The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced this fall a new program with a little more “personal” feel toward accountable care. The Innovation Advisors program is designed to “help health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs.” These health care improvements will benefit people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), according to CMS.
“We seek to support and expand the number of health care leaders with the knowledge and the vision to find innovative ways to improve care for patients and use our healthcare dollars more wisely,” said CMS Administrator Don Berwick, M.D. “The CMS Innovation Center is an ideal host for this network of experts. It will support their work on efforts that can strengthen public-private partnerships and ensure patients can spend more time with their doctor and get higher-quality care and lower costs.”
How the program will work
Under the new program (CMS was accepting applications through mid-November), there will be up to 200 “Innovation Advisors,” including clinicians, allied health professionals, health administrators and others. They will attend in-person meetings as well as remote sessions to expand their skills and knowledge, and apply what they learn in their organizations and areas.
After an initial, intensive orientation phase, Innovation Advisors will work with the Innovation Center to test new models of care delivery in their own organizations and communities. They will also create partnerships to find new ideas that work and share them regionally and across the United States.
Innovation Advisors will be expected to commit up to 10 hours per week to the Innovation Advisor Program during the initial six months of the program, with part of that time devoted to seminars and instruction. The rest of that time will be devoted to implementing the improvement project they propose in their initial application. The Innovation Advisors who are selected will meet regularly to exchange insights, report on successes and discuss common challenges, according to CMS.