HHS Announces $840 Million Initiative To Improve Patient Care and Lower Costs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new innovative model to support clinicians in achieving large-scale health care transformation. TheTransforming Clinical Practice Initiative will provide up to $840 million over the next 4 years to support 150,000 clinicians in sharing, adapting, and further developing comprehensive quality improvement strategies, which are expected to lead to greater improvements in patient health and reduction in health care costs.
This effort is especially significant to our behavioral health community. With implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, more than 60 million Americans will gain access to new or expanded coverage for mental health and substance abuse services. As our health system broadens, the behavioral health field has a responsibility to lead in setting comprehensive goals to develop the workforce, improve quality, and provide effective services to individuals with behavioral health conditions.
An opportunity such as this is an incentive for the behavioral health community to integrate with and leverage funding that will transform health care delivery. Below are some key descriptions and features of the initiative.
Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative
CMS will award cooperative agreement funding for two network systems under this initiative: the Practice Transformation Networks and the Support and Alignment Network.
The Practice Transformation Networks are peer-based learning networks designed to coach, mentor, and assist clinicians in developing core competencies specific to practice transformation. This approach allows clinician practices to become actively engaged in the transformation. It also ensures collaboration among a broad community of practices that create, promote, and sustain learning and improvement across the health care system.
The Support and Alignment Network will provide a system for workforce development using national and regional professional associations and public-private partnerships that are currently working in practice transformation efforts. Utilizing existing and emerging tools (e.g., continuing medical education, maintenance of certification, core competency development), this network will help ensure sustainability of these efforts. These tools will especially support the recruitment of clinician practices serving small, rural, and medically underserved communities and play an active role in the alignment of new learning.
How To Apply
Beginning October 23, 2014, CMS will begin accepting applications for the following funding opportunity announcements:
Potential applicants are highly encouraged to submit nonbinding Letters of Intent to apply by November 20, 2014.
The application period for both funding opportunity announcements is October 23, 2014, through January 6, 2015. The funding opportunity announcements and detailed application instructions are located on Grants.gov.
A series of informational session webinars for potential applicants will be held on November 6, 2014, and November 20, 2014. Attendees may submit questions during these informational webinars, and responses will be posted on this website after the respective webinars conclude.
Practice Transformation Networks Webinars
November 6, 2014 | 1 p.m.–2 p.m. Eastern Time
November 20, 2014 | 1 p.m.–2 p.m. Eastern Time
Support and Alignment Network Webinars
November 6, 2014 | 3 p.m.–4 p.m. Eastern Time
November 20, 2014 | 3 p.m.–4 p.m. Eastern Time
SAMHSA is committed to supporting your efforts to achieve large-scale behavioral health transformation. Please contact Christopher Carroll, Director of Health Care Financing and Integration, at christopher.carroll@samhsa.
Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.