CMS recruiting physicians for health care innovation project

Health professionals are eligible for the program, which seeks to boost quality and decrease costs through continuous improvement.

By Doug Trapp — Posted Oct. 31, 2011

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Federal health officials are seeking physicians and other health professionals for a program to develop leaders in health care innovation.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Oct. 17 announced the Innovation Advisors Program, which will accept up to 200 people in its first year. Advisers will develop projects and processes in their home regions that achieve the goals of bettering population health, improving health care delivery and lowering costs through continuous improvement. They will focus on Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Applicants can include individual doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, health care administrators and others who are employed by public health or health care facilities, institutions or departments. The program's goal is to allow leaders to develop and implement new strategies to improve quality and lower costs but also to apply lessons learned in other regions.

"The Innovation Advisors will become leaders of national change," said CMS Administrator Donald M. Berwick, MD.

The program will be housed in the CMS Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, created by the health system reform law. The center will receive $10 billion until 2019 to test models that could help improve quality and lower costs in Medicare and Medicaid. The center is funding demonstration programs to provide medical homes to Medicare beneficiaries, bundle payments and coordinate care.

Applications for the program are due by Nov. 15. CMS will notify applicants by mid-December and launch the program in January by holding its first meeting. "We are not really limiting it to any particular discipline," said Teresa Titus-Howard, deputy director of the CMS Innovation Center's Learning and Diffusion Group.

Participants are expected to commit up to 10 hours per week for the program's first six months. During this intensive orientation period, advisers will develop several skills, including expertise in health care finance and economics, population health, behavior change and systems analysis. After that, they will implement and refine their projects.

"We can't make the change we need from Washington," said Joe McCannon, senior adviser to the CMS administrator.

An adviser's home organization or group will be eligible to receive a stipend of up to $20,000 to support travel and other expenses. Advisers could receive additional financial support after the program's first year.

More information about the program, including the application, is available online.

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External links

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Advisors Program (link)

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