Trinity Health Launches Innovation Challenge, Offering $2 Million for Ideas that Address the Nation's Most Challenging

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Inaugural program offers $2 million in grants to identify, fund and implement ideas aimed at improving care and reducing readmission rates for patients who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

We believe there is great potential for innovation when people from both inside and outside the health care industry are brought together to find solutions.

Trinity Health today launched its inaugural Innovation Challenge, offering $2 million in grants to identify, fund and implement ideas aimed at improving care and reducing readmission rates for patients who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

“Part of our vision for Trinity Health is to drive innovation that transforms our ministry and our industry to be even more people-centered,” said Scott Nordlund, executive vice president, Growth, Strategy and Innovation, Trinity Health. "We believe there is great potential for innovation when people from both inside and outside the health care industry are brought together to find solutions."

Trinity Health will fund up to six winning innovations with as much as $350,000 and implement them in key communities and regions. Grant awardees from outside the organization or the industry will be matched with a Trinity Health facility or service, if they do not already hold those relationships. Interested parties can learn more or submit their proposals at http://trinityhealthchallenges.org/web/guest/home.

"This year, we are looking for breakthrough ideas that can help us deliver more personalized, people-centered care to the populations of patients in our communities who are covered by both Medicaid and Medicare," said Anna Marie Butrie, vice president, Innovation Program and Services for Trinity Health. "Dual eligible patients have complicated and costly medical needs and we can really make a difference for them by offering more coordinated care and by enabling them to engage more fully with their own care."

In the U.S., nearly 11 million people are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. These "dual eligible" patients represent a group comprised of low-income seniors and younger people with disabilities whose care is frequently very complicated and challenging.

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, some of the key characteristics that distinguish dual eligible patients from typical Medicare beneficiaries include:

  •     Very low incomes (55 percent have annual incomes below $10,000, compared to 6 percent of other Medicare beneficiaries)
  •     Substantial health needs (half are in fair or poor health, more than twice the Medicare rate)    
  •     More likely to have mental health needs
  •     More likely to live in nursing homes

Dual eligible patients also have higher 30-day and 90-day readmission rates. During a recent three-month period, dual eligible patients cared for by Trinity Health's Accountable Care Organizations experienced readmission rates about 106 percent higher than that of non-dual eligible patients.

About Trinity Health
Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 21 states with 89 hospitals, 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $15.9 billion and assets of $23.4 billion, the organization returns about $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 95,000 full-time employees, including 3,900 employed physicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit http://www.trinity-health.org. You can also follow @TrinityHealthMI on Twitter.

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