The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program made a recent announcement of an additional eight million dollars in funding for the Special Innovation Projects (SIP). This project support and increase the collaboration among healthcare providers and partners and Quality Innovation Network (QIN-QIOs).
The new round is built on the success of the previous SIP awards, and will fund up to 28 projects. These projects align with the goals of the CMS Quality Strategy for two years. Reports say that these projects will again fit into two strategic categories: Scalability and Innovation.
The Scalability projects will concentrate on expanding the national impact and scope of a quality improvement project, which has proven by limited success rate, whereas the Innovation projects address quality issues in healthcare that take place within specific QIN-QIO regions.
The Scalability category is of much interest to the CMS and the category is an extension of the Strategic Innovation Engine, an endeavor launched in 2015. The project was launched to rapidly move the evidence-based quality practices from research to implementation stage. CMS is much interested in those projects that help to streamline patient flow in the healthcare settings, have an integrated and result oriented approach to post acute care, make use of big data to decrease preventable harm in the various healthcare settings, and increase the value and affordability of healthcare.
“We encourage those in the larger health care community, who are leading quality work in these areas with interventions and proven results, to reach out and explore potential partnerships with QIN-QIOs,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality, Chief Medical Officer, and Acting Principal Deputy Administrator for CMS. “Through collaboration with providers, patients, families and other key stakeholders, QIN-QIOs have tremendous potential to take those interventions to the national level and improve the health care delivery system.”
CMS awarded 20 grants to fund SIPs in October, 2016 through the regional Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs). More than half of the grants are aimed at expanding successful improvement projects and the rest of the grant is focused on offering better and improved care at reduced rates. These grants were awarded based on the scientific rigor, evidentiary support, and feasibility of the interventions of the projects.