Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative is designed to help clinicians achieve large-scale health transformation. The initiative is designed to support 150,000 clinician practices over the next four years in sharing, adapting and further developing their comprehensive quality improvement strategies. The initiative is one part of a strategy advanced by the Affordable Care Act to strengthen the quality of patient care and spend health care dollars more wisely. It aligns with the criteria for innovative models set forth in the Affordable Care Act:

  • Promoting broad payment and practice reform in primary care and specialty care,
  • Promoting care coordination between providers of services and suppliers,
  • Establishing community-based health teams to support chronic care management, and
  • Promoting improved quality and reduced cost by developing a collaborative of institutions that support practice transformation.

Background

Since the launch of the Affordable Care Act, CMS has launched numerous programs and models to help health providers achieve large-scale transformation. Programs and models, such as the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, Accountable Care Organizations, and the Partnership for Patients initiative with Hospital Engagement Networks, are striving to help clinicians and hospitals move from volume-based towards patient-centered quality health care services. This has resulted in fewer unnecessary hospital readmissions, reductions in healthcare-associated infections and hospital-acquired conditions, and improvements in quality outcomes and cost efficiency.

To date, there has been no large–scale investment in a collaborative peer-based learning initiative designed– an investment that ensures that clinicians who participate will be part of leading and creating positive change for the entire health care system. CMS estimates that only about 185,000 of the nation’s clinicians currently participate in existing programs, models, and initiatives that facilitate practice transformation.

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative is one of the largest federal investments uniquely designed to support clinician practices through nationwide, collaborative, and peer-based learning networks that facilitate large-scale practice transformation.

Initiative Details

CMS will award cooperative agreement funding for two network systems under this initiative: Practice Transformation Networks and the Support and Alignment Networks.

Practice Transformation Networks

The Practice Transformation Networks are peer-based learning networks designed to coach, mentor and assist clinicians in developing core competencies specific to practice transformation. This approach allows clinician practices to become actively engaged in the transformation and ensures collaboration among a broad community of practices that creates, promotes, and sustains learning and improvement across the health care system.

CMS will award cooperative agreement funding to successful applicants who have pre-existing relationships with multiple clinician practices (primary care and/or specialists) that include data sharing capabilities. Successful applicants will collaboratively lead clinicians and their practices through the transformation process, achieve the initiative’s goals, and ensure that clinicians and their practices can maintain and sustain these activities in a dynamic care delivery system.

Support and Alignment Networks

The Support and Alignment Networks will provide a system for workforce development utilizing national and regional professional associations and public-private partnerships that are currently working in practice transformation efforts. Utilizing existing and emerging tools (e.g., continuing medical education, maintenance of certification, core competency development) these networks will help ensure sustainability of these efforts. These will especially support the recruitment of clinician practices serving small, rural and medically underserved communities and play an active role in the alignment of new learning.

CMS will award cooperative agreement funding to successful applicants that may include eligible medical professional associations, specialty societies, and other organizations that are involved in aligning their programs with the aims of the initiative; generating evidence-based guidelines for clinical practice; promoting measurement for improvement; supporting members and practices in work to reduce unnecessary testing and procedures; and, effectively incorporating safety and patient and family engagement.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Beginning October 23, 2014, CMS will begin accepting applications for the following funding opportunity announcements:

Potential Applicants are highly encouraged to submit nonbinding Letters of Intent (LOI) to apply by November 20th, 2014.

The application period for both funding opportunity announcements is October 23, 2014 through February 5, 2015. The funding opportunity announcements and detailed application instructions are located on Grants.gov.

A series of informational session webinars for potential applications will be held on November 6, 2014 and November 20, 2014. Potential applicants may submit questions during these informational webinars and responses will be posted on this website after the respective webinars conclude.

Practice Transformation Network Information Webinars

Support and Alignment Network Webinars

Listening Session

For additional information, please contact transformation@cms.hhs.gov.

Additional Information