Health Care Innovation Awards: Project Profile


Project Title: "Comprehensive care provided in an enhanced medical home to improve outcomes and reduce costs for high-risk chronically ill children"
Geographic Reach: Texas
Funding Amount: $3,701,370
Estimated 3-Year Savings: $4,272,968


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston received an award to improve care for children under 18 in the wider Houston area with chronic illnesses, including congenital anomalies, pulmonary problems, gastro-intestinal problems, neurologic problems, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and a 50% or more estimated risk of hospitalization per year. The program will provide comprehensive care through a special high-risk children's medical home where both primary and specialty services are provided in the same clinic during the same visit. The clinic is staffed by a diverse team of pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners who are highly trained and experienced and continuously accessible to treat these complex children. Through intensive integrated and coordinated care, the program will reduce serious illnesses, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, pediatric ICU admissions, total hospital and ICU days, and total health care costs, and will improve the care, health, and quality of life for these fragile children. Over a three-year period, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's program will train an estimated 35 workers. It will create an estimated six jobs, in addition to the positions for a project director, a medical director (pulmonology), an associate medical director (allergy/immunology), pediatric nurse practitioners, health care educators, a health care economist, and consultants in a pediatric infectious disease, gastroenterology, and neurology.

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