The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced last week that $1 billion in grants are available in a second round of funding under the Affordable Care Act to support innovative ways to improve health care outcomes.

This year, the agency is focusing its new three-year grant awards on four core areas: rapidly reducing costs in outpatient and post-acute settings, improving care for patient populations with specialized needs, testing improved financial and clinical models for certain types of providers and linking clinical care delivery to preventive and population health.

“In this round, CMS specifically seeks new payment models to support the service delivery models funded by this initiative,” according to the funding opportunity announcement. “All applicants must submit, as part of their application, the design of a payment model that is consistent with the new service delivery model that they propose.”

CMS in 2012 awarded 107 Health Care Innovation Awards for a variety of initiatives across the nation. The goals of that grant program were to avoid mistakes and readmissions, improve population health status, reward quality rather than quantity and create supporting health information technology infrastructures.

CMS will accept letters of intent between June 1 and June 28, and applications between June 14 and August 15.

The article originally appeared in Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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