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Health and Human Services accepting applications for grants to set up health innovation models

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at 4 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, July 14, 2013, at 6:20 a.m.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday a second round of Health Care Innovation Awards – grants totaling almost $1 billion that will “fund applicants that have a high likelihood of driving health care system transformation and delivering better outcomes,” according to a news release.

In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded about $900 million to 107 applicants.

The latest round of grants will go toward supporting models that focus on population health and reduce government program costs. Applicants can include health systems, provider groups, faith-based organizations, state and local governments, health care providers and for-profit organizations.

According to CMS, GraceMed Health Clinic is the only Wichita facility at which an innovation model is currently being tested.

Dave Sanford, GraceMed CEO, said the clinic is in its second year of working with a clinic in Junction City as part of an Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration with Medicare patients.

Sanford said the model provides support services for seniors on Medicare as their “medical home.”

“Even if we’re not the ones always providing the care, we work to stay in the loop and stay engaged,” Sanford said.

Sanford said the award was based on the number of senior patients; the clinic receives about $60,000 a year to provide the extra level of service.

There are no plans for further rounds of grants under this program, Richard Gilfillan, director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, said during a media teleconference.

Gilfillan could not provide estimates on how much money the first-round grants had saved or the potential cost savings of the models tested. He said it was too early for such a determination. He had no comment on whether there are plans to take any of the innovation models to a national level.

Applications for round two will be accepted until mid-August. CMS expects to announce award winners around the first of the year.

Navigator grants

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced nationwide navigator grants for health centers to assist people selecting insurance plans on the new online health insurance marketplace as part of the Affordable Care Act.

There are 16 health centers in Kansas that will receive about $1.7 million; three Wichita centers included in that number will be eligible for nearly $500,000.

Hunter Health Clinic’s estimated award is $209,198, the Center for Health and Wellness’ estimated award is $69,355, and GraceMed’s estimated award is $212,443.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com.

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