On Thursday, October 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced it would make available up to $840 million in grants over the next four years through the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (“TCPI”), an Affordable Care Act grant program created to assist health care providers with shifting their care practices from volume-based care to outcome based care and with improving health care system coordination.
The TCPI grants will be administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and will be split into two streams: practice transformation networks (“PTNs”) and support and alignment networks (“SANs”). To foster the establishment of PTNs, CMS will award cooperative agreements between providers and companies with a proven track record in achieving measurable care improvements using electronic health records, coordination with patients working to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and readmissions. CMS hopes to encourage SANs with the award of cooperative agreements to partnerships formed by medical professional associations and others who would align their memberships, communication channels, continuing medical education credits and other work to support the PTNs and clinician practices.
CMS expects the TCPI to result in cost savings of between $1 billion and $4 billion across the four-year life of the program while preventing millions of unnecessary hospitalizations. CMS will accept applications for both cooperative agreement funding opportunities from eligible applicants – including group practices, medical provider associations, and health care systems – until January 6, 2015. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit a letter of intent by November 20, 2014. Award announcements are expected in Spring/Summer of 2015. For more information, please refer to the TCPI funding opportunity announcement here.