HHS Awards Funds for Delivering High-Quality, Patient-Centered Care

Healthcare networks around the country will be getting some financial help from HHS to improve quality of care, increase patient access to information, and reduce costs.

Healthcare networks around the country will be getting some financial help from HHS to improve quality of care, increase patient access to information, and reduce costs.

HHS is awarding $685 million to 39 healthcare networks and supporting organizations as part of the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. The initiative, part of the strategy advanced by the Affordable Care Act, is designed to help clinicians achieve large-scale health transformation and to support 150,000 clinician practices over the next 4 years in sharing, adapting, and developing comprehensive quality improvement strategies.

“Supporting doctors and other health care professionals change the way they work is critical to improving quality and spending our health care dollars more wisely,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement. “These awards will give patients more of the information they need to make informed decisions about their care and give clinicians access to information and support to improve care coordination and quality outcomes.”

A total of 29 group practices, regional healthcare systems, and regional extension centers will be awarded funds to support a range of efforts including: helping providers give patients better tools for communication through e-mails and other information technology applications; offering real-time notification alerts for clinicians caring for high-risk patients; and improving screening and treatment of mental health and substance abuse across multiple care settings.

In addition, 10 national organizations and associations, such as the American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Radiology, National Rural Accountable Care Consortium, American Board of Family Medicine, and National Nursing Centers Consortium, will receive funds to support such efforts as: align clinical practice guidelines across multiple medical specialties and disseminate those findings; and share best practices and provide technical assistance and coaching to their members that may be struggling with how to participate in emerging alternative payment models.

“As a practicing physician, I know the importance of quality improvement support and sharing of best practices to help clinicians transform their practice and deliver outstanding care to every person,” Patrick Conway, MD, acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer of CMS, said. “This support is critical to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.”