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$1 Billion in Grant Funding Available for EMS Services for Innovative Ideas on Medicare and Medicaid

Dec 01, 2011

NAEMT members are asked to provide their ideas to the Center for Medicaid & Medicare Innovation Health Care Innovation Challenge to take advantage of the opportunity for funding of creative EMS and emergency care ideas. 

The Health Care Innovation Challenge will award up $1 billion in grants to applicants who will implement the most compelling new ideas to deliver improved healthcare and lower costs to those enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, particularly those with the highest health care needs (see Fact Sheet). EMS agencies are eligible for these grants. In fact, “expanded use of community-based paramedics to provide basic services to extend available primary care resources in rural communities” is specifically listed as an example of the type of project that the Innovation Center is looking for (see page 5 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement).

While it is exciting to see EMS referenced in this opportunity, proposals do not need to be limited to community-based paramedic projects. This grant may provide an opportunity to test alternative service deliver and payment models. There are also may be opportunities to look at the transformation of EMS agencies to address prevention, care coordination, team-based care, community-based care, and other initiatives long discussed and written about in documents such as the EMS Agenda for the Future. This grant encourages applicants to include new models of workforce development and deployment that efficiently support their service delivery. CMMI hopes to enhance infrastructure to support more cost effective system-wide function as part of overall health care system transformation. Any project that addresses the broad objectives of the grant (below) should be competitive:

  • Engage a broad set of innovation partners to identify and test new care delivery and payment models that originate in the field and that produce better care, better health, and reduced cost through improvement for identified target populations.
  • Identify new models of workforce development and deployment and related training and education that support new models either directly or through new infrastructure activities.
  • Support innovators who can rapidly deploy care improvement models (within six months of award) through new ventures or expansion of existing efforts to new populations of patients, in conjunction (where possible) with other public and private sector partners.

Generally, awards will range from $1 million to $30 million for a three-year period. Applications are open to providers, payers, local government, public-private partnerships and multi-payer collaborative, including EMS agencies.

This grant will fund many projects, with many hopefully involving EMS and emergency care. For that to happen, the Innovation Center must receive high-quality proposals from the emergency care community. A letter of intent is due December 19, 2011 with applications due January 27, 2012.