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Focus on Regulation

HHS Announces $122.6 Million in Health Care Innovation Awards: First 26 Grants to Improve Care at Lower Cost

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the first round of organizations granted Health Care Innovation Awards.  These 26 organizations were selected from among 3,000 applications submitted in response to a $1 billion challenge issued by CMS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) last November.  Made possible by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the awards will support projects that aim to deliver better care and obtain better health at lower costs to individuals enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

According to HHS, the awardees were selected “for their innovative solutions to the health care challenges facing their communities and for their focus on creating a well-trained health care workforce that is equipped to meet the need for new jobs in the 21st century health system.”  For example, projects include a program to hire critical-care professionals to work in underserved areas in Georgia; a project to improve services for mothers of pre-term infants in Rhode Island; and a plan to train dental hygienists and community health workers to provide preventive care to dentists on Indian reservations in South Dakota.  Additional information on the awards announced is available at through the CMMI website.

These awards total $122.6 million and will be administered through cooperative agreements with HHS over the course of three years.  HHS expects that the awardees will reduce health spending by $254 million over that three-year period.  HHS expects to announce the next round of recipients in June 2012.