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HHS Announces 81 Innovation Awards

June 15, 2012

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the recipients of 81 new Health Care Innovation Awards.

The awards will support innovative projects nationwide designed to deliver high-quality medical care, enhance the health care workforce, and save money. Combined with the awards announced last month, HHS has awarded 107 projects that, according to awardees, intend to save the health care system an estimated $1.9 billion over the next three years.

“Thanks to the health care law, we are giving people in local communities the resources they need to make our health care system stronger,” Secretary Sebelius said.

The awards are notable for their geographic diversity; projects will be located in urban and rural areas, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Projects include:

Sepsis Early Recognition and Response Initiative in Texas, a project of the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston, is a novel approach to identify and treat sepsis before it progresses. Sepsis is the sixth most common reason for hospitalization and typically requires double the average time in the hospital. It leads to complications such as renal failure and cognitive decline; one out of 20 patients with sepsis die within 30 days. Methodist Hospital’s novel initiative will lead to fewer cases of organ failure, improved patient outcomes, shorter stays in the hospital, and lower costs.

Regional Emergency Medical Services in Nevada—along with the Renown Medical Group, the University of Nevada, the Reno School of Community Health Sciences, the Wahoe County Health District, and Nevada‘s Office of Emergency Medical Services—is establishing a new non-emergency phone number and Community Health Early Intervention Teams that will help people get fast and appropriate care, reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, and lower costs.

Awardees were chosen 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. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at HHS contracted with an external organization with extensive experience in managing independent grant review processes to administer the award review process to ensure an objective review of each application.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within CMS will administer the awards through cooperative agreements over three years.


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