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NAQC Newsroom: Announcements

Up to $1 Billion to be Awarded Through Health Care Innovation Challenge Initiative

Friday, November 18, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Today it was announced that 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.

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.

All proposals should include the following elements:

* Workforce Development and Deployment: Proposed models should include the development and/or deployment of health care workers in new, innovative ways. The review process will favor innovative proposals that demonstrate the ability to create the workforce of the future.
* Speed to Implementation: All proposed models must be operational or capable of rapid expansion within six months.
* Model Sustainability: All proposals are expected to define a clear pathway to sustainability, and should consider scalability and diffusion of the proposed model.

Additionally, proposals are encouraged to focus on high cost/high-risk groups including those populations with multiple chronic diseases and/or mental health or substance abuse issues, poor health status due to socio-economic and environmental factors, multiple medical conditions, high cost individuals, or the frail elderly.

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.

The intent of this initiative is to engage a wide variety of innovators. Interested parties of all types who have developed innovations that will meet the initiatives goals of improving care, lowering costs, and creating health care jobs are welcome to apply. Examples of the types of organizations expected to apply are: provider groups, health systems, payers and other private sector organizations, faith-based organizations, local governments, and public-private partnerships.

In addition, certain organizations are eligible to apply as conveners to assemble and coordinate groups of participants. Conveners could serve as facilitators or could be direct award recipients. States are not eligible to apply under this funding opportunity.
Important deadlines to consider are:

* Letter of Intent: December 19, 2011
* Applications are due, January 27, 2012
* Anticipated Award Date: March 30, 2012

For more information, including a fact sheet and the Funding Opportunity Announcement, please see the Health Care Innovation Challenge initiative web site at www.innovation.cms.gov.   


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