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New Program Enlists Medical Professionals to Change Health Systems

By Rebecca Adams, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor

January 3, 2012 -- The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced Tuesday that officials will pay 73 doctors, health care executives, academics, and other health care professionals $20,000 each this year to spend up to 10 hours per week trying to change health systems in ways that the center’s leaders believe will improve care.

The Innovation Center’s advisers network is a new program that is funded by the 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). The 73 individuals announced Tuesday are funded through an initial round of grants. In its first year, the Innovation Advisors Program is expected to pay up to 200 professionals to participate in the program.

Another round of applications will be accepted in the spring, with more advisers to be chosen by June. The 73 advisers in the initial announcement were selected out of 920 applicants and came from large and small hospitals and other health care centers from 27 states and the District of Columbia. Anyone who applied for the first round does not have to reapply because their applications will automatically be considered for the second set of grants.

The new fellows will spend much of the first six months of the program in seminars. The rest of the time is supposed to be spent testing new ways of delivering care in their institutions or implementing changes that they proposed as part of their applications. The group will meet regularly to discuss trends, successes and challenges.

Applicants had to be associated with a public health or health care facility, institution or department. The candidates came from a range of professions, including physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, instructors, and health care executives.

List of Advisers

Rebecca Adams can be reached at [email protected].

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