HHS awards $685M to healthcare transformation networks

Roughly $685 million will be granted to 39 healthcare organizations by the Department of Health and Human Services to help equip employees with tools that will improve quality of care, better support patient access to data and lower costs.

The awards--announced today as part of the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, which was launched last fall--will be divided among healthcare transformation networks and supporting organizations.

Some of the awardees announced today, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, include:

  • Arizona Health-e Connection: The network is planning to use the money to provide assistance and coaching to providers, including information technology support.
  • National Nursing Centers Consortium: This healthcare entity will work with nurse practitioners to eliminate unnecessary tests and lower hospital admissions
  • Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control: The network, which spans from Virginia to Alabama, is looking to train and add resources such as data warehousing, analytics and Web-based educational tools.
  • American College of Radiology: The nationwide organization will use the funds to help about 24,000 radiologists reduce unnecessary tests and coach them in data collection and educational intervention.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell (pictured) announced the awards during a roundtable discussion today with lawmakers and healthcare leaders.

"These awards will give patients more of the information they need to make informed decisions about their care and give clinicians access to information and support to improve care coordination and quality outcomes," Burwell said in an announcement.

Awards from HHS for efforts involving health IT have been plentiful this year. For instance in April, HHS announced it would provide $1 million in grant funds geared toward improving the flow of information for as many as 10 community organizations, state or local government agencies or other community groups.

In addition, with its sights on interoperability, HHS announced in February a two-year grant program for $28 million to advance the adoption and use of interoperable health IT tools and services to support health information exchange.

To learn more:
- here's the CMS post
- read the announcement