On April 21, CMS announced that it will award two Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) with combined maximum funding of $10 million to regional Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) from the CMS QIO Program in FY 2015. The SIPs are two-year quality improvement projects that align with the goals of the CMS Quality Strategy and emphasize the power of partnerships.
The first type of SIP, “Innovations that Advance Local Efforts for Better Care at Lower Cost”, addresses health care quality issues that occur within specific QIN-QIO regions. Collaboration with health care, community and/or national partners is an important aspect of the work in terms of brainstorming ideas, identifying potential areas of focus, and developing interventions. The innovations can be either new or pre-existing.
The second type of SIP, “Interventions that are Ripe for Spread and Scalability”, is focused on expanding the scope and national impact of a quality improvement project that has had proven success on a more limited level. The expectation would be that similar benefits would be seen on a large scale. CMS is specifically interested in projects that will result in reduced mortality, harm, health care disparities, and costs, and that will result in a high return on investment, link value to quality, and result in the utilization of alternative payment models by providers.
QIN-QIOs are allowed – though not required – to submit proposals for one or both SIPs, and they are eligible for a maximum of two awards.