CMS Announces $8 Million Boost in Special Innovation Project Awards for QIN-QIOs

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program recently announced an additional $8 million in funding for Special Innovation Projects (SIP) that support and advance collaboration among the Quality Innovation Network-QIO (QIN-QIOs) and health care providers and partners.

Building on the success of previous SIP awards, this new round will fund up to 28 collaborative projects that align with the goals of the CMS Quality Strategy for two years. The projects will again fit into two key strategic categories: Innovation and Scalability. Innovation projects should address health care quality issues that occur within specific QIN-QIO regions, while scalability projects will focus on expanding the scope and national impact of a quality improvement project that has experienced proven but limited success.

This second category is of particular interest to CMS and is an extension of the Strategic Innovation Engine, a new endeavor launched in 2015 to rapidly move evidence-based quality practices from research to implementation. CMS is interested in projects that seek to streamline patient flow in health care settings; promote an integrated, results-oriented approach to post-acute care; increase value and affordability; or utilize big data to reduce preventable harm in health care settings.

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, CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator, Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality, and Chief Medical Officer, in the official public announcement. 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 made the Statements of Objectives available to QIN-QIOs March 31, and responses are due no later than May 15.