PHILADELPHIA — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that two projects submitted from the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) have been selected among a competitive review for funding through the Health Care Innovation Awards. Made possible by the Affordable Care Act — the awards will support 81 innovative projects nationwide that will save money, deliver high quality medical care and enhance the health care workforce.

The first project, submitted by David Asch, MD, MBA and Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, of the Department of Medicine, Leonard Davis Institute and the UPHS Innovation Center, will focus on improving medication adherence and health outcomes in post-discharge patients who are recovering from acute myocardial infarctions in metropolitan Philadelphia and adjoining areas of New Jersey. The project, titled "A rapid cycle approach to improving medication adherence through incentives and remote monitoring for coronary artery disease patients," will increase medication adherence through telemonitoring and a visual and audible "reminder" system. It will also retrain social workers as engagement advisors to monitor adherence, offer incentives, and enlist patient support from family and friends. The result will be improved health outcomes and lower cost. The $4.8 million dollar-funded program will train an estimated 21 workers, while creating an estimated seven jobs. The project is estimated to save CMS $2.7 million.

The second project, submitted by David Casarett, MD, chief medical officer for Penn Wissahickon Hospice, will test a comprehensive set of home care services for Medicare and/or Medicaid beneficiaries with advanced cancer who are receiving skilled home care and have substantial palliative care needs, but are not yet eligible for hospice care. The "Comprehensive longitudinal advanced illness management (CLAIM)" program will serve five counties in the metropolitan Philadelphia area. Using care coordination and planning, the intervention will provide in-home support, symptom management, crisis management, and emotional and spiritual support for beneficiaries with advanced cancer, enabling them to remain in their homes and avoid unnecessary and undesirable hospitalizations. The $4.3 million dollar-funded program will create an estimated 16 jobs, train 64 workers. The project is estimated to save CMS over $9.4 million.

Awardees were chosen for their innovative solutions to the health care challenges facing their communities and for their focus on creating a well-trained health care workforce that is equipped to meet the need for new jobs in the 21st century health system. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the health care and social assistance sector will gain the most jobs between now and 2020. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at HHS administers the awards through cooperative agreements over three years.

For more information, see the CMS website.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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