Friday, October 24, 2014 $850 Million CMS Initiative Will Fund Clinical Practice 'Transformation' A new initiative announced by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will offer $850 million in funding to provider networks, professional associations, and other organizations that are providing education and training in the transition to value-based health care. The "Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative" unveiled by the CMS Innovation Center is a 4-year project that aims to "support clinician practice through nationwide, collaborative, and peer-based learning networks that facilitate practice transformation," according to a CMS fact sheet. Funding will be awarded in 2 general areas: "practice transformation networks" that involve peer-to-peer learning, and "support and alignment networks" that involve learning opportunities created by professional associations, societies, and other organizations. CMS envisions successful practice transformation network applicants as those that have relationships and share data with multiple clinician practices, and can lead "clinicians and their practices through the transformation process." CMS-funded support and alignment networks will be organizations that generate evidence-based guidelines, promoting measurement, supporting efforts to reduce unnecessary testing and procedures, and "effectively incorporating safety and patient and family engagement," according to CMS. CMS encourages applicants to submit a letter of intent by November 20, with completed applications due by January 6, 2015. The awards are scheduled to be announced in spring or summer of 2015.