Thursday, May 16, 2013 $1 Billion Pegged to Fund Health Care Innovation Awards Nearly $1 billion will be available to fund the second round of the Health Care Innovation Awards, which encourage programs that drive health care system transformation and deliver better outcomes. Last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded 107 round one Health Care Innovation Awards out of nearly 3,000 applications to organizations that are testing innovative solutions to improve outcomes and reduce costs. Projects are located in urban and rural areas, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In this round, CMS is specifically seeking innovations in 4 areas: rapidly reducing costs for patients with Medicare and Medicaid in outpatient hospital and other settings; improving care for populations with specialized needs; testing improved financial and clinical models for specific types of providers, including specialists; and linking clinical care delivery to preventive and population health. "We see innovative solutions in delivering and improving care deployed all over the country," said Marilyn Tavenner, who yesterday was confirmed as CMS administrator after being the acting administrator since late 2010. "Over the last 3 years, we have seen national health care cost growth slow significantly, and we want to continue that trend by … testing new models of paying for quality care. These awards will help spur private and public sector innovation in this endeavor."