For Immediate Release - July 27, 2016

HPC Awards $11.3 Million in Investments through Health Care Innovation Program

Approved awards focus on innovative approaches to lowering costs and improving care, particularly for patient populations with the highest health care needs

BOSTON – Wednesday, July 27, 2016 – Today, the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) announced the launch of the Health Care Innovation Investment (HCII) Program, approving over $11 million in investments to 20 competitively selected awardees. A complete listing of awards is attached. The HCII program is a unique opportunity for Massachusetts providers, health plans, and their partners to implement innovative models that deliver better health and better care at a lower cost.

Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, the state’s landmark cost containment law, established this competitive investment program to support health care innovation and transformation.

“These awards represent a commitment by the HPC to work in partnership with the health care system on our shared goal of better care, better health, and lower costs,” said HPC Board Member DON BERWICK, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “This unique investment will unlock the potential for collaboration between health care providers and their community partners in meeting the needs of the Commonwealth's residents, particularly our most vulnerable populations.”

The first phase of the HCII Program invests in initiatives that span the entire Commonwealth. Funded awards will support collaboration among 144 organizations as diverse as large academic medical centers, health plans, world class research institutions, rural community hospitals, small community primary care practices, community health centers, and more. Awards range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and are divided among three pathways.

Pathway 1: Targeted Cost Challenge Investments

The goal of the Targeted Cost Challenge Investments is to support innovative delivery and payment models that are poised to be taken to scale and make a meaningful impact on the Health Care Cost Growth Benchmark in years to come. Eligible applicants and their partners proposed initiatives that will reduce the cost of care to the health care system while improving quality and access in eight priority areas of high spending.

“Massachusetts is home to some of the most creative, forward-thinking health care leaders in the world. Through the HCII program, we will be able to tap into this incredible strength to address some of the biggest challenges we face in health care,” said DAVID SELTZ, HPC Executive Director. “These awards support the HPC’s commitment to transformation and innovation in our health care system.”

Many projects aim to reduce unnecessary emergency department visits, inpatient visits, and overall total health care spending through patient-centered care management and coordination. Patients served by the projects include particularly vulnerable populations, such as homeless adults and families, low-income disabled individuals, patients with life-limiting illnesses, and patients with mental health and substance use disorder conditions.

The HPC is funding 10 Targeted Cost Challenge Investments totaling $6,614,881. Awards range from $420,000 to $750,000, for an 18-month period of performance.

 

Awardee

 

Region Funding
Behavioral Health Network, Inc. Western Massachusetts $750,000
Berkshire Medical Center Western Massachusetts $741,920
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Metro Boston $750,000
Boston Medical Center Metro Boston $747,289
Brookline Community Mental Health Center Metro Boston $418,583
Care Dimensions North Shore $750,000
Commonwealth Care Alliance Metro Boston $598,860
Hebrew SeniorLife Metro Boston $421,742
Lynn Community Health Center North Shore $690,000
Spaulding Hospital Cambridge Metro Boston $746,487

 

Pathway 2: Telemedicine Pilots

The goal of the Telemedicine Pilots is to increase access to high-quality behavioral health care through technology. Eligible applicants and their partners proposed pilots using telemedicine to extend access to behavioral health care services for one of the following populations with unmet behavioral health needs: 

  • Individuals with substance use disorder;
  • Children and adolescents; or
  • Older adults aging in place.

The HPC is funding 4 Telemedicine Pilots totaling $1,762,789. Awards range from $340,000 to $500,000, for a 12-month period of performance.

Awardee

 

Region Funding
Heywood Hospital Central Massachusetts $425,570
Pediatric Physicians' Organization at Children's Hospital Cape and Islands, Merrimack Valley, Western Massachusetts $341,175
Riverside Community Care Metro Boston $499,860
UMass Memorial Medical Center Central Massachusetts $496,184

 

“There is no one magic bullet that will solve the significant challenges we face in health care,” said DR. STUART ALTMAN, HPC Chair and health economist. “That’s why these awards will fund a range of new solutions, across a wide variety of health care settings, aimed at patients of all ages and health care needs. Through this program we hope to sustain, scale, and spread the most effective ideas for improving care and reducing costs.”

 

Pathway 3: Mother and Infant-Focused Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Interventions

The goal of the NAS Interventions is to contribute to the Commonwealth’s nation-leading efforts to address the opioid epidemic by supporting enhanced care and treatment for mothers and infants impacted by opioid use. Eligible applicants and their partners proposed interventions designed to improve care for infants with NAS and for women in treatment for opioid use disorder during and after pregnancy. These awards will supplement an existing, federally-funded program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, called “Moms Do Care.”

The HPC is funding 6 NAS Interventions totaling $2,997,778. Awards range from $250,000 to $1,000,000, for a period of performance of 12 or 24 months.

Awardee

 

Region Funding
Baystate Medical Center Western Massachusetts $249,778
Boston Medical Center Metro Boston $248,976
UMass Memorial Medical Center Central Massachusetts $249,992
Lahey Health - Beverly North Shore $1,000,000
Lawrence General Hospital Merrimack Valley $250,000
Lowell General Hospital Merrimack Valley $999,032

 

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The HPC is an independent state agency. Its mission is to advance a more transparent, accountable, and innovative health care system through independent policy leadership and innovative programs. The HPC's goal is better health and better care at a lower cost across the Commonwealth. To learn more, please visit us online or follow us on Twitter @Mass_HPC.