply for the Innovation Challenge; December 19th is the cut off date for LOIs.

A quick, innovative, effective solution is also needed to alter the latest statistics on diabetes furnished by the IDF on World Diabetes Day (November 14th): studies show that one adult in 10 will have diabetes by 2030. Far too many are already afflicted with the preventable disease, including 78,000 children suffering with type 1; this despite the fact that the greatest number of diabetics fall within 40 to 59 years of age. The IDF is hoping that continued international awareness of this problem will help; and the agency is in the midst of a five-year campaign to promote diabetes education and prevention programs. Ironically, the CMS cited one health system that worked with community partners to decrease the risk of diabetes with nutrition programs as inspiration for its Healthcare Challenge initiative. Food for thought.

Another area of concern is the number of seniors receiving the wrong medication during their home healthcare visits. The Journal of General Medicine recently published a study stating that nearly 40 percent of patients 65 and over are prescribed potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) at rates three times higher that patients who visit a medical office. Some of the blame can be placed on our fragmented healthcare system, researchers said: home health-based patients see multiple physicians who don’t communicate with each other, resulting in the wrong medication. Perhaps most troubling about this study is that the majority of these patients are taking 11 medications on average, and nearly half of them are taking at least one PIM, researchers say.

And lastly, one quick fix that should boost care access for patients: a new clinical affiliation between CVS Minute Clinics and Emory Healthcare. The stand alone clinics are open seven days a week in select areas throughout metropolitan Atlanta and have nurse practitioners on hand to administer wellness and preventive services and tend to common family illnesses. Patients who need care not provided at the clinics will be referred to Emory Healthcare. Both CVS and Emory hope to streamline the process with the use of EMR systems. These stories and more in this week’s issue of Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.