Many of the newly announced Health Care Innovation Challenge awards will support projects that use health IT to cut costs, improve care and boost the health care workforce, Modern Healthcare reports (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 5/8).
The awards -- created by the federal health reform law -- were given to collaborations of hospitals, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, technology innovators, community organizations, advocacy groups and others (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 5/8).
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the first recipients of the awards on Tuesday (Modern Healthcare, 5/8). She said the awards are "investments in American Innovation," adding, "We can't wait to support innovative projects that will save money and make our health care system stronger. It's yet another way we are supporting local communities now in their efforts to provide better care and lower cost" (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 5/8).
Altogether, CMS awarded $122.6 million to 26 projects, which the agency expects to reduce health spending by $254 million over three years, Healthcare IT News reports.
Health IT-Related Projects
Emory University in Atlanta received an award for its collaboration with area health systems to train health care professionals, as well as link critical care units and physicians using telehealth technology.
In addition, University Hospitals of Cleveland received an award for an initiative that uses telehealth technology and physician extension teams to extend the facility's expertise to local pediatric practices (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 5/8).
Meanwhile, George Washington University in Washington, D.C., received an award for its project to improve care for patients on peritoneal dialysis using telehealth technology.
Other Project Examples
Other award recipients include:
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston for its project to prevent readmissions;
- Duke University in Durham, N.C., for its project to improve Type 2 diabetes treatment in underserved and at-risk populations; and
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., for its project to reduce Medicare readmissions and improve the patient experience (CMS release, 5/8).