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HHS Announces ACA Innovation Award Winners

May 8, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the first winners of the Health Care Innovation awards, which was made possible by the Affordable Care Act  (ACA).  The 26 winners have projects nationwide that will aim save money, deliver high quality medical care and enhance the health care workforce, according to the ACA.  The preliminary awardees announced today expect to reduce health spending by $254 million over the next three years. 

“We can’t wait to support innovative projects that will save money and make our health care system stronger,” Secretary Sebelius said in a statement. “It’s yet another way we are supporting local communities now in their efforts to provide better care and lower cost.”

A few of the winning projects include collaborations of leading hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technology innovators, community-based organizations, and patients’ advocacy groups, among others, located in urban and rural areas that will begin work this year to address healthcare issues in local communities. 

One of the winners was Emory University’s collaboration with area health systems to train health professionals and use telehealth technologies to link critical care units in rural Georgia to critical care doctors in Atlanta hospitals. It aims to reduce the need to transfer patients from rural hospitals to critical care units in Atlanta;  

Other winners included Camp Courage, which is a program in Minneapolis-St. Paul serving adults with disabilities and complex medical conditions, and University Hospitals of Cleveland, with an initiative to increase access and care coordination for children beyond the walls of the doctor’s office.

Preliminary awardees were chosen for their innovative solutions to the healthcare challenges facing their communities and for their focus on creating a well-trained healthcare workforce that is equipped to meet the need for new jobs in the 21st century health system. The awards total $122.6 million.

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