Up to $500 Million in Affordable Care Act Funding Will Help Health Providers Improve Care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that up to $500 million in Partnership for Patients funding will be available to help hospitals, healthcare provider organizations and others improve care and stop millions of preventable injuries and complications related to healthcare-acquired conditions and unnecessary readmissions. This funding, made available by the Affordable Care Act, will be awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center through a solicitation and other procurements for federal contracts announced today.

"Since the Partnership for Patients was announced, we have had an overwhelming response from hospitals, doctors, employers, and other partners who want to be a part of this historic effort to improve patient safety," says CMS administrator Donald M. Berwick, MD. "We are now looking to contract with local and statewide entities that can foster and support hospitals efforts to improve healt care and reduce harm to patients."

The Partnership for Patients is a new public-private partnership that will help improve the quality, safety, and affordability of healthcare for all Americans. The Partnerships two goals arereducing harm in hospital settings by 40-percent and reducing hospital readmissions by 20- percent over a three-year period. To achieve these goals, the Partnership is seeking to contract with large healthcare systems, associations, state organizations, or other interested parties to support hospitals in the hard work of redesigning care processes to reduce harm. "Hospital Engagement Contractors" will be asked to conduct the following:

- Design intensive programs to teach and support hospitals in making care safer

- Conduct trainings for hospitals and care providers

- Provide technical assistance for hospitals and care providers

- Establish and implement a system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting quality improvement goals.

In addition to the Hospital Engagement Contractors, CMS will also be working with other contractors to develop and share ideas and practices that improve patient safety. These efforts include work with patients and families to understand their thoughts on how to best improve patient safety and transitions between different healthcare settings such as when a patient is discharged from a hospital to a nursing home.

These contracts make available the first round of funding which will ultimately total up to $500 million that the Innovation Center has committed to this effort. Solicitations for proposals are available on the Federal Business Opportunities website at: www.fbo.gov.

When the Partnership for Patients was announced, the Obama administration committed up to $1 billion in Affordable Care Act funding to help achieve the two goals. At the time of the announcement, up to $500 million was made available through the Community-based Care Transitions Program to ensure patients safely transition between settings of care (access the Transitions Program solicitation here).Todays announcement makes available the start of $500 million additional Innovation Center funds to help reduce healthcare-acquired conditions and reduce unnecessary readmissions.