$1 billion available for projects to 'rapidly reduce' post-acute care costs, CMS announces

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The second round of the Health Care Innovation Awards is now underway, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Wednesday. CMS will distribute up to $1 billion to fund projects that aim to improve care while cutting costs for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Innovation in post-acute care is a special focus of this round of awards. CMS is looking for models that would “rapidly reduce Medicare, Medicaid, and/or CHIP costs in outpatient and/or post-acute settings,” according to an agency release.

Eligible applicants include both nonprofit and for-profit provider groups and health systems. Several projects in the first round of funding focused on long-term care. For example, Christus St. Michael Health System in Arkansas and Texas received more than $1.6 million to implement a program for reducing hospital readmissions from nursing homes.

The Affordable Care Act funds the Health Care Innovation Awards. Potential applicants must submit a letter of intent by June 28, and applications are due August 15.

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