$8 million in prizes for CMS quality improvement projects

Accreditation Insider, April 5, 2016

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CMS is calling on healthcare providers to team up with Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIO) to support and scaling quality improvement innovations in the industry. The projects include 28 special innovation project awards totaling $8 million in prize money.

The first category is addresses healthcare quality issues that occur within specific QIN-QIO regions. The second category focuses on scaling up existing quality improvement projects that have been shown to work under small, limited conditions.

“We encourage those in the larger healthcare community who are leading quality work in these areas, with interventions and proven results, to reach out and explore potential partnerships with QIN-QIOs,” the agency wrote in the project announcement. “Through collaboration with healthcare providers, patients, families, and other key stakeholders, QIN-QIOs have tremendous potential to take those interventions to the national level and improve the healthcare delivery system by tapping into new settings of care and building upon the knowledge gained by people working on the front line of providing quality healthcare.”

For the second category, CMS is looking for projects that will:

•    Streamline patient flow in various healthcare settings, including hospital units, outpatient clinics, primary care offices, ambulatory surgical centers, and cancer centers resulting in efficiencies, improved satisfaction, decreased mortality, better care, healthier people, and smarter spending.

•    Work with health plans and/or care coordination providers to deploy an integrated approach to post-acute care that results in enhanced care management, safe transitions from one care setting to another, improved health outcomes, and reductions in harm.

•    Increase value, patient affordability, and appropriate use of specialty drugs by applying evidence-based criteria to prescribing practices and by monitoring effectiveness when providers have a choice among equally effective drugs with differing costs.

•    Address acute pain management. For example, more is needed to assist sickle cell patients: from accurate identification of their illness to education of emergency department staff on sickle cell disease while addressing the cultural stigmas often associated with the disease.

•    Utilize big data analytics to reduce preventable harm in healthcare.

Click here to read the full CMS announcement on the QIN-QIO project and click here to visit the QIO Program website.

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