HHS offering $1B in grants for innovative healthcare ideas

Calling all health IT entrepreneurs! The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is offering $1 billion in grants to applicants who come up with the most compellingly innovative ideas for improving healthcare and lowering costs. The winning ideas can be related to infrastructure, which includes health IT.

The objectives of CMMI's Healthcare Innovation Challenge are as follows:

  • Identify and test new care delivery and payment models that produce better care, better health and reduced cost for identified target populations.
  • Identify new models of workforce development and deployment that support new delivery models either directly or through new infrastructure activities.
  • Rapidly deploy care improvement models through new ventures or expansion of existing efforts to new patient populations.

"Enhanced infrastructure to support more cost effective system-wide function is also a critical component of healthcare system transformation, and applicants are encouraged to include this as an element of their proposals," according to CMMI.

The CMMI awards will range from approximately $1 million to $30 million for a three-year period. Applicants may be providers, payers, local government agencies, public-private partnerships or multi-payer collaboratives. Since software vendors are not specifically mentioned, it appears that they must partner with an entity in one of the above categories.

Applicants must send a letter of intent to CMMI by Dec. 19. Applications are due Jan. 27, 2012, and it is anticipated that grants will be announced in March. 

To learn more:
- read the CMMI announcement
- check out the CMMI description of the challenge
- see the Healthcare IT News story 

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