HHS Announces Health Care Innovations Awards

On June 15, CMS announced the second and final list of award recipients for the Health Care Innovation Awards funding opportunity. Through the June announcement, 81 projects were approved including a significant number that have key pharmacist involvement.

Such programs include:

  • Carilion New River Valley Medical Center’s “Improving health for at-risk rural patients (IHARP) in 23 southwest Virginia counties through a collaborative pharmacist practice model.
  • Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin’s “Retooling the pharmacist’s role in improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs.”
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo’s “Pharm2Pharm, a formal hospital pharmacist to community pharmacist collaboration.”
  • University of Southern California’s “Integrating clinical pharmacy services in safety-net clinics.”
  • University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s "Project SAFEMED" which was awarded to improve medication adherence and effective medication usage among high-risk patients.

The awards announcements have been eagerly anticipated by many in pharmacy since the Health Care Innovation Challenge was first announced in November 2011. The Innovation Challenge makes available $1 billion in grants to applicants that can implement new ideas on delivering better health, improved care and lower costs to Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees. The Innovation Challenge awards range from approximately $1 million to $30 million for a three-year period. APhA has encouraged pharmacists to team with other health care providers and apply. APhA also widely distributed materials on the application process and worked with interested applicants.

During the first round of announcements in May 2012, pharmacy had a key role in one of the 26 awards. Upon learning of the June 15 announcement that pharmacist would be integral in a number of the 81 announced awards, Benjamin M. Bluml, BSPharm, Vice President of Research with the APhA Foundation was quoted as saying in an article on pharmacist.com, “It is heartening that the CMS Innovation Center has made so many awards that integrate pharmacists into productive team-based, patient-centered care initiatives designed to help people lead healthier lives.”

To learn more, read our article on pharmacist.com and visit the Health Care Innovation Award Profiles on the Innovation Center Website.