Community Consulting Client Receives $4 Million Award from CMS (Health Care Innovation Challenge)
Preparing this proposal held a challenge that’s becoming more and more familiar. I was fortunate to work with the dynamic CEO of FirstVitals Health and Wellness. He brought together a highly skilled team — including a healthcare CIO and two MDs with executive experience — to support proposal development. All to the good. However, we were in as many as four different time zones, ranging from Honolulu to Jerusalem. That’s a 13 hour difference, and these are all busy people with career and family commitments. The solution was to commit to a minimum number of conference calls — kick-off and review — and use Google Docs to coordinate initial drafts. One key observation here: I love Google Docs when dealing with simple text, but once you begin integrating tables and graphic elements, it’s time to shift to the industry standard — Microsoft Word. When you have a number of cooks in the kitchen, it’s crucial to track approvals and maintain version control. You don’t need a pricey proposal management software system — a spreadsheet and discipline in using the Word ‘track changes’ and ‘save’ functions will work quite well. (The lack of a decent ‘track changes’ option in Excel is a gripe for another day.)
I had a great team supporting this effort, and I’m proud of the proposal we put together. CMS received 3,000 applications and funded 107. I played the horses a bit in my graduate school days, and though I was studying English literature not math, I knew that 30 to 1 was the longest of longshots.
For more details on the project, a nice combination of high-tech and high touch to improve outcomes for low-income diabetics in Hawaii, take a look at the FirstVitals press release.