Health Care Innovation Challenge
No doubt you remember the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the contentious health care reform legislation that led to warnings of death panels.
Well, the death panels never materialized, but a good deal of funding has. The success of health care reform is premised partly on improved efficiency, and that road runs through demonstration grants. The Health Care Innovation Challenge (managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or CMS for short) offers $1 billion for projects that can demonstrate efficiency paired with improved health outcomes. Grants will be for three years and range from $1 to $30 million. I estimate we’ll see about 200 awards. That’s a lot of projects.
CMS is looking for hard numbers. Can you show detailed current costs for your target population and project sources of savings? If so, you’re well on your way. But that’s not enough. You need to show how the project will improve health indicators. These could be blood pressure, glycemic levels, preventable hospitalizations and the like. You need to root your projections firmly in the literature. Be prepared to lose some hours in the hypnotic maze of linked publications that is PubMed.
Interestingly, the RFP places a strong emphasis on job creation. This puts tech-savvy applicants in a potential bind. Say you reduce costs by deploying a technology that makes staff more efficient. You’re rewarded for saving money, but penalized for not adding (and potentially reducing) personnel.
It looks like there will be two rounds of funding. The first deadline is January 27th, but note that a required letter of intent is due on December 19th. Stay tuned for details on the second round.