Thousands vie for CMS innovation grants

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been inundated with applications for Health Care Innovation Challenge grants and as a result has delayed rewarding them, the agency announced Monday.

CMS announced last year it would reward up to $1 billion in grants to applicants willing to engage in delivery of care and payment models that would reduce provider costs and improve healthcare outcomes.

"Projects that win this competition will use healthcare dollars more wisely, help create jobs, and help professionals improve the work they do for patients," former CMS Administrator Donald Berwick was quoted as saying last year by Information Week.

The agency received more than 3,000 grant applications, which represented "tens of thousands of clinicians, information technology entrepreneurs, medical suppliers, health centers, hospitals, community-based organizations and individual citizens from every corner of the nation," according to the statement.

Letters of intent were due to CMS by Dec. 19 of last year, and applications were due Jan. 27 of this year. Grants will range in size from $1 million to $30 million and last three years.

"We recognize that a diligent and thorough process means that final determinations of awards will not be possible by March 30, 2012, as stated in the Funding Opportunity Announcement," CMS said. It added that the awarding of the first round of grants would be delayed by several weeks.

To learn more:
- here's the CMS statement
- read the Information Week article