CMS Seeks to 'Rapidly Reduce' Medicare Spending with $1B in Grants

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , May 17, 2013

The second round of federal Health Care Innovation Awards specifically seeks clinical models that will quickly shrink Medicare costs and improve care for populations with special needs as well as population health.

Nearly $1 billion in grant money will be available to healthcare providers that can demonstrate a high likelihood of success in rapidly lowering costs and improving quality for chronic and special needs populations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced this week.

"Over the last three years, we have seen national healthcare cost growth slow significantly and we want to continue that trend by helping to improve the delivery of healthcare by testing new models of paying for quality care, CMS's newly confirmed administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in prepared remarks.

"These awards will help spur private and public sector innovation in this endeavor."

This second round of Health Care Innovation Awards differs from the first round. This time, CMS said it's looking for innovations in four areas:

  1. Rapidly reducing costs for patients with Medicare and Medicaid in outpatient hospital and other settings;
  2. Improving care for populations with specialized needs;
  3. Testing improved financial and clinical models for specific types of providers, including specialists; and
  4. Linking clinical care delivery to preventive and population health.

Colin Roskey, an attorney at Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies in the firm's Health Law Practice Group, says "results" are the focus of the second round of grants.

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